When I think about how I understand my role as citizen…the most important stuff I’ve learned I think I’ve learned from novels. It has to do with empathy. It has to do with being comfortable with the notion that the world is complicated and full of grays, but there’s still truth there to be found, and that you have to strive for that and work for that. And the notion that it’s possible to connect with some[one] else even though they’re very different from you.

President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama with novelist Marilynne Robinson: https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2015/11/19/president-obama-marilynne-robinson-conversation-2/

The Art of Leadership podcast features conversations with diverse and prominent leaders about how the humanities informs their leadership. It features stories of becoming a leader, the language that leaders use to think about themselves, the moral values they try to embody, the ethical dilemmas they wrestle with, and the films, literature, philosophy, and works of art they rely on to shape and guide them. Each podcast features a summary of the conversation, questions that were discussed (listeners may skip ahead to the questions that most interest them), leadership insights, works of art referenced, and further reading. Each podcast concludes with an invitation to answer a question about leadership that leaders still struggle with.


  1. Susannah Wellford, President and Founder of Running Start
  2. Mieke Eoyang, Vice President for Third Way’s National Security Program
  3. Congressman Jamie Raskin, Representative of Maryland’s 8th District
  4. Nina-Maria Potts, Director of Global News Coverage at Feature Story News
  5. Thomas Schuttenhelm, Artistic Director at the Network for New Music
  6. Mark Young, Senior Vice President at IronNet Cybersecurity
  7. Nadia Hashimi, Pediatrician, Best-selling Novelist, Recent Democratic Candidate for the 6th Congressional District of Maryland
  8. Harris Mylonas, Associate Professor of Political Science at George Washington University, Director of Searching for Andreas: Political Leadership in Times of Crisis
  9. Jim Mullen, President of Allegheny College
  10. Fred Lawrence, Secretary and CEO of the Phi Beta Kappa Society
  11. Philippa Hughes, Creative Spacemaker, Founder of The Pink Line Project
  12. Hon. Joan Churchill, Past President of the National Association of Women Judges