Explode Outward the Boundaries

In 1997, Secretary Albright gave the Commencement Address at Mount Holyoke College. At the Commencement, she exhorted graduates to:

"Embrace the faith that every challenge surmounted by your energy; every problem solved by your wisdom; every soul stirred by your passion; and every barrier to justice brought down by your determination will ennoble your life, inspire others, serve your country, and explode outward the boundaries of what is achievable on this earth."

In the featured conversation on January 19, speakers will share stories of their working across borders to "explode outward the boundaries of what is achievable on this earth".


  • Madeleine Korbel Albright, Secretary of State, United States of America (1997-2001)
    Madeleine K. Albright is Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group, part of Dentons Global Advisors, and a professor, author, diplomat, and businesswoman who served as the 64th Secretary of State of the United States. Dr. Albright received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, from President Barack Obama on May 29, 2012. In 1997, Dr. Albright was appointed by President Bill Clinton as the first female Secretary of State and became, at that time, the highest-ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. As Secretary of State, Dr. Albright reinforced America’s alliances, advocated for democracy and human rights, and promoted American trade, business, labor, and environmental standards abroad. From 1993 to 1997, Dr. Albright served as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations and was a member of the President’s Cabinet. From 1989 to 1992, she served as President of the Center for National Policy. Previously, she was a member of President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Council and White House staff and served as Chief Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Edmund S. Muskie. Dr. Albright is a Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. Dr. Albright is Chair of Albright Capital Management LLC, an investment advisory firm focused on emerging markets. She also chairs the National Democratic Institute, serves as the president of the Truman Scholarship Foundation, and is Honorary Co-Chair of the World Refugee Council. In 2021, she was appointed Chair of the Defense Policy Board, a group tasked with providing the Secretary of Defense with independent, informed advice and opinion concerning matters of defense policy. Dr. Albright is a seven-time New York Times bestselling author. Her most recent book, Hell and Other Destinations was published in April 2020. Her other books include her autobiography, Madam Secretary: A Memoir (2003); The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs (2006); Memo to the President: How We Can Restore America’s Reputation and Leadership (2008); Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat’s Jewel Box (2009); Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 (2012), and Fascism: A Warning (2018). Dr. Albright received a B.A. with Honors from Wellesley College, and Master’s and Doctorate degrees from Columbia University’s Department of Public Law and Government, as well as a Certificate from its Russian Institute. She is based in Washington, D.C.
  • María Eugenia Brizuela de Ávila, Minister of Foreign Affairs, El Salvador (1999-2004)
    María Eugenia Brizuela de Ávila is a Salvadoran lawyer who served as Minister of Foreign Affairs for El Salvador from 1999 to 2004. She is also the first woman to become president of a private bank and an insurance company in El Salvador, as well as the first woman to sit on the Board of the Central American Institute of Business Administration (INCAE). For a decade after 2007, she was Head of the pioneering Corporate Sustainability function at HSBC Latin America. She currently heads Inversiones Vision, her executive coaching and consulting firm. She attended the University of Geneva, where she studied French and earned a degree in French language and civilization from the Sorbonne in Paris in 1976. She went on to study law at the José Matías Delgado University and in 1982 graduated with honors. She then earned a master’s degree in Business Administration from the Central American Institute of Business Administration and a Postgraduate qualification in Sustainable Business from the University of Cambridge. She sits on numerous boards and has received many awards. She has actively participated in service institutions: Vital Voices for women’s development, the FUSADES (Fundación Salvadoreña para el Desarrollo Económico y Social) think tank, the PLAN International Board, the Junior Achievement Global Board of Governors, and serves on the Board of Commissioners for the International Commission on Missing Persons.