Anne-Marie Slaughter: Biography highlights
Described as “an innovative and prolific scholar” by Foreign Policy and named one of the magazine’s Top 100 Global Thinkers four years in a row, Anne-Marie Slaughter turns big ideas and deep analysis into realistic strategies for a networked world.
Full biography of Anne-Marie Slaughter
A Princeton University foreign policy expert, a former top official at the U.S. State Department, and a Work-Life leader, Dr. Slaughter confronts a range of topics — from geopolitics and global challenges to gender equality and leadership — with a unique and powerful voice. She writes a monthly column for The Financial Times.
As CEO of New America, a public policy institute and idea incubator, Slaughter leads a team of scientists, technologists, and political and economic thinkers in Washington, DC and New York City. Winner of the 2015 and 2017 “Best U.S. Social Policy Think Tank” Award for Prospect Magazine, New America’s cutting-edge solutions address public problems in such areas as national security, healthcare, technology policy, and education. Slaughter is co-chair of Shift: The Commission on Work, Workers and Technology, formed by New America and Bloomberg to study the future of work in America.
Slaughter headed the U.S. State Department’s internal think tank and advised Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. As the first female Director of Policy Planning, she oversaw a major review of America’s diplomatic and development priorities.
In her latest book, The Chessboard & the Web: Strategies of Connection in a Networked World, Slaughter uses network science to develop a new way of thinking about strategy in business and politics at a time of accelerated change and disruption. Publishers Weekly called it a “paradigm-changing book.”
Her 2012 article, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” an in-depth and controversial look into the extreme work-life balance of today’s professional women, quickly became one of the most-read articles in The Atlantic’s 100-year history. Named one of the best books of 2015 by NPR and The Economist, Slaughter’s latest, Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family, focuses on the future of the workplace. The Financial Times featured her in its special issue, “Women of 2015.”
She is the Bert G. Kerstetter University Professor Emerita of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton. The first female Dean of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School, Slaughter rebuilt the school’s international relations faculty and programs. A contributing editor to the Financial Times, Slaughter also writes a column for Project Syndicate. She is the author and editor of seven books, including A New World Order.
Slaughter received her doctorate in International Relations from Oxford and her law degree from Harvard before teaching at University of Chicago and Harvard Law Schools. She is a member of the Aspen Strategy Group, on the board of Abt Associates, and, along with Ben Bernanke and Gordon Brown, is one of the five members of the PIMCO International Advisory Board.
Watch Anne-Marie in action
Leadership Council on Legal Diversity
“Anne-Marie Slaughter is the rare speaker who can light up a room. Her participation definitely met and exceeded our definition of success.”
“Dr. Slaughter’s presentation ‘Hot Spots and Blind Spots’ delving into the nuances and subtleties of geopolitical risk and analysis stood out as among the best in Secular Forum history. She was able to entertain, inform, and persuade a sophisticated audience. Simply put, she is dazzling.”
The Art of Productions, Inc.
“One of the best speakers I have seen. What an incredible person she is.”
“[Her] wise and cogent remarks and splendid presence helped to make this day a very special one for Lafayette and for me personally. Her address stands in my memory as the best I have heard in a long career of commencements.”
“Dr. Slaughter was clearly interested in getting to know the Baldwin Scholars and made us feel comfortable with her immediately. It was great to see such a successful professional woman invested in young women embarking on their professional journeys.
Her talk was accessible and interesting to all-from policy buffs to science majors. We left with a nuanced framework for understanding how to think and talk about global hot spots and foreign policy.”
University of South Carolina
“Anne-Marie was a HUGE hit here. I’ve heard from several people about how her comments affected them personally. Everyone appreciated what she had to say and they are grateful that she came to speak.”
World Affairs Council of Jacksonville
“Ms. Slaughter was outstanding, among the best we’ve had. Her thoughts on how we should seek to understand evolving world events provided me, and I’m sure others, a useful framework for assimilating and attempting to understand what appears to be never ending crisis and potential chaos around the world.”
“Her speech and comments for the panel discussion, including the advantages for Japan in a more energy-efficient and energy-independent world, was indeed inspiring and persuasive.”
HR People + Strategy
“The conference left attendees engaged and energized, and we appreciate Dr. Slaughter’s contribution to the success of the event. Her session was one of the highest rated. We look forward to working with her again in the future.”
“Anne-Marie Slaughter was great. Her public presentation was well attended by students, which we love to see, and her pre and post talk events with faculty and students went very well. It was a pleasure to have her here.”
Anne-Marie's speaking topics
The Future of Work: What you need to know
The future of work is talked about everywhere, but actual prescriptions as to how to prepare for that future are few. In this talk I describe how the nature of work is changing, and how, regardless of age or tenure, everyone must plan for lives of intertwined learning and earning, develop portfolios of different skills that can be used in many different types of jobs, and build your own brand as much as possible. Drawing on my work with the Shift Commission on the Future of Work, Workers, and Technology, I also outline the areas of the economy where jobs are most likely to grow, even in the face of A.I. and robotics: care, craft, and the circular economy. I conclude with an analysis of the social infrastructure – family care accounts, portable benefits, cheaper and universally accessible education and healthcare – that we must put in place to improve and stabilize the future of work, both paid and unpaid work, for everyone.
The Five Cs of Effective Leadership
Effective Leadership requires a shift from leading from the top to leading from the center, from “power over” to “power with.” We live in an age in which vertical hierarchies are continually being discredited in favor of horizontal networks: flatter structures in which authority is democratically dispersed and distributed. Yet leadership remains necessary and power remains relevant, even as the dynamic changes.
To effectively lead from the center rather than from the top requires five Cs: Clarification of interests, Curation, Connection, Cultivation, and Catalysis. The most effective leaders blend elements of vertical and horizontal leadership, knowing when to exercise command and control and when to mobilize and empower. Drawing from my book The Chessboard and the Web —as well as from my own experience as a leader — I discuss various theories of leadership, provide examples of effective horizontal leadership, and unpack what it takes to make networks work.
A Networked World
Anne-Marie Slaughter is the former Director of Policy Planning for the U.S. State Department under Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration and a professor of national security policy at Princeton University. In this fascinating talk, Anne-Marie Slaughter shares her expert insight into the rebalancing of the world in terms of state and non-state actors in global politics.
Slaughter differentiates from the traditional sense of the world, which she argues has been rebalanced vertically from a view of a billiard ball world to a networked world and eventually a LEGO world. Slaughter demonstrates the new found power of social, non-state actors and their influence on this power shift.
These orchestrated coalitions, or public-private partnerships, mean that it’s not just governments anymore — or billiard balls knocking against one another — which she calls “citizen social actor foreign policy.”
Anne-Marie Slaughter also mentions her belief that small is beautiful, stating that the energy of collaboration comes from small communities, where you get the participation and buy-in that you wouldn’t in one large community.
Global Hot Spots and Blind Spots
When we read the news about crisis zones and foreign threats, we typically see only half of the story. We focus on the chess game played between great powers, and miss the web of relationships and networks that connect rather than separate us.
From Russia to the Middle East to North Korea, we must learn to pay attention both to the geopolitics and to the flows of people, goods, money, weather, information and energy underneath the surface of what we see and hear. Understanding the world this way – as a chessboard and a web – also changes the way we understand power, leadership, and global problem-solving. The web world is particularly important for CEOs, NGO leaders, philanthropists, university presidents, faith leaders, mayors and governors to grasp, as it is the world in which they can create coalitions, alliances, and covenants that link the public, private, and civic sectors to tackle problems that affect us all and require all our energies and capabilities to solve.
The Future of Foreign Policy
Trade wars, space wars, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, cyber-attacks – who’s in charge of the global system?
The state-centric global order created after World War II was designed for a small number of great powers, mainly the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, the principal contributors to the IMF and the World Bank, and members of the G-7 and the G-20. But these institutions are only as valuable as the results they deliver. If the UN, the EU, or other regional organizations do not address global or regional problems, then they must be replaced or supplemented with rules and institutions that do.
For several decades, a seismic shift has been occurring in the global order — from one of top down power and influence to one of bottom up energy and activism, in the form of alliances, coalitions, initiatives and networks. This new de-centralized and inclusive diplomacy is led by NGOs, CEOs, mayors, governors, foundation presidents, faith leaders, and committed citizens coming together. Examples include the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, Bloomberg’s Global Covenant of Mayors, and Hamdi Ulukaya’s Tent.
Defenders of the current global order must recognize that national governments will continue to play a role, but as fellow travelers as much as drivers. The levers of global peace and prosperity will increasingly be in all of our hands.
What real Equality looks like
Across our society, from politics and the boardroom to universities, Wall Street, and Silicon Valley, real parity for men and women would look nothing like the world we are living in. It would result in very different policies and business choices made by both women and men. It would be a world in which men were as free or as constrained to choose family over career as women are, and a world in which women would value men who support them with time and care as much as men would value women who support them with money. It would be a world in which traditional women’s work – care work of all kinds, from coaching to teaching to childcare – would be valued and compensated as highly as men’s work. A world in which employers would see the vast pool of women (and a growing number of men) ready to boost their careers after child-rearing as a ready and valuable source of talent. And it would be a world in which we would spend as much on education, particularly early education, as we spend on defense. In this discussion, I explore the ways in which marriages, relationships, and companies will have to adapt to more flexible and uncertain work arrangements and work to ensure that equality is realized across all sectors of society.
Balancing Family and Work
Anne-Marie Slaughter gives an inspiring life-balancing speech with thoughtful insight into how incorporating more family time will result in greater productivity at work. Her moment of truth was time lapsed, because while the woman she thought she was would’ve jumped at the opportunity of a promotion, she admits it didn’t feel like the right decision. Ultimately she made her decision by accepting what was most important to her — family — and decided she wanted to be closer to her home.
Slaughter is committed to the idea of a flexible workplace. She says, “If family comes first, work does not come second — life does.” Those who are more active in their family endeavors and those who attend their child’s extracurricular activities are more inclined to indirectly socialize and network at functions, as oppose to those who stay working at their desk.
A flexible workplace and one that values the importance of families creates an environment that is less stressful and has employees who are more engaged with each other, and thus more proactive. Furthermore, there should be more equality and support that men choose to make be it breadwinner or caregiver. While there is a revolution in human equality, how fast it happens is ultimately up to us.