Anne Brunsdale, who died recently at age 82 following a long illness, was beloved by a large circle of friends in Washington, D.C., in her native Upper Midwest, and around the country. At the American Enterprise Institute in Washington she founded and edited the magazine Regulation (where she hired me in 1980 to work with her as an associate editor; I left to join the Manhattan Institute four years later). Her career culminated in a presidential appointment to a seat on the International Trade Commission, where she rendered distinguished service for a decade, including some years as chairwoman.
I won’t use words like “mentor” and “role model” to describe Anne’s influence on me, if only because I can imagine her penciling them through with a notation in the margin, “jargon“. I will say that no one in my professional life ever taught me more about how to write, or work with others, or behave as an adult, or see past the political enmities of the day. When I dedicated my book about legal conflict in the workplace, The Excuse Factory, to Anne, it was the inevitable tribute of memory to the perfect boss. If you’d like to learn more about her life and work, Claudia Anderson, long a close friend of hers, has written a very fine appreciation in the new Weekly Standard.