Condoleezza Rice signs with WMA

Deal includes representation for books, lectures, media

NEW YORK -- 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.

The former professor and Stanford provost has been in the Bush administration since the beginning, first as national security adviser and then as secretary of state. Her last day in office was Tuesday morning with the end of the Bush administration.

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, however. The deal includes William Morris representation for books, lecture appearances, philanthropic initiatives, as well as media, sports and communications.

WMA NY office co-chief operating officer Wayne Kabak said that the agency was struck by her well-rounded resume in policy, politics and music, her interest in sports and other areas. Rice is an accomplished concert pianist but also a big-time NFL fan.

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

That will also include philanthropic efforts, particularly her interest in classical music, her efforts to get disadvantaged children college educations and initiatives to help U.S. children become global citizens.

That could include Rice either in front of or behind a camera in support of those efforts. But it won't be on that well-worn path as analyst, however.

"She's not interested in being a shadow secretary of state," Kabak 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."