Foreign-Policy Expert Takes Top Role at New America Foundation

Denise Applewhite

Anne-Marie Slaughter
April 08, 2013

Anne-Marie Slaughter, a professor of politics and international affairs at Prince­ton University who created a stir last year with an essay in The Atlantic, "Why Women Still Can't Have It All," will be the next president of the New America Foundation.

Ms. Slaughter, 54, will start at the nonpartisan public-policy organization on September 1, succeeding Steve Coll, who stepped down last month to become dean of Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

Her new role "will allow me both to lead and be directly intellectually engaged on issues that I'm still working on myself," Ms. Slaughter said in a phone interview last week. "That's exactly the level of leadership that most appeals to me."

A longtime board member of New America, Ms. Slaughter was on the search committee to find Mr. Coll's successor. Then a fellow board member who was chairman of the search committee, David G. Bradley, owner of Atlantic Media Company, persuaded her to become a candidate. She left the committee to do so.

Eric E. Schmidt, chairman of New America's Board of Directors and executive chairman of Google, praised Ms. Slaughter in a written statement for her "extensive policy expertise and visionary leadership." The six books she has written or edited include A New World Order and The Idea That Is America: Keeping Faith With Our Values in a Dangerous World.

Ms. Slaughter was dean of Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs from 2002 to 2009 and then served as director of policy planning at the U.S. State Department under Hillary Clinton for two years.

Ms. Slaughter's essay in The Atlantic explained why she felt she needed to leave Washington to spend more time with her two adolescent sons, and appealed to workplaces to institute more ­family-friendly policies.


She will continue to live with her family in Princeton, N.J., while spending a few days a week at New America's office in Washington. She will also work from the foundation's New York office and from home one day a week.

That schedule means she will travel no more than she does in her current job, she says, and she will still be able to carve out time to work on her forthcoming book on work-life balance. "It's all about flexibility," she says.


At Princeton, she will move to emerita status. "Leaving a tenured position at a top university is not something you do lightly," she says. "I love academic life." But "I spend so much time telling my students and my mentees, 'Follow your heart.'" In the end, she says, she took her own advice. "This is something I really do want to do. I didn't want to stay at the university just because I was afraid to leave it."