New York City
Place of Birth:
New York City
Hunter College Elementary & High Schools; Amherst '93; MBA, Yale School of Management, '00
Why did you choose to come to Amherst?
I fell in love with Amherst on my first visit, and the rest is history.
Favorite (most memorable or most influential) professor:
This is like asking me to choose my favorite kid! Kim Townsend, Lawrence Douglas, Austin Sarat, Geoffrey Woglom and Carol Clark stand out; but please don't make me choose!
Awards and Prizes:
Named to the 2012-13 class of the Donaldson Fellows Program, which recognizes Yale School of Management graduates “whose personal and professional accomplishments embody the school’s mission to educate leaders for business and society.”
I used to read Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man" every few years. Now I find myself picking up Anne Lamott's books over and over, namely "Bird by Bird" and "Operating Instructions" - which makes sense as a first-time author and first-time parent!
David Foster Wallace. Of course.
Tips for aspiring writers?
Write, write, write.
Tell us a bit about your path to becoming an author:
When I first joined BP and lived in Indonesia and China, I was writing emails home to friends and family - before blogs were blogs - about what I was doing. People found it really interesting! I realized not a lot of people know that companies have staff deep inside the company forging the sort of investments in communities and partnerships with NGOs that I was working on. So I started to think there might be something there to write about one day.
But it was really after the Deepwater Horizon disaster that I felt compelled to write the book. The BP that emerged in the wake of that disaster was not the BP I recognized, which went above and beyond what was required to protect people and the environment. To try to reconcile those two BPs, I started speaking with the many peers I've gotten to know over the years, pushing for safer and more responsible practices deep inside big companies -- and realized we faced similar frustrations and challenges. Those conversations and that deep personal reflection is what turned into the book. What is more Amherst than thinking by writing?