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Anja Manuel

Co-Founder and Principal, RiceHadleyGates LLC

Author, former diplomat, speaker and now a sought-after advisor to Fortune 50 and Silicon Valley CEOs, Anja Manuel shares her powerful insights on the rise of emerging markets in Asia and beyond, what this means for us and America’s future role in international leadership.

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Travels From: California | Fee Range: $25,000 - $40,000

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In this charged political environment, Anja Manuel can cut through the rhetoric to offer an informed analysis of how the complex relationship between the U.S. and China may play out, and how the enmity between these giants could impact your industry specifically.

As China becomes a technology superpower, Ms. Manuel unpacks what policies are contributing to China’s technological rise, whether and how worried western companies should be, how Western governments are reacting, and how recent developments from the Phase I trade agreement to the Covid-crisis are likely to affect future collaboration between the West and China.

She explains, in simple and lucid terms, illustrated with up-to-date vignettes, how this great technological race is likely to affect your business.

China systematically extracts the most advanced technology from the West. It does so legally, by mining open-source databases, investing in our most advanced companies, and illegally, through cybertheft and spying. How we choose to react will define our future and that of the world. Instead of closing our own system, we can and must compete, and in some cases, even cooperate. We need a new era of public-private collaboration that unites American society and our allies behind a common goal of global technological progress. This talk will show us how.

In the next decade and a half, Asia will surpass the combined strength of North America and Europe in economic might, population size and military spending.

From her front-row view of this colossal shift, first at the State Department and now as an advisor to American CEOs, Anja Manuel escorts the audience on an intimate tour of the corridors of power of Asia’s predominant powers—China and India—to reveal what makes each country “tick” and what Americans doing business there should know. Through vibrant stories that have been described as “both heartbreaking and funny,” she reveals how each country is working to surmount enormous challenges—from the crushing poverty of Indian slum dwellers and Chinese factory workers to outrageous corruption scandals, rotting rivers and unbreathable air, to managing their citizens’ discontent, and how some of these challenges create opportunities for joint work with American companies.

Based on her book This Brave New World, Manuel shows us an optimistic path—American politicians, businesses and ordinary citizens can bring China and India along as partners rather than alienating one or both, and thus extend our own leadership in the world.

As an investment banker, lawyer, government official and now business owner in Silicon Valley, Anja Manuel has experienced firsthand both the challenges and inspiring change afoot globally for women. Drawing on global examples as well as her own decisions and sometimes funny mistakes, she shares her perspectives on women in the seat of power and adds common-sense solutions to empower women around the world to reach their full potential.

Every day, American businesses must decide where in the world to sell, invest or source parts of their supply chain. How do you determine which emerging markets to enter first? And how do you do it both effectively and ethically? Based on her extensive experience in government and now leading businesses through these difficult decisions, Anja Manuel shares her insight and illuminating stories about how to engage local governments and business partners from Bogota to Bangalore.


Opening businesses in emerging markets: general issues.

  • To make markets worth it need economic growth, sufficient market size, and a hospitable business environment.
  • Emerging market economies are by far the fastest growing (Asia and sub-Saharan Africa)
  • Challenges: complex bureaucracies, infrastructure issues, cultural barriers, sheer challenge of getting things done
  • Focus on countries making the right policy choices — biggest driver of GDP growth is good governance: better anti-corruption policies lead to growth, where ease of doing business is improving


Key Markets for Discussion:

Rise of new superpowers—especially China and India: growing share of middle class, essential consumer markets, need their help to solve global problems

1) China:


  • Business Climate in China
  • Domestic demand, advanced manufacturing, etc.

Structural issues:

  • IP protection, cyber espionage issues
  • State-led economy inefficiencies
  • Political repression worsening

2) India:


  • Strong economic and resilient democratic system
  • Young, growing middle class strong

Structural problems:

  • Slow to reform
  • Weak infrastructure
  • Red tape
  • Ongoing Corruption

3) Indonesia:


  • Strong economic growth, declining poverty
  • Weak infrastructure, corruption still bad but improving


  • Widodo committed to pluralism in a Muslim majority country
  • Strong reforms for business

4) Brazil


  • Political chaos, protests, corruption,
  • Election of right winger, Bolsonaro


  • Strong economic team. Efforts to privatize state-owned companies, pension reform
  • Moribund growth, corruption getting worse

 5) Russia:

Declining power. Will keep causing trouble.


  • Corruption getting worse
  • Political repression increasing


  • Very weak under sanctions
  • Natural resource export dependent
  • High economic inequality

Improving slowly on ease of access for foreign business


Author, former diplomat, and advisor on foreign policy Anja Manuel is Co-Founder and Partner of Rice, Hadley, Gates & Manuel LLC, a strategic consulting firm that helps U.S. companies navigate international markets. The company was founded by Manuel along with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, and former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. She is also the Director of the Aspen Strategy Group and Aspen Security Forum, a premier bi-partisan forum on foreign policy in the U.S.

Anja is the author of the critically acclaimed book, This Brave New World: India, China and the United States, published by Simon and Schuster in 2016. Anja is also a frequent speaker on foreign policy and technology policy, is a commentator for TV and radio (NBC/MSNBC, Bloomberg News, Fox Business, BBC, NPR, etc.), and writes for publications ranging from the Washington Post, New York Times, Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic, Fortune, and Newsweek, among others.

Anja currently serves on two corporate boards: Ripple Labs Inc., a leading blockchain payments company, and Overseas Shipping Group, Inc., a NYSE-listed transportation company. Manuel has also served on advisory boards of, Center for a New American Security, Flexport Inc., Synapse Inc., and the boards of the National Committee on US-China Relations, American Ditchley Foundation, and formerly Governor Brown’s California Export Council, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Anja also serves as a Member of the Defense Policy Board for the U.S. Department of Defense.


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