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What happens after stepping down from being the leader of the free world?

Former presidents have an unusual place in American life. King George III believed that George Washington’s departure after two terms made him “the greatest character of the age.” But Alexander Hamilton worried former presidents might “[wander] among the people like ghosts.” They were both right.

In this lecture, based on his book, Life After Power, Jared Cohen will tell the stories of seven former U.S. presidents, from the founding of America to today. Each changed history. Each offered lessons about how to decide what to do in the next chapter of life.

Cohen’s book explores the untold stories in the final chapters of these presidents’ lives, offering a gripping and illuminating account of how they went from president of the United States one day, to ordinary citizens the next. He tells how they handled very human problems of ego, finances, and questions about their legacy and mortality. He shows how these men made history after they left the White House.

Praise for Life After Power:

Most of us will face a dilemma as we grow older: how to have a next act in life that’s fulfilling. The greatest of all these transitions are made by people who suddenly find themselves as former presidents. Jared Cohen tells fascinating tales, filled with color and life lessons, of how seven of them handled it, from Washington to George W. Bush.

—Best-Selling Author-Biographer Walter Isaacson

Jared Cohen takes a unique and fascinating look at how seven individuals made the transition from the most powerful position in the world to consequential and fulfilling private lives post-presidency. The stories of Life After Power reveal a great deal about the true character of a leader.

—Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

Biography:

Jared Cohen is the president of global affairs and cohead of applied innovation at Goldman Sachs, where he joined as a partner and member of the firm’s management committee in 2022. Before joining Goldman Sachs, he was CEO of Jigsaw, which he founded at Alphabet Inc. in 2016.  Prior to that, he was Google’s first director of ideas and chief advisor to Google’s chief executive officer and 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. He is a New York Times bestselling author of five books, including Accidental Presidents: Eight Men Who Changed America. He has been named to the “TIME 100” list by Time magazine, Foreign Policy’s “Top 100 Global Thinkers,” and Fortune’s “40 Under 40.”

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