"War, Leadership and You"

with General John W. Nicholson, Jr.

On Tuesday, September 10, 2019, retired four-star general John W. Nicholson, Jr., was invited to speak to an audience of AUP students, staff and faculty in the Omid & Gisel Kordestani Rooftop Conference Center on the 8th floor of AUP’s Quai d’Orsay Learning Commons. Nicholson served as commander of US Forces Afghanistan and the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission for over 14 years. The talk, entitled “War, Leadership and You,” was his second address on AUP’s campus this year; in May, he took part in a public-policy roundtable during the Paris Centennial Conference, a three-day academic gathering to mark the 100-year anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.

After an introduction from AUP President Celeste M. Schenck, Nicholson discussed the leadership lessons from his experiences “as a practitioner and student” during his extensive military career. He first joined the military against the backdrop of the Cold War before continuing through the complexities of the 1990s and into the post-9/11 world. He was particularly keen to address students in the audience who were interested in careers in national or international security. “I’ve dealt with some complex things,” he explained, “but I think that what you are going to deal with in the future will be even more complex than what we’ve been dealing with the last few decades.” He also set out his tried and tested methods for achieving personal success in a leadership role: getting enough sleep, maintaining a good diet, and setting aside time for physical exercise and strong family relationships.

You can watch General Nicholson’s full speech below.