Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Author & Speaker

“We are so used to seeing women as victims of war to be pitied rather than survivors of war to be respected.”

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Author & Speaker, shared the story behind her title with us on Sunday, October 3rd, 2021.

Gayle is the author of the New York Times bestsellers, The Dressmaker of Khair Khana (2011), Ashley’s War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield (2015), and The Daughters of Kobani (2021).

Lemmon is a frequent speaker on national security topics, including at the Aspen Security Forum and TED forums, and has given talks at West Point, ODNI, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the U.S. Naval Academy, and the National Infantry Museum. Her TED Talk on Ashley’s War and the reshaping of the hero story to include women has received more than a million views worldwide.  She regularly appears on MSNBC, CNN, PBS, and National Public Radio.

Along with her national security work, she has reported and written extensively on topics including child marriage in the United States for PBS NewsHour and on school choice, single moms, and the power and importance of girls’ ambition for The Atlantic. Lemmon holds an MBA from Harvard and received the Dean’s Award for her work on women’s entrepreneurship. In addition to serving as a Robert Bosch Fellow in Germany, she served as a Fulbright scholar in Spain, on the board of the international aid organization Mercy Corps and is a member of the Bretton Woods Committee. She speaks Spanish, German, and French and is conversant in Dari and Kurmanci. 


Growing up Gayle was heavily influenced by the women in her life going back several generations. She lost her mother to cancer at the age of 13, but not before her mother taught her that women could and should work to serve others and help to make the world a better place. In bringing forth the remarkable and often untold stories of women in war-torn countries who are stepping and speaking out, she is doing just that.

Listen to our interview with Gayle below!

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