Chapel Hill News

‘Can’t Have It All writer to speak at UNC Commencement

Anne-Marie Slaughter, who made waves with her groundbreaking 2012 article “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” will deliver the commencement address at UNC on Sunday, May 8.

A provocative speaker, Slaughter is also a foreign policy expert and public commentator. “Why Women Can’t Have it All,” which was published in The Atlantic, became the most read piece in the history of the magazine. It sparked a renewed national debate about the continued obstacles to genuine full male-female equality, ultimately spawning her 2015 book “Unfinished Business.”

Slaughter is currently the President and CEO of New America, a non-partisan think tank committed to the solution of public problems and enabling those working on solutions to drive stages of change, from inspiration to implementation. She is also the Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professor Emerita of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University.

“Carolina is incredibly fortunate to welcome an exceptional thinker and leader like Anne-Marie Slaughter to share her wit, wisdom and experience,” said Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “She is a dedicated public servant devoted to solving real life challenges related to work, family and leadership – issues especially relevant to our graduating seniors. I was lucky enough to hear Anne-Marie speak several years ago and found her absolutely magnetic. She greatly inspired me and I know students will be moved and motivated by her message.”

From 2009-2011, Slaughter served as the director of Policy Planning for the United States Department of State, the first woman to hold that position. Prior to her government service, she was the Dean of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs from 2002–2009 and the J. Sinclair Armstrong Professor of International, Foreign and Comparative Law at Harvard Law School from 1994-2002.

She has written or edited six books, including “A New World Order” and “The Idea That Is America: Keeping Faith with Our Values in a Dangerous World,” and is a frequent contributor to a number of publications, including The Atlantic and Project Syndicate.

Slaughter also provides frequent commentary for both mainstream and new media and curates foreign policy news for over 80,000 followers on Twitter. Foreign Policy magazine has named her to its annual list of the Top 100 Global Thinkers multiple times.

She received a B.A. from Princeton, an M.Phil and D.Phil in international relations from Oxford, and a J.D. from Harvard. Slaughter is married to Andrew Moravcsik, a professor at Princeton University, and lives in Princeton, New Jersey, with their two sons.

“I am so honored to be the Commencement speaker,” said Slaughter. “I come from 200 years of North Carolinians and my great-grandfather William Alexander Hoke’s papers are stored at the University.”

Folt chose Slaughter in consultation with faculty and staff on the University’s Commencement Speaker Selection Committee. Her commitment to public service, a hallmark she shares with Carolina, makes her a particularly appealing speaker for the University. Additionally, her productive exploration of social issues, like work-life balance and work place equality, offers valuable perspective to Carolina students entering the working world.

Spring Commencement will be held at 9 a.m. in Kenan Memorial Stadium. Folt will preside over the ceremony. For more information, visit