Madeleine Albright, a Czech immigrant who went on to become the first female secretary of state in US history, has died aged 84.

A long-time foreign policy veteran, Albright became Americas top diplomat in 1997 during the Clinton government.

Often hailed as a champion of democracy, Albright was instrumental in efforts to end ethnic cleansing in Kosovo.

Albright’s experience as a refugee prompted her to push for the United States to be a superpower, which used that clout.

She wanted a “muscular internationalism,” says James O’Brien, a senior adviser to Albright during the Bosnian war.

She once upset a Pentagon chief by asking why the military maintained more than 1 million men and women under arms, if they never used them.

Early in the Clinton administration, while she unsuccessfully advocated for a quicker, stronger response in Bosnia, Albright backed a United Nations war crimes tribunal that eventually put the architects of that war, including Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and Bosnian Serb leaders, in jail, O’Brien said.

While keen for a female president, Albright says she wouldn’t vote for someone she disagreed with simply because she was a woman.

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