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Thought Leader: Rachel Kleinfeld

Rachel Kleinfeld is a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and founding president of the Truman National Security Project.

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Rachel Kleinfeld on

THE BIG QUESTIONS

  • WHAT’S DISTINCT distinct

    We live in a time in which human nature is having to accommodate to a lot of new information. But morality is universal and timeless. It comes from the basic condition of being human, which is that we are immensely fragile beings. Yet we have such great hopes and dreams and ambitions. The human spirit is so much more immense than what any human lifespan can achieve.

  • CHALLENGES challenges

    I would love to see the expansion of human empowerment, of human flourishing. I think one of the greatest injustices of our time is that while people are born with ability and values and equality at birth, the distribution of ability to get things done in the world, of education, poverty, war, conflict, movements because of refugee activity—all of that is extremely unequally distributed, fundamentally unjust.

  • GLOBAL ETHICS ethics

    I think there are universal values that are shared in all cultures. There's research on that and there are psychological studies, but you can also see it when you're traveling around the world—things like reciprocity, fairness, a sense of justice, trust and what it takes to elicit that trust, being truthful. Those are shared values. But they're interpreted quite differently in different cultures. In some cultures there's a very us-them component.

  • LEADERSHIP leadership

    Moral leadership requires self-awareness, a willingness to listen to others, and a particular combination of courage and humility. You have to have the courage of your convictions, the willingness to think them through, and then the humility to say the world is not aseptic.

  • FUTURE future

    I would love to see the expansion of human empowerment, of human flourishing. I think one of the greatest injustices of our time is that while people are born with ability and values and equality at birth, the distribution of ability to get things done in the world, of education, poverty, war, conflict, movements because of refugee activity—all of that is extremely unequally distributed, fundamentally unjust.

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