Navigating office politics can be perilous under the best of circumstances. But for people whose moral principles put them at odds with their employer and colleagues, the burdens can be especially great.
Join three Open Society Fellows as they discuss their experiences working for many years inside large organizations with which they often had profound disagreements of conscience.
Now that they have left their respective institutions -- the US Air Force, the National Association of Evangelicals, and the Central Intelligence Agency -- the panelists can speak with candor about their lives as outsiders within.
What were the emotional and professional stresses they encountered every day on the job? How free did they feel to share their concerns with colleagues? And how did they negotiate the difficult transition to life on the outside?
Matthew Alexander is an Open Society Fellow and former senior interrogator for the United States Air Force.
Elizabeth MacKenzie Biedell
Elizabeth MacKenzie Biedell is an Open Society Fellow and a former Middle East analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency.
Richard Cizik is the President of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, an organization committed to a broad, holistic, moral vision for evangelical engagement.
Rev. Cizik served for ten years as vice president for governmental affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals, a post he left in 2008 after expressing conditional support for civil unions. He has been a leader in bringing evangelicals and scientists together in the search for common ground on climate change.
Morton H. Halperin is a senior advisor to the Open Society Institute. In this capacity, he provides strategic guidance on U.S. and international issues. Halperin previously served as director of U.S. Advocacy for OSI.
Halperin has a distinguished career in federal government, having served in the Clinton, Nixon, and Johnson administrations. In the Clinton administration, Halperin was director of the Policy Planning Staff at the Department of State (1998-2001), special assistant to the president and senior director for democracy at the National Security Council (1994-1996), and consultant to the secretary of defense and the under secretary of defense for policy (1993). He was nominated by the president for the position of assistant secretary of defense for democracy and peacekeeping. During the first nine months of the Nixon administration, Halperin was a senior staff member of the National Security Council staff with responsibility for National Security Planning (1969). In the Johnson administration, Halperin worked in the Department of Defense where he served as deputy assistant secretary of defense (International Security Affairs), responsible for political-military planning and arms control (1966-1969).
Halperin also has a long record as a Washington advocate on national and international issues. He spent many years at the America Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), serving as the director of the Washington office from 1984 to 1992, where he was responsible for the national legislative program as well as the activities of the ACLU Foundation based in the Washington office. Halperin also served as the director of the Center for National Security Studies from 1975 to 1992, where he focused on issues affecting both civil liberties and national security.
Halperin has been associated with a number of universities and think tanks including Harvard University where he taught for six years (1960-66) and the Council on Foreign Relations. He has been widely published in newspapers and magazines across the world, and has authored, coauthored, and edited more than a dozen books.
The recipient of numerous awards, Halperin also serves as senior fellow at the Center for American Progress (CAP). He is chairman of the board of the Democracy Coalition Project. He is also chairman of the Board of the Health Privacy Project at Georgetown University. He serves on the boards of Debt AIDS Trade Africa (DATA) and The Constitution Project, and is the chair of the advisory board of the Center for National Security Studies.
Halperin holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from Yale University. He received his B.A. from Columbia College.
Richard Cizik, former Vice President of the National Association of Evangelicals, reflects on being ousted from his position for publicly voicing progressive political views that were not in lockstep with the greater evangelical movement.