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On February 1, 2013, John Forbes Kerry was sworn in as the 68th Secretary of State of the United States, becoming the first sitting Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman to serve as Secretary in over a century. Kerry drew from this experience to provide the State Department with global stewardship on issues ranging from nuclear nonproliferation to radical extremists, to humanitarian challenges and the rising threat of climate change.
In 2013, Kerry became the first Secretary of State to meet with Iran’s Foreign Minister since the Iranian revolution of 1979. This meeting was the highest-level U.S. diplomatic contact with Iran in more than six years, and a key moment on the journey towards the eventual signing of the landmark 2015 agreement to prevent Iran from attaining a nuclear weapon.
Faced with the rising threat of global climate change, Kerry was also a key architect of the Paris Climate Accord, signing the historic agreement to reduce carbon emissions in 2016.
Kerry drew upon a lifetime of public service during his tenure as Secretary.
Shortly before he graduated from Yale University, Kerry volunteered for service in the United States Navy. He completed two tours of duty in Vietnam, including serving as a Swift Boat skipper patrolling the rivers of the Mekong Delta. Lt. Kerry returned home from service in Vietnam with a Silver Star, a Bronze Star with Combat V, and three Purple Hearts.
Malcolm Gladwell is the author of five New York Times bestsellers — The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, What the Dog Saw, and David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants. He has been named one of the 100 most influential people by TIME magazine and one of the Foreign Policy’s Top Global Thinkers.
He has explored how ideas spread in The Tipping Point, decision making in Blink, and the roots of success in Outliers. With his latest book, David and Goliath, he examines our understanding of advantages of disadvantages, arguing that we have underestimated the value of adversity and over-estimated the value of privilege. Malcolm’s popular 10-part podcast Revisionist History is in its third season. In the weekly podcast, Malcolm re-examines an overlooked or misunderstood aspect of past events. He has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1996. He has won a national magazine award and been honored by the American Psychological Society and the American Sociological Society. He was previously a reporter for The Washington Pt.
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