ILA Podcast

Persistent, Patient, and Creative

Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leadership Podcast. Episode 166: H.E. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović - Persistent, Patient, and Creative Listen Now. The Official Podcast of the International Leadership Association

with H.E. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović


Scott interviews H.E. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, Croatia’s 4th President (2015-2020) and 1st female President. She is an expert on international diplomacy, security, and human rights.

Quotes From This Episode

“You have to be persistent. You have to be patient, and you have to be creative”

“Human rights are not an internal issue any longer. And it’s not somebody else’s business. It’s the responsibility of all of us to ensure that they are respected everywhere in the world.”

“You have to be able to adjust your goals and adjust your plans. But even when you have to do that, you have to keep in mind that you shouldn’t be adjusting your values.”

About H.E. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović

H.E. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović is Croatia’s 4th and 1st female President (2015-2020) with broad national and international experience in politics, diplomacy, and security studies. During her career as an elected official and in national and international civil service, among others, she was elected a Member of the Croatian Parliament (2003) and served as Croatia’s first female Minister of Foreign Affairs (2003-2008) and Ambassador to the United States, Mexico, Panama and the Organisation of American States (2008-2011), as well as the first female Assistant Secretary General and member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Senior Leadership (2011-2014).

She was elected an independent member of the International Olympic Committee in 2020, and has been appointed Chair of the Future Hosts Commission for the Games of the Olympiad. She is a Special Advisor to the Dean of the Zagreb School of Economics and Management. She serves on the boards of several not-for-profit institutions, such as Friends of Europe, the US Atlantic Council, GLOBSEC, Halifax International Security Forum, the Nizami Ganjavi International Center, and the Concordia Leadership Council. She is a Member of the High-Level Advisory Council for the High Representative for the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), the Global Ambassador for Immunization for Women Political Leaders (WPL), and chair emerita of the Council of Women World Leaders.

Parallel to her diplomatic and political careers, she has pursued an academic career in government, international relations, and security studies at the Vienna Diplomatic Academy (1994-1995), the George Washington University (2002-2003), Harvard University (2009), the Johns Hopkins University (2011), and the University of Zagreb. She holds a Master’s degree and is writing a Ph.D. thesis in International Relations and Security Studies on the Responsibility to Protect. She received the 2019 Fulbright Lifetime Achievement award for her “remarkable contributions as a leader, diplomat, and public servant,” the George Washington University President’s medal, and many other national and international awards, decorations, recognitions, honorary doctorates and honorary citizenships.

Host Scott J. Allen

Scott Allen

Scott J. Allen, Ph.D., is the Standard Products—Dr. James S. Reid Chair in Management at John Carroll University. He is an associate professor and teaches courses in leadership, management skills, and executive communication. He is also a communications coach, consultant, author, podcast host, and entrepreneur. For almost two decades, he’s worked with clients to improve their leadership and communication skills. Learn more about Scott here.

About Phronesis

Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders offers a smart, fast-paced discussion on all things leadership. Scott and his expert guests cover timely, relevant topics and incorporate practical tips designed to help you make a difference in how you lead and live. Phronesis is the official podcast of the International Leadership Association.