Lobster in water with red tentacles.
Lobster in water with red tentacles.
Photo by: Erwin Cox

The Lobster. How does it know it needs to grow? The lobster becomes stressed and uncomfortable in its shell with the feeling that it needs a bigger one. It goes through a difficult process of shedding its former shell and expanding into a new one. With the new shell, the lobster is vulnerable as it takes time for the outer layer to harden. Situational factors determine the length of time, like water temperature. The transition is not perfect. Far from it.

While I have seen lobsters plenty of times, I have never eaten one. However, lobsters are the source of…


Animated GIF depicting man on the ground changing colors from brown to tan with a police officer’s knee on his neck.
Animated GIF depicting man on the ground changing colors from brown to tan with a police officer’s knee on his neck.
GIF by Erica Grau @lovelylovedesign

4:44 p.m. An emergency alert flashes on my cell phone stating a 7 p.m. curfew. “I never thought I would see this in Washington,” says a friend who previously lived under an oppressive and authoritative regime. Numerous Washingtonians mention it brings back memories of the 1968 riots. Businesses boarded up, fire in the streets, unrest, but necessary protests.

Why is this decade different? Citizens are able to shed light on the darkness of indignity with a touch of technology whether on a street corner or in a park. …


Photo courtesy of American University Women & Politics Institute. (L-R) Ambassador Bergdís Ellertsdóttir of Iceland, Ambassador Roya Rahmani of Afghanistan, Ambassador Mathilde Mukantabana of Rwanda, Ambassador Hunaina Sultan Al Mughairy of Oman, and WPI Executive Director Betsy Fischer Martin.

Today is my birthday. May 20th around 10:07 p.m. at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia to be exact. Looks like I have always been a night owl from the very beginning. My brain awakens in the evening and much of my best writing is done when the world quiets down into a slumber underneath the dark sky.

Looking back at the past year, while writing A Seat at the Table: Women, Diplomacy, and Lessons for the World, I estimate that I wrote more than 60% of the book in the late evening hours. …


Photo by Oliver Cole on Unsplash

Fear. We all feel it at times. Even right now we feel it as we sit in our homes, waiting anxiously to see friends, eat in restaurants, and dispel the invisible virus that may touch us all. I have heard before, “Don’t embrace fear, be fearless.” However, being fearless isn’t possible. My grandfather who was a one-star general in the U.S. Army and served in three wars had a mantra. If you are not fearful going into battle, there is something wrong.

While fear is a natural human emotion, there is something we can embrace to counteract it. Courage. I…


Photo by Michele Orallo on Unsplash

As I sit in my quarantined Washington, D.C. apartment, my mind traces back to last spring. Bustling District streets, patrons in restaurants, and the cool air dissipating into the warmth of the new spring season.

I will share an excerpt from my new book A Seat at the Table: Women, Diplomacy, and Lessons for the World. I stepped out on New Hampshire Avenue for a gala and entered the grand Whittemore House through a sea of black ties and floor-length gowns. This Washington, D.C. mansion is also known historically as the Women’s National Democratic Club. …


If this pandemic is teaching us anything, it’s that leadership matters. In recent weeks, we witnessed a staggering spread of the virus in the U.S., Italy, Spain, and dozens of nations. Yet, others are managing to flatten the curve significantly. Although many factors are at play, it is becoming apparent that women in leadership positions are changing the course of their country’s COVID-19 trajectory.

As the coronavirus started making international headlines, I was wrapping up the final interview for my book A Seat at the Table: Women, Diplomacy, and Lessons for the World with the Washington, D.C. based Ambassador from…

Susan Sloan

Author of A Seat at the Table: Women, Diplomacy, and Lessons for the World. www.susansloan.com Twitter @realSusanSloan

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