Rice was the first African-American woman to serve as secretary of state, following Colin Powell in the office. She was Bush's national security adviser during his first term and worked on the National Security Council under his father, President George H.W. Bush.
As secretary of state, Rice warned of weapons of mass destruction in pressing for war in Iraq that killed more than 4,400 Americans. No weapons of mass destruction were found.
Her primetime speech at the Republican National Convention in August received raves. She did not mention President Barack Obama by name, but spoke of the crisis in education and the need for immigration laws that protect the country's borders while meeting economic needs. She also said that although there was a sense that for far too long America has carried the burdens of supporting free people and free markets, but that if the United States does not lead no one will lead, fostering chaos.