The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Rockefeller Leadership Fellow: Carter Sullivan ’17

Carter Sullivan '17 is an Economics major and French and Environmental Studies minor. 

Article Type 

This series introduces the 2016-2017 Rockefeller Leadership Fellows. Each fellow reflects on why he or she wanted to be a part of the program and what aspects of leadership most interests them.

While at Dartmouth, I have come to realize that there are multiple styles of leadership and that my methods can be just as effective as someone else’s if I use them correctly. I am most interested in a leader’s ability to get people to “buy in” to their ideas. It is always extremely impressive to observe a leader who can come up with an idea, present it effectively, and gain the support of the team who also believes in the idea. When a leader can accomplish this, projects are more sustainable as the people involved do not need to be constantly pressured to execute because in believing in the idea, they put the pressure on themselves. Not only is this ability a powerful leadership tool, it is also an extremely important tool for affecting change.

In reviewing my time at Dartmouth, my presidency in the Dartmouth Chamber Orchestra (DCO) has been my most meaningful leadership experience. DCO is completely student-run where unlike other instrumental groups, we do not have a professional conductor nor substantial professional oversight of any kind. As president, I am responsible for all the logistics of the orchestra, including music, recruitment, social events, publicity, space bookings, rehearsals, sectionals, concerts, etc. The position can be a substantial amount of work, but I have a small team of officers to work with and I am able to delegate tasks accordingly. I am very passionate about DCO, as I feel it is the only instrumental ensemble which strikes an equal balance between being a fun, low-pressure environment and a serious musical group.

I hope to gain confidence in my own leadership style during my time as a part of the RLF delegation, but more importantly, I hope to learn more about the strengths of my peers’ differing styles of leadership. Through interactions with other students, I hope to be able to adapt some of these strengths to my own personality and grow both as a leader and as a person.

Carter Sullivan '17 grew up in Higganum, Connecticut and graduated from Haddam-Killingworth High School. At Dartmouth, Carter is an Economics major with minors in French and Environmental Studies. He participated in Great Issues Scholars his freshman year, and in the French Foreign Study Program during his sophomore year. On campus, he is Accountability Chair of the Greek Leadership Council, President of the Dartmouth Chamber Orchestra, and Moderator with Improve Dartmouth. Carter has held an editorial internship at an automotive magazine and an internship with an American NGO in Jamaica. His studies at Dartmouth are building on this most recent experience: as graduation approaches, Carter hopes to further concentrate in international development through his Economics and Environmental Studies coursework. He aims to eventually pursue a career in the field of development.

Edited by Rachel Favors '18, Rockefeller Center Student Program Assistant for Communications


The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences