January 22, 2009 / 7:06 AM / 10 years ago

Condoleezza Rice signs with William Morris Agency

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has made a key step in her post-Bush administration career: The William Morris Agency announced Wednesday that it has signed her as a client.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice addresses a meeting of the United Nations Security Council to address piracy off the coast of Somalia at the U.N. headquarters in New York in this file photo from December 16, 2008. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (

The former professor and Stanford University provost has been in the Bush administration since its beginning, first as national security adviser and then as secretary of state. Her appointment ended Tuesday afternoon, after Barack Obama was sworn in as president.

Although most other members of the Bush administration, save Karl Rove, might have trouble finding such a wide-ranging deal, Rice found a strong market among talent agencies.

“It was certainly a competitive situation,” said Jim Wiatt, chairman and CEO of the William Morris Agency. “She was very thorough about the process and who she would feel most comfortable with and who would be speaking on her behalf.”

It’s unlikely that Rice will turn up as a talking head on television, however. The deal includes William Morris representation for books, lecture appearances and philanthropic initiatives, as well as business initiatives in media, sports and communications.

WMA co-chief operating officer Wayne Kabak said that the agency was struck not only by Rice’s well-rounded resume. In addition to her political career, Rice is an accomplished concert pianist as well as a big-time National Football League fan.

“It’s more than just books, it’s much more than just lectures,” Kaback said. “We’re here to help her create and enhance an agenda that is very important to her in her post-government career.”

That agenda will include philanthropic efforts involving classical music and college educations for disadvantaged students, as well as initiatives to help U.S. children become global citizens.

In support of those efforts, Rice might appear on camera, but she won’t be traveling the well-worn path as a news or policy analyst.

“She’s not interested in being a shadow secretary of state,” Kabeck said. “It’s not her goal to go on morning talk shows the day after something happens. That’s not what she wants to do.”

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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