Ashley Merryman

Keynote Speaker Ashley Merryman

Best-Selling Author & Award-Winning Journalist

Ashley Merryman's insights change the national dialogue. With Po Bronson, she's written two New York Times bestselling books – Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing and NurtureShock: New Thinking about Children. Together, they've won nine national awards for reporting. Merryman's been on countless radio and television shows, while email, Facebook, and Twitter are filled with demands to read her essays, such as "Losing is Good for You," "How Not to Talk to Your Kids," and "Creativity Crisis."

From chief executives to stay-at-home moms, the most common reaction Merryman hears after a speaking engagement is: "You just changed my life."

Merryman and Bronson's new book, Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing, was an instant New York Times bestseller. Among the critical raves – Top Dog was a "Best Book of the Month" by both Barnes & Noble and Amazon, while said it was the #1 book that every entrepreneur must read.

Top Dog is an astonishing blend of science and storytelling that reveals what's really in the heart of a champion. It's about the thrill of victory and the character-building agony of defeat. Testosterone and the neuroscience of mistakes. Why rivals motivate. How home field advantage gets you a raise. What teamwork really requires. It's baseball, Wall Street financial analysts, the SAT, sales contests, and Linux software. How before da Vinci and FedEx were innovators, first, they were great competitors. Olympians, professional athletes, and their coaches are already carrying Top Dog around in gym bags. It's in the briefcases of Wall Street traders and Madison Ave. madmen. Professional risk takers – from Silicon Valley venture capitalists to Vegas gamblers – are racing to master its ideas, while educators and philosophers are debating it the halls of academia.

Merryman and Bronson's previous book, NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children, is also a New York Times bestseller, translated into sixteen languages to date. But beyond that, it has become one of the most influential books about children ever been published. With impeccable storytelling and razor-sharp analysis, Merryman and Bronson demonstrate that many of modern society’s strategies for nurturing children are in fact backfiring—because key twists in the science have been overlooked.

Merryman has written for Newsweek, Time, the New York Times, the Washington Post, New York, the Guardian, and many more. A frequent commentator on radio and television, Merryman has appeared on shows such as: Fox & Friends; CNN's AC 360 and CNN Newsroom; The Charlie Rose Show; The Tavis Smiley Show; @KatieCouric; Canada AM; BBC World News; NPR's Tell Me More and On Point; and many others around the world.

Honors for Merryman and Bronson include: the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Journalism; the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Award for Science Journalism; an “Audie” from the Audio Publishers Association; and two Clarion Awards. And their work is considered so substantial that scientists themselves rely on their reporting. Their work has been cited as a research authority in 80 academic journals and 260 books, and it is being used as text in universities around the world. You'll find references to their work in publications by the White House to speeches by politicians around the globe.

Merryman lives in Los Angeles, where she has directed a small all-volunteer tutoring program for inner-city kids for 15 years; in that time, her program has helped over 800 children. For her civic involvement, she received commendations from both the Clinton and Bush Administrations. An attorney, Merryman previously served as a speechwriter in the Clinton Administration.

Merryman holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, a J.D. from the Georgetown University’s Law Center, and a Certificate in Irish Studies from Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Quick Links

Get Connected