Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Communication Studies

First Committee Member

Thomas Burkholder

Number of Pages



Condoleezza Rice is recognized as one of President George W. Bush's closest advisors and one of America's most influential officials. During her tenure as Bush's National Security Advisor and then as America's first African American female Secretary of State, Rice faced situations in which her image was challenged, undermined, or questioned by other individuals. This project explores how she addressed her image through examination of her rhetorical strategies in her opening statement before the 9/11 Commission in April of 2004, her first address as Secretary of State to State Department staff in January of 2005, and her first public speech as Secretary in France in February of 2005. Using Walter R. Fisher's communicative motives as a framework for analysis, this paper also examines how Fisher's motives appeared in contemporary discourse, describes which motives dominated Rice's remarks, and evaluates her success in enacting the dominant motive in each rhetorical act. Ultimately, the examination of these three artifacts revealed that Rice's rhetoric better suited the introduction of new ideas and a new image than repairing damaged images.


Condoleezza; Construction; Image; Most; Powerful; Rhetorical; Rice; Woman; World

Controlled Subject

Communication; Rhetoric; Women's studies; Blacks--Study and teaching

File Format


File Size

2877.44 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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