photo: Madeleine Korbel Albright Institute for Global Affairs at Wellesley College, Wikimedia Commons
Madeleine Albright in 2016
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear have ordered state flags be lowered to half-staff to honor former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
The governors made their announcements Thursday, one day after Albright's death from cancer. The orders, which follow U.S. President Joe Biden's similar order for federal buildings, applies to all state buildings and grounds through sunset on March 27.
Albright, who was 84, was a notable diplomat in many regards. The daughter of Czech refugees who had fled from Nazis (and who lost dozens of family members to Nazi killings), Albright became the United States' first female secretary of state in 1997 under U.S. President Bill Clinton. She was a go-to foreign-policy advisor for a number of U.S. presidents and presidential candidates, the New York Times reports in her obituary. U.S. President Barack Obama awarded Albright the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.
Albright also was known for advocating for other women. During the 1990s and, more recently, during a 2016 presidential campaign stop for Hillary Clinton — who also became secretary of state — Albright said, "There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other." She frequently found herself in decision rooms with only men, which pushed her to speak up and speak frankly. She also talked about how women were forced to exceed all expectations in order to be judged even at the same level as a man.
"I've said this many times — there's plenty of room in the world for mediocre men, but there is no room for mediocre women. You have to work. You have to work exceptionally hard, and you have to know what you're talking about," Albright said.