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John C. Whitehead

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Commander John C. Whitehead, USN (ret.) “graduated from Haverford College in 1943 and served in the U.S. Navy, participating in the invasions of Normandy, Southern France, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. John C. Whitehead began his professional career in 1947 at Goldman, Sachs & Co. where he remained for 38 years, retiring in 1984 as Co-Chairman and Senior Partner. He has served on the boards of numerous companies and as a Director of the New York Stock Exchange and Chairman of the Securities Industry Association.


In 1985, John C. Whitehead was asked to become Deputy Secretary of State, number two to George Schultz. Following his four years of service, he was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Reagan.


Since leaving Washington, John C. Whitehead has been active in many educational, civic and charitable organizations. He is former Chairman of the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the United Nations Association, and a former Chairman of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Harvard Board of Overseers. He is a Chairman Emeritus of The Brookings Institution.”  John C. Whitehead is the author of A Life in Leadership – From D-Day to Ground Zero.

A Life In Leadership: From D-Day to Ground Zero: An Autobiography
John C. Whitehead  More Info

Publisher Weekly said of A Life in Leadership – From D-Day to Ground Zero, “In November 2001, New York's Governor Pataki asked Whitehead to head up the Lower Manhattan Development Council. Although Whitehead reports that he was initially reluctant to take the job-he had just retired and wanted to spend some time traveling and catching up on reading-he eventually consented because he wanted to contribute to his city's redevelopment in the wake of 9/11. For this memoir, Whitehead trudges through the events of his life from his childhood in New Jersey and his years in the Navy to his leadership of Goldman Sachs and his part-ownership of the New Jersey Devils in tedious, meticulous detail. Whitehead observes that he learned most his leadership lessons (honesty, loyalty) from his years as a Boy Scout. He recalls how those years in scouting also led to lifelong friendships, such as the one with John McMullen, the friend with whom he later co-owned the Devils hockey team. He recalls with humor the time that he drove Henry Ford to his New York hotel in a Chevrolet, and he recounts his many years of work for non-profit organizations such as the International Rescue Committee. Finally, Whitehead offers a few lessons in leadership: “The best leaders do a lot of listening,” leaders should be willing to delegate tasks and “effective leadership has to have an ethical dimension.”

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