Condoleezza Rice is the White House national security adviser for President George W. Bush.

Rice has made it clear that she expects the U.S. government to put its own national interests first in setting any plan of action. She has said that the United States should not be deterred by overseas criticism from developing an antimissile system. She said she hopes that Russia will agree to modifications of the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty, signed in 1972 by the United States and the Soviet Union to allow the missile defense program to proceed, but if Moscow balks, she said, Washington is ready to repudiate the pact unilaterally.

Before joining the Bush campaign as chief campaign advisor for foreign policy, Rice served from 1993-1999 as provost of Stanford, ranking just below the university president on the operational chart.

Rice was senior director for Soviet and Eastern European Affairs on Brent Scowcroft's National Security Council staff from 1989 to 1991, working closely with then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney, now vice president, and Gen. Colin L. Powell, then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State. 

In 1986, she was a Council on Foreign Relations fellow at the Pentagon.  After receiving a doctorate from the University of Denver in 1981, Rice joined the faculty at Stanford, where her class became one of the most popular on campus among undergraduate students.

Rice was a piano prodigy at age three.  Two years after her family moved to Denver in 1967, Rice enrolled at the University of Denver as a music major, intending to prepare for a career as a concert pianist.

Rice was born in 1954, in Birmingham, Ala., the daughter of a college administrator father and music teacher mother.