Madeleine Albright, who served as secretary of state under former president Bill Clinton, will deliver this year's graduation commencement address, Duke President Nan Keohane announced Thursday.

"She has accepted our invitation, is excited to be coming and I think she'll do a great job," Keohane said. "We're very excited she said yes."

Albright was the first female secretary of state and the highest ranking woman in the history of the United States government. Prior to her appointment, Albright served as the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations and as a member of President Clinton's Cabinet and National Security Council.

A Wellesley College graduate in political science like Keohane, Albright was also the former president of the Center for National Policy, and served as a research professor of international affairs and director of Women in Foreign Service Program at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.

"I'm completely delighted by her [selection]," said Gloria Borges, president of the Class of 2004. "The idea of such a great leader and a great example for women, obviously is something that I aspire to, being a woman and being involved in politics. And also just the fact that her foreign policy record... such an important part of world peace today, and foreign policy seems to be so central in current times, that having somebody like that to kind of inspire us with her words will be really great."

Duke's graduation ceremonies will take place Sunday, May 9 this year.

Complete coverage will appear in Friday's issue of The Chronicle.