David Andelman

Global heads of state—whether democrat or dictator—offer a wealth of lessons on leadership.

Editor-Emeritus of World Policy Journal and Columnist at USA Today

Request Booking Info
David Andelman | Editor-Emeritus of World Policy Journal and Columnist at USA Today
Lavin Exclusive Speaker

As the Editor of World Policy Journal for over seven years, David Andelman published influential commentary on international relations that made a virtue of non-partisan discourse. It was just the latest in a series of prestigious posts—he was also CBS News Correspondent in Paris, and Executive Editor at Forbes—that mark him as one of the most experienced and insightful speakers on global economics, security, business, terrorism, and politics.

“It is the power and fascination of David Andelman’s new book, A Shattered Peace, that he shows us—with the clarity of a first-rate reporter and the drama and detail at the command of a first-rate novelist—that we are all still enmeshed in the loose ends of the Treaty of Versailles.”

— Richard Snow, Editor in Chief, American Heritage

Foreign affairs and editorial columnist for USA Today, David Andelman has lived in and reported from many international hot spots, and he focuses his keynotes on achieving an inclusive and sustainable global market economy. He is a champion of civic participation and effective governance, and he argues for collaborative approaches to national and global security. Andelman is American associate for the French magazine Politique Internationale, and appears regularly on France 24 TV in both English and French.


Andelman cut his teeth as a domestic and foreign correspondent for The New York Times, in New York and Washington. He was also the Times’ Southeast Asia Bureau Chief, based in Bangkok, and its East European Bureau Chief, based in Belgrade. For seven years, Andelman reported from over 70 countries for CBS News as Paris correspondent. He then became CNBC’s Washington correspondent, then News Editor of Bloomberg News, and, eventually, Business Editor of The New York Daily News. A graduate of the journalism schools at both Harvard and Columbia, Andelman is the author of three books: The Peacemakers, The Fourth World War: Diplomacy and Espionage in the Age of Terrorism (with Count Alexandre de Marenche, the longtime head of French intelligence), and A Shattered Peace: Versailles 1919 and the Price We Pay Today, now in paperback.


“Kudos to David for a talk he did here last week. Our auditorium was full—the audience was overflowing into the aisles and it was standing room only. The question period after his talk was indicative of the quality of his presentation and of the high interest there was from the group.”

Boca Grande Woman’s Club

Speech Topics

Learn Leadership From the Greatest

Top global leaders—dictators and democrats alike—have a lot to teach companies and each of us: how to lead and how to inspire. Every Soviet leader from Brezhnev to Putin, dictators from Qaddafi to Arafat to Rwanda’s Kagami, democrats from JFK to Nelson Mandela, presidents, prime ministers and kings (Mitterrand of France, Begin of Israel, Abdullah of Jordan)—all of whom David Andelman has met and talked with—each has his or her own style, lessons, dynamism, personality that we can all learn from and absorb. How they lead, and why people follow them, are critical lessons for today’s corporate leaders, and for each of us in our personal lives.

Democracy Run Amok Diplomatic, Social and Financial Threats to Global Stability

Democracy, in its various forms, is becoming the single greatest threat to global stability and indeed the individual stability of so many countries where the United States and its allies are anxious to cultivate its establishment. Yet nearly everywhere we look these days, nations where revolutionary forces are embracing this idea—all too often hoping to lure the West, and especially the U.S. into an alliance—are failing their people and the cause of democracy writ large. At the same time, the establishment of “democracy” in one form or another in no way assures economic stability, a solid investment climate, or job creation, which is the ultimate force for stability and growth. In this sweeping and timely talk, David Andelman points us to other factors, signposts, and metrics that are far more reliable indicators of social stability and economic expansion. He takes us to Saudi Arabia, where an entire generation of mall rats is transforming the social landscape, and to Russia, where a new form of autocratic democracy is growing to stability on a foundation of oil. New challenges are all around us, Andelman says; this keynote charts and embraces them.

Risk Management
Global Risks

Think about how quickly the world is changing all around us—and how tough it’s been to keep pace with those challenges—from the perspective of those reporting from the ground, those who are ensuring that nothing irreversibly bad might happen, and those who are seeking to bend events to their own purposes.

The first war David Andleman covered—the war in Indochina—was really the last of its type: a foreign battle, fought on foreign battlefronts against a threat that was only theoretically existential to Americans. Today’s wars involve ill-defined enemies with pernicious agendas and risks, prepared to carry their battles to our own doorsteps. But even greater risks range from cyber attacks to threats of a new East-West Cold War, overpopulation and malnutrition but especially the resource that is most likely to produce the next world war—water, who controls it, who can use it—as our global population surges from 7 billion today to 11 billion before we know it. Monetizing each of these threats, calculating their costs, may also prove to be the most important business challenge of the coming years. In this essential talk, Andelman shares the global risks we need to be aware of—and how we can prepare for what's to come.

Global Economy
Opportunities in the Middle East How to Seize the Moment of the Arab Spring
America and the West are losing the Revolution of the Arab Spring on a number of different levels. As has been the case for much of our relationship with the modern Middle East, back to the days following WWI, we are backing the wrong individuals, seizing on the wrong causes, and failing to understand or satisfy the most profound needs and desires of the people of the region—especially the young people. We are in so many ways at a crossroads here. For decades, we have been hostage to our support of Israel over the Palestinian cause. Suddenly, that is no longer center stage. We are at a point where we may still support Israel if we also support the forces of progressive change elsewhere in the region. This can, and should, equally be the posture of any corporation or business seeking to do business in the region. In this comprehensive and timely talk, David Andelman shows us that the right allies, suddenly, may also be the appropriate ones.
The Next China Crisis and How to Cope
Sometime in the next decade, the leadership of China has set as its mission to bring the vast interior of China—representing nearly two-thirds of its population—into the 21st century with one long pull. Imagine: a population twice the size of the United States suddenly becoming consumers of electricity, gasoline (for 500 million new cars!), housing, and the like. At the same time, how can such a ‘new’ China maintain a centralized, autocratic government? How do we in the West react to all this, and what will the impact be on China’s neighbors (and potential competitors) from Taiwan and South Korea to Japan, and even Australia? How much of a role is there for western business, industry, and finance in facilitating this new Chinese revolution? David Andelman answers these questions, and more, in this forward-looking talk.
Surviving a Damaged Heart

For 69 years, David Andelman has lived with a damaged heart. It has taken him to 72 nations—climbed 12,000 foot heights in the high Himalayas, fled just ahead of Khmer Rouge guerrillas in Cambodia, beat solidly in his chest in the tropics of Chad and Ouagadougou, flattened itself on the earth on the Israeli border as Lebanese shells whistled over his head. But now, it was failing and he needed to face facts. Its main valve needed to be replaced, just like the Denver Bronco’s John Fox, or he might not last out the year. He, too, was failing—along with his damaged heart. Thus began Andelman’s ascent with the help of a medical miracle—a new aortic valve made from the lining of a cow’s heart, hand crafted by a Chinese worker in a $40 million factory in Singapore, and sewed into his chest in open heart surgery in New York. Now, here he stands, ready for another 20 years traveling the globe.