(Washington, DC) The Board of Directors, members and staff of the US-ASEAN Business Council convey their deep condolences to the Albright family, the American people, and friends in ASEAN and beyond on the passing of the 64th U.S. Secretary of State and the 20th U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Madeleine K. Albright.
Throughout her career, Secretary Albright was a true friend of Southeast Asia and the Council. She championed the U.S.-Vietnam relationship as Secretary of State, going above and beyond to advocate for Pete Peterson’s confirmation as the first U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam after the normalization of relations, and she opened the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City within the first few months of becoming Secretary of State in 1997. After her time as a public servant, Secretary Albright promoted responsible investment in Myanmar after its economic reopening in 2011.
“Madeleine Korbel Albright was gutsy, smart, and proud to break through glass ceilings,” said US-ASEAN Business Council President & CEO Ambassador Ted Osius, who served on Secretary Albright’s staff during her tenure as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. “I was lucky to witness firsthand her dedication to preserving and expanding democracy during her tenure as Ambassador to the UN, Secretary of State, and Chair of the National Democratic Institute. She was a friend, a great mentor, a personal hero, and the bane of dictators.”
“In many ways, Madeleine Albright’s family lived the American immigrant dream,” said US-ASEAN Business Council Senior Vice President & Regional Managing Director Ambassador Michael Michalak. “I thought of her often in the context of current events; I am sorry she will not be here to see, in person, the end of the current challenge to democracy, but I am sure she is still watching.”
Secretary Albright’s commitment to Southeast Asia held through to the end; in the weeks before she passed, she began working to financially sponsor Burmese students finishing their undergraduate education in the United States as Chairwoman of the US-ASEAN Business Council Institute’s Myanmar Scholarship Fund.
The Council will deeply miss Secretary Albright and remember her contributions to American diplomacy and foreign policy.