Ambassador Cynthia P. Schneider & Dr Thomas J. Schneider USA

Our 2016 Leadership Dialogue Honourees, former U.S. Ambassador Cynthia and Dr Tom Schneider, are founding delegates to the Leadership Dialogue, and embody our philosophy of leadership as “creating new space in the service of others”.

Cynthia had a long and active association with the Leadership Dialogue as a participant, facilitator, and as the 2016 Leadership Dialogue Scholar. She combines a remarkable contemporary grasp of the importance of culture and diplomacy, augmented by genuine passion for its cause, Cynthia had an outstanding engagement with the U.S. military as Ambassador to The Hague from 1998 to 2001. Her commitment to soft diplomacy is perfectly aligned with the mission of the Leadership Dialogue. Her expertise as a Rembrandt Scholar found tangible expression at the national gallery during the 1995Leadership Dialogue in Canberra.

Tom was introduced to us in May 1992 by President Bush’s U.S. Ambassador to Australia, Mel Sembler. Tom instantly grasped the bipartisan principle which has underwritten the Leadership Dialogue. He served as chair of the Science and Technology Advisory Committee to Presidential candidate Bill Clinton. He has made a permanent contribution to the agenda of the Leadership Dialogue, and more recently to the YLD program.

Other examples of Tom’s ongoing contribution have been his focus on life sciences, and his orchestration of the seminal presentation by Craig Venter on the mapping of the human genome which had a huge impact on Australian Federal and State policymakers. It was Tom’s idea to collaborate with Larry Smarr at UCSD/Calit2 at the inaugural January 2007 West Coast Leadership Dialogue.

Tom has championed the inclusion of science, technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship in all Leadership Dialogue programs. Tom was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Deakin University in1999 for leadership in the restructuring of industrial relations in the USA.

Cynthia and Tom exemplify the importance of sustained commitment to building relationships and understand the intergenerational imperative which underlies the dynamic Young Leadership Dialogue and the growing ranks of the YLD Alumni.

Phil Scanlan
Australian American Leadership Dialogue