Susan Rice is in step with the times. What has been overlooked in the firestorm of criticism coming from Republican Senators, mostly white males, is this. When under stress, men are hardwired to fight; women are hardwired to defuse conflict. If our foreign policy goal is to move away from "endless war" to diplomacy, Rice is the right choice.
It doesn't take another crisis in the Middle East to remind us that today's world is far more volatile than it was 20 years ago. Led by Twitter and social media on the Internet, it is now more interconnected than ever. In today's volatile, interconnected world, what is needed is more nurturing and collaboration. This is what women do. It is in women's nature to nurture. Women also excel at negotiation, diplomacy and collaboration.
In fact, over the past 16 years, four highly qualified women have been asked by Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama to become Secretary of State. The first was Madeleine Albright, followed by Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton, and now, Susan Rice. Although targeted for take down by GOP critics, Rice, is awaiting confirmation hearings in Congress.
What makes the confirmation of this Rhodes Scholar, Stanford graduate, former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, and United Nations diplomat stand out is the fact that the on-going resistance to her appointment comes from a contingent of angry Republicans, led by Senator John McCain, who are still coming to terms with the fact that Romney lost the election. In their attempts to discredit her, they're linked together by an election flashpoint: Bengazi.
If anxious Republican Senators were to put their arguments on pause, they might be able to let the words of James Turley, CEO of Ernst & Young sink in. He was not speaking about Susan Rice, Instead, he was talking to Bloomberg news about diversity and gender in the workplace and the changing world we face today. In the interview, Turley reminds: "Seventy-five percent of the workforce of the future will not be white males."
This is the world that UN diplomat Susan Rice now lives in. This is the changing world where future Secretary of State Susan Rice, if confirmed, will interact, on behalf of the United States.
Rice is smart, and highly qualified for the job. She has also gained the trust of friends and mentors in high places. One is President Obama; another is Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. And then there is Madeleine Albright, this country's first woman Secretary of State.
Madeleine has been a lifelong mentor to Susan Rice. Did Rice first begin to think about pursuing a career in government, when her mother and a politically savvy woman named Madeleine Albright sat on a local school board together?
Over the years, Madeleine Albright has offered wise counsel to Susan Rice, and even helped in her selection as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, under President Clinton. Rice's academic and career path shows that for most of her life, she has used her leadership skills, and brainpower on behalf of public good.
In the 21st Century, The Economist reminds: "Brains count a lot more than brawn." Was the magazine issuing a timely reminder to the fight club that now defines the male-dominated Republican Party in Congress?
Or was it simply responding to the rising trend on college campuses where almost 60 percent of the student body are women, and 72 percent of class valedictorians were women in 2009, to remind its readers that "shifts happen." In this context, it's worth noting that Susan Rice was also class valedictorian.
Alexia Parks is author of 13 books, including HARDWIRED The 10 Traits of Women.