6 Takeaways from Women in Washington: Leading in Times of Crisis

On December 9, 2021, the Brown Women’s Network welcomed two senior leaders in the Biden administration to discuss the evolving role of women in Washington and what it means to lead in times of uncertainty.

As part of the 130 Years of Women at Brown yearlong celebration, the Brown Women’s Network recently hosted nearly 150 virtual attendees for an event with Suzanne Goldberg '85, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Strategic Operations and Outreach, U.S. Office for Civil Rights and Taryn Williams '02, Assistant Secretary of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor. In a discussion moderated by Susan Moffitt, Associate Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs at Brown University, the pair discussed the critical role that women play in Washington, as well as what it means to be pursuing issues of civil rights and labor equity during a time of such intense political division. 

Watch the full recording:

    Dec. 9 Event Recording


    Senior leaders in the Biden administration explore the role of women in government and how to navigate times of uncertainty and political division.

    Some highlights from the policymakers’ insightful discussion: 

    1. "Leadership is about [a] commitment to constant learning...approaching the work with humility…I don't know everything, and I want to know. I'm open to hearing the views of others." —Suzanne Goldberg
    2. "One of the incredible things about Brown is meeting other people from Brown... and finding those you want to continue the conversation with. I'm always invigorated when I find myself in conversations with alumni." —Suzanne Goldberg
    3. "I strongly advocate for work-life balance. As someone who lives with multiple chronic conditions, if I don't do it for myself, my body will." —Taryn Williams
    4. "Leadership is...a skill and an art that someone can always grow. I would characterize my leadership as being highly participatory... I put very strong emphasis on inclusion of various perspectives." —Taryn Williams
    5. "Never lose sight of the bigger picture that you're fighting for." —Taryn Williams
    6. "Remember to take it one step at a time, and I certainly learned that during the pandemic when everything has been shifting so quickly." —Taryn Williams

    The views expressed in this video do not necessarily represent those of Brown University.

    This event was presented by the Brown Women’s Network and co-sponsored by the Pembroke Center and Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs.

    Also: Read our "5 Questions with a Brunonian" with Taryn Williams '02.