WASHINGTON, DC – The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), kicking off its annual winter meeting today in Washington, DC, honored former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as the recipient of the 2011 Margaret Chase Smith American Democracy Award for acts of political courage. Rice was recognized for her leadership of the U.S. Department of State from 2005 to 2009, which was marked by her support of democratically-elected governments, efforts to foster democratic ideals in the rebuilding of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the promotion of greater stability in the democratic governments of Eastern Europe and Latin America. NASS President and Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman nominated Rice for the national award and presented her with the honor on behalf of the association.
"Presenting this prestigious honor to a fellow Alabama native who distinguished herself as a courageous, multi-faceted leader during her time as America's chief diplomat is a great honor," noted Chapman. "That she is also a shining example of formidable intellect, personal integrity and devout faith makes her, much like our award's namesake, Margaret Chase Smith, a role model for those of us in public service."
NASS established the Margaret Chase Smith American Democracy Award in tribute to the former U.S. Senator from Maine, who jeopardized her career by speaking out against the red-baiting tactics of Senator Joseph P. McCarthy. Recipients of the award are recognized for similar acts of political courage, uncommon character, and selfless action in the realm of public service. Former recipients include former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Civil Rights Activist Ruby Duncan, Watergate Judge John J. Sirica and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
A complete list of Margaret Chase Smith American Democracy Award winners can be viewed here: http://nass.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=34&Itemid=134.
Founded in 1904, the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) is the oldest nonpartisan, professional association of public officials in the United States. Members include the 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa and Puerto Rico.
For more information, visit www.nass.org.
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