MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — At the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, future leaders heard from the original “Madam Secretary” — Madeleine Albright.

The former Secretary of State explained how the world is far more complex than when she served under President Bill Clinton. In a room as diverse as a mini United Nations, students heard from a real Madam Secretary.

Albright says the threat from ISIS is just one part of a Middle East puzzle that is more complex than it ever has been a situation she says that is “very scary and very unpredictable.”

And that she says leaves a war weary US in a tough position.

“The U.S. is the superpower, but we don’t want to be the world’s policeman,” Albright said.

Albright told the future leaders they will need to handle not only difficult situations but difficult leaders like Russia’s Vladmir Putin.

“What Russia here has done is illegal. I think that it is very dangerous,” Albright said.

She says while the U.S. is right to punish Russia with sanctions over Ukraine, the U.S. will also have to work with Putin on issues, like terrorism. And she warned the partisan paralysis in Congress is weakening the US abroad.

“Where is congress, I mean, at this very moment, where are they? Decisions have to be made about ISIS, or the Turks or Ebola or whatever, where are they?” Albright said.

As she left, she told the students as they become leaders, theirs will be a tough job. But students WCCO talked to say they are ready.

“I think that is very powerful for us to hear from somebody who is an icon for many of us who are studying,” student Emily Edstrom said.

Albright will also be speaking Thursday night at the International Market Square on the topic of “Women in Public Life.” On Friday, she’ll teach a class at the Humphrey school with former Minnesota Congressman Vin Weber.

Esme Murphy

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