Learn More About Anne-Marie Slaughter
Twentieth century business schools had no way to prepare organizational leaders for the challenges they are facing today. There was simply no playbook. Qualities like resilience, accountability, inclusiveness, humility, empathy and an ability to lead in any other way than from the front were never formally taught. Yet such attributes are now prerequisites for doing business in a rapidly transforming era of economic, political and cultural change. Few people know this better than renowned foreign policy expert Anne-Marie Slaughter, former dean of Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs and trailblazing CEO of New America.
A sought-after board member, executive educator and speaker, Slaughter’s recent personal journey demanded that she examine her own leadership style, as well as the workings of the globally respected think tank she has led since 2013. She recounts that journey in her latest book, “Renewal: From Crisis to Transformation in Our Lives, Work, and Politics” (Princeton University Press, September 2021), in which she shares valuable lessons that leaders in any sector of business or government can appreciate. Just reading the introduction is enough to draw the reader in as she reveals how her organization was blindsided by accusations that imperiled the institution’s reputation. Her full-hearted response, which included taking responsibility rather than laying blame or shying away, will inspire people in any organization – especially leaders – to look inward to bring about their own renewal, as well as find a renewed vision of what their organization can look like.
“One of the most valuable pieces of advice I got during that tough period was ‘run toward the criticism, seek it out! Be willing to listen to what other people have to say about you and your organization. Even if you think they’re only 2% right,’” explains Slaughter, who is the author of five books including “Women Men Work Family” (2015), “A New World Order” (2004) and “The Idea That is America” (2007). “I heeded my brilliant colleague’s advice, and the experience was transformative. I have always believed that as an organization or as a nation, we must face who we are with radical honesty before we can transform and build something new and better. That personal moment reaffirmed my belief. I have since become a more resilient, adaptable and inclusive leader who shares responsibility, listens more authentically and pivots in the face of change with a greater level of courage and certainty. The book was inspired by my own renewal, and now, when I teach leaders how to lead from the center in a networked world, I focus on leading from both the center and the edge.”
Former dean of Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs and a recognized authority on foreign policy, leadership and gender equality, Slaughter has spent decades educating decision makers on ways to move business and government forward. At New America, she oversees teams focused on preparing our political, economic, employment care and education systems for the future with an emphasis on racial and gender equity, an open and secure internet that protects user privacy, cybersecurity and women’s leadership.
In her wildly popular 2012 article, “Why Women Can’t Have It All,” Slaughter argued that the slow progress of women in traditionally male careers was not the fault of individual women, but rather of antiquated employment systems and social attitudes. She later broadened her thinking to include the vital importance of raising the economic and social value of caregiving – traditional women’s work – and expecting both men and women to share it equally. Her related 2014 TED Talk struck a chord with audiences across the world and has been viewed more than 2 million times.
When addressing concerns about the U.S. becoming too multicultural, Slaughter emphasizes that countries whose citizenship reflects the global population will uncover more opportunities for international trade and investment, collaboration and business partnerships. Plurality, she says, will be any nation’s greatest asset.
Shifting Priorities: Moving from Geopolitical Competition to Global Problem Solving
In recent years, Slaughter has been hyper-focused on getting corporations, governments, and civic organizations around the world to embrace a new people-centered model of global politics. Named one of the most powerful women in Washington, she explains how shifts in the economy, due to a combination of technology and “human work,” are creating new opportunities in an emerging “care plus economy” – part of an economic sector valued at $648 billion – and how these changes are poised to impact the future of work. She acknowledges the continuing reality of great power competition, but argues that it blinds us to the necessity of cooperating to address existential crises like climate change and pandemics, which threaten the survival of everyone – businesses, people and the planet.
Her core mission is to help countries – and the businesses and civic groups that operate in those countries – acknowledge their interdependence and learn to see the world in a human and planet-centered way.
“It is time to break free of 20th century thinking,” wrote Slaughter in a November 2021 op-ed for The New York Times. “The frameworks, paradigms and doctrines of that era, of any kind, are simply insufficient to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Bolder thinking is required, thinking that shifts away from states, whether great powers or lesser powers, democracies or autocracies. It is time to put people first, to see the world first as a planet of eight billion people rather than as an artificially constructed system of 195 countries and to measure all state actions in terms of their impact on people.”
Slaughter continues to teach leaders across the globe how they can effectively make that shift in ways that benefit their organization as well as the people and resources that keep it viable.
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Anne-Marie Slaughter is the CEO of New America. She is also the Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professor Emerita of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. From 2009–2011, she served as director of policy planning for the United States Department of State, the first woman to hold that position. Upon leaving the State Department, she received the Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award for her work leading the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, as well as meritorious service awards from USAID and the Supreme Allied Commander for Europe. Prior to her government service, Slaughter was the Dean of Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs (formerly the Woodrow Wilson School) from 2002–2009 and the J. Sinclair Armstrong Professor of International, Foreign and Comparative Law at Harvard Law School from 1994-2002.
Anne-Marie Slaughter has written or edited eight books, including “Renewal” (2021) “The Chessboard and the Web: Strategies of Connection in a Networked World” (2017), “Unfinished Business: Women, Men, Work, Family (2015), “The Idea That Is America: Keeping Faith with Our Values in a Dangerous World” (2007), and “A New World Order” (2004), as well as more than 100 scholarly articles. She was the convener and academic co-chair, with Professor John Ikenberry, of the Princeton Project on National Security, a multi-year research project aimed at developing a new, bipartisan national security strategy for the United States. In 2012, she published the article “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” in The Atlantic, which quickly became the most-read article in the history of the magazine and helped spawn a renewed national debate on the continued obstacles to genuine full male-female equality.
Anne-Marie Slaughter is a contributing editor to the Financial Times and writes a bi-monthly column for Project Syndicate. She provides frequent commentary for both mainstream and new media and curates foreign policy news for over 160,000 followers on Twitter. Foreign Policy magazine named her to their annual list of the Top 100 Global Thinkers in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. She received a B.A. from Princeton and M.Phil and D.Phil in international relations from Oxford, where she was a Daniel M. Sachs Scholar, and a J.D. from Harvard.
Anne-Marie Slaughter is available as a speaker for virtual and in-person meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers & Advisors, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.