Susan Rice Biography

(23rd U.S. National Security Advisor ( 2013 – 2017))

Birthday: November 17, 1964 (Scorpio)

Born In: Washington, D.C., United States

Susan Rice is an American diplomat, policy advisor, and former public official who – in former President Barack Obama’s administration – worked as the US national security advisor from 2013 to 2017 and the US ambassador to the UN from 2009 to 2013. She was the first African-American woman to become US representative at the UN. In between in 2012, she was seen as the likely successor of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; however, the controversy following the Benghazi attack led her to withdraw her name. She was instead appointed the national security advisor. Before joining Barrack Obama’s administration, she was a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Still earlier, she was a part of former President Bill Clinton's NSC staff and also served as his assistant secretary of state for African affairs. An excellent student, Rice won Truman scholarship and National Merit scholarship while studying at Stanford University and Rhodes scholarship at Oxford University. In December 2020, she was selected by President-elect Joe Biden as top White House Domestic Policy adviser.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Susan Elizabeth Rice

Age: 59 Years, 59 Year Old Females


Spouse/Ex-: Ian O. Cameron

father: Emmett J. Rice

mother: Lois Dickson Fitt, Lois Rice

children: Jake Rice-Cameron, Maris Rice-Cameron

Born Country: United States

Diplomats Government Officials

Height: 1.63 m

Ancestry: Jamaican American

More Facts

education: Stanford University

  • 1

    What is Susan Rice known for?

    Susan Rice is known for her career in foreign policy and diplomacy, serving as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations and as National Security Advisor under the Obama administration.
  • 2

    What are Susan Rice's political views?

    Susan Rice is known for being a Democrat and has been vocal about her support for progressive policies and initiatives.
  • 3

    What role did Susan Rice play in the Benghazi attack?

    Susan Rice faced criticism for her initial statements on television following the Benghazi attack in 2012, where she suggested the attack was a spontaneous protest rather than a planned terrorist attack.
  • 4

    What is Susan Rice's stance on climate change?

    Susan Rice has been an advocate for addressing climate change and has highlighted the importance of global cooperation to combat this issue.
  • 5

    What is Susan Rice's current role in the Biden administration?

    Susan Rice currently serves as the Director of the United States Domestic Policy Council in the Biden administration, where she focuses on coordinating domestic policy initiatives.
Childhood & Early Life

Susan Elizabeth Rice was born on 17 November 1964 in Washington, D.C, to Lois and Emmett J. Rice. Her mother, Lois, was an education policy researcher as well as guest scholar at the Brookings Institution. Her father, Emmett, was an economics professor at Cornell University and the former governor of the Federal Reserve System.

When she was still young, her parents separated. Her mother later married an attorney, Alfred Bradley Fitt.

She attended National Cathedral School and thereafter completed her BA in history honours in 1986 from Stanford University, California. At Stanford, she won Truman Scholarship and National Merit Scholarship. She was also elected to Phi Beta Kapp.

Thereafter, she joined New College, Oxford on a Rhodes scholarship and completed her M.Phil (1988) and D.Phil (1990) in international relations. Her doctoral dissertation - Commonwealth Initiative in Zimbabwe, 1979–1980: Implications for International Peacekeeping – here was awarded by the Chatham House-British International Studies Association.

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In the 1988 presidential election, Susan Rice worked as a foreign policy advisor to Michael Dukakis.

Her first full time job after studying at Oxford was at McKinsey & Company in Toronto, where she worked as a management consultant between 1990 and early 1992.

Her career in public service began when she joined the former President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council (NSC) in 1993. Here, she first served as the director for International Organizations and Peacekeeping till 1995 and then as the special assistant to the president and senior director for African affairs till 1997.

From 1997, she assumed the responsibilities of assistant secretary of State for African Affairs and continued in the position till 2001. With this, she became one of the youngest assistant secretaries of state ever.

Her work here comprised formulating and carrying out US policy in 48 Sub-Saharan Africa countries, monitoring the working of 43 U.S. Embassies as well as 5,000 US and Foreign Service national employees.

While in office, she worked for the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement (Congo), the Lomé Peace Accord (Sierra Leone) and also played a crucial role in the peace talks between Ethiopia and Eritrea which ultimately led to the Algiers Agreement in the year 2000.

The same year, for her efforts for the formation of peaceful and cooperative relations between states, she was honoured with Samuel Nelson Drew Memorial Award by the White House.

After working briefly as a managing director and principal at Intellibridge, she joined the Brookings Institute in 2002 as a senior fellow.

At the institute - which focuses on independent research and accordingly provides recommendations to the government – she conducted research on U.S. foreign policy, weak and failing states, implications of global poverty and transnational security threats.

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A couple of years later, in 2004, she became the foreign policy adviser to John Kerry in his presidential campaign.

In 2008, she left the Brookings Institution to join Barack Obama in his presidential campaign as his senior foreign policy adviser.

After his win, Obama nominated Susan Rice as the US ambassador to the United Nations in December 2008 and in January the following year she was confirmed by the Senate. She also became the member of cabinet.

With this appointment, she became the second youngest person and the first African-American woman to become US representative at the UN.

During her tenure, her efforts that led to UN Security council imposing stiff sanctions against Iran and North Korea for their nuclear programs, won appreciation.

She also advocated human rights, women's rights, LGBT rights and brought more focus on the issue of climate change.

She played a pivotal role in getting UN approval for military action in Libya.

In September 2012, after the attack on two American facility in Benghazi, Libya, Rice stated that it was spontaneously inspired out of the violent protest in Cairo against a hateful internet video. It was later revealed that an extremist group was behind the attack.

She was relentlessly criticised for misleading the public; however, none of the investigation conducted later concluded that she had intentionally misled the people.However, as a consequence, she withdrew her name from consideration for the position of US Secretary of State.

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In July 2013, she was appointed National Security Advisor by President Obama and continued in the position till January 2017.

While in office, she worked on the Iran nuclear deal of 2015, Ebola crisis, normalising relations between Cuba and the US, fight against Islamic States and Paris Agreement on climate change.

After her term came to an end, she became a distinguished visiting research fellow in the School of International Service (SIS) at American University.

In March 2018, she joined American OTT content platform and production company, Netflix, as a board of director.

In September 2020, she joined the Biden-Harris Transition Team’s advisory council.

In December 2020, Joe Biden chose her as Top White House Domestic Policy Advisor.

Susan Rice has authored a few books including the latest one, her memoir – Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For – which released in 2019. The book was well appreciated and became a New York Times bestseller.

Before this, in 2010, she co-edited Confronting Poverty: Weak States and U.S. National Security along with her former Brookings colleague Corinne Graff and Carlos Pascual.

She has also she co-authored Index of State Weakness in the Developing World (2008) with Stewart Patrick and Poverty and Civil War: What Policymakers Need to Know (2006) with Corinne Graff and Janet Lewis.

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Between December 2017 and December 2020, she also wrote for The New York Times as a contributing opinion writer. Moreover, she is also non-resident senior fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs of Harvard Kennedy School.

She is also a part of Aspen Strategy Group, American Academy of Diplomacy and Council on Foreign Relations.

Awards & Achievements

In the year 2002, Susan Rice was admitted into Stanford's Black Alumni Hall of Fame.

In the year 2017, her contribution in Franco-American relation was recognised by the French government that made her the Commander of the Legion of Honour of France.

Family & Personal Life

Susan Rice has been married to Ian Officer Cameron, the former executive producer of ABC News’s This Week, since 1992. They met while studying at Stanford University and subsequently married.

They have two children – daughter, Maris, and son, Jake.

Facts About Susan Rice
Susan Rice is an accomplished pianist and has been playing the piano since she was a child.
She is a huge fan of mystery novels and often enjoys reading them in her spare time.
Susan Rice is known for her impressive collection of colorful and unique scarves, which she often wears to add a pop of color to her outfits.
She is a skilled cook and enjoys experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen, especially when hosting friends and family.
Susan Rice is an avid gardener and finds solace in tending to her plants and flowers whenever she has free time.

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