Top Guns

They are sky-high achievers.Their objective: not to be the first black or the only woman, but to be the best–period.

with its tremendous assets, has the opportunity to help the rise of democratic societies that respect their people. I must think about that every day because it is easy to get caught up in policy minutia, but this is a historic time in the spread of liberty.
Goal: To eventually return to academia
Marital Status: Single

“When I Was A Graduate Student, I Was In Russia and the room we were staying in had roaches. I went out to the monitor, and in what I thought was my very best Russian, I said we have bugs. What I really said was that we have lice, so the woman began instructing me in how to get rid of body lice.” That, Condoleezza Rice recalls with amusement, was her most embarrassing international experience.

She has made many trips to Russia since then, communicating quite effectively–not on her behalf, but on the nation’s. From 1989 to 1991 she served under President George Bush as director and then senior director of Soviet and East European Affairs in the National Security Council. She also worked as assistant to the president for National Security Affairs, a position she holds under the current president, George W.

Entering the eighth grade at age 11, Rice, who was born in segregated Birmingham, Alabama, was an exceptional student. But a high-pressure position in politics is far from Rice’s original goal of being a concert pianist.

“I ended up a failed piano majo
r,” she relates. She became fascinated with Russia, and was encouraged to pursue a major in Russian political science and history by her mentor Jeff Korbel, father of former Secretary of State Madeline K. Albright.

She has authored several books on Eastern Europe and Soviet politics, and before her present position, she became the first woman, non-white, and the youngest to serve as Stanford University’s provost in 1993.

Despite such a stellar career path, Rice admits that she’s never made long-range goals.

“I am not a great planner,” Rice explains. “I’ve always just taken on the challenges that came along and done the best I could. It is a wonderful thing to work with this president. The challenges are enormous and so are the opportunities.”

DR. EMILY F. POLLARD Plastic Surgeon
AGE: 44
SALARY: $80,000 — $100,000-plus
GOAL: To achieve a better balance between her professional and personal life, including community service and leisure activities such as traveling and gardening.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “Balancing the costs of delivering quality care with rising expenses (i.e. malpractice premiums) and falling insurance premiums.”
TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENTS: “I used to take a Polaroid, but now I take a digital picture to give patients a better idea of what can and cannot be done surgically.”
MARITAL STATUS: Married, no children

“What cracks me up are the older gentlemen. You can just see the smile creeping across their faces,” muses Dr. Emily F. Pollard. “One guy… you could tell it was on the tip of his tongue: ‘What is a little girl like you going to do to me.’ I just started laughing and said, ‘You don’t even have to say

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