President Maeda spoke today at the annual conference for the White House Fellows alumni, a program founded by President Lyndon Johnson to expose rising leaders from outside the government to the workings of the Executive Branch. The conference, this year focused on the theme of Creativity & Leadership, gave nod to their forefather, John Gardner, who inspired Johnson to start the program and is a personal inspiration in the realm of leadership for President Maeda as well. A ubiquitous poster across the event quoted Gardner, then President of the Carnegie Corporation, saying “The truly creative person is not an outlaw but a lawmaker. Every great creative performance, since the initial one, is about bringing order out of chaos.”
Speaking alongside such notables as journalist David Brooks and Wendy Kopp of Teach for America, President Maeda opened by saying “Among all these Gardner disciples, I feel like I’ve I’ve found my tribe.” He went on to speak about how Gardner has taught him about tenacity and leading in good and bad times. He also spoke to great reception about what the arts and design have to lend to leadership, and turning STEM to STEAM in education and innovation.