Condoleezza Rice, director of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, was secretary of state from 2005 to 2009.
“General Powell would like to invite you to lunch.” The call from his secretary was a thunderbolt: Colin was the national security adviser to President Ronald Reagan. I was a 31-year-old Council on Foreign Relations fellow serving a year with the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Mostly what I remember about that lunch is how my initial nervousness dissolved into a certain level of comfort with the tall, elegant and already famous Colin L. Powell. He was inspiring but not intimidating. “I’m sure we’ll see each other many times in the future,” he said. He was, of course, right. Our professional and personal lives crossed and intertwined numerous times — and I am grateful for that.