Former Secretary of State Colin Powell was sworn in as the 65th Secretary of State in 2001 after unanimous confirmation by the U.S. Senate. He served in the military for 35 years, and rose to the rank of 4-star General. His last assignment, from October 1989 to September 1993, was as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest military position in the Department of Defense. During this time, he oversaw 28 crises, including Operation Desert Storm in the 1991 Persian Gulf War.
General Powell earned a Bachelorâ€™s degree in geology from the City College of New York and an MBA degree from George Washington University. He also holds honorary degrees from universities and colleges across the country.
The recipient of numerous U.S. and foreign military awards, General Powell has also been recognized with several civilian awards, including two Presidential Medals of Freedom, the Presidentâ€™s Citizens Medal, the Congressional Gold Medal, the Secretary of State Distinguished Service Medal, and the Secretary of Energy Distinguished Service Medal.
General Powell was the founding Chairman of Americaâ€™s Promise, The Alliance for Youth, a national crusade to improve the lives of our nationâ€™s youth. He has also been a member of the Board of Trustees of Howard University and the Board of Directors of the United Negro College Fund. The General also served on the Board of Governors of The Boys & Girls Clubs of America and was a member of the Advisory Board of the Children’s Health Fund.
General Powell is the author of his best-selling autobiography, My American Journey.