General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret)
General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret), who served from 1995 to 2000, is a former U.S. Secretary of State, the founder of the Colin Powell Center for Policy Studies at his alma mater, the City College of New York, and founding chairman of America's Promise Alliance.
He is the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a position he held from 1989 until his retirement in 1993. He received international recognition as one of the architects of the successful 1991 Gulf War against Iraq. General Powell was appointed U.S. Secretary of State, the first African American to hold this office, by President George W. Bush in 2001.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the City College of New York and a Master of Business Administration degree from The George Washington University. Following his 35 years of army service, he became a best-selling author. His memoir, entitled My American Journey, was published in September 1995.
General Powell has received numerous U.S. military awards and decorations, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Army Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Soldier's Medal, Bronze Star, and the Purple Heart.