Madeleine K. Albright, the first woman to serve as Secretary of State, will speak tonight at the Arlington Theatre providing a wealth of political – if not candid – insight.

Albright takes the stage at 8 p.m. to discuss her life, her career during the Clinton administration and her new views on faith in world affairs. Tickets are still available from Arts & Lectures and cost $22.50 for UCSB students and $42.50 for the general public.

Much of the lecture will focus on material from her new book, The Mighty and The Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs. Albright previously considered faith as a matter for private consideration and not for political debate, but in the book she argues religion has a crucial role to play in post-9/11 foreign policy. The religion of political decision makers, for example, shapes their conception of the world and thus how they communicate with other leaders.

In addition to being Secretary of State, Albright also served as ambassador to the United Nations, consulted numerous Democratic candidates on foreign policy issues and worked extensively in academia, a role she is once again fulfilling as a professor at Georgetown University.

Albright’s role in shaping foreign policy during the years of the Clinton Administration has been both highly criticized and praised, specifically her position on the genocide in Rwanda, the war in Bosnia and her support of sanctions in Iraq, said Global and International Studies Dept. professor Richard Appelbaum.

Aaron Belkin, an associate professor of political science, said the former Secretary of State also set precedents that have influenced current foreign policy.

“Secretary Albright is a central player in the Democratic foreign policy establishment that failed to take a clear, unified, aggressive stand against the Iraq war in 2002,” Belkin said. “While the Bush administration has primary responsibility for the disaster we have caused, the timidity of the Democrats is an important part of the story as well.”