If you could have dinner with 1 person who you regard as a leader, who would it be and why?

I’d like to dine with Stanislav Petrov, a retired Soviet Air Defense Forces lieutenant colonel who arguably saved the world from atomic war.  On September 26, 1983, the Soviet Union’s early-warning systems identified an incoming missile strike from the United States. The existing Soviet military protocol would have demanded an in-kind nuclear retaliation, as the BBC reports in this article: http://bbc.in/1NS43sW. But duty officer Petrov – whose job it was to detect enemy missile launches – opted not to report the incident to his superiors, instead dismissing it as a false alarm. This promptly aborted a chain of events that likely would have escalated to international crisis and catastrophe.

I’d like to have dinner with Petrov to learn more about what informed his wise decision-making in such a high octane situation.  It was his own dereliction of duty that likely saved the world.

What motivates you to create social impact?

I am drawn to the social sector, and, specifically, solving problems in a social entrepreneurial way, because people—how they behave, what motivates them, what their interests are, what issues they and the communities they comprise wrestle with— are the center of gravity driving social impact. I like to study the meaningful partnerships to be developed between public and private sectors.  In between sits the social sector: it offers solution sets that the government can’t and business doesn’t.

Host Site Project

Jessica works with the Military and Veterans Psychology (MVP) program at William James College, a graduate institution granting advanced degrees in psychology.  Her project objectives support educating student veterans to become experts in providing behavioral health care for military veterans and their families, recruiting military veterans to identify and support their interests in a career in behavioral health, and developing metrics to assess and track MVP program performance.