Alison Levine, High Impact Leadership

Author of On the Edge: The Art of High Impact Leadership.

Monday, November 18, 2013
11:55 am - 12:40 pm
All School Assembly - Eurythmy Room
SF Waldorf High School

*Parents are welcome to attend. Please RSVP to  Lisa Anderson at 415-213-6111 or email landerson@sfwaldorf.org.

Alison Levine is a history-making polar explorer and mountaineer. She not only served as team captain of the first American Women’s Everest Expedition, but she also climbed the highest peak on each continent and skied to both the North and South Poles—a feat known as the Adventure Grand Slam, which fewer than forty people on the world have achieved. In January 2008, she made history as the first American to complete a 600-mile traverse from west Antarctica to the South Pole following the route of legendary explorer Reinhold Messner. Ms. Levine completed this arduous journey on skis while hauling 150 pounds of her gear and supplies in a sled harnessed to her waist. Her success in extreme environments is noteworthy given she has had three heart surgeries and suffers from Raynaud’s disease, which causes the arteries that feed her fingers and toes to collapse in cold weather—leaving her at extreme risk for frostbite.

In addition to having tackled some of the most challenging environments in the outdoors, Ms. Levine has also spent more than two decades climbing the corporate ladder. She worked in the pharmaceutical and medical device industry, earned an MBA from Duke University, and spent three years working for Goldman Sachs. She left Goldman in 2003 to serve as deputy finance director for Arnold Schwarzenegger in his successful bid to become Governor of California.

In 2005, Ms. Levine founded the Climb High Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of jobless women in Africa by training them to be trekking guides and porters in their local mountains so that they would have the skills to earn a sustainable living wage through climbing-related tourism. Her work in Uganda enabled the first group of local women to make history when they climbed Uganda’s highest peak Mt. Stanley, in the Rwenzori Mountains. Her work in Uganda is the subject of the PBS documentary Living Courageously.

Ms. Levine is the author of the book On the Edge: The Art of High Impact Leadership (January 2014, Grand Central Publishing). Having spent prolonged periods of time in some of the world's most dangerous and inhospitable places, she tackles the topics of creating cohesive teams, taking responsible risks and developing no-nonsense leaders that can succeed in times of uncertainty.