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Meet the Secretary of State

Many jobs in the U.S. government require traveling around Washington, D.C., meeting with different leaders, and holding meetings around the nation's capital. But traveling around the world is a major part of one job description.

Meet Condoleezza Rice, who became the Secretary of State in 2005. She works directly for President George W. Bush and is considered one of the most important members of the President's cabinet. The President's cabinet is made up of the heads of the executive departments who are the President's official advisers.

Each year, the Secretary of State travels thousands of miles around the globe, discussing U.S. policy with foreign leaders. The Secretary also advises the President on foreign policy issues and works with other countries on a wide variety of international issues.

Rice is the country's second African American Secretary of State. The first was Colin Powell, whom Rice replaced. Rice was born in 1954 in segregated Birmingham, Alabama. Segregation refers to the official policy of separating blacks and whites. However, Rice eventually moved to Colorado and graduated from college at the age of 19.

Before taking over as Secretary of State, Rice served as the head of the President's National Security Council (NSC). The NSC advises and assists the President on issues of national security and foreign policy. The NSC also helps the President work with different government agencies on those issues.