Brett Bruen (US)

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Former White House Director of Global Engagement

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Synopsis

Having served as a diplomat and foreign service officer for the US State Department, Brett was appointed to the White House as Director of Global Engagement under the Obama administration. With a wide-ranging view on political and diplomatic relations around the world, as well as America's role internationally, he now considers the key issues any organisation needs to prepare for. Additionally he looks at how to plan for the unexpectated, the effects of policy shifts, what effective leadership looks like, and how to assess risk whether it's cybersecurity, ethics, or market fluctuations.

Biography

Brett Bruen is a former US diplomat who now advises a range of companies around the world on communication, strategy and risk. Having served in the White House, the State Department and in embassies throughout Africa and South America, he reflects on the big issues of geopolitics, from the impact of social media to trade policy and the state of democracy around the world.

After serving in the US Diplomatic Service in countries including Ivory Coast, Liberia, Guinea, Iraq, Venezuela, Argentina, Zambia, and Eritrea, Brett joined the White House staff. He was Director of Global Engagement in the Obama administration before moving into the private sector. As well as advising business he is also as an adjunct faculty member of the Federal Executive Institute, which sees him train leaders within the US Government in geopolitics and strategy. Whilst at the White House he developed innovative programmes aimed at communicating directly with populations around the world. He also drew together private and public sector projects as part of President Obama's Spark Global Entrepreneurship initiative.

Brett analyses many aspects of global politics and policy and how businesses can best prepare. He examines the interplay of government, society and the private sector and their roles in shaping the world. He looks at the impact of social media, and other influences, on elections and policy-making. He explores international relations, particularly between the US, China and Europe.

More widely, Brett aims to give businesses the tools to navigate a complex world, build robust strategies, and access new markets. He shares his lessons in leadership, reputation, conflict and crisis management. He highlights the difficulties leaders face if they fail to communicate their values and goals in an age where these things matter more than ever. But they also need to consider the very diverse set of opinions held by their audiences - from warehouse workers to senior managers to consumers and campaigners from all over the world. He also sees leaders failing to connect different sources of risk as the focus on narrow, sector-specific issues whilst ignoring wider challenges such as ethics, supply chain and trade. He maintains that an understanding of risk needs to come firstly from internal sources - frontline workers, middle managers, suppliers - that aren’t usually consulted on such matters.

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