Dr. Condoleezza Rice’s Secret Silicon Valley
Dr. Condoleezza Rice is an American political scientist and diplomat. She served as the 66th Secretary of State of the United States from January 2005-2009, and was the second woman and first African American woman to hold the post. Rice was President George W. Bush’s National Security Advisor during his first term, making her the first woman to ever hold the position.
Currently, Rice is a professor of Political Economy in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University; the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution; and a professor of Political Science at Stanford University, where she has been on the faculty since 1981.
Rice is also a founding partner of RiceHadleyGates, an international strategic consulting firm, and has authored and co-authored numerous books, including two bestsellers, No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington (2011) and Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family (2010).
Rice currently serves on the board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, C3, an energy software company, and Makena Capital, a private endowment firm. In addition, she is a member of the boards of the Commonwealth Club, the Aspen Institute and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Rice is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has been awarded ten honorary doctorates. She currently resides in Stanford, California.
What’s the best way to spend a Sunday morning?
I am a minister’s daughter, so I go to church at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church every Sunday morning.
Where do you go in Silicon Valley for an authentic cultural experience?
One of my favorite cultural experiences is attending a concert at the new Bing Concert Hall at Stanford University. It just opened in January 2013 and every performance I have seen has been outstanding. It’s a very intimate and engaging experience.
How do you like to end your day?
I like to watch silly, vintage television shows like Frasier or HGTV.
Is there a special vantage point in Silicon Valley to watch the sunrise or sunset?
The deck at Madera restaurant at Rosewood Sand Hill is a spectacular place to watch the sunset.
Can you describe your most blissful moment in Silicon Valley?
Playing Robert Schumann on the piano.
In your opinion, where’s the best place to take a first date?
Sundance The Steakhouse. It’s a legendary, family owned steakhouse in Palo Alto. The ambiance is very cozy and romantic and the food is delicious.
Who is Silicon Valley’s most famous local icon?
Gordon and Betty Moore, who established The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, which is dedicated to advancing environmental conservation and scientific research to create positive outcomes for future generations. There are few souls as generous as they anymore.
Can you describe a perfect scenic drive?
Half Moon Bay has some of the most beautiful coastlines that California has to offer.
Where do you shop for clothing and accessories in Silicon Valley?
Stanford Shopping Center offers every store you could ever imagine.
Do you have a favorite local market?
Schaub’s Meat, Fish & Poultry at the Stanford Shopping Center is a wonderful Market. I especially love to buy the famous Fred’s Steak.
What’s the best place to visit for a day trip?
Pebble Beach – I am a golfer.
What art gallery do you enjoy most?
The Rodin Sculpture Garden outside the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University boasts the world’s largest collection of Rodin’s bronzes outside Paris.
What routine activity do you do first thing each morning?
What do you consider to be the best local coffee shop?
Peet’s Coffee & Tea in Menlo Park is a great little local coffee shop.
What is your favorite outdoor activity?
Do you have a special neighborhood stroll that you really enjoy?
The Dish, of course! It’s a scenic four-mile trail on Stanford University’s campus with stunning views of Stanford and the San Francisco Bay area. It is wonderful for a hike – either alone or with a friend – and the wildlife sightings are always plentiful.
How do you like to spend rainy days?
Playing the piano or watching an old movie.
What is a spectacular local winery in Silicon Valley?
Thomas Fogarty Winery & Vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains is the ideal place for an afternoon of wine-tasting and sightseeing.