Madeleine Albright, Jordan’s Prince El Hassan bin Talal join Council as Honorary Chairs

World Refugee & Migration Council Chair Lloyd Axworthy today welcomed former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Jordan’s Prince El Hassan bin Talal as Honorary Chairs of the Council.

These eminent advocates for global security and improving the international response to refugees and forced migrants, have already been actively engaged in the work of the Council. As Honorary Chairs they will continue providing counsel and support for implementing actions outlined in the Council’s A Call to Action: Transforming the Global Refugee System

Secretary Albright is a noted author, advocate for democracy and human rights, and was herself a refugee during World War II, finally immigrating to the United States with her family in 1948 from Czechoslovakia. Secretary Albright will help lead the Council’s work, especially around proposed actions focused on addressing the needs of women and girl refugees and holding leaders responsible for creating refugee crises to account. She recently joined the Council’s Refugee Women: Responding to COVID-19 virtual conference with members of the Global Independent Refugee Women Leaders network, as well as government leaders, experts and women refugees from around the world. 

As part of his work with Jordan’s efforts to host millions of refugees from Syria and other countries in the region, Prince El Hassan bin Talal has actively collaborated with the Council. Most recently, he has supported new Council research projects looking at longer-term alternatives for hosting Syrian refugees, as well as how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting Jordan’s refugee communities throughout the Middle East. Additionally, he is committed to helping implement the Council’s recommendations proposed in a Call to Action, especially those focused on responsibility sharing and accountability.

Madeleine Albright

Madeleine Albright
Photo: Lauren Bulbin

Madeleine K. Albright is Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategy firm, and Chair of Albright Capital Management LLC, an investment advisory firm focused on emerging markets. She was the 64th Secretary of State of the United States. Dr. Albright received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, from President Obama on May 29, 2012.

In 1997, Dr. Albright was named the first female Secretary of State and became, at that time, the highest-ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. As Secretary of State, Dr. Albright reinforced America’s alliances, advocated for democracy and human rights, and promoted American trade, business, labor, and environmental standards abroad. From 1993 to 1997, Dr. Albright served as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations and was a member of the President’s Cabinet. From 1989 to 1992, she served as President of the Center for National Policy. Previously, she was a member of President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Council and White House staff and served as Chief Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Edmund S. Muskie.

Dr. Albright is a Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. She chairs the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and serves as president of the Truman Scholarship Foundation. She is a member of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Policy Board, a group tasked with providing the Secretary of Defense with independent, informed advice and opinion concerning matters of defense policy. Dr. Albright also serves on the Board of the Aspen Institute. In 2009, Dr. Albright was asked by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen to Chair a Group of Experts focused on developing NATO’s New Strategic Concept.

Dr. Albright is a seven-time New York Times bestselling author. Her most recent book, Hell and Other Destinations was published in April 2020. Her other books include: her autobiography, Madam Secretary: A Memoir (2003); The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs (2006); Memo to the President: How We Can Restore America’s Reputation and Leadership (2008); Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat’s Jewel Box (2009); Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 (2012), and Fascism: A Warning (2018),

Dr. Albright received a B.A. with Honors from Wellesley College, and Master’s and Doctorate degrees from Columbia University’s Department of Public Law and Government, as well as a Certificate from its Russian Institute.

She is based in Washington, D.C.

Prince El Hassan bin Talal

Prince Hassan

His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal was born in Amman in 1947. HRH is the youngest son of Their late Majesties King Talal and Queen Zein El Sharaf, the brother of His late Majesty King Hussein, and the uncle of HM King Abdullah II.

Prince Hassan served as Jordan’s Crown Prince from April 1965 until January 1999. HRHs early schooling was in Amman. He later went to Summerfields, followed by Harrow and then Christ Church, Oxford University from where he graduated with a B.A. (Hons.) in Oriental Studies.

Prince Hassan chaired the committees overseeing Jordan’s first development plan (1973-1975) and the three subsequent development plans (1976–1980, 1981–1985 and 1986–1990). HRH had a critical role in the Jordan-Israel Peace negotiations that culminated in the Peace Treaty between the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the State of Israel in 1994.

A pluralist and staunch campaigner for the rights of all to live in peace and dignity, HRH established the Arab Thought Forum, the Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies, the Higher Council for Science and Technology, The Royal Scientific Society, the West Asia North Africa Institute (WANA) and the Regional Security Centre in Jordan. Prince Hassan’s international commitments have included co-chairing the Independent Commission on International Humanitarian Issues, serving as Commissioner on Legal Empowerment of the Poor and launching the West Asia-North Africa Forum (WANA).

A pioneer of interfaith dialogue and understanding, Prince Hassan initiated and hosted on-going consultations with the Orthodox Centre of the Ecumenical Patriarchate at Chambesy, Switzerland and the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue at the Vatican. Prince Hassan is co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for Inter-religious and Intercultural Research and Dialogue (FIIRD). Now President Emeritus, Prince Hassan was Moderator of the World Conference of Religions for Peace (WCRP) from 1999-2006. 

He has long had an active engagement with environmentally focused organisations, in particular the Trans-Mediterranean Renewable Energy Cooperation (TREC) Network, and the Jordan based Badia Research and Development Program (in co-operation with the British Royal Geographical Society). Prince Hassan recently served as the Chairman of the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation, UNSGAB and continues to work on water related issues as the Chairman of the High Level Forum for the Blue Peace Middle East plan.

HRH Prince Hassan is the author of several books, articles and papers, which have been including A Study on Jerusalem, Search for Peace, Palestinian Self-Determination and in 2004 in collaboration with Alain Elkann, To Be a Muslim: Islam, Peace and Democracy. Prince Hassan is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees from across the world.