Admirers have called her one of the country's best and brightest and the President's secret weapon. At a June 4 meeting with Jordanian, Palestinian Authority, and Israeli leaders, President Bush called her "my personal representative" and said she would work closely with the parties to help bring about peace. Her significance in shaping American foreign policy is hard to overstate.
Known affectionately inside the White House as the Warrior Princess, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice often speaks for the President on foreign policy and is one of his closest confidants. From her northwest corner office of the West Wing, she is responsible for sharpening and presenting the arguments of the administration's often rambunctious National Security Council.
Before her current stint, she had overseen decisions in corporate boardrooms, managed a multimillion-dollar budget at Stanford University, and negotiated key deals for the first President Bush.
Rice's keen intellect, steely unflappability, and Southern charm have served her well. Those qualities, her family and friends told Christianity Today, arise from something deep within her. "Her faith is absolutely fundamental to who she is," says Randy Bean, executive producer of special television projects at Stanford and a longtime friend. "It's part of her fiber."
"She's very close to the Lord," says Rice's aunt, Genoa Ray McPhatter. "She knows that he guides and directs her. She learned this early as a child, to have that faith, and to believe that the Lord can do all things."
A 'Perfect Little Lady'
Born on November 14, 1954, the year before the civil rights movement began, little Condi entered the brutally racist environment of Birmingham, Alabama, surrounded by her family's ...