Category Archive: leadership

Becoming: A refreshing reminder that public service is not the swamp

I have been moved to tears reading parts of Michelle Obama’s autobiographical book, Becoming. It is uplifting and validating to read the unfolding of her and Barack Obama’s intertwined stories. As she tells it, while much was different about their upbringing and childhoods, they shared a devotion to learning, introspection… Read More

Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court

Time to vote and not to despair Over the past couple weeks, I have had the privilege of talking with many people about the qualifications of Brett Kavanaugh to be Supreme Court justice. These included Republicans and Democrats, several people who knew and had practiced law, students, faculty, family members… Read More

Last words to live by

Transcendent power of last messages In September 2007, people in academia and beyond were moved by the last lecture of Dr. Randy Pausch, Carnegie Mellon University professor of computer science, human-computer interaction and design. Knowing he was suffering from incurable pancreatic cancer, Pausch wanted to leave students and colleagues with… Read More

Making the right choices in higher education leadership

Choosing leaders is no simple matter. I read with interest last weekend an emailed announcement from William F. Lee, chair of the presidential search committee, about the selection of Lawrence Bacow as the next president of Harvard University. Bacow succeeds Drew Gilpin Faust, a president I have admired greatly for… Read More

Revisiting banned words and a change of leadership at CDC

I wrote an earlier blog post about reports that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had banned certain words from use in communications by the agency. As Slate, among many other sources, conveyed, they were relatively ordinary words, including vulnerable, evidence-based and fetus. I’m writing now because… Read More