Madeleine Albright visits UVA to help launch PrezFest

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright spoke at the University of Virginia on Tuesday morning to help launch the Miller Center's Presidential Ideas Festival.

The festival includes three days of speeches and panel discussions, including a keynote address from President Bill Clinton on Thursday afternoon.

John Dickerson from CBS News moderated a discussion with Albright and Stephen Hadley, former national security advisor for President George W. Bush.

Both Hadley and Albright agreed that dealing with China should be the top foreign relations priority for the current administration. Albright expressed concerns about the direction the United States is headed, especially in its relationships with Iran, China, and North Korea.

Albright was asked what she would say to President Donald Trump if she was invited to the Oval Office. She quipped that she would give him some advice on his comb-over since she is also losing her hair. But she also said she would counsel him to trust the advice from the intelligence community.

Albright also shared a story about coming to Monticello when she was Secretary of State to participate in the naturalization ceremony on July 4, 2000. Albright came to the United States as a refugee when she was 11 years old, and she said helping other refugees become citizens was very touching.

"I gave this man his naturalization certificate," Albright said. "All of a sudden I hear him saying, 'I just got my naturalization certificate from the Secretary of State and I'm a refugee!' I went up to him and I said, 'Can you believe a refugee is Secretary of State?' That is what America's role is."

At the beginning of the event, UVA President Jim Ryan announced that the university is launching a new Institute of Democracy. It will help UVA students and professors to promote democracy around the world, and Ryan hopes it will have an impact on elections and lawmakers.

"If we do all this," Ryan said, "I believe that UVA will be rightly known as the leading place in the country, if not the world, to study, teach and sustain democracy."



 
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