What should we be asking ourselves?

Robert D. Hormats is the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs. He was formerly vice chairman of Goldman Sachs (International) and managing director of Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Hormats has also served as ambassador and deputy US Trade Representative, and senior deputy assistant secretary for Economic and Business Affairs at the US Department of State. He was a senior staff member on the National Security Council and senior economic advisor to National Security Advisors Henry Kissinger, Brent Scowcroft, and Zbigniew Brzezinski. Hormats has received the French Legion of Honor and Arthur Fleming Award.

Mr. Hormats has been a visiting lecturer at Princeton University and is a member of the Board of Visitors of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and the Dean's Council of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Mr. Hormats' publications include Abraham Lincoln and the Global Economy; American Albatross: The Foreign Debt Dilemma; and Reforming the International Monetary System. Mr. Hormats earned a B.A. from Tufts University with a concentration in economics and political science; an M.A. and a Ph.D. in international economics from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

  • Transcript


Question: What should we be asking ourselves? 

Robert Hormats: The question people should be asking themselves is, “What am I doing to ensure that the world I leave behind, the country I leave behind, the society I leave behind, is better than the one I found? How can I ensure that people who are coming after me have the same or better opportunities than I did? How can I demonstrate by the way I live my life that I have respect for the views of others, and I am willing to listen to others, and I have the integrity to accept good ideas from others even if their ideas didn’t conform to my preconceived notions?”

Those are the kinds of things people should be asking themselves about the way they live their lives. 

If you are willing to live your life in a way so that when people look back on your life; or you look back on it yourself, you can say, “I did the best I could do to leave the world, or society, or my country better than I found it.”


Recorded On: July 25, 2007