Former U.S. secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, who has returned to the Hoover Institution and Stanford University, spoke to Hoover Institution overseers and guests during dinner on Monday night at the Board of Overseers meeting. Rice said that her years in public service impressed on her the power of the democratic system, free markets, and American strengths, including innovation, opportunity, and reward for merit. From January 2005 to 2009, she served as the 66th secretary of state of the United States. Before assuming the post as America's chief diplomat, she had been assistant to the president for national security affairs (national security adviser) from January 2001 to 2005. Rice is the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution and a professor of political science at Stanford University.