Ashley Merryman: Hachette Speakers Bureau

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."

Merryman and Bronson's new book, Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing, published by Twelve, was an instant New York Times bestseller, and foreign language editions are already underway. Among the critical raves – Top Dog was a "Best Book of the Month" by both Barnes & Noble and Amazon, on a number of "Best of 2013" lists, and 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, was on the New York Times bestseller list for more than six months and an Amazon Top Nonfiction 100 book for over a year; it was on over 35 "Year's Best" lists and has been translated in 18 languages to date. 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. And because of that, NurtureShock has become one of the most influential books about children ever been published.

Using science to develop a fuller picture of our lives – as individuals and as a society – Merryman and Bronson have written cover stories for Newsweek and New York. Merryman has also written for the New York Times, Time, the Washington Post, the Guardian, the Huffington Post, the Daily Beast, and more. She has appeared on many radio and television shows including: The Charlie Rose Show; The Tavis Smiley Show; Fox and Friends; @KatieCouric; CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 and CNN Newsroom; Canada AM; CBC's Q and Ideas; BBC World News; NPR's Tell Me More and On Point; and many others around the world.

Among the many awards Merryman and Bronson have received: 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 over 90 academic journals and more than 290 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; schools have changed their practices and legislatures have written laws responding to their work.

Merryman is an acclaimed public speaker, having appeared at dozens of conventions and venues such as the Aspen Institute, PopTech, 92nd St. Y Tribeca, and the Los Angeles Times Book Festival. Merryman's also spoken at universities around the country – including Yale University, Cal Tech, Georgetown University, American University, and UCLA. Merryman recently was honored to be a William J. Clinton Distinguished Lecturer at the University of Arkansas's Clinton School of Public Service.

Merryman lives in Los Angeles, directing a small all-volunteer tutoring program for inner-city kids since 1999. For her civic involvement, Merryman received commendations from both the Clinton and Bush Administrations.

Merryman has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the USC School of Cinematic Arts and a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University. An attorney, Merryman previously served as a speechwriter and in other positions in the Clinton Administration.

Interested in booking Ashley Merryman to speak at your next event?

Contact Hachette Speakers Bureau.


  • Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing
  • NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children
  • Battling Sexes: Gender Differences in Competition and Leadership
  • The Science of Motivation

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