Colin L. Powell was nominated by President
Bush on December 16, 200 as Secretary of State. After being unanimously confirmed by
the U.S. Senate, he was sworn in as the 65th Secretary of State on January 20,2001.
Prior to his appointment, Secretary Powell was the chairman of America's Promise.
The Alliance for Youth, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to mobilizing people
from every sector of American life to build the character and competence of young people.
Secretary Powell was a professional soldier for 35 years, during which time he held
myriad command and staff positions and rose to the rank of four-star General.
His last assignment, from October 1, 1989
to September 30, 1993, was as the 12th Chairman of the Joint chiefs of Staff, the highest
military position in the Department of Defense. During this time, he oversaw 28
crisis, including Operation Desert Storm in the victorious 1991 Persian Gulf war.
Following his retirement, Secretary Powell wrote his best-selling autobiography, My
American Journey which was published in 1995. Additionally, he pursued a career as a
public speaker, addressing audiences across the country and abroad.
Secretary Powell was born in New York on
April 5, 1937 and was raised in the South Bronx. His parents, Luther and Maud
Powell, immigrated to the U.S. from Jamaica. Secretary Powell was educated in the
New York City public schools, graduating from the City College of New York (CCNY), where
he earned a bachelor's degree in geology. He also participated in ROTC at CCNY and
received a commission as an Army second lieutenant upon graduation in June 1958. His
further academic achievements include a Master of Business Administration degree from
George Washington University.
Secretary Powell is the recipient of
numerous U.S. and foreign military awards and decorations. Secretary Powell's
civilian awards include two Presidential Medals of Distinguished Service Medal.
Several schools and other institutions have been named in his honor and he holds honorary
degrees from universities and colleges across the country. Secretary Powell is
married to the former Alma Vivian Johnson of Birmingham, Alabama. The Powell family
includes Michael; daughters, Linda and Anne; daughter in law, Jane and grandsons, Jeffrey