Susan E. Rice Commencement Address Focuses on the Power of Diverse Groups

In her commencement address at Florida International University on May 11, 2016, National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice spoke to graduates about the importance of group diversity in policy and decision making. Specifically, she said, “By now, we should all know the dangers of “groupthink,” where folks who are alike often think alike. By contrast, groups comprised of different people tend to question one another’s assumptions, draw on divergent perspectives and experiences, and yield better outcomes. Whether we’re confronting ISIL or Ebola, cybersecurity or climate change, solving today’s multifaceted global challenges demand more varied viewpoints and experiences than ever. Intelligence analysts, diplomats and military officers who are native speakers may pick up subtle nuances that might otherwise go unnoticed. Diplomats who can read cultural cues may better navigate the political and social currents of a foreign nation. In sum, leaders from diverse backgrounds can often come up with more creative insights, proffer alternative solutions, and thus make better decisions.”