Tufts President Anthony P. Monaco awarded Ann-Marie Slaughter an honorary degree during the University's 158th Commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 18, 2014.
As the tide of global politics swells further from predictable diplomacy between nations, you offer us a new course toward a peaceful and prosperous future. The ideals of liberty, democracy, equality, tolerance, faith, and justice can no longer be the sole province of one nation, but values owned by all societies around the world. You have said that “the American idea was a great idea because it rested on an essential and revolutionary notion of the universality of the human condition. It is still great today, and is now genuinely global.” You remind us that clinging to the past may be the anchor that sinks us in a new world order that requires flexibility in both thought and action. A new American foreign policy stance will not be easy. “Our traditional can-do response to defeating an enemy or fixing a problem,” you suggest, “is simplistic and inadequate.” You remind us that only by recognizing the complexities inherent in change will we find a successful path forward. For inspiring us to see the reward in bravely confronting new realities and using all our resources to forge a new world order, Tufts is proud to honor you with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
Anne-Marie Slaughter has had a long and distinguished career in policy and public affairs. She is the president and CEO of the New American Foundation, a public policy institute, and the Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professor Emerita of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. She was the first woman to serve as dean of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and earlier was the J. Sinclair Armstrong Professor of International, Foreign, and Comparative Law at Harvard Law School.
From 2009 to 2011 Slaughter served as director of policy planning for the United States Department of State; she was the first woman to hold that position. Slaughter received the Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award for exceptional leadership and professional competence, the highest honor given by the State Department, for her work leading the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review. She also received meritorious service awards from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Supreme Allied Commander for Europe.
Slaughter’s scholarship has focused on integrating the study of international relations and international law, and she has written extensively on European Union politics and American foreign policy. She has written or edited six books, including A New World Order (2004) and The Idea That Is America: Keeping Faith with Our Values in a Dangerous World (2007), and more than one hundred scholarly articles. She writes a monthly column for the online commentary site Project Syndicate, provides frequent commentary for media outlets, and comments on foreign policy for more than 90,000 followers on Twitter (@SlaughterAM). Foreign Policy magazine has named her to its annual list of the Top 100 Global Thinkers multiple times.
She received a B.A. from Princeton University, an M.Phil. and a D.Phil. in international relations from Oxford University, where she was a Daniel M. Sachs Scholar, and a J.D. from Harvard.
Slaughter confronted the challenges she faced as a parent holding a high-level position in the State Department in a widely read article she wrote in The Atlantic magazine in 2012, and in doing so singlehandedly revived the national debate about work-family balance. The conversation is not over.
In the article “Why Women Still Can’t Have it All,” Slaughter described rising at 4:20 every Monday morning to catch a train to Washington, and returning home to Princeton, New Jersey, on Fridays to be with her family. One night, at a gathering of foreign dignitaries in New York, she mingled with heads of state, but couldn’t stop thinking about her fourteen-year-old son, who had just started eighth grade and was skipping homework, disrupting classes, and failing math. She wrote about how difficult it was to be away from her son when he clearly needed her. When her two-year public service leave from Princeton was up, “I hurried home as fast as I could,” Slaughter said.
Women won’t be able to have it all, she says, until America’s economy and society are restructured. Slaughter says employers need to offer flexible schedules and allow people to work from home. Her ideas go beyond logistics: she says society must value choices to put family ahead of work as much as it values those who put work ahead of family. Societies that discover how to use the education and talent of half their populations, while allowing women and their partners to invest in their families, will have a competitive edge in the global knowledge and innovation economy, she says.
Slaughter will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Tufts.