Secretary of State Colin L. Powell
Colin L. Powell became the 65th Secretary of State on January 20, 2001. As he stated at his confirmation hearing, the guiding principle of U.S. foreign policy during his tenure will be that "America stands ready to help any country that wishes to join the democratic world."
Secretary Powell brought extensive experience with him to his office. Before becoming Secretary of State, Colin Powell had served as a key aid to the Secretary of Defense and as National Security Advisor. He also served 35 years in the United States Army, rising to the rank of Four-Star General and serving as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
That experience has served him well, both before and particularly after the events of September 11, 2001, the day of the greatest tragedy on American soil since Pearl Harbor. The Secretary has stood shoulder to shoulder with the President and the other members of the President's cabinet in fighting the war on terrorism.
As he has often said, "winning that war is our first priority, and it will remain so for as long as necessary."
Secretary Powell has stressed that fighting the war on terrorism is not just a military but also a diplomatic task, and that the two go hand in hand. As he said in a major address at George Washington University on September 5, 2003, "We do not see the war against terrorism and the nurturing of constructive relationships among the major powers as competing tasks. We conduct the war on terrorism with an eye turned toward great power cooperation. And we seek enhanced great power cooperation with an eye turned toward success in the war on terrorism."
The Secretary has also led the State Department in major efforts to solve regional and...