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Jared Cohen, founder and CEO of Jigsaw at Alphabet, Inc., and Google’s first director of ideas, presents:

“Accidental Presidents: Eight Men Who Changed America”

The strength and prestige of the American presidency has waxed and waned since George Washington. Based on his book, Accidental Presidents, Cohen’s lecture will look at eight men who came to the office without being elected to it, and demonstrate how the character of the man in that powerful seat affects the nation and world.

Eight men have succeeded to the presidency when the incumbent died in office. In one way or another they vastly changed our history. Accidental Presidents adds immeasurably to our understanding of the power and limits of the American presidency in critical times. Beyond this fascinating look at the White House, Cohen promises to discuss the hallmarks of leadership – in the board room and in the Executive branch of the US government past, present and future.

About Jared Cohen:

Jared Cohen is the founder and CEO of Jigsaw at Alphabet Inc. He also serves as an adjunct senior fellow for the Council on Foreign Relations. Prior to Alphabet, he was Google’s first director of ideas and chief advisor to Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt. From 2006 to 2010 he served as a member of the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff and as a close advisor to both Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton. His fifth best-selling book, Accidental Presidents, examines the eight instances in American history when a president has died in office.

Cohen’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, the LA Times, The Washington Post, TIME magazine, and Foreign Policy. He has been named to the “TIME 100” list, Foreign Policy’s “Top 100 Global Thinkers,” and Vanity Fair’s “Next Establishment.” Cohen received his BA from Stanford University and his M.Phil in International Relations from the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. A local legend, Jared grew up in Weston and is the son of psychotherapist Dr. Donald Cohen and Westport real estate agency owner, Dee Shapiro.

Watch Jared Cohen on MSNBC's Morning Joe (Nov. 2019) → Watch Jared Cohen on CNN with Fareed Zakaria →
Praise for Accidental Presidents

History is the most contingent of enterprises, and little has proven more contingent than the nature of the American presidency. In this eloquent and often surprising book, Jared Cohen explores how fate has shaped the office--and all of us. In an age marked by widespread concerns about the character of the person who reaches the pinnacle (by whatever means), Cohen's study is illuminating and resonant.

—Jon Meacham, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels

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