The Case for Inclusivity – Lessons from Four National Security Leaders

Opening Remarks by Julianne Smith

CNAS believes, and in fact the science shows that by including issues and focusing on issues like gender diversity in particular, you can improve the effectiveness of the way in which you formulate ideas and manage teams of people.  Therefore, at CNAS, we ensure that we make every effort that our work, our staff, our projects, all of the conferences we put on, the panels, ensure a wider range of voices and views.

We work tirelessly to include gender diversity in particular as a key component of our work, except right now.  Because the issue of gender inclusivity often involves women presenters speaking to women audiences, we’ve done something a little unusual this morning and we’ve put together an all-star panel of men, which has come to be known as the ever-famous manel.  (Laughter.)  Now, we’ve put together a group of men that are known champions of inclusivity, broadly defined in both policy and practice.  So we’re hoping that you’ll forgive us for this very deliberate manel – it’s a bit tongue-in-cheek – but we do believe that the underlying message of this panel, of this discussion that gender – that including the voice of the 100 percent is not exclusively a priority for the female 50 percent is critical and well-aligned with our national security goals.

So we’ve got a great group of men, again, here assembled for you to talk about ways in which they’ve thought about and included the issue of inclusivity in their work.  I’m going to start by introducing our manel.  We do have a female moderating the panel.  I’ll get to that in a minute.  So our manelists are Colonel Fivecoat, who’s the commander of the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade.  He’s joined by the Honorable Thomas Nides, who is now the managing director and vice chairman of Morgan Stanley.  Of course, he served as deputy secretary of state, undersecretary of Clinton.  He’s also joined by David Swerdlick, who’s an associate editor – assistant editor at the “Washington Post.”  And last but not least these men are joined by Roger Zakheim.  He’s a counsel with Convington & Burling and formerly with the House Armed Services Committee.

This whole panel is being moderated by the very able, very prolific author and scholar at Council on Foreign Relations, Gayle Lemmon.  She’s the author of “Ashley’s War” that I recommend to all of you if you have not read it yet.

Read the full event transcript on the CNAS website.

CNAS Staff
CNAS Staff
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