Chief foreign policy advisor in the George W. Bush (dubya) government.
Her name is supposed to come from the Italian musical direction con dolcezza (literally "with sweetness").
The name has occasionally been written "Condoleeza" (it appears as such once on the whitehouse.gov site itself).
Supposedly, the name was chosen by her mother, a pianist. It is not clear to me how con dolcezza, that is pronounced more or less kon-dull-CHETS-sah turns into Condoleeza. I suspect an unfortunate birth registry mixup. Anyway, a Google search makes me think that she is the only human named "Condoleezza" - although I am sure that some ill advised parents after the elections proceeded to inflict the name on an innocent baby girl.

Someone else will have to node about her foreign policy ideas.

Double hulled oil tanker owned by Cal-Petro Bahamas*, considered part of Chevron's fleet. Built in 1993 in Brazil by Ishikawajima do Brasil Estaleiros S.A. ("Ishibras"), it sails under a Bahamian flag. Its deadweight is 129,915 tons. The ship is 258.9 meters long, 48.3 meters in the beam, with a 16.790 meter draft. In its early years, the ship sailed the Atlantic, carrying Mexican crude to Chevron's U.S. Gulf refinery in Pascagoula, Mississippi and West African crude to Chevron's Philadelphia refinery. Now it can often be seen from I-580, moored in Point Richmond, California, just south of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge in the San Francisco Bay.

Chevron has commented: "It's part of a long-standing practice of naming (tankers) after members of the board of directors." Other big Chevron ships are named George Shultz, Carla Hills, David Packard and Kenneth T. Derr. Rice served on Chevron's board of directors from 1991 until she joined the Bush cabinet in January 2001.

In April 2001, Chevron quietly renamed the ship "Altair Voyager."

*Cal Petro Bahamas is a company with no assets, no shareholders, no reason to exist, really, except to own a ship in the Bahamas. Chevron Transport has an exclusive charter with Cal Petro to maintain, staff, sail, and otherwise operate the ship. Conveniently, they're also the broker that holds the mortgage that Cal Petro had to take out to build the ship in the first place.

Sources:
Ship and ownership info: http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/923649/0000950130-95-000632.txt
Carla Marinucci, "Chevron redubs ship named for Bush aide Condoleezza Rice drew too much attention," San Francisco Chronicle, May 5, 2001. <http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2001/05/05/MN223743.DTL> (Accessed November 29, 2005)

Condoleezza Rice was born in 1955 in Birmingham, Alabama. Her parents, both educators, maintained a stable and insulated household despite the furious activity of the Civil Rights movement during her formative youth, and her family eventually moved to Denver, Colorado, where she began taking courses at the University of Denver when she was 15.

As one might expect, her subsequent academic career was fairly impressive. She graduated from the University of Denver with a bachelor's degree in political science (cum laude) when 19 years old, earned her master's degree at the University of Notre Dame, and earned her doctorate at the University of Denver Graduate School of International Studies. In 1981, she began teaching at Stanford University, where she was repeatedly awarded honors for her work.

Several times during the 1980's, she was consulted by sitting presidents on matters of arms control and the Soviet Union, her interest in the latter having grown out of a class she took when 15 with Madeleine Albright's father, a professor at the University of Denver.

She served as an adviser to George W. Bush during his campaign, and was instrumental in his formulation of a foreign policy agenda. She is currently his National Security Adviser, serving as a liaison between various agencies and departments and the president.

Her positions are very much in keeping with the conservative attitude of the Bush administration: she believes in a missile defense shield to protect the United States and its allies against nuclear attacks, and feels that America ought to behave internationally as the superpower that it is. She is no hawk, however, and is acutely sensitive to the intricacies of geopolitics.



Incidentally, she is an African-American conservative, and quite photogenic, a fact which has pleased the Republican party to no end. In a speech to the Republican National Convention, she noted that her parents lived under Jim Crow laws enforced by Southern Democrats, and many observed the rapturous glee of the RNC at being the "good" party with respect to a racial issue. For their part, some liberal commentators have accused her of being an Uncle Tom.

And her nickname is "Condie."

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