Madeleine Albright to be lead keynote at GIA’s Gemological Symposium

Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright will help kick off the Gemological Institute of America’s fourth International Gemological Symposium when she presents the lead keynote address on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2006, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego.

Albright became the United States’ first woman secretary of state in 1997, at the time the highest ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. Immediately preceding her appointment, from 1993 to 1997, she served as the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations and was a member of former president Bill Clinton’s cabinet. In 1995, she led the U.S. delegation to the U.N.’s Fourth World Conference on Women, in Beijing.

Currently head of The Albright Group LLC, a global strategy firm that she founded, Albright is also chairman of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, co-chair of the Pew Global Attitudes Project, and president of the Truman Scholarship Foundation. In addition, she serves on the Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations and on the Board of Trustees for the Aspen Institute.

Albright is a jewelry enthusiast, noted for her eclectic collection of fine and costume brooches. She is working on a book about her collection, which will be published in 2008. The book, which will be illustrated, will discuss the historical and personal significance of the collection and her use of brooches as a tool of diplomacy.

“In keeping with our Symposium theme of ‘Navigating the Challenges Ahead, Secretary Albright’s significant experience in U.S. international strategy and policy perfectly position her to address the important business and geopolitical issues facing the world today,” said GIA president William E. Boyajian.

Albright received her B.A. from Wellesley College, and her master’s and doctorate from Columbia University’s Department of Public Law and Government. She was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, and immigrated to the United States with her family in 1948. She has three daughters and six grandchildren.

Symposium will bring together upwards of 1,500 participants from around the globe to gain firsthand knowledge from gem and jewelry experts representing every aspect of the international trade: diamonds, colored stones, pearls, gemology, jewelry design, manufacturing, marketing, branding, and retail.

For further details on the 4th International Gemological Symposium, to be held Aug. 27–29, 2006, and the pre-Symposium Gemological Research Conference (Aug. 26–27), including registration, visit www.gia.edu.