Ashley Merryman (L'98)

"Top Dog: The Science of Winning & Losing" and "Nurture Shock: New Thinking About Children"


Ashley Merryman's insights change the world's dialogue. Co-author of two New York Times bestselling books—Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing and NurtureShock: New Thinking about Children —Merryman has had enormous critical and commercial acclaim. Email and social media are filled with demands to read her work: her New York Times essay, "Losing is Good for You," was shared on Facebook 40,000 times within the first 24-hours of publication.

Merryman's genius is that she finds the best science to explain our world, and, having done so, she transforms our lives. With Po Bronson, it was Merryman who introduced the world to Carol Dweck and her now famous concept of growth mindset. Then Merryman brought the science of creativity to the public's attention. Now, she’s using the latest science to understand how character affects leadership and achievement—how to teach people to become their very best. Particularly when things seem at their worst. She’s taught Olympians how to better perform under pressure; she's advised executives on building a winning culture. Laws have been written, organizations formed and transformed, conferences established on the basis of her work. From keynotes to boardrooms, Merryman has appeared at more than 200 venues—global leaders such as: Staples; FOX; Janssen Pharmaceuticals; State Street Global Advisors; FTI; YPO; Aspen Institute; SXSW; PopTech; Wired Business Conference; Red Bull; English Institute of Sport; Forte Foundation; National Head Start Assoc.; Georgetown University; Texas A&M; USC; UCLA; Yale; and the United States Military Academy/West Point.

Merryman’s book Top Dog, written with Bronson, was an instant New York Times bestseller, and foreign language editions are underway, as it has revolutionized the world of elite performance. Among the critical raves—it was a "Best Book of the Month" by both Barnes & Noble and Amazon, on many "Best of the Year" lists, and said it was the #1 book every entrepreneur must read.

Merryman and Bronson's previous book, NurtureShock, has become one of the most influential books about children ever published. On the New York Times bestseller list for more than six months and an Amazon Top Nonfiction 100 book for over a year, it has been translated in 20 languages.

Merryman has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts and a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University.