Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

I Was Hillary Clinton’s Chief Foreign-Policy Advisor. And I Have a #MeToo Mea Culpa.

| Dec. 08, 2017

Men in positions of power need to do better. That includes me.

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of my female colleagues in the national security community have stepped forward to describe a persistent and horrifying pattern of sexual harassment, assault, and abuse within our profession. It has been jarring, even disorienting, to learn that women I respect as professionals and care deeply about as friends have been carrying around these painful experiences. It took guts to come forward. Now, it’s up to the rest of us to have their backs.

In this frenzied media environment, there’s a very real chance that their stories, along with so many others, will fade a little more with every news cycle, and we’ll all look around a few years from now and realize that nothing changed. We can’t let that happen. Every single person who works in national security and foreign policy has to confront this problem squarely and thoroughly — and not stop staring it in the face until things change. We should do this for our colleagues and friends, but also for our profession and our country. How can we do the kind of work that will lead to a stronger, safer America when so many of our colleagues are regularly mistreated and made to feel unsafe?

And while we all have to do better, that’s especially true for we men who see ourselves as allies to women and champions of gender equality in our profession. The fact is we’ve missed the depth and breadth of this awful force in our midst. At least, I’ve missed it.

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For Academic Citation: Sullivan, Jake.“I Was Hillary Clinton’s Chief Foreign-Policy Advisor. And I Have a #MeToo Mea Culpa..” Foreign Policy, December 8, 2017.