HWA Exclusive Speakers

HWA has broad reach to connect you with virtually any speaker worldwide, including some speakers which you'll find exclusively with HWA.  

These speakers seek to be represented exclusively by HWA since they value how we uniquely prepare them for your event and handle the logistics of getting the speaker to you.  Take a look at our offering of exclusive speakers and contact us to get started.

News about our Exclusive Speakers

<p>Abby Wambach and Glennon Doyle Speak Together for Unforgettable, Thought-Provoking Events</p>

Abby Wambach and Glennon Doyle Speak Together for Unforgettable, Thought-Provoking Events

FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist ABBY WAMBACH and her #1 New York Times Bestselling author and activist wife, GLENNON DOYLE come together for dual appearances that leave audiences inspired and feeling connected - to their own core of truth as well as a call to community. This power couple gets lots of buzz, including an article about their relationship in The New York Times. They are both #1 New York Times Bestselling authors, Wambach for Wolfpack and Forward: A Memoir and Doyle for several inspiring titles, including her most recent bestselling phenomenon Untamed which has sold over two million copies and skyrocketed Doyle’s popularity as a speaker. They use not only their unique experiences as activists and influencers for good, but also their heartwarming story as a couple to discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion in multiple forms. This speaking duo brings audiences into their hearts and lives, as they open up and speak their truths about leadership, inspiration, family, resilience, and more, utilizing their star power and warm, funny personalities into exciting events that are always well-received. 

Watch Wambach and Doyle Speak Together Here > >

Read their New York Times profile here > >

<p>Mohamed El-Erian is a go-to voice on the global economy</p>

Mohamed El-Erian is a go-to voice on the global economy

Renowned as one of the world's most widely followed economists, MOHAMED EL-ERIAN is a go-to voice on the global economy. Named to Foreign Policy's "Top 100 Global Thinkers" for four consecutive years, a Bloomberg Opinion, Project Syndicate, and Financial Times columnist, and a fixture on Bloomberg Markets,  CNNCNBCand more, El-Erian decodes even the most complex economic and political phenomena with clarity, concision and substance. Having addressed audiences everywhere from The World Economic Forum, to CME Group, to LinkedIn, El-Erian offers timely and actionable insights. He receives rave reviews at every event thanks to his dynamic, informative presentations and openness with audience-members, such as: "Our attendees have been raving about your presentation and valuable insight!" (CFA Society Chicago). 

Watch some of MOHAMED EL-ERIAN's talks here  > >

<p>Captain Sully Sullenberger's Message is One Everyone Needs Right Now </p>

Captain Sully Sullenberger's Message is One Everyone Needs Right Now 

With clear messages on leadership, preparedness, and decision-making in times of crisis, Capt. SULLY SULLENBERGER's recent interview on The Oath with Chuck Rosenberg has received truly amazing feedback. Exceeding 100,000 downloads in one week and counting, audiences are craving lessons and examples of leadership and steadiness during these challenging times. Many, in fact, found the episode to be cathartic. One listener said it called to mind a time when words mattered." Another said it's a reminder that America “can reflect the best of who we must be. Capt. Sullenberger is “a strong, compassionate voice in the dark, reminding us of what it means to be human,” another said. People are craving examples of leadership, not just in public but amongst each other and Capt. Sullenberger brings that in spades to his in-person and virtual events. Watch Captain Sullenberger's virtual remarks on civic duty to each other and our country >> Whether he's speaking to C-suite executives or customer service representatives, Capt. Sullenberger is unique in that he's able to both inspire and energize while also bringing a calm and steadiness to a room. Long before the current political climate we're living in, in passing, an audience member said, "that man needs to run for President" not because of politics but because he is an example of leadership and inspiration that everyone can look to for hope.

<p><strong>Virtual Programming: In his recently released Masterclass, Tan France teaches style for everyone.</strong></p>

Virtual Programming: In his recently released Masterclass, Tan France teaches style for everyone.

In a recent piece, "Back to School With Tan France," The New York Times highlights TAN FRANCE’s rise to success becoming a staple in the fashion world; his brilliant breakout Netflix series, Queer Eye; and the lessons he imparts on his audience in the recently released Masterclass - Tan France: Teaches Style for EveryoneA beacon of acceptance and radical compassion, Tan's New York Times bestselling memoir, Naturally Tan, reveals what it was like to grow up gay in a traditional South Asian family, as one of the few people of color in South Yorkshire, England. 

Audiences connect to Tan's warmth and knowledge calling him inspiring, uplifting, and easy going. With his trademark wit, humor, and radical compassion, Tan shares empowering lessons on creativity and innovation, diversity and inclusion, and what it takes to break down barriers to foster human connection and acceptance. He provides a unique perspective on the happiness found in being yourself, and garners rave reviews such as: "Tan was very flexible and easy going. He really connected with the students and had great energy. We filled the auditorium to capacity!" (University of Tennessee, Knoxville). 

<p>Virtual Programming: Audiences seek insights and commentary from veteran political pundit Mika Brzezinski</p>

Virtual Programming: Audiences seek insights and commentary from veteran political pundit Mika Brzezinski

The co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, founder of “Know Your Value,” and New York Times bestselling author, MIKA BRZEZINSKI is a celebrated, go-to voice on current events, world affairs, and women's empowerment.  Mika ignites audiences every morning with her Morning Joe co-hosts as they discuss the elections, the political landscape and the most pressing issues in America right now. A former anchor of CBS Evening News Weekend Edition and CBS News correspondent who frequently contributed to CBS Sunday Morning and 60 Minutes, Mika has covered some of the most pivotal moments of the 21st century, from the September 11 attacks to multiple presidential elections. In addition to her daily show, Mika, along with her co-host and husband Joe Scarborough, appear everywhere from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to VarietyRecently speaking for such groups as the Mortgage Bankers Association, Mika delivers insightful, independent commentary- at a time when we need clarity the most.

<p>Kevin Hassett helps corporations and organizations navigate pending regulation and expected changes in monetary policy</p>

Kevin Hassett helps corporations and organizations navigate pending regulation and expected changes in monetary policy

Dr. KEVIN HASSETT is among the world’s leading economists and offers insights on potential increases to taxation and regulation – all of which are on the table with the Biden administration. He appears regularly on Fox (such as in this recent clip discussing inflation) and frequently writes op-eds for leading publications, such as his recent pieces in Wall Street Journal and National Review, in which he assesses the affect green energy subsidies and proposals to tax capital would have on American workers and businesses. Hassett served as the 29th Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers from 2017 through 2019, and was a key force driving internal and external debate on virtually every economic topic, from taxes and trade to deregulation. He was the top public spokesperson for the White House on economic policy and the state of economy, appearing regularly on Fox, Fox Business, CNBC, MSNBC, Bloomberg, CNN, and drawn upon occasionally to run the televised White House press briefings. He is an expert on the economy as it reopens and fluctuates under a new White House, speaking on inflation, minimum wage, and more. Hassett is popular with corporations and trade associations, as he gives valuable insight on economic policy and the way these potential policies will play out in the economy in real time, and is known for bringing humor into his engaging, informative presentations.

Watch a recent virtual discussion with Kevin Hassett here > >

<p><strong>VIRTUAL PROGRAMMING: A sociopolitical comedian, W. Kamau Bell brings both a seriousness and levity to the subjects of race, social justice, and equity making the conversation available to every audience</strong></p>

VIRTUAL PROGRAMMING: A sociopolitical comedian, W. Kamau Bell brings both a seriousness and levity to the subjects of race, social justice, and equity making the conversation available to every audience

Emmy-winning host and executive producer of CNN’s United Shades of AmericaW. KAMAU BELL is a sociopolitical comedian on race, social justice, and equity who brings both a seriousness and levity to the subjects making them available to every audience. In this interview on CNN’S New Day and with KRON4 News, W. Kamau Bell talks about the history and legacy of white supremacy in the US and the current state of the country following the death of George Floyd. In The Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour, the standup comedian makes (non)sense of race and racism in America. In his new animated series, “Talk Boring to Me," Bell tackles some of the nation's most longstanding complex issues, in a way that only a brilliant political comedian and social commentator can.

He is the host of three podcastsKamau Right Now!Politically Re-Active, and Denzel Washington is The Greatest Actor of All Time Period. Kamau is on the advisory board of Hollaback! and Donors Choose and is the ACLU Celebrity Ambassador for Racial Justice. Called “the most promising new talent in political comedy in many years” by The New York Times, Kamau is the person you want to speak with your team and support them with being more open, active, and engaged with pressing social issues of our time.

 

<p>Speaker Spotlight: Stacey Abrams </p>

Speaker Spotlight: Stacey Abrams 

Political leader, nonprofit CEO, author, and serial entrepreneur STACEY ABRAMS made history and captured the nation's attention as the first Black woman to become the gubernatorial nominee for a major party in any state, going on to win at the time more votes than any other Democrat in Georgia's history. After eleven years in the Georgia House of Representatives, seven as Minority Leader, Abrams became the 2018 Democratic nominee for Governor of Georgia. The race was one of the most-watched and closest elections of the year, and from it Abrams emerged a national political star. After witnessing the election’s mismanagement, Abrams launched Fair Fight to ensure free and fair elections. Sought-out to speak everywhere from TED, where her talk has racked up over 1.4 million views and counting, to college campuses, to the Commonwealth Club, Abrams is a powerful and passionate speaker heralded for her candid insights on politics, leadership, social justice, entrepreneurship, and being a true force for change. As TIME wrote of her, "People tend to remember the first time they heard Stacey Abrams speak, and it’s easy to see why." 

You can watch some of STACEY ABRAMS' talks here >>

Our Exclusive Speakers

HWA EXCLUSIVE

BAN KI-MOON

  • Secretary-General of the United Nations (2007-2016)

Ban Ki-moon was the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 2007 to December 2016. Before becoming Secretary-General, Ban was a career diplomat in South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the United Nations.

Ban was the foreign minister of South Korea from January 2004 to November 2006. In February 2006 he began to campaign for the office of Secretary-General. As foreign minister of South Korea he was able to travel to all the countries on the United Nations Security Council, a maneuver that turned him into the campaign's front runner.

On 13 October 2006, he was elected to be the eighth Secretary-General by the United Nations General Assembly. On 1 January 2007, he succeeded Kofi Annan. As Secretary-General, he was responsible for several major reforms on peacekeeping and UN employment practices. Diplomatically, Ban has taken particularly strong views on global warming, pressing the issue repeatedly with U.S. President George W. Bush, and on the Darfur conflict, where he helped persuade Sudanese president to allow peacekeeping troops to enter Sudan.

Ban was named the world's 32nd most powerful person by the Forbes list of The World's Most Powerful People in 2013, the highest among South Koreans. In 2016, Foreign Policy named Ban one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers for his achievement of making the Paris Agreement a legally binding treaty less than a year after it was adopted.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON

  • 2016 Democratic Presidential Nominee

Hillary Rodham Clinton served as the 67th Secretary of State of the United States from January 21, 2009 until February 1, 2013, after nearly four decades in public service as an advocate, attorney, First Lady, and Senator.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON

  • Founder, Clinton Foundation

William Jefferson Clinton, the first Democratic president in six decades to be elected twice, led the U.S. to the longest economic expansion in American history, including the creation of more than 22 million jobs.  He is the founder of the Clinton Foundation which focuses on tackling a number of the worlds' greatest challenges.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

  • 44th President of the United States of America

Barack H. Obama is the 44th President of the United States.

Few presidents have walked a more improbable path to the White House.  Born in Hawaii to a mother from Kansas and a father from Kenya, Obama was raised with help from his grandparents, whose generosity of spirit reflected their Midwestern roots.  The homespun values they instilled in him, paired with his innate sense of optimism, compelled Obama to devote his life to giving every child, regardless of his or her background, the same chance America gave him.

After working his way through college with the help of scholarships and student loans, Obama moved to Chicago, where he worked with a group of churches to help rebuild communities devastated by the closure of local steel plants.  That experience honed his belief in the power of uniting ordinary people around a politics of purpose, in the hard work of citizenship, to bring about positive change.  In law school, he became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review, then he returned to Illinois to teach constitutional law at the University of Chicago and begin a career in public service, winning seats in the Illinois State Senate and the United States Senate.

On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States, winning more votes than any candidate in history.  He took office at a moment of crisis unlike any America had seen in decades – a nation at war, a planet in peril, the American Dream itself threatened by the worst economic calamity since the Great Depression.  And yet, despite all manner of political obstruction, Obama’s leadership helped rescue the economy, revitalize the American auto industry, reform the health care system to cover another twenty million Americans, and put the country on a firm course to a clean energy future – all while overseeing the longest stretch of job creation in American history.  On the world stage, Obama’s belief in America’s indispensable leadership and strong, principled diplomacy helped wind down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, decimate al Qaeda and eliminate the world’s most wanted terrorists, shut down Iran’s nuclear weapons program, open up a new chapter with the people of Cuba, and unite humanity in coordinated action to combat a changing climate.

In times of great challenge and change, President Obama’s leadership ushered in a stronger economy, a more equal society, a nation more secure at home and more respected around the world.  The Obama years were ones in which more people not only began to see themselves in the changing face of America, but to see America the way he always has – as the only place on Earth where so many of our stories could even be possible.

Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, are the proud parents of two daughters, Malia and Sasha.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

FORMER FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA

Michelle Robinson Obama served as First Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017, transforming the position and becoming a role model, champion and inspiration for women, families, and young people across America and around the world.

As First Lady, Mrs. Obama launched and led four key initiatives: 

  • Let’s Move! brought together community leaders, educators, medical professionals, parents, celebrities and others in a nationwide effort to address the challenge of childhood obesity; 
  • Joining Forces, which she launched with Dr. Jill Biden, called on all Americans to rally around service members, veterans, and their families and support them through wellness, education, and employment opportunities; 
  • Reach Higheraimed to inspire young people across America to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school, whether at a professional training program, a community college, or a four-year college or university; 
  • Let Girls Learn, focused on helping adolescent girls around the world go to school. Mrs. Obama’s work on girls’ education continues through the Girls Opportunity Alliance at the Obama Foundation.

Mrs. Obama attended Chicago public schools until enrolling in Princeton where she studied sociology and African American studies. She graduated cum laude from Princeton in 1985 and received a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1988.  She then joined the Chicago law firm Sidley & Austin, where she met her future husband, Barack Obama. 

Following her time at Sidley & Austin, Mrs. Obama served as an assistant to Mayor Richard Daley and as Assistant Commissioner of Planning and Development for the city of Chicago, before becoming the founding Executive Director of the Chicago chapter of Public Allies, an AmeriCorps program that prepares young people for public service careers. 

As part of her continued focus on community service and engagement, Mrs. Obama joined the University of Chicago in 1996 as its Associate Dean of Student Services focused on fostering connections between the campus and community. She also served as Vice President of Community and External Affairs for the University of Chicago Medical Center. 

In 2018, Michelle Obama published her memoir, Becoming, which sold more copies than any other book published in the United States in 2018, achieving that status in just 15 days and instantly rising to the #1 slot on the New York Times Best Sellers list. She won a Grammy for her audio recording of Becoming and more than 15 million copies of Becoming have been sold worldwide. She also published a young readers edition of Becoming in 2021, adapted for children ages 10 and up. 

In 2018, Mrs. Obama and President Obama launched Higher Ground, a company focused on lifting up diverse voices in the entertainment industry. As part of Higher Ground, Netflix launched the Becoming documentary rooted in her memoir.  

In 2020, Mrs. Obama released the Michelle Obama Podcast where she hosted conversations with family, friends and colleagues exploring the relationships in our lives who make us who we are. In 2021, Higher Ground Productions also launched Waffles + Mochi, a culinary children’s series on Netflix. Alongside the release of the series, Mrs. Obama launched Pass the Love with Waffles + Mochi, a joint campaign with the Partnership for a Healthier America, which aims to provide meals to families experiencing food insecurity. Visit wafflesandmochi.org for more information. 

Mrs. Obama was born on January 17, 1964. She married Barack Obama in 1992. They currently live in Washington, DC and have two daughters, Malia and Sasha. 

HWA CO-EXCLUSIVE

JUAN MANUEL SANTOS

  • President of Colombia (2010-2018)

Juan Manuel Santos is the two-term President of Colombia (2010-2014 / 2014-2018). Recognized as one of the most influential leaders in the world, President Santos ushered in a new era of prosperity, peace, equity, and education throughout Colombia during his tenure. 

Due to his tenacity and determination to achieve peace and reconciliation in Colombia, in 2016 the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded President Santos the Nobel Peace Prize "for his resolute efforts to bring the country's more than 50-year-long civil war to an end." Santos has also been twice-named to TIME’s "100 Most Influential People" and was honored with the World Economic Forum’s Global Statesman Award.

During his administration, Colombia became the region´s leader in economic growth, job creation, reduction of poverty and extreme poverty, sustainable development and the enhancement of Information and Communications Technology. In addition, his administration reduced the housing deficit by half and launched the most ambitious infrastructure plan in Colombia's history.  He also published several books, including The Third Way, which he wrote with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and Jaque al Terror (Checkmate to Terror), in which he describes how he successfully fought the FARC.

Sought-out to speak everywhere from Harvard University to the World Economic Forum, in his compelling keynotes Santos shares his reflections on the challenges of leadership, revealing what allowed him to change Colombia's history and make the impossible, possible. He delivers a message of unity and humanity that is inspiring, refreshing and necessary amid these turbulent political times. Santos also offers shrewd insights and analysis on issues such as the global economic outlook, global security, and foreign affairs.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

INDRA NOOYI

  • Chairman & CEO of PepsiCo (2006-2018)

Former Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of PepsiCo Indra Nooyi is a business powerhouse, globally renowned for leading the company through a decade of tremendous growth and change. Praised for her prescient and strategic thinking, she was responsible for growing PepsiCo's revenues from $35 billion when she became CEO, to $63.5 billion in 2017. She oversaw a portfolio of global brands and diversified products enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 180 countries and territories around the world. As PepsiCo’s director of global strategy for over a decade, Nooyi led the company's restructuring, including the divestiture of its restaurants into the successful YUM! Brands, Inc; the acquisition of Tropicana and merger with Quaker Oats; the merger with PepsiCo’s anchor bottlers; and the acquisition of Wimm-Bill-Dann, the largest international acquisition in PepsiCo’s history. Mrs. Nooyi currently serves on the boards of Amazon, Philips, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and is an independent director of the International Cricket Council. Additionally, Mrs. Nooyi is the Class of 1951 Chair for the Study of Leadership at West Point where she helps enhance the ability of both the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership and the U.S. Military Academy to fulfill the mission of developing leaders of character.

Celebrated for her hallmark motto of "do well by doing good," Nooyi was chief architect of Performance with Purpose, PepsiCo’s pledge to do what’s right for the business by being responsive to the needs of the world through sustainable growth initiatives such as making healthier and more nutritious products, limiting the company's environmental footprint, and empowering associates and people in the communities PepsiCo serves. With multiple appearances in Forbes' "The World's 100 Most Powerful Women," Fortune's "Most Powerful Women," and TIME's "100 Most Influential People in The World," Nooyi has been sought-out for her unparalleled business insights and empowering messages on leadership, inclusivity and change everywhere from The World Economic Forum to The Aspen Institute. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling book My Life in Full: Work, Family and Our Future, published by Penguin Portfolio in September 2021.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

TINA FEY

  • Award-winning Producer, Writer and Actress

Tina Fey continues to be applauded for the iconic and groundbreaking seven-season run as the Executive Producer, head writer, and star of NBC's three-time (2007, 2008, 2009) Emmy Award-winning, one-of-a-kind comedy series, 30 Rock. Her performances as 'Liz Lemon' earned Fey an Emmy, two Golden Globes, four SAG Awards, and a People's Choice Award. In 2009, 30 Rock was nominated for a record 22 Emmy Awards, the most ever of any comedy series on television in a single season. From 2012 to 2013, 30 Rock received a total of 13 nominations for its final season, six of which were individual nominations for Fey.

Prior to creating 30 Rock, Fey completed nine seasons as head writer, cast member, and co-anchor of the "Weekend Update" segment on Saturday Night Live. Fey is an Emmy winner and two-time Writers Guild Award winner for her writing on Saturday Night Live and won an Emmy in 2009 for Guest Appearance by an Actress in a Comedy Series for her portrayal of Sarah Palin on the 2008-2009 season of SNL. Fey also made Emmy history in 2016 when she and Amy Poehler became the first joint winners of “Best Comedy Series Guest Actress” for their SNL co-hosting appearance.

Fey expanded to feature films in spring 2004 as both a screenwriter and an actress in the hit comedy, Mean Girls, which earned her a nomination for a Writers Guild Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. On the big screen, Fey starred opposite Amy Poehler in the film, Baby Mama, for Universal Pictures, which exceeded the $50 million dollar mark at the U.S. box office. In 2010, Fey starred in 20th Century Fox's film, Date Night, opposite Steve Carell and was a featured voice in the Dreamworks animated film, Megamind.

In April 2011, Fey released her first book entitled Bossypants, which topped the New York Times best seller list and remained for 39 consecutive weeks, and received a Grammy nomination for “Best Spoken Word Album”. Bossypants was released in paperback in January 2012 and has sold over 3.75 million copies thus far.

In 2015 Fey and writing partner, Robert Carlock, co-executive produced and created the hit Netflix original comedy, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, starring Ellie Kemper.  The series was nominated in the “Best Comedy” category for the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards, boasting four nominations for the talented cast, including a guest actress nod for Fey. After four successful seasons, the show wrapped the first ever comedy interactive special for Netflix, an exciting conclusion to the series.

In 2018, Fey's Broadway adaptation of Mean Girls opened at the August Wilson Theater. Directed by Casey Nicholaw, and with music written by her husband Jeff Richmond, the show received 12 Tony Award nominations, including best book by Tina Fey. 

Fey lives in New York with her husband, Jeff Richmond, and their two daughters.

 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

AMY POEHLER

  • Award-Winning Comedian, Actress and Producer

Amy Poehler is one of Hollywood’s most versatile and sought-after talents with credits including that of actress, writer, director, producer, and bestselling author.

Poehler is perhaps best known for her starring role on the Emmy-nominated NBC comedy series Parks and Recreation, which completed its seventh and final season in February 2015. Her portrayal of Leslie Knope earned her a 2014 Golden Globe award for “Best Actress in a TV Series, Musical, or Comedy,” the award for “Best Actress in a TV Comedy” at the 2014 American Comedy Awards, and a 2013 Gracie Award. For her work on the show, Poehler also received six consecutive Emmy nominations, two additional Golden Globe nominations, and three Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations.

In the film world, Poehler recently made her directorial debut in the buzzed-about Netflix comedy Wine Country, which she also starred in and produced. Her additional film credits include The House, Sisters, Wet Hot American Summer, They Came Together, A.C.O.D., Free Birds, Are You Here, Baby Mama, Blades of Glory, and Mean Girls. She lent her voice as the character Joy in Disney Pixar’s Oscar-winning smash hit Inside Out and could also be heard in Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, Monsters vs. Aliens, Horton Hears a Who!, and Shrek the Third.

Poehler’s first book, Yes Please, was released in October 2014 and debuted at #1 on the New York Times Best Sellers list. The book went on to spend over 23 weeks on the list. Poehler co-hosted the Golden Globe Awards alongside Tina Fey for three consecutive years from 2013-2015, a role that was consistently met with critical acclaim. She will return as host with Fey for the telecast in January 2021.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

GARY COHN

  • Vice Chairman of IBM

Gary D. Cohn is an American business leader, philanthropist and the former Director of the United States National Economic Council.

Mr. Cohn served as Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director of the National Economic Council from January 2017 through April 2018. As President Donald J. Trump’s chief economic advisor, Mr. Cohn managed the coordination of the President’s domestic and global economic policy agenda and led the Administration-wide effort to successfully pass the historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Mr. Cohn began a distinguished career in finance at The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. in 1990. He held a variety of leadership positions in the firm’s Securities Division in both New York and London, including Global Co-Head of the Equities and Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities Divisions. He served as President and Chief Operating Officer from 2006-2016 and was a member of the firm’s Board of Directors and Chairman of the Firmwide Client and Business Standards Committee. Mr. Cohn is now Chairman of the Board at Pallas Advisors and serves on the boards of Abyrx, Hoyos Integrity, Indago, Machine Zone and Spring Labs.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

STEVE MARTIN

  • Iconic Actor and Comedian

Steve Martin is one of the most well-known and pervasive talents in entertainment. His work has earned him an Academy Award®, five Grammy® awards, an Emmy®, the Mark Twain Award, and the Kennedy Center Honor.

Martin began his career on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1967-1969), for which he earned his first Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy, Variety or Music in 1969. In the mid-1970s, Martin shone as a stand-up on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and NBC’s Saturday Night Live. Martin’s films are widely popular successes and are the kind of movies that are viewed again and again: The Jerk (1979), Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987), Roxanne (1987), Parenthood (1989), L.A. Story (1991), Father of the Bride (1991), and Bowfinger (1999).

As an author, Martin’s work includes the novel An Object of Beauty, the play Picasso at the Lapin Agile, a collection of comic pieces, Pure Drivel, a bestselling novella, Shopgirl, and his memoir Born Standing Up. His writing often appears in The New Yorker.

Steve Martin is also an accomplished Grammy Award-winning, boundary-pushing bluegrass banjoist and composer. In 2013, Steve Martin released his third full-length album called Love Has Come For You, a unique collaboration with songwriter Edie Brickell. Love Has Come For You, won a Grammy ® for “Best American Roots Song” for the title track and inspired their new musical Bright Star, which was first staged at San Diego's Old Globe Theater in 2014 and opened at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. on December 17, 2015, followed by a Broadway premiere in 2016.

Martin and Brickell’s second album together So Familiar was released on Rounder Records in October. The album features 12 remarkable new songs that bring the acclaimed duo’s musical collaboration into fresh creative territory.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

KEVIN HART

  • Superstar Comedian and Actor

Kevin Hart is Hollywood’s box office powerhouse, opening ten films as the number one movie opening weekend. He was recently named the highest grossing comedian for the second straight year by Forbes who described him as a “built-in marketing machine.” Per Entrepreneur magazine, “Kevin Hart is building a brand and an empire that will outlive his fame.”

Hart launched his digital network, the Laugh Out Loud Network, which serves as a platform for emerging comedians. He has started and runs his own production company, Hartbeat Productions, and has several successful brand partnerships with companies like Fabletics Men, Chase J.P Morgan, Hydrow, Brüush, Tommy John and Therabody. Hart is the Founder and CEO of HartBeat Ventures. HBV is Kevin’s VC, and its mission is to invest in disruptive companies, specifically companies that can help elevate underserved communities by providing a platform for everybody to thrive.

Kevin’s memoir, I Can’t Make This Up, debuted at number one on The New York Times Best Seller list and remained on the Top 10 Print Hardcover Bestsellers List for ten weeks straight. His new book, Markus Makes a Movie (Random House) is his first book for his younger audience, debuted at number 6 on the coveted list and remained on the list for three weeks. Hart’s first Audible original, The Decision, was nominated for an Audie award for “Best Original Audiobook in 2021.”

Hart is currently in production filming Sony’s action-comedy, The Man From Toronto, which he is starring in alongside Woody Harrelson and Kaley Cuoco. Hart can currently be seen starring in the feature film Fatherhood, he also produced through Hartbeat Productions. Based on the best-selling book, Two Kisses for MaddyFatherhood tells the story of a single dad navigating parenthood after his wife unexpectedly dies a day after giving birth. The movie has been watched by more than 61 million accounts globally making it one of the most successful original dramatic movies on Netflix.

In remarks that are empowering, inspiring, and downright hilarious, Hart discusses his life and career, and the lessons on resiliency, overcoming adversity, and success, he's learned along the way. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

SULLY SULLENBERGER

  • “Miracle on the Hudson” Captain

One of the most captivating American heroes of our time, Captain 'Sully' Sullenberger’s preparation and leadership enabled him to safely guide US Airways Flight 1549 to an emergency landing in New York City’s frigid Hudson River—an inspirational and iconic moment in modern history. His incredible personal story is captured in Sully, a major motion picture directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Tom Hanks as Captain Sullenberger. In his speeches, Captain Sullenberger shares timeless management principles—including his credo of “leadership by personal example”—and the lessons from his life which prepared him to handle the unprecedented crisis presented by the “Miracle on the Hudson.”

HWA EXCLUSIVE

TOM BRADY

  • Seven-Time Super Bowl Champion

Seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady is one of the most accomplished athletes of the past two decades. With 18 Division Titles and ten Super Bowl appearances, Brady’s accolades both on and off the field have inspired a generation of young athletes to pursue their greatest potential. Brady has won six Super Bowl titles with the New England Patriots, as well as one with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – more than any other quarterback in NFL history. 

Throughout his enduring career, Brady and his team have integrated a holistic and natural approach to health and wellness through preparation, performance and recovery. In 2013, Brady along with his business partner, Alex Guerrero, co-founded TB12, a performance lifestyle brand, to share his approach and wellness movement with a global audience. The TB12 brand delivers personalized, comprehensive programming to a worldwide audience and integrates revolutionary concepts in deep-force muscle pliability work, hydration, nutrition, functional strength & conditioning, and cognitive health. TB12 supports athletes through an omni-channel approach that incorporates physical locations and an expansive growth plan, immersive digital experiences, and innovative functional products.

In 2019, Brady and TB12 celebrated the opening of their flagship location in Boston on Boylston Street, offering clients one-on-one and small group training programs to promote athletic longevity, regardless of skill level. They plan to open sites in New York, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London and Toronto. In 2015, Brady published his motivational book, The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance, a #1 New York Times Bestseller.

Brady’s off-the-field ventures include newly launched 199 Productions, his global, multi-platform content company which will develop original, premium content including documentaries, feature films and television shows. The company already has a slate of projects in development, including several featuring Brady, with gripping stories spanning sports, entertainment and health and wellness among others. The name is a not-so-subtle nod to his draft pick, and projects in development include “Unseen Football,” in partnership with Avengers: Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo and their non-fiction group, Wonderburst. The documentary will be a love letter to football, taking viewers into the invisible realms of America’s favorite sport. 199 Productions is also partnering with ESPN, Disney, and Religion of Sports to produce a nine-episode multi-platform series titled “Man in the Arena”, which will be released in the fall of 2021. The series will be a first-hand account of Brady’s iconic NFL career, including each of his ten Super Bowl appearances.

Brady has always prioritized the importance of philanthropy. With his TB12 Foundation, Brady helps young athletes maximize their potential by providing opportunities for holistic wellness education and elite training. He also maintains long-standing relationships with a number of nonprofit organizations, including Make-A-Wish, which creates life-changing wishes for children diagnosed with a critical illness.

Throughout his unprecedented football career and particularly in his first championship season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he has shattered numerous NFL records. Brady is the first player in NFL history to accumulate 80,000 total yards, holds the most game wins of any quarterback, the most consecutive division titles – eleven – and has the most career touchdown passes of any player in history.

Family is the foundation of all of Brady’s endeavors. In 2009, he married environmental champion, global activist, best-selling author and supermodel Gisele Bündchen. He is the proud and supportive father of three children – John, 13, Benjamin, 11, and Vivian, 8.

Born and raised in San Mateo, California, Brady has always been an athlete, playing baseball, basketball, and of course football from a young age. After graduating high school, Brady attended the University of Michigan from 1995-1999, where he fought hard to become the first-string quarterback. His intensive training, persistent work ethic and tireless motivation resulted in Brady finishing his college career ranked as the third best quarterback in Michigan history.

Brady’s achievements throughout his successful career include being honored as ESPY ‘NFL Best Player,’ Associated Press’ ‘Male Athlete of The Year,’ Sports Illustrated’s ‘Sportsman of the Year,’ Sporting News’ ‘Athlete of the Decade,’ and was named to the NFL 100th Anniversary ‘All-Time Team,’ among others.

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MOHAMED EL-ERIAN

  • Chief Economic Advisor at Allianz

Dr. Mohamed A. El-Erian is an internationally respected economist and financier with experience at the highest level of business and government.  Markets hang on his analysis and insight, and audiences interested in issues of finance and global markets buzz when El-Erian comes to the podium.  Meeting planners share their praise for his ability to connect with audiences through a humorous laid-back style, and to clearly explain the complex issues of the global economy.

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STACEY ABRAMS

  • Non-Profit Leader, Political Activist & Serial Entrepreneur

Political leader, voting rights activist, entrepreneur and three-time New York Times bestselling author of While Justice Sleeps, Our Time is Now, and Lead from the Outside, Stacey Abrams made history and captured the nation's attention as the first Black woman to become the gubernatorial nominee for a major party in any state, going on to win, at the time, more votes than any other Democrat in Georgia's history. After eleven years in the Georgia House of Representatives, seven as Minority Leader, Abrams became the 2018 Democratic nominee for Governor of Georgia in what was one of the most-watched and closest elections of the year. After witnessing the election’s mismanagement by the Secretary of State’s office, Abrams launched Fair Fight to ensure free and fair elections. The impact of Fair Fight led to Abrams being named to the Forbes list of "World's Most Powerful Women In 2020." 

Sought-out to speak everywhere from TED, where her talk has racked up over a million views and counting, to college campuses, to the Commonwealth Club, Abrams is a powerful and passionate speaker heralded for her candid insights on politics, leadership, entrepreneurship, social justice, and being a true force for change. As TIME wrote of her, "People tend to remember the first time they heard Stacey Abrams speak, and it’s easy to see why." Abrams' New York Times bestselling book Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change, is a personal and empowering blueprint for outsiders who seek to become the ones in charge. From her experiences launching a company to running a successful political campaign, Abrams illuminates that finding what you want to fight for is as critical as knowing how to turn thought into action. Her book Our Time is Now is a blueprint to end voter suppression and chronicles a chilling account of how the right to vote and the principles of democracy have been and continue to be under attack.

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H.R. MCMASTER

  • National Security Advisor to President Trump (2017-18)

Former National Security Advisor, Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster is a preeminent voice on leadership, global security and international affairs, recognized for his leadership in the Gulf War, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Named one of TIME's "100 Most Influential People in the World" and Fortune's "50 World's Greatest Leaders", McMaster is renowned as a "warrior-intellectual." He is the author of two important and bestselling books on national security: Battlegrounds and Dereliction of Duty.

McMaster was commissioned in the United States Army upon graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1984.  His command assignments in the United States Army include: Commanding General, Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning; Commander, Combined Joint Inter-Agency Task Force Shafafiyat (Transparency) in Kabul, Afghanistan; and Commander, Third Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Carson, Colorado and Iraq.  He also served as Special Assistant to Commander, Multinational Force Iraq, and as an Assistant Professor of History at West Point. He was a research fellow at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, and a Senior Consulting Fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. McMaster has published scores of essays, articles, and book reviews on leadership, history, and the future of warfare in many publications including Foreign Affairs, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times.  He was a contributing editor for Survival magazine from 2010-2017, and is currently a Senior Fellow at The Hoover Institution. 

 

 

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TINA BROWN

  • Award-Winning Journalist, Author and Editor

From editor to CEO, Tina Brown’s legendary career has been propelled by her talent for reinvention and leading organizations through extreme disruption. Her track record includes transforming Vanity Fair (increasing sales from 200,000 to 1.2 million), reinventing the New Yorker (increasing circulation by 30% and more than doubling newsstand sales) and pioneering online journalism as the founder and editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast.

Brown is now CEO of Tina Brown Live Media and the visionary force behind Women in the World, a global platform dedicated to building a better life for women and girls. By convening inspirational activists, political change-makers and extraordinary leaders, Women in the World has also drawn luminaries such as Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Meryl Streep, Stacey Abrams, Brie Larson, Anna Wintour and Christine Lagarde. Under Brown’s leadership, Women in the World has become a platform for advocacy, awareness and connection. It has also showcased Tina Brown’s wit, intellect and talent for engaging audiences with her powerful storytelling and sharp moderation. Brown also hosts the podcast, “TBD with Tina Brown”, where she talks with entertaining candor to writers, actors, politicians, journalists, activists, thought leaders and news makers of tomorrow's social debates.  

Brown's storytelling, the early years of her celebrated career and the roaring ‘80s are showcased in her latest book, The Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983 – 1992. this funny, celebrity-studded account tells how she survived back-stabbing rivalries and rampant skepticism to turn around Conde Nast’s failing magazine. Behind the celebrated scoops and iconic magazine covers, Vanity Fair Diaries also tells an unforgettable account of radical reinvention, with valuable lessons for today’s climate of constant competition, change and disruption.  She is also author of the #1 New York Times bestselling biography of Princess Diana, The Diana Chronicles.

Whether she’s sharing stories of triumphant turnarounds, speaking about the challenges of women leaders or advocating to improve the lives of women and girls, Brown inspires and educates any audience. With hard-won wisdom gained as a leader in one of the most disrupted industries of our time, Brown shares stories of of radical reinvention in the face of shifting tastes, technologies, business models, customers and market conditions—including invaluable insights on what it takes to come out on top.

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PEGGY NOONAN

  • Pulitzer Prize-Winning Columnist for The Wall Street Journal

Peggy Noonan is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the Wall Street Journal and bestselling author of nine books on American politics, history and culture. Her Wall Street Journal column, Declarations, has run each week since 2000, garnering millions of readers. In 2017 when she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary, the prize committee cited her, "For rising to the moment with beautifully rendered columns that connected readers to the shared virtues of Americans during one of the nation's most divisive political campaigns." Forbes Magazine has also hailed her column as “principled, perceptive, persuasive, and patriotic.”

A current political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC, Noonan also served as a Special Assistant and speechwriter to President Ronald Reagan. In the Reagan White House, she worked alongside the President on speeches that span the 40th anniversary of D-Day, the Challenger disaster, and his Farewell Address.

Peggy Noonan provides unique and thoughtful analysis of our nation and its leaders. Her speeches are filled with humorous anecdotes and political insight, making them as entertaining as they are thought-provoking. 

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JOE SCARBOROUGH

  • Creator and Co-Host, MSNBC's Morning Joe

The creator and co-host of MSNBC's Morning Joe and a former Florida Congressman, Joe Scarborough ignites early morning audiences with his no-holds barred political commentary. Pulling from his experience as an influential player in Republican politics, Scarborough leads candid discussions about the important issues facing America each day. He is a member of the Cable News Hall of Fame, and has been named to the prestigious "TIME 100" list. 

Washington Post contributor and New York Times bestselling author, Joe's books take a close look at Republican politics, offering both historical analysis and prescient insight into the nature of conservatism in the United States. 

As popular on stage as he is on TV, Joe brings the same energy to his speeches as he does his morning show. With his signature off-the-cuff commentary, he offers a dynamic and fast-paced perspective on the current political and media landscape and the headlines of the day.

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MIKA BRZEZINSKI

  • Co-Host, MSNBC's Morning Joe

The co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, founder of “Know Your Value,” and New York Times bestselling author, Mika Brzezinski is a celebrated, go-to voice on current events, world affairs, and women's empowerment.

Mika's “Know Your Value” is a nationwide movement in partnership with NBCUniversal to support an empowered and inclusive community that helps all women recognize, and be recognized for, their worth in business and in life. Mika is the author of seven bestselling books which serve as essential and inspiring guidebooks for empowering women, offering encouragement and practical advice on claiming and communicating their worth.

A former anchor of CBS Evening News Weekend Edition and CBS News correspondent who frequently contributed to CBS Sunday Morning and 60 Minutes, Mika has covered some of the most pivotal moments of the 21st century, from the September 11 attacks to multiple presidential elections. 

Mika offers empowering insights into women's equality and work-life balance as well as a dynamic perspective on the current political and media landscape.

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MASAI UJIRI

  • Vice Chairman and President of the Toronto Raptors
Vice Chairman and President of the Toronto Raptors Masai Ujiri is a charismatic and visionary leader credited with driving the team to its most successful period in franchise history, including an NBA Championship. He has received numerous accolades for his executive leadership, and few speak as passionately and authoritatively about the strategy, teamwork development, and entrepreneurial mindset required to execute a turnaround the way Ujiri has done for several franchises as an executive, coach and player.
 
Ujiri, a native of Nigeria, also speaks passionately about his development work in Africa, which is based on investment, not charity, and lifting up communities by empowering the women and youth within.  He promotes and develops the game of basketball throughout Africa as the founder of the Giants of Africa Foundation, which urges young people to “Dream Big” and uses basketball to educate and enrich the lives of youth and create opportunities for them on and off the court. Since 2002, Ujiri has also served as the director of the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program. 
 
As great leaders do, Ujiri is willing to address any problem in a straightforward way, as he does in his talks about social justice and race and gender equality.
 
Ujiri has a global outlook based off his executive and player experience around the world. He played professionally in Europe for six years, with stops in Belgium, Germany, England, Greece and Finland. He has scouted all over the world, including Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. Ujiri has also managed and coached the Nigerian junior and senior national teams.  Ujiri's personal story reflects on his entrepreneurial journey from Nigeria to being the most sought after executive in the NBA.
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JULIA GILLARD

  • 27th Prime Minister of Australia (2010-2013)

Julia Gillard was the 27th Prime Minister of Australia.

She currently serves as the Chair of Beyond Blue, one of Australia’s leading mental health awareness bodies; is Chair of the global funding body for education in developing countries, the Global Partnership for Education; is the inaugural Chair of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership, which through research, practice and advocacy, is addressing women’s under-representation in leadership. She was recently appointed as the Chair of Wellcome, a global charitable foundation which supports science to solve urgent health challenges. Her second book Women and Leadership: Real Lives, Real Lessons which is co-authored by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was released in 2020.

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GREG GUTFELD

  • Host of the #1 Rated Late Night Show, GUTFELD!

Greg Gutfeld has been called “outrageous and outspoken,” neither of which he denies.

A libertarian, political satirist, humorist, magazine editor and author, he is perhaps best known as the co-host of the daily hit show The Five and as the former host of the legendary Fox News Channel programs The Greg Gutfeld Show. and Red Eye where he covered a variety of topics, including news, entertainment, sports, and gossip.

Greg is also now host of the #1 rated late night show GUTFELD! on the Fox News Channel where he parodies current events and converses on key issues with his trademark humor on a nightly basis.

In his free time Greg contributes to his own digital community, The Gutter, where he covers every lifestyle topic imaginable with his unique comedic conservative-libertarian perspective. He is the author of nine books, among them, five New York Times best sellers, The Joy of Hate, Not Cool, How to be Right, The Gutfeld Monologues, and most recently The Plus: Self-Help for People Who Hate Self-Help.

The Weekly Standard calls him “the most dangerous man on television.”

“Trust me, you don’t want him setting his sights on your hypocrisy and public failings. Consider yourself warned.” – Andrew Breitbart

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KIZZMEKIA S. CORBETT

  • Lead Scientist in Development of the Covid-19 mRNA Vaccines

Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett was the scientific lead of the Vaccine Research Center’s coronavirus team at the U.S. National Institutes of Health where she studied coronavirus biology and vaccine development. Those 6 years of research led to the groundbreaking discovery that a stabilized version of a spike protein, which is found on the surface of all coronaviruses, would be a key target for vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, she and her colleagues were central to the development of the Moderna mRNA vaccine and the Eli Lilly therapeutic monoclonal antibody, both of which were first to enter clinical trials in the world. As a result, her work is having a substantial impact on ending the worst respiratory-disease pandemic in more than 100 years. Dr. Corbett is now an assistant professor in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her work now extends beyond the rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines to the outlook of this pandemic and future viral pandemics.

Perhaps just as important as her scientific accomplishments, Dr. Corbett has burst onto the public stage as the face of a diverse and rising generation of talented scientists who will transform the world. She is a stellar science communicator, explaining the vaccine and the virus in highly accessible ways to media outlets, two U.S. presidents, and audiences around the globe. 

 

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SHAQUILLE O'NEAL

  • Member NBA Hall of Fame & 15-Time NBA All Star Player

Few individuals ever become iconic enough to be known by one name–Shaq. A cultural icon, Shaquille O’Neal is best known for an NBA career spanning nearly two decades and earning him the sport’s highest honors including membership in the NBA Hall of Fame.  He electrifies the room with his larger-than-life personality and audiences always give him standing ovations for his motivational keynote speeches.  When Shaq is at your event, every seat is filled and your event gets a lot of buzz. 

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WHOOPI GOLDBERG

  • Award-Winning Actress and Comedian

Whoopi Goldberg is one of a very elite group of artists who have won the Grammy, the Academy Award, the Golden Globe, the Emmy, and the Tony. She is equally well-known for her humanitarian efforts on behalf of children, the homeless, human rights, education, substance abuse, and the battle against AIDS. Among her many charitable activities, Whoopi is a Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations. 

Beyond her remarkable film, theater, and television career, Whoopi is the author of several children’s books, as well as a New York Times bestseller.

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LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA

  • Award-Winning Composer, Lyricist, and Performer

Award-winning composer, lyricist, and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda's groundbreaking and history-making Broadway shows have impacted and inspired audiences worldwide. 

The creator and original star of Broadway’s smash-hit musicals Hamilton and In the Heights, Miranda is the recipient of countless prestigious awards including the Pulitzer Prize in Drama, three Tony Awards, three Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award, a MacArthur Fellowship, and a Kennedy Center Honor.

 A passionate and dedicated philanthropist, Miranda has been instrumental in providing support for Puerto Rico and is a vocal advocate for equality nationwide. 

Funny, candid and inspiring, Miranda sheds light on the creative process and innovative thinking, his life and career, and the power of supporting the missions that matter to you. 

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SIR TIM BERNERS-LEE

  • Inventor of the World Wide Web

Named one of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Important People of the 20th Century,” one of the UK’s "100 Greatest Britons,” and one of the world's "Most Influential Thinkers”, Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the most powerful communication medium in the world — the World Wide Web — and gave it to the world for free. It is no exaggeration to say that Sir Tim’s visionary work has transformed every aspect of our lives. In these uncertain times, governments, organizations, and the public are all experiencing how invaluable the Web is to connect and solve problems together. Sir Tim’s genius is in understanding the next, new future. In his speeches, Sir Tim shares his insights about the unimagined potential of innovation, business, government and humanity with audiences who learn how to lay the groundwork for new technologies for competitive advantage and his thoughtful consideration about the how the future of the web will impact our recovery and how we can create the future we want.

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JOHN BOEHNER

  • Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives (2011-2015)

A former small businessman, John Boehner served as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives for nearly five years during which he led the drive for a smaller, less costly, and more accountable federal government. Speaker Boehner focused on removing government barriers to private-sector job creation and economic growth, cutting government spending, reforming Congress, and rebuilding the bonds of trust between the American people and their representatives in Washington.

His new book On The House: A Washington Memoir released in the Spring of 2021.

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JIM YONG KIM

  • President, World Bank Group (2012-2019)

12th President of the World Bank Group Jim Yong Kim is a global visionary devoted to improving the lives of people in developing countries and championing the cause of global health. Renowned for his pioneering approaches to tackling global health issues, education, and economic development, at the World Bank, Kim re-defined the institution's work to amplify the voices of the world's poor, vowing to end extreme poverty by 2030.

Before his time at the World Bank, Kim served as President of Dartmouth College-- becoming the first Asian-American president of an Ivy League institution-- and as Executive Director and co-founder of the internationally renowned non-profit medical organization Partners In Health (PIH). At PIH, Kim helped launch a movement that changed global health forever, tackling some of the world's most difficult health problems, and proving experts wrong in what medical treatments and results are possible in communities of extreme poverty. Kim's work at PIH has now been replicated in more than 40 countries, and is chronicled in the award-winning documentary Bending the Arc, and bestselling book Mountains Beyond Mountains. Kim also served as Chief of the Department of Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the World Health Organization's HIV/AIDS department. At WHO Kim led the groundbreaking "3 by 5" initiative, the first-ever global goal for AIDS treatment.

Sought-out to speak everywhere from TED to the World Economic Forum, Kim's ideas and efforts have changed the way the world thinks about global development. A physician and anthropologist, he is the recipient of a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship, and has been recognized as one of America's "25 Best Leaders" by U.S. News & World Report, named to TIME's "100 Most Influential People in the World," and listed to Forbes' "World's Most Powerful People." Kim inspires people to change the world, and provides eye-opening and empowering insights on just how we can do it. 

 

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ROBERT GIBBS

  • Executive Vice President & Global Chief Communications Officer, McDonalds (2015-19)

A top advisor to President Obama for nearly a decade and the former Executive Vice President and Global Chief Communications Officer of McDonald's (2015-19), Robert Gibbs is a communication expert who offers audiences a unique perspective on today's political, business and media environment. Drawing on his experience as both a Washington insider and executive at one of the most recognizable companies in the world, Gibbs provides robust insights into everything from the economy and regulatory environment to healthcare reform.

 

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JULIÁN CASTRO

  • Democratic Presidential Candidate for the 2020 Election

Julián Castro has distinguished himself as a strong leader and successful public servant for nearly two decades. A former Democratic candidate for President, Castro served as the 16th Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama from 2014 to 2017, and as mayor of San Antonio from 2009 to 2014. Today, Castro serves on the board of directors of the LBJ Foundation and is a political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. 

As mayor, Castro brought a strong focus to expanding educational achievement and making America’s seventh largest city a leader in the 21st century global economy. Under Castro’s leadership, San Antonio implemented Pre-K4SA, a high quality early childhood learning initiative that has earned praise as one of America’s strongest public pre-kindergarten programs. During his tenure, San Antonio ranked first on the Milken Institute’s Best Performing Cities List, received an A+ grade for doing business by Forbes, and was the only Top 10 city at the time to achieve a Triple A bond rating with each of the three major ratings agencies. A native Texan, Castro made history in 2012 when he became the first Latino to deliver the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention. 

His memoir, An Unlikely Journey: Waking Up from My American Dream, is a candid account of race and poverty in America. Born to unmarried parents in a poverty-stricken neighborhood of a struggling city, Castro details his unlikely journey to becoming an emerging national icon.

From education to technology to safe and affordable housing, Castro has been at the forefront of some of the most innovative partnerships, programs and achievements in the public sector. In sharing lessons learned from the struggles and successes of his political journey, he gives audiences insight into how any group can make a significant change when it comes to America's most pressing issues. He empowers groups to engage and take action, even when things seem at their most bleak. Castro’s own personal story is proof that the American Dream still lives, and in his inspiring talks, he shares actionable items people can accomplish in their day-to-day lives to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to fulfill their potential.

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CHRIS CHRISTIE

  • Former Governor of New Jersey (2010-2018)

55th New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is currently a Senior Legal and Political Commentator for ABC News, the Managing Member of the Christie Law Firm and Christie 55 Solutions, LLC, and the author of The New York Times bestseller Let Me Finish, about his life and career in New Jersey and as a candidate for President. Previously, he served as Chairman of the Trump Presidential Transition Committee. 

Governor Christie spent his two terms in office emphasizing the issues of fiscal responsibility, pension, health benefit reform, education reform, and the opioid crisis gripping his state and the nation. He also devised the state’s groundbreaking response to Super-storm Sandy, leading the rebuilding of the state’s housing, infrastructure and public schools, and setting a bi-partisan example for storm recovery.

Lauded for his trademark charisma and candor, Governor Christie provides an in-depth understanding of what is happening in the nation’s capital and what it means for your industry, organization and employees. He highlights that achievable solutions and unrelenting leadership will help move us forward and help solve the most pressing issues in Washington.

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MAE JEMISON

  • First African American Woman in Space

Dr. Mae C. Jemison broke more than the sound barrier in 1992 when she climbed aboard the space shuttle Endeavour and became the first woman of color to travel into space.  She was also NASA’s first Science Mission Specialist performing experiments in material science, life science and human adaptation to weightlessness.  Dr. Jemison is a highly sought after speaker on issues of health care, social responsibility, technology, education, STEM, and motivation.

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DICK COSTOLO

  • CEO of Twitter (2010-2015)

Time magazine named Dick Costolo one of the 10 Most Influential U.S. Tech CEOs. In his speeches, Dick Costolo calls on his experience as a digital entrepreneur, business executive, and surprisingly, his experience as an improvisational comedian to deliver entertaining, insightful speeches with a powerful message about the future of social media and the Internet. He is a digital entrepreneur who has launched a series of highly successful ventures, but when he became CEO of Twitter in 2010, he realized he was helping run more than digital platform. Twitter had become a tool to collapse regimes, a tool that gave a powerful voice for the unempowered, and created a new way for businesses to connect and news to be reported. More than ever before, social media was forcing ambitious and significant changes to politics, business, ethics, governance, democracy and inclusion. Twitter was enabling all of that while trying to grow revenue, manage rocket-speed growth, and court investors.

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URSULA BURNS

  • Former CEO & Chairman of the Board of the Xerox Corporation (2010-2017)

Ursula Burns made history as the first Black woman to lead a Fortune 500 company when she became CEO of Xerox in 2009. Her journey from the lower east side projects, to earning two engineering degrees, and landing an internship at a company she would one day run, is a story that will inspire many.  

When Ursula took the helm at Xerox in 2009, she was tasked with turning around a company that was quickly becoming obsolete. Pushing for diversification and development of new products and services, and spearheading the largest acquisition in Xerox history, Ursula oversaw a monumental transformation and massive growth.

Ursula regularly appears on Fortune’s and Forbes’ list of the world’s most powerful women. She helped lead the White House national program on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) from 2009-2016, currently sits as the Chairwoman of the Board at Teneo Holdings LLC and is on the board of Exxon Mobil, Endeavor, and Uber, and was previously on the board at Nestlé. She's also on the Board Diversity Action Alliance, leading an effort to support diversity on corporate boards. 

An absolute force and American icon, Ursula shares her executive insights on leadership in a time of disruption, and instructs leaders how to answer the call to create more inclusive and diverse organizations. Her powerful and important conversations challenge and inspire audiences.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

DAN SCHULMAN

  • CEO, PayPal

Dan Schulman is a cutting edge leader and inspiring example of what a CEO can be, blending profit with purpose to lead PayPal as a tech CEO focused on improving the financial health of people, families, and businesses around the world. Dan has frequently been recognized by Fortune as one of the "Top 20 Businesspersons of the Year" and in 2021, named to Fortune's 50 World's Greatest Leaders list. He has also been named one of the "Top 100 Most Creative People" by Fast Company  and, in 2019 he was named one of Glassdoor's "Top 50 CEOs." In addition, he has been recognized as one of the "Top 10 Most Innovative CEOs in Banking,” and is frequently presented with awards recognizing his commitment and influence in the space of equality and human rights. Schulman speaks about the future of money, values-driven business, and is most in-demand for his talks about leadership and innovation.  He encourages audiences to embrace stakeholder capitalism, inclusion, equality, and more  while also prioritizing responsible and world class business practices.

With extensive experience in payments, e-commerce and mobile technology, Dan is leading PayPal to empower people in their financial lives and reimagine how merchants can continually strengthen their businesses. Under Dan’s leadership, PayPal has been named as one of the top companies on JUST Capital and Forbes’ JUST 100 list, featuring “companies doing right by America.” PayPal has also been recognized as aFortuneChange the World company for its work to tackle the biggest challenges facing society today and named to Morning Consult's "Most Trusted Brands" list.

Dan has consistently delivered successful results over the course of his career, demonstrating his effectiveness as a leader and difference maker. Prior to his role as the CEO of PayPal, Dan served as Group President at American Express.Previously, Dan was President of the Prepaid Group at Sprint Nextel Corporation following its acquisition of Virgin Mobile USA, Inc., where he led the company as its founding CEO for eight years. Earlier in his career, Dan was President and CEO of Priceline Group, Inc., where he led the company through a period of rapid growth and expansion.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

SIMON SINEK

  • Renowned Leadership Expert

Simon Sinek is an unshakable optimist. He believes in a bright future and our ability to build it together. Described as “a visionary thinker with a rare intellect,” Sinek teaches leaders and organizations how to inspire people, foster cooperation, build trust, and effect change. 

The author of the global bestsellers The Infinite Game, Start With Why and Leaders Eat Last, Sinek is an ethnographer by training. Fascinated by the leaders who make an impact on the world and the companies and politicians with the capacity to inspire, Sinek's work focuses on the remarkable patterns in how such people and organizations think, act and communicate. 

With a bold goal to help build a world in which the vast majority of us wake up inspired, feel safe at work and return home fulfilled at the end of the day, he is leading a movement to inspire people to do the things that ignite their passion, creativity, and joy.

Sinek is posting videos and encouragement on LinkedIn for these challenging times. Here’s one of his gems: "It is rare for all humanity to have an opportunity to come together to help each other. This is one of those times."

 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

DIANA TRUJILLO

  • Trailblazing Aerospace Engineer

Meet Diana Trujillo, a rocket scientist and trailblazer who explores the planet Mars and is currently serving as Mission Lead on the Mars 2020 Perseverance Mission. Her story from Colombia to Mars is an extraordinary one. Born and raised in Colombia, Diana immigrated to the United States at the age of 17 to pursue her dream of exploring the Solar System. She enrolled in English as a Second Language courses, holding down full-time jobs to support her studies, and is now working on her second spacecraft on the surface of Mars. Through her work on Perseverance, she is helping to find out whether there might have been ancient life on Mars. In this interview, From Colombia to Mars — Behind the Spacecraft — Perseverance, Trujillo shares a bit about her background and her trailblazing work. 

In addition to her technical roles, Diana also co-created and hosted #JuntosPerseveramos, NASA’s first ever Spanish-language live broadcast of a major mission milestone, attracting a global audience of millions. She also to provide English- and Spanish-language updates on the Perseverance mission via Martes de Marte weekly video series and via her Twitter account.

She is also a passionate advocate for diversity in STEM, having pushed for more inclusion of the Latinx community in venues ranging from the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics to the educational program Plaza Sésamo (Sesame Street).

HWA EXCLUSIVE

LORI GREINER

  • Shark on ABC’s Shark Tank

Lori Greiner started with one idea and turned it into a multi-million dollar international brand. She is now regarded as one of the most prolific inventors of retail products, having created over 600 products and secured over 120 U.S. and international patents. Lori is known as the star "warm-blooded" Shark on Shark Tank, the four-time Emmy-winning entrepreneurial business show on ABC, where she invests in companies and turns dreams into reality. Lori's QVC-TV show Clever & Unique Creations by Lori Greiner has been on the air for the past 16 years.  Lori says she can instantly tell if a product is a “hero or a zero,” and this is clearly shown through her many thriving investments and a 90% success rate on new items launched. Lori's international bestseller Invent It, Sell It, Bank It! is a step-by-step guide on how to turn an idea into a million-dollar reality.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

SERENA WILLIAMS

  • Iconic Tennis Champion, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist

Serena Williams exemplifies courage, beauty, power and style, and has overcome insurmountable odds to win 23 career Grand Slams, the second-most singles titles of record. Her remarkable tennis achievements, combined with her off-court success in fashion, philanthropy and business, make her one of the most recognizable icons in the world and a powerful voice for women, mothers and future mothers.

In 2019, Williams launched her own VC firm, Serena Ventures, which focuses on investing in companies that embrace diverse leadership, individual empowerment, creativity and opportunity. Williams’ fashion brand, SERENA, which celebrates body positivity and female empowerment, made its New York Fashion Week debut this past September.

Williams’ endorsements include Nike, Wilson, Gatorade, Pampers, Stuart Weitzman, Beats by Dre and Wheaties. Her HBO sports documentary series, Being Serena, was nominated for a 2019 Peabody and 2019 MTV Movie and TV Award.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

VENUS WILLIAMS

  • Legendary Tennis Champion, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist

With 7 Grand Slam titles, 5 Wimbledon championships and 4 Olympic gold medals, tennis champion Venus Williams is arguably one of the most accomplished and inspiring women in the history of sports. Beginning her rise to the top at the age of 14, Williams quickly took the world of tennis by storm rising to the top-ranked position, breaking countless records, and winning numerous championships.

Williams is the Founder of V Starr, a full-service commercial and residential design firm, which recently announced their partnership with Airbnb partner, Niido to design their first-ever apartment complex. In 2012 she launched the fashion-forward activewear brand, EleVen by Venus Williams. In May 2020, Venus partnered with Credo Beauty to debut an award-winning line of clean, mineral-based SPF products under the EleVen by Venus umbrella, which recently expanded with their Perfect Form Lip Balms SPF 15 earlier this year. Her entrepreneurship in the health, wellness and beauty space also includes her role as Chief Brand Officer to Asutra and in December 2020, Williams launched her plant-based protein company, Happy Viking.

Sticking to her entrepreneurial spirit, in 2009 Williams along with her sister, Serena became the first female African-Americans to have a stake in an NFL franchise after joining the ownership group of the Miami Dolphins. The following year, Venus published her motivational book, Come to Win which reached No. 5 on The New York Times Best Sellers list.

Throughout her career, Williams has been a steadfast advocate for equality. In 2006, UNESCO, the United Nations’ cultural organization, titled her as the first “Promoter of Gender Equality.’ In 2007 it was her unwavering fight, which led Wimbledon to award women players the same pay as their male counterparts and most recently, she launched an awareness initiative called the #PrivilegeTax in conjunction with EleVen to bring attention to the wage inequality and unveiled a platform of resources for young women to get inspired and address the issue on a grassroots level.                                    

HWA EXCLUSIVE

AL GORE

  • Vice President of the United States (1993-2001)

Al Gore was referred to by Time magazine as “a businessman who is out to change the world.”  An environmental, business, and tech visionary recognized as one of the world's leading activists, Vice President Al Gore offers a unique perspective on national and international issues, including the threats of climate change and the future of tech. He is the Founder and Chairman of The Climate Reality Project, a nonprofit devoted to solving the climate crisis. 

Consistently an active leader in technology, Al Gore is uniquely in touch with the opportunities and challenges in charting a new digital society. Vice President Gore’s status as a leader in global politics, technology and business influences his positions as member of the Board of Directors of Apple and a Senior Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Silicon Valley’s preeminent venture firm. In addition, he is a Founding Partner and Chairman of Generation Investment Management, an asset-management company incorporating sustainability values into the financial-services world. 

 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

DICK CHENEY

  • Vice President of the United States (2001-2009)

Dick Cheney is an American statesman who has served at the highest levels of the US Government and private sector. As White House Chief of Staff in the aftermath of Watergate and America’s withdrawal from Vietnam, Wyoming’s Congressman and a member of the House Republican leadership during the Reagan years, Secretary of Defense as the Cold War ended and America defeated Iraq in Desert Storm, former CEO of Halliburton, and Vice President of the United States on 9/11 at the dawn of the Global War on Terror, Cheney has participated in many of the events that have shaped our nation for over four decades. Few Americans alive today can match the breadth and depth of his experience and service. As a statesman, policymaker, businessman, and politician Cheney’s insight, experiences and knowledge are unparalleled.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MARIA SHRIVER

  • Creator and Editor in Chief of The Sunday Paper

An inspirational leader for our time, Maria Shriver is a force of nature of the highest order — “one who gives back continuously, helping those in need in any way she can” — Maria Shriver is a powerful, passionate, and purpose-driven leader whose work has fostered change and advanced some of our nation’s most pressing issues. A Peabody and Emmy Award-winning journalist and producer, seven-time New York Times bestselling author, NBC News special anchor, and founder of the for-benefit media enterprise Shriver Media, Maria is a trailblazer who serves as an inspiration for others to become "Architects of Change" and make the world a better place.

In addition to her award-winning journalism career, Maria has also been a long-time champion for empowering women. As the founder of The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement, she has become one of the world’s leading advocates for women and Alzheimer’s, using her voice and her work to ignite important conversations and inspire much-needed personal, professional and political change around this major health issue in America. While serving as the First Lady of California from 2003 to 2010, she produced the iconic Women’s Conference, which under her leadership grew into the largest women’s conference in the world. Maria’s groundbreaking Shriver Reports have also changed the conversations around women, work, poverty and Alzheimer’s in America.

A shining example of using one’s platform and career accomplishments to positively impact the world, Maria eloquently moves audiences—from the boardroom to the stage and small, intimate gatherings—to lead a purpose-focused life and channel their passions into meaningful contributions that make a difference in the world.

HWA CO-EXCLUSIVE

DAVID ROWAN

  • Editor-at-Large and Founding Editor-in-Chief of WIRED UK

David Rowan explains compellingly how emerging technologies will impact business — and how leaders should prepare now. As founding Editor-in-Chief of WIRED magazine’s UK edition, David came to know the founders of WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Google, Didi, Spotify, Xiaomi, Nest, Twitter and countless other ambitious startups from Tel Aviv to Shenzhen. He has since invested in more than 80 early-stage tech companies, including three that became billion-dollar “unicorns”, and built a health-tech and climate-tech fund, and he’s an adviser to Lakestar, one of Europe’s largest venture-capital funds. His best-selling book Non-Bullshit Innovation: Radical Ideas from the World’s Smartest Minds (Penguin, 2019) has been translated to Japanese, Korean, Russian and Ukrainian. The book, a 20-country quest for bold corporate innovation in the face of technology-led disruption, sets out 17 proven strategies for future-proofing a successful business — from “Turn products into services” to “Empower your team” and “Become a platform”. David has been a technology columnist for The Times, GQ, Condé Nast Traveller and The Sunday Times, and founded the VOYAGERS not-for-profit community of 400 innovators working to solve health and climate problems. He has received repeat requests to keynote for clients such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Google, KPMG, McKinsey, Chanel and Unilever, and has moderated events for the World Economic Forum and the UK and French governments. And he is still searching for the future. 

 

David will customize a talk for your meeting. His recent themes include: 

• How to build a radical culture of innovation 

• How emerging technologies will transform your industry 

• What AI, data analytics and blockchain mean for business leaders 

• How to optimize customer engagement 

• What talent wants in the new world of work 

• Why purpose plus profit is the new business mantra 

 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

BOZOMA SAINT JOHN

  • Global Chief Marketing Officer at Netflix

Over the course of her career, Netflix Global Chief Marketing Officer Bozoma “Boz” Saint John has earned a formidable reputation as a trailblazing brand and marketing executive and genuine change-agent in the space. Few people have the depth and breadth of experience that Boz has. Couple that with her remarkable success at Pepsi, Apple, Uber, and the Endeavor brands (WME | IMG, Miss Universe, Ultimate Fighting Champion, Professional Bull Riders, and more) and you have one of the most effective marketers of any generation. 

With almost 20 years of experience that spans multiple industries including digital music and entertainment, consumer packaged goods, fashion, sports and automotive, Bozoma is a leader heralded for her bold thinking and cutting-edge ideas. Prior to Netflix and Endeavor, she served as the Chief Brand Officer at Uber, where she was tasked with telling the stories of millions of riders and driver-partners across over 600 cities, and as the Head of Global Consumer Marketing for Apple Music and iTunes, where she built and launched Apple Music, as well as spearheaded campaigns geared towards growing consumer brand recognition, loyalty, and equity around the world. 

Recognized for her breakthrough work by both the industry and her peers, Boz is a member of the Billboard Hall of Fame, as well as the Hall of Achievement for the American Advertising Federation. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, named Forbes #1 Most Influential CMO in 2021, Executive of the Year by Billboard Magazine, and featured in lists such as Fortune Magazine’s “Disruptors, Innovators & Stars 40 Under 40,” Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People”, and more. 

Hailed as the "coolest person to ever go on stage at an Apple event,” by Buzzfeed, Bozoma brings unparalleled energy, transformative thinking, and innovative ideas to each engagement.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JEFF FLAKE

  • U.S. Senator (R-AZ) (2013-2018)

Jeff Flake has nearly two decades of experience on Capitol Hill in both the Senate and House of Representatives. Heralded as an "ideal public servant" in The New York Times, Flake is renowned for his bravery in speaking out against the current administration, his principled stands on spending and free trade, and his shrewd negotiations and bipartisanship on complicated issues such as immigration. 

A traditionally conservative Republican, Flake defended the core values and principles of his party-- and revealed how they are currently under threat-- in his New York Times bestselling book Conscience of a Conservative, which was described in The Washington Post as, "the single largest act of political bravery in the Trump era." His eloquent, impassioned and headline-making retirement speech, delivered from the Senate floor, further condemned the "new normal" in politics. He is a current contributor for CBS News where he will be launching a new series called Common Ground, which focuses on opposing groups coming together. 

A passionate and principled defender of "country over party," Flake famously invited Democratic Senator Martin Heinrich on a six-day survival adventure on an island in Micronesia to develop an idea to end partisan gridlock. Their experiences were featured on a Discovery Channel reality TV show, Rival Survival.

Sought-out to speak everywhere from the Forbes Under 30 Conference to Harvard Law School, Flake shares substantive, candid insights on the current political environment and what is and isn't achievable in Washington, as well as shrewd analysis on foreign affairs, trade and the economy, and more. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MIKA BRZEZINSKI & JOE SCARBOROUGH

  • Hosts of MSNBC's Morning Joe

Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski are morning television’s hottest political duo and the co-hosts of MSNBC's Morning Joe, one of the most popular and influential shows on politics because of who watches it – namely, every member of the Washington political ecosystem, from journalists and legislators to staffers and consultants.

An entertaining pair, they are as popular on stage as they are on TV. Tailoring their remarks to every audience, they can speak about the current political environment, current events, the current media landscape, and leadership and business news.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

EHUD BARAK

  • Prime Minister of Israel (1999-2001)

Few individuals have the breadth of political, economic and military leadership experience as former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, enabling him to speak with authority on a wide range of issues, including international diplomacy, global economic matters, and terrorism.

From an economic perspective, PM Barak served for many years as an advisor to hedge funds and private equity firms, and is currently a member of the CIFC— a NASDAQ credit manager with $14 billion under management. A respected voice on economic matters, PM Barak has offered his insight at the World Economic Forum, SkyBridge Alternatives (SALT) Conference, and to various international firms and businesses.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ERIN BROCKOVICH

  • Iconic environmental activist and consumer advocate

Say the name Erin Brockovich and you think, strong, tough and stubborn. Erin is all that and more. A formerly-unknown legal researcher who became a 20th century icon overnight thanks to Julia Roberts Oscar-winning tour de force, Erin’s dogged persistence was the impelling force behind the largest medical settlement lawsuit in history. 

And she’s kept fighting for the people one town at a time. In her latest book, Superman’s Not Coming, she brings to light the stark truths of America today: Resources are exhausted; corruption is rampant; infrastructure is outdated; water and health issues affect us all--rich and poor, Republicans and Democrats. Erin gives permission and empowers people to take action so that they can save their families, their communities, and the planet. 

Erin uses her life experiences to motivate and bring inspiration to audiences worldwide, providing lessons on her four steps to success, her motto for resilience and perseverance, and advocacy for the causes that matter. Her motto comes from famed biologist Rachel Carson: "We are challenged as mankind has never been challenged before to prove our maturity and our mastery, not of nature, but of ourselves." 

Erin teaches that it will be up to us, we the people, to change our course.  

HWA EXCLUSIVE

GLENNON DOYLE

  • Author, Activist, and Founder of Together Rising

Glennon Doyle is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller UNTAMED, a Reese’s Book Club selection, which has sold over two million copies. She is also the author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller LOVE WARRIOR, an Oprah’s Book Club selection, and CARRY ON, WARRIOR. In her upcoming UNTAMED JOURNAL, publishing November 2021, Glennon helps us each discover our own voice of longing and allow us to reclaim our true, untamed selves.  An activist and “patron saint of female empowerment” (People), Glennon is the founder and president of Together Rising, an all-women-led nonprofit organization that has revolutionized grassroots philanthropy – raising over $30 million for women, families, and children in crisis. She hosts the We Can Do Hard Things podcast, which debuted as #1 on Apple podcasts.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

STEVE FORBES

  • Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media

Steve Forbes is Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media, and an internationally respected authority in the worlds of economics, finance, and corporate leadership. With the economy at the forefront of conversation on a global level, Mr. Forbes offers long-standing insights that capitalism, free markets, and a flat tax are essential to a healthy economy. This is a message Mr. Forbes has been delivering as editor of one of the world’s most successful business magazines for decades, and he continues to be one of the most sought-after speakers on this and other economic issues leading the economic debates around the world.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

KARL ROVE

  • Foremost Conservative Commentator & Strategist

With decades of experience in the political arena, Karl Rove is an iconic strategist whose provocative and robust knowledge of the major issues of the day have made him one of the most sought-after commentators of our time.

Rove was described by respected author and columnist Michael Barone as “unique…no Presidential appointee has ever had such a strong influence on politics and policy, and none is likely to do so again anytime soon” and by Fred Barnes, Executive Editor of the Weekly Standard as “the greatest political mind of his generation and probably of any generation… He knows history, understands the moods of the public, and is a visionary on matters of public policy.” 

From major international conferences to college campuses and intimate corporate events, Karl Rove's shrewd analysis helps him resonate with audiences. Sponsors hosting Rove have reported his remarks "were extremely insightful and very helpful to our industry leaders" (Edison Electric Institute); "stimulating and valuable" (The Fraser Institute); and "provocative, lively and thoughtful" (Nomura); with audiences "often erupting in applause" (Wabash College) and his presentations consistently praised as "one of the highest-rated" (The TriZetto Group). 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MICHAEL STRAHAN

  • Legendary Super Bowl Champion and Co-Host, ABC's Good Morning America

Two-time Emmy winner, Super Bowl Champion and Peabody award winning journalist Michael Strahan currently co-hosts ABC’s Good Morning America, serves as an analyst for Fox NFL Sunday, and hosts ABC’s primetime game show favorite $100,000 Pyramid. Strahan also headlines the Thursday Night Football Pregame Show live on the Fox Broadcast Network.

Strahan is the co-founder of SMAC Entertainment, a multi-dimensional talent management, music, branding and production company which has created a major presence in the sports and entertainment arena. For four years, Strahan co-hosted the hit talk show LIVE with Kelly and Michael, and prior to joining the ranks of the top sports broadcasters in the country, Strahan had a spectacular NFL career that resulted in him being named to the 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame class.

In 2015, Strahan entered the fashion space with COLLECTION by MICHAEL STRAHAN, a men’s and boys’ clothing, denim, accessories, luggage and shoe line. The line quickly expanded, with MSX by MICHAEL STRAHAN, an men’s and boys’ athleisure line, and MSX for NFL, a men and women NFL licensed apparel line. COLLECTION and MSX are transitioning into MICHAEL STRAHAN brand name and expanding into men’s skincare. The Michael Strahan lifestyle brand continues to expand and is available at JCPenney’s, Men’s Wearhouse, Jos A Bank, HSN and QVC and more retailers nationwide.

Strahan released his best-selling book, Wake Up Happy: The Dream Big, Win Big Guide to Transforming Your Life, which includes personal stories and motivational advice.

Dedicated to many charitable works, Strahan donates his hands and heart to numerous charities including The USO, HELP USA and Merging Vets and Players.

Heralded for his upbeat and inspiring speeches, Strahan talks about his storied career; how to overcome self-doubt in order to follow your passion; perseverance in the workplace; how to achieve excellence in any of your personal ambitions; and details “Strahan’s Rules”—a mix of mental discipline, positive thinking, and a sense of play.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ERIN ANDREWS

  • FOX Sports Broadcaster

One of the most recognized and respected sports broadcasters in the industry, Erin Andrews is part of FOX Sports’ A Team, reporting for FOX NFL Sunday and NFL Thursday Night Football. 

Andrews’ recently added “creator” to her long list of titles with the launch of her new women’s NFL apparel line, WEAR by Erin Andrews. The fashionable, comfortable and subtle line, designed for women to wear anywhere and everywhere, has quickly garnered notable attention- becoming the #1 NFL women’s only brand since it launched.

While at the top of her career with no limits in sight, Andrews was shocked when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer following a routine annual checkup. Not wanting the diagnosis to interfere with the career she had fought so hard for, Andrews quietly planned doctors’ visits around her work schedule in order to keep her diagnosis private and kept moving full speed ahead during treatment, only sharing her story publicly after she received word she was cancer free.

In empowering, insightful conversations, Andrews discusses her storied career and what it took to get to the top of her game, the challenges and triumphs of working in a male-dominated industry, and spreading awareness about cervical cancer prevention. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

CECILE RICHARDS

  • Co-Founder, Supermajority

Cecile Richards, Co-Founder of Supermajority and Former President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund (2006-2018), is a globally respected activist and social justice leader. Named to TIME’s “100 Most Influential People in the World”, Richards is celebrated for her vocal, dedicated and strategic leadership as well as her extensive advocacy experience at grassroots organizations, in the non-profit sector and in Washington. The author of a new book, and instant New York Times Bestseller, Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead, Richards offers powerful insights and sharp commentary on leadership, women’s rights, social justice, and politics. A dynamic and empowering speaker who has addressed audiences everywhere from Talks at Google to Harvard University, Richard motivates audiences to action.

In 2019, Richards launched Supermajority, a new home for women’s activism, training, and the mobilization of a multiracial, intergenerational community to fight for gender equality. While at the helm of Planned Parenthood, Richards led a federation of more than 600 health centers, providing high-quality health care to millions of people each year, and directed a staff of more than 500 in the national offices. Under Richard's leadership, Planned Parenthood expanded advocacy efforts to include fighting for access to health care, and she leaves Planned Parenthood with 12 million supporters and counting, four times more than when she joined.

Before joining Planned Parenthood, Richards served as deputy chief of staff for House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.  In 2004, she founded and served as president of America Votes, a coalition of 42 national grassroots organizations working to maximize registration, education, and voter participation.  She began her career organizing low-wage workers in the hotel, health care, and janitorial industries throughout California, Louisiana, and Texas.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

RICKY STRAUSS

  • Former President of Content & Marketing, Disney+

Most recently Ricky Strauss served as President of Programming for Hulu and Disney + where he was responsible for all programmatic strategy for both platforms. Prior to that assignment, he was the President of Content & Marketing for Disney +. As Disney’s first president of Content & Marketing for Disney +, Ricky led the strategic content vision for the service, overseeing development of the service’s original programming slate, production partnerships and content acquisitions.

Working in collaboration with external production entities as well as content groups across The Walt Disney Company that developed and produced original content exclusively for the service (including The Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Television, Disney Digital Media, Pixar Animation, Marvel Entertainment, and Lucasfilm), Strauss had creative oversight and execution of the service’s portfolio of high-quality feature films, episodic series and short-form content. Additionally, Strauss was responsible for all facets of content marketing for the service.

Strauss previously served as president of marketing for The Walt Disney Studios, overseeing the Studios' global marketing strategy encompassing creative, media, digital, promotions, publicity, research and synergy across all distribution channels for motion pictures released under the Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm banners. Blockbuster films that Disney delivered under Strauss' tenure include Star Wars: The Force Awakens, for which Strauss was named Marketer of the Year by Advertising Age; Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; Marvel's The Avengers, Captain America: Civil War, and Guardians of the Galaxy; Disney's The Jungle Book, Cinderella, Maleficent, and Beauty and the Beast; Walt Disney Animation Studios' Frozen, Zootopia, and Moana; and Disney•Pixar's Incredibles 2, Finding Dory and Inside Out.

A 30-year entertainment industry veteran, Strauss joined Disney in January 2012 after seven years as president of Participant Media, where he oversaw the company’s marketing, production, and acquisition for a broad range of socially relevant and commercially viable films, television programming and publishing efforts. Among the acclaimed films that Participant produced under Strauss’ tenure are the 2011 Academy Award®-winning blockbuster The Help, Contagion, Good Night and Good Luck, Syriana, The Kite Runner, The Visitor, the Academy Award®-winning documentaries An Inconvenient Truth, The Cove, Waiting for Superman, and PAGE ONE: Inside the New York Times.

Strauss now lends his considerable talents and experience to the board of directors of Binj.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

BEN SHERWOOD

  • Former Co-Chairman of Disney Media Networks

A master storyteller and one of the top media executives in the world, Ben Sherwood served as Co-Chairman of Disney Media Networks and President of Disney|ABC Television Group from 2014 to 2019.  An award-winning journalist and best-selling novelist, Sherwood also served as president of ABC News from 2010 to 2014.

Consistently ranked in The Hollywood Reporter's annual list of the "Most Powerful People in Entertainment," Sherwood offers game-changing insights on bold leadership in times of disruption, the art of the turnaround, the secrets of unleashing creativity and innovation, and the inside story of the tumultuous worlds of entertainment and news.

Sherwood is also the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Survivors Club, in which he explores the secrets and science of the world's greatest survivors. A 2020 republication of the book sheds light on surviving amid the Coronavirus pandemic specifically, and how to adapt and overcome a period of tremendous trauma and adversity.

At Disney|ABC, Sherwood managed a twelve billion dollar business with 12,000 employees responsible for the creation of more than 25,000 hours of original content every year. Leading the organization through a period of rapid disruption, with new streaming services and technology upending business models and consumer behavior, Sherwood and his team consistently delivered outstanding results measured in profitability, cultural relevance and creative excellence.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

RONAN FARROW

  • Pulitzer Prize and Peabody Award-Winning Investigative Reporter and New York Times Bestselling Author

Ronan Farrow is a contributing writer to The New Yorker, where his investigative reporting has won the Pulitzer Prize for public service, the National Magazine Award, and the George Polk Award, among other honors. His stories for The New Yorker exposed the first sexual-assault allegations against the movie producer Harvey Weinstein and the first misconduct allegations against CBS executives, including then C.E.O. Leslie Moonves. He was also responsible for the first detailed accounts of payments made by the National Enquirer’s parent company in order to suppress stories about Donald Trump during the 2016 Presidential campaign. Farrow's latest book, Catch and Kill is a New York Times bestseller with a companion Peabody Award-winning podcast which has topped the Apple Podcast charts. Farrow is also currently producing documentaries for HBO. 

Before his career in journalism, Farrow served as a State Department official in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He is also the author of the New York Times bestseller War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence

Farrow has been named one of Time Magazine's "100 Most Influential People" and one of GQ's "Men of the Year". His speeches have been selected among NPR’s “Greatest Commencement Speeches Ever” and Huffington Post’s "Top 10 Speeches of the Year".

HWA EXCLUSIVE

TAMRON HALL

  • Award-Winning Journalist and Host of 'The Tamron Hall Show'

Television host, award-winning journalist, and philanthropist Tamron Hall takes on the most captivating and thought-provoking issues facing the world every day as the host of The Tamron Hall Show in national syndication. For her work in the show’s first season, Tamron received the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Informative Talk Show Host. The show was also awarded the prestigious Gracie Award from the Alliance For Women In Media Foundation.

She was also the host of Investigation Discovery’s Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall, where she went beyond the headlines to explore the nature and effect of crime on victims and communities, a subject that is very personal for her. Previously, Tamron was the first African American female co-host of TODAY and served as the anchor for MSNBC Live with Tamron Hall.

A Variety “Power of Women” honoree and an active member of the National Association of Black Journalists, Tamron empowers and inspires audiences with conversations about overcoming obstacles in the workplace and at home; domestic violence, homelessness, and literacy; her storied career; journalism and the media; and much more.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

LAWRENCE SUMMERS

  • Director, White House National Economic Council (2009-2010)

An expert on domestic economics and a leading authority on international finance, Larry Summers is one of the most distinguished voices on the issues and policy impacting the global economy. His frequent commentary is regarded as essential input to crafting economic policy, and he has remained for decades a well respected statesman of the American economy.

Prior to serving in the Obama Administration as Director of the White House National Economic Council, Dr. Summers was Secretary of the Treasury during the Clinton Administration, President of Harvard University, and Chief Economist of the World Bank. Dr. Summers’ tenure at the U.S. Treasury coincided with the longest period of sustained economic growth in U.S. history. He is the only Treasury Secretary in the last half century to have left office with the national budget in surplus. During his tenure in the Obama Administration, Larry Summers emerged as a key economic decision-maker and continues to be called upon as the number one resource for the most pressing economic debates of the day.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

AMY SCHUMER

  • Comedian, Actress, Writer, Producer, Director and Activist

Amy Schumer is an Emmy-winning and Golden Globe-nominated standup comedian, actress, writer, producer and director. She is best known as the creator, star, writer and executive producer of the award winning Inside Amy Schumer, the popular Comedy Central television series, which won numerous awards including a Writers Guild Award for Best Comedy/Variety Sketch series, the first-ever Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Sketch Variety Series, and the prestigious Peabody Award. In 2019, she was nominated for an Emmy in the Outstanding Writing For A Variety Special category for her comedy special Amy Schumer Growing. Schumer’s latest one-hour Comedy special titled The Leather Special is currently streaming on Netflix. 

Schumer’s first book, the #1 New York Times bestseller The Girl with The Lower Back Tattoo, is a refreshingly candid and uproariously funny collection of personal and observational essays.

Schumer is also known for her work in films, including Universal Pictures film Trainwreck, the mother-daughter comedy Snatched, which she also produced, and the drama Thank You For Your Service. In 2018, Schumer starred and produced the STX comedy, I Feel Pretty.

Often touring theaters and arenas all over the world, Schumer is the only female comic to headline Madison Square Garden. She is a proud founding member of Time’s Up. Her podcast, Amy Schumer Presents: 3 Girls, 1 Keith premiered its fifth season on Spotify this past March.

In July 2020, Schumer’s three-part documentary series, Expecting Amy premiered on HBO Max. The docuseries takes viewers behind-the-scenes as Amy battles through an extraordinarily difficult pregnancy, while documenting the formation of her latest comedy special. She also premiered the second season of her cooking show, Amy Schumer Learns to Cook, with her husband Chris Fischer who is an award-winning chef on the Food Network this past August. Up next: Life and Beth, a comedy series via Hulu which Schumer will star in, write, direct and executive produce, and Stephen Karam’s The Humans that Schumer will star in.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

TYLER PERRY

  • World-Renowned Actor, Producer, Writer, and Entrepreneur

Tyler Perry is an established American actor, director, screenwriter, producer, playwright, and author.  Born into poverty and raised in a household scarred by abuse, Tyler fought from a young age to find the strength, faith and perseverance that would later form the foundations of his work. 

Tyler started his career writing plays, many of which later became the inspiration for his film projects and included the introduction of the now-legendary Madea character, played by Tyler himself.  Tyler’s first feature film, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, debuted at number one nationwide. His ensuing films include Madea's Family Reunion, Daddy's Little Girls, Why Did I Get Married?, Meet The Browns, The Family That Preys, I Can Do Bad All by Myself, Why Did I Get Married Too?, For Colored Girls, Madea's Big, Happy Family, Good Deeds, Madea's Witness Protection, The Single Mom’s Club, Boo! and Boo! 2: A Madea Halloween, A Madea Family Funeral, Gone Girl, Vice and more.

With the historical official opening of Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Perry is the first African American man to ever be at the helm of a major studio.

In conversation, Perry touches upon all of his experiences, ranging from his work in film and television to his activism on behalf of others and the journey it took for him to get where he is today.

HWA CO-EXCLUSIVE

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER

  • Governor of California (2003-2011)

The world first knew Arnold Schwarzenegger as a famous bodybuilder and a Hollywood action hero, and now as California's 38th Governor, an environmental crusader, a successful businessman, and a generous philanthropist.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

STEVEN VAN ZANDT

  • Famed Musician, Songwriter, Music and TV Producer, Actor, and Founding Member of the E Street Band

Musician, Performer, Songwriter, Arranger, Music Producer, Music Supervisor, TV Producer, Actor, Director, Broadway Producer, TV and Film Composer, and Live Event Producer, International DJ, Activist, Historian, Teacher, member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and recognized internationally as one of the world’s foremost authorities on both Contemporary and Traditional Rock and Roll.

 “He’s not the only one, nor the oldest, nor the richest. But Little Stevie Van Zandt might currently be the planet’s most charismatic, dedicated and visible crusader scrapping to preserve the dirty purity of Rock ‘n Roll.” - BruceSpringsteen.net

“I know it sounds a bit silly but I do believe Rock and Roll can change the world.  It’s about bands, and that for me suggests brotherhood, family, friendship, and community” - Stevie Van Zandt

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ALEX RODRIGUEZ

  • Chairman and CEO, A-Rod Corp

Alex Rodriguez is a businessman and the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of A-Rod Corp, a broad-based investment firm that bets on world-class startups and partners with leading global companies across the real estate, health and wellness, technology, and sports & entertainment industries. While best known as one of the world’s greatest athletes (a 14x MLB All-Star and a 2009 World Series Champion with the New York Yankees), for more than 25 years, Alex leads a team of experts building high-growth businesses and enhancing the value of more than 30 companies in the A-Rod Corp portfolio.

Alex founded A-Rod Corp in 1995, purchasing a duplex apartment on the theory that investing his MLB earnings wisely would protect him from the kinds of financial struggles that afflict too many professional athletes. While he racked up extraordinary stats on the field (696 home runs and more grand slams than any other MLB player in history), Alex simultaneously assembled an impressive team at A-Rod Corp, bought apartment units across the southeastern U.S., and built a fully integrated real estate and development company. In 2020, Alex joined CGI Merchant Group's hotel investment fund to acquire and develop properties across North America and the Caribbean.

Following his success in real estate, Alex has invested in a variety of sectors where he has expertise. He looks for long-term opportunities to provide financial capital, work alongside founders and leadership, and amplify the growth of each company.

In addition to leading A-Rod Corp, Alex is CEO of Slam Corp, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) with Antara Capital Chairman Himanshu Gulati as equal partner. Slam Corp is seeking to acquire a leader in the consumer tech, media, entertainment, and health and wellness sectors. Alex is also the co-founder and a board member of JLo Beauty, a global skincare company.

Alex co-founded VCP Ventures, an incubator-venture fund, in partnership with serial entrepreneur Marc Lore, with a mission to invest outsized amounts of early-stage capital in a concentrated portfolio of companies and visionary founders.

In 2021, Alex joined the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx ownership group. In the same year, Alex formed A-Rod Media, a strategic pillar within the organization to house all media activity. A-Rod Media offers scalable, multi-media capabilities, including original content creation, compelling narrative storytelling, and audience engagement across all marketing platforms.

Alex is an Emmy Award-winning MLB analyst for Fox Sports and ESPN. He has been a judge and investor on ABC’s Shark Tank, mentored financially distressed ex-athletes on CNBC’s Back in the Game, and currently co-hosts the podcast The Corp with Barstool Sports’ Dan Katz, interviewing CEOs, entrepreneurs, and sports legends.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

LINDSEY VONN

  • Olympic Gold and Bronze Medalist and Most Successful Female Skier of All Time

Lindsey Vonn is a recently retired Olympic gold and bronze medal‐winning alpine ski racer for the U.S. Ski Team as well as a New York Times bestselling author. She is the most successful female skier of all time and holds four World Cup titles, making her one of only 6 women to win World Cup races in all five disciplines of Alpine skiing.

Debuting first at the 2021 Alpine Skiing World Cup Races, Vonn is an NBC Sports broadcast analyst. She served as an International Games Ambassador in the 2018 Winter Olympics. Lindsey is also the founder of the Lindsey Vonn Foundation, established to empower young girls. She splits her time between Nashville, Tennessee, and Los Angeles, California with her 3 dogs.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MICHAEL EISNER

  • Chairman & CEO, The Walt Disney Company (1984-2005)

Michael Eisner teaches audiences how to develop corporate creativity and strategically invest in innovation, based on his experiences as CEO of Disney and as Founder of The Tornante Company, a fund to invest in and develop companies in the media and entertainment sector. Both Fortune 500 CEO and entrepreneur, Mr. Eisner knows that even large global companies can innovate and adapt to new markets, new economies and new technologies. Through his remarks, he not only inspires corporate innovation, he gives parameters for successful execution such as brand building, establishing strategic partnerships and employee work teams.

Under the leadership of Michael Eisner, Walt Disney Company revenues grew from $1.7 billion to more than $170 billion by focusing on the power of ideas, pursuing the innovative vision, and taking creative risks. As a leader in the media industry for four decades, Mr. Eisner has overseen organizations recognized for their inventiveness and innovation, experienced an explosion of technological advances that have impacted his business and led his companies through the advent of the next big ideas. In his presentations on leadership, he shares his insights on what it takes to run a company that must always grow and change.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MARK WAHLBERG

  • Award-winning actor and producer

Mark Wahlberg earned both Academy Award® and Golden Globe® nominations for his standout work in the family boxing film, The Fighter, and Martin Scorsese’s acclaimed drama, The Departed. He has played diverse characters for visionary filmmakers such as David O. Russell, Tim Burton, and Paul Thomas Anderson. His breakout role in Boogie Nights established Wahlberg as one of Hollywood’s most sought-after talents.

Wahlberg’s remarkable film career began with Renaissance Man, directed by Penny Marshall, and The Basketball Diaries with Leonardo DiCaprio, followed by a star turn opposite Reese Witherspoon in the thriller, Fear. He later headlined Three Kings and The Perfect Storm with George Clooney and The Italian Job with Charlize Theron. Wahlberg then starred in the football biopic, Invincible, and Shooter, based on Stephen Hunter’s best-selling novel, Point of Impact. Wahlberg reunited with The Yards director James Gray and co-star Joaquin Phoenix for We Own the Night, which he also produced. In 2013, he teamed with director Peter Berg on military drama, Lone Survivor, and 2 Guns with Denzel Washington. The following year, he starred in Ted 2 with Seth MacFarlane and Daddy’s Home opposite Will Ferrell. Wahlberg’s additional credits include The Gambler, The Lovely Bones, The Other Guys, Pain & Gain, Contraband, Ted, and Transformers: Age of Extinction. Also recently, he starred in Deepwater Horizon, Patriots Day, Transformers: The Last Night, Daddy's Home 2, All the Money in the World, Mile 22, and Instant Family. He will soon star in the Netflix film, Wonderland.

An accomplished film and television producer, Wahlberg has produced Instant Family, Mile 22, Daddy's Home 2, Patriots Day, Deepwater Horizon, Entourage, The Gambler, Lone Survivor, Broken City, Contraband, The Fighter (for which Wahlberg was nominated for an Oscar® for Best Picture), and We Own the Night. For television, Wahlberg is executive producer of Emmy-nominated Wahlburgers on A&E and hit comedy Ballers on HBO. He executive produced HBO’s Entourage through its impressive eight-season run as well as Boardwalk Empire, How to Make It in America, and In Treatment. He recently executive produced three seasons of Shooter for USA Network. For his work in television, Wahlberg has received a BAFTA, a Peabody, seven Emmy nominations, six Golden Globe® nominations, and a Golden Globe® Award for Boardwalk Empire in 2011.

A committed philanthropist, Wahlberg founded The Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation in 2001 to benefit inner-city children and teens. He was inducted into the Boys and Girls Clubs of America’s Alumni Hall of Fame in 2012. Additionally, he is the recipient of the Bob Hope Award from the Medal of Honor Society for his work to support our military.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

KATE MCKINNON

  • Emmy Award-Winning Comedian and Actress

Kate McKinnon won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2016 and 2017 and has been nominated every year from 2014 to 2020 for her work on Saturday Night Live. In addition, she earned a Critics’ Choice Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series in 2016.

McKinnon’s recent roles include Jay Roach’s Bombshell opposite Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie, Danny Boyle’s Beatles inspired romcom Yesterday, starring opposite Mila Kunis in the Lionsgate action-comedy The Spy Who Dumped Me, Paul Feig’s reboot of Ghostbusters, Rough Night opposite Scarlett Johansson, and Office Christmas Party with Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston. In addition, she has voiced roles in several animated projects, including Oscar-nominated Ferdinand, Angry Birds and Pixar’s Finding Dory.  She has also voiced several TV series, including The Magic School Bus Rides Again for Netflix, The Simpsons and Family Guy. She was nominated for a 2017 Daytime Emmy for her work on the PBS animated series Nature Cat and can be heard as ‘Queen Mortuana’ in the Audible medieval fantasy-comedy series, Heads Will Roll, which she co-created.

Upcoming projects include the Fox Searchlight/Hulu limited series The Dropout, where she’ll be portraying Theranos founder, Elizabeth Holmes and playing Carole Baskin in the UCP limited series, Joe Exotic, based on the Wondery podcast and characters made popular on Netflix’s doc series, Tiger King for Comcast/Peacock.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JOHN MULANEY

  • Two-Time Emmy Award-Winning Writer and Comedian

John Mulaney is a two-time Emmy and WGA award-winning writer and comedian, most well-known for writing on Saturday Night Live and his successful stand-up comedy career.

In 2018, he traveled the United States with the sold out Kid Gorgeous tour, which was later released as a Netflix stand-up special and won the Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Variety Special; In 2015, he released The Comeback Kid, also a Netflix original, which The AV Club called the “best hour of his career;” In 2012, his Comedy Central special New In Town had Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly hailing him as “one of the best stand-up comics alive.”

Solidifying himself as a fan favorite, John Mulaney has been invited to host Saturday Night Live four times. He began writing for SNL in 2008 and created memorable characters such as ‘Stefon’ with Bill Hader and appeared as a “Weekend Update” correspondent. He has written for IFC’s Documentary Now and Netflix’s Big Mouth, on which he voices the character of Andrew.

He’s also starred on Broadway in the runaway hit written and performed alongside Nick Kroll in Oh, Hello On Broadway. The duo have since release a Netflix special of the same name, as well as Oh, Hello: The P’dcast, based off their characters Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland.

In December 2019, the critically acclaimed and Emmy-nominated musical variety special John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch debuted on Netflix. It was recently announced that festivities will continue with a pair of holiday themed Sack Lunch Bunch specials coming to Comedy Central in the near future.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

RICHARD THALER

  • Winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences

Nobel Prize-Winner Richard H. Thaler studies behavioral economics and finance as well as the psychology of decision-making which lies in the gap between economics and psychology. He investigates the implications of relaxing the standard economic assumption that everyone in the economy is rational and selfish, instead entertaining the possibility that some of the agents in the economy are sometimes human.

Thaler is the co-author (with Cass R. Sunstein) of the global best seller Nudge (2008) in which the concepts of behavioral economics are used to tackle many of society’s major problems. In 2015 he published Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics. He has also published numerous articles in prominent journals such as the American Economics Review, the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Political Economy, and is a regular contributor to the New York Times Economic View column. In 2018, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. 

Thaler is a Founding Principal at Fuller and Thaler Asset Management where they manage about $10 billion in U.S. equities.  He was an informal advisor to the coalition government led by David Cameron, the Obama administration, and several professional sports teams.  

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JOHN KRASINSKI

  • Famed Actor, Writer and Director

John Krasinski has established himself as one of the most exciting talents as an actor, writer and director, engaging audiences on the big and small screen. Having first rose to fame as Jim Halpert in the award-winning television sitcom The Office, Krasinski has gone on to co-write, direct and star in the Academy Award-nominated A Quiet Place, star in Sony Pictures Classics film The Hollars, direct Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, and star in the current Amazon series Jack Ryan, among many other commercially and critically successful projects.  

Krasinski also produces a diverse slate of projects through his production venture, Sunday Night, which he formed with Allyson Seeger.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Krasinski created and hosts Some Good News, a Youtube web series entirely dedicated to good news. Operated from inside Krasinski's home, and featuring special guests from David Ortiz to the cast of Hamilton, the show has over 1.5 million subscribers, with multiple episodes going viral. 

In engaging, hilarious, and inspiring remarks, Krasinski shares lessons-learned over the course of his career, insights into the creative process, and how to use your platform for good. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

WENDY DAVIS

  • Founder, Deeds Not Words

Former Texas State Senator and Founder of the non-profit, Deeds Not Words, Wendy Davis is renowned as a passionate advocate for women in social, economic and political spheres. After skyrocketing to near celebrity status through her historic 13-hour filibuster in the Texas Senate to stop a legislative effort that would have dramatically reduced women’s access to healthcare, Davis emerged as a leader in the national conversation surrounding women’s leadership and issues which threaten our individual opportunities. Through Davis’ work at Deeds Not Words, for which she earned a spot on Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business”, she is shaping the next generation of leaders and directly working to foster diversity, inclusivity, and change at the highest levels of business and government. Long before she was a Texas State Senator and Texas’ Democratic nominee for Governor in 2014, Davis struggled with the same obstacles faced by women around the country. Determined to break the cycle of poverty she’d been born into, Davis fought to juggle school, career and single motherhood and uses those experiences to connect with others in order to shape perspective.

At the podium, Davis combines the power of personal storytelling with her deep policy understanding to explain why equitable policies matter in the lives of women as well as the overall health and vibrancy of our economy, guiding organizations across industries toward a better understanding of the institutional value in creating diverse work environments, and key issues such as pay equity, family leave, and harassment policies. A living testament to the ability we each possess to rise above challenges and succeed, Davis demonstrates the power of each of our unique voices, and the value in raising them for what we believe in. Audiences are left inspired to utilize their individual strengths into meaningful contributions, and organizations are left with the tools and insights needed to advance positive change.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JIMMY WALES

  • Founder, Wikipedia, World's 5th Most Visited Website

Leading technology futurist and Wikipedia and WT.Social Founder Jimmy Wales is one of the most sought after visionaries in business and technology. Wikipedia is the 5th Most Popular Website in the WORLD, moving towards the goal of free access for all to the sum of human knowledge. WT.Social is a groundbreaking, collaboratively editable social networking platform that will change the way we digest news. When audiences meet Wales, outspoken and defiant in his protection of transformative ideas, they understand why he is compared to historic greats like Gutenberg.  Hailed as “thoughtful and visionary,” “inspiring,” and “absolutely WONDERFUL,” event planners cite Wales’ optimism for the future and masterful ability to speak on issues ranging from censorship, Artificial Intelligence, automation, the media, and disruption, as elements that make him a standout speaker.  

Named one of TIME’s "100 Most Influential People," Jimmy Wales was also acknowledged by the World Economic Forum — the foremost global gathering of political, business and cultural leaders — as one of the top 250 leaders across the world for his professional accomplishments, his commitment to society, and his potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

AUSTIN CHANNING BROWN

  • Leading and Inspired Voice on Racial Justice

Austin Channing Brown is a speaker, writer and media producer providing inspired leadership on racial justice in America. She is the author of New York Times' bestselling I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness - recently chosen as a Reese Witherspoon Bookclub pick - and the Executive Producer of web series The Next Question.

Her workshops and lectures are incisive, fun, disarming and transformative. By using an intentional mix of humor, pop-culture, story-telling, and audience engagement, she awakens people to the current realities of systemic racism and the everyday actions which allow racism to thrive. Austin evokes thought, feeling and action as she celebrates Blackness and the possibility of justice in our organizations and communities. Her book shot to the top 20 of Amazon’s bestsellers list, leading in its categories for months. I’m Still Here has received acclaim from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and more. It has also been featured in OnBeing, The Chicago Tribune, WNYC, The Religion News Service, with Shondaland declaring it, “[a] deeply personal celebration of blackness that simultaneously sheds new light on racial injustice and inequality while offering hope for a better future.” It was also selected as the book of the month for Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine book club.

As a media producer, Austin creates content that centers the experiences of Black women, dismantling the foundations of white supremacy. Her nationally-celebrated first season of The Next Question included Macarthur Genius Nikole Hannah-Jones, NYT bestselling authors Brene Brown, and Jasmine Guillory, and more. Alongside her co-creators Chi Chi Okwuand Jenny Booth Potter, the hosts examine complex topics affecting social justice while simultaneously celebrating the humanity of their guests.

Austin has a Bachelor of Arts in business management from North Park University as well as a Masters in Arts in social justice from Marygrove College in Detroit. Austin’s professional career began in the non-profit sector including homelessness/housing, youth engagement, fund development, and church operations.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

AYỌ TOMETI

  • Co-Founder #BlackLivesMatter

Ayọ (fka Opal) Tometi is one of the most influential human rights leaders of the century according to TIME magazine. As one of the three women co-founders of Black Lives Matter digital platform and chapter-based network, her name is etched in history. Hailed as a feminist freedom fighter, Ayọ is respected for her track record of uniting communities, and for her thought leadership on race, immigration, and gender. In 2019 she completed nearly a decade of service as the Executive Director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), the first immigrant rights organization for people of African descent in the United States. Ayọ is a trusted advisor and serves on the board of  Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity and the International Living Futures Institute. She has graced the cover of magazines because of her achievements and received numerous recognitions including an honorary PhD, being named most influential women of the century by USA Today, TIME Magazine, and Most Influential People by Forbes, Marie Claire, Glamour and Cosmopolitan magazines. Ayọ was also honored by the City University of New York (CUNY) with a scholarship in her name to support immigrant students pursuing law degrees. In 2019 she also received the Coretta Scott King Center Award and Douglass 200 Award, and is currently featured in a video installation at the Smithsonian’s National Museum for African History and Culture for her contributions in thought-leadership for the betterment of the diaspora. As the daughter of Nigerian immigrants, Ayọ has set her movement sights on an even bigger struggle: uplifting Black lives worldwide. In 2020 she founded Diaspora Rising, a new media and advocacy hub dedicated to strengthening the bonds amongst members of the global Black family. Additionally, she's focused on other social enterprises. With nearly two decades as a human rights champion, she still feels her work has only just begun.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

PAUL TUCKER

  • Chair, Systemic Risk Council

Sir Paul Tucker is one of the most respected central bankers and financial policy makers of our time. He is Chair of the Systemic Risk Council, a Harvard University Fellow, and former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England. Tucker spent more than three decades in central banking, including experience in Asia, and was knighted for his reforms, which are creating a more resilient international banking system. Internationally, he was a member of the G20 Financial Stability Board, leading its work on “too big to fail, and a director of the Bank for International Settlements. Tucker’s most recent book, Unelected Power, examines the extraordinary powers central banks have wielded in the wake of the financial crisis, and what needs to be done to ensure they remain legitimate stewards for the common good. At the podium, Tucker reveals and unpacks key insights into everything from the future for monetary policy, the future of Europe, Brexit and international trade, to stability in the financial system, and the evolving role of central banks.

HWA CO-EXCLUSIVE

MAX BAUCUS

  • U.S. Ambassador to the People's Republic of China (2014-2017)

 

Former United States Senator and Ambassador to China, Max Baucus is a leading voice on business, public policy, and international affairs. In his years as an elected official and diplomat, Baucus was engaged in the most consequential issues of the past half-century, and continues to provide counsel as co-founder of the Baucus Group.

Montana's longest-serving senator Baucus established himself as one of the Senate’s most productive and least partisan members, building a record of accomplishment on a broad range of policy issues both domestic and foreign. As Chair of the Senate Finance Committee for seven years, Baucus served as the principal author and advocate for the Affordable Care Act, and led the passage and enactment of Free Trade Agreements with 11 countries and worked to increase U.S. exports by knocking down trade barriers. He was also deeply involved in orchestrating congressional approval of permanent normal trade relations with China in 2000 and in facilitating China’s entrance into the World Trade Organization in 2001, and is credited with holding China accountable on issues of intellectual property, human rights and currency. 

In-demand by numerous private companies and public organizations, Baucus currently serves on the board of directors of Ingram Micro and previously served on the board of advisors to Alibaba Group until May of 2019, and the External Advisory Board to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency until July of 2019.  He now devotes much of his time to the Max S. Baucus Institute at the University of Montana, founded to give young adults opportunities in politics, government, and overseas studies. 

 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

SUNNY HOSTIN

  • Co-Host, The View

Three-time Emmy Award-winner Sunny Hostin has been a co-host of ABC’s morning show The View since 2016. Her debut book, I Am These Truths: A Memoir of Identity, Justice, and Living Between Worlds, features an introspective, intimate look into about growing up Afro-Latina, discovering her identity and her ongoing fight for justice. Last winter, Hostin hosted and executive produced a six-episode Investigation Discovery documentary series, Truth About Murder with Sunny Hostin, exploring the stories behind some of the nation’s most notorious homicides. In May 2021, she released her first novel, Summer on the Bluffs, chronicling the escapes of three god sisters in Oak Bluffs, the most exclusive Black beach community in the country.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL

  • Host, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC

Lawrence O'Donnell is an Emmy-winning producer and the host of MSNBC's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell. Bringing his extraordinary background in politics, entertainment and news to the nightly program, O'Donnell provides the last word on the important issues and most compelling stories of the day. 

A sought-after speaker for his straight talking political commentary, O'Donnell has an uncanny ability to go beyond the headlines to provide audiences with prescient analysis.

Prior to his time as a political analyst, O'Donnell served as an executive producer for the acclaimed series The West Wing, a senior advisor on Capitol Hill, and a political columnist and writer.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JANE PAULEY

  • Host, 'CBS Sunday Morning'

A familiar face on television, one of broadcasting’s most respected journalists and host of CBS Sunday Morning, Jane Pauley is praised by audiences for her relatable and personal inspirational message.  She advocates for people 50+ starting different careers, making a difference and pursuing their dreams.  She is a also a highly regarded advocate for mental health, children’s health, and education issues. Jane Pauley's celebrity fills the room with optimism, and audiences often bring her back more than once, citing the warm reception she received by the audience.

Prior to anchoring on CBS, Pauley had a 13-year career on NBC's Today program and was also a co-host of Dateline NBC for 12 years. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

CHARLES BLOW

  • Op-Ed Columnist for The New York Times

Charles M. Blow is an Op-Ed columnist at The New York Times, where his column appears on Mondays and Thursdays. Mr. Blow’s columns tackle hot-button issues such as social justice, racial equality, presidential politics, police violence, gun control, and the Black Lives Matter Movement.

Mr. Blow is also a CNN commentator and was a Presidential Visiting Professor at Yale, where he taught a seminar on media and politics.

Mr. Blow is the author of the critically acclaimed New York Times best-selling memoir, Fire Shut Up in My Bones. The book won a Lambda Literary Award and the Sperber Prize and made multiple prominent lists of best books published in 2014. People Magazine called it “searing and unforgettable.” His second book, The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto, was named a "most anticipated book" by the San Francisco ChronicleO, the Oprah MagazineTime OutTown and Country, and Lithub.

Mr. Blow joined The New York Times in 1994 as a graphics editor and quickly became the paper’s graphics director, a position he held for nine years. In that role, he led The Times to a best of show award from the Society for News Design for The Times’  information graphics coverage of 9/11, the first time the award had been given for graphics coverage.  He also led the paper to its first two best of show awards from the Malofiej Infographics World Summit for work that included coverage of the Iraq war.  He then went on to become the paper’s design director for news before leaving in 2006 to become the art director of National Geographic Magazine. Before coming to The Times, Mr. Blow had worked at The Detroit News.

As a speaker, Blow fearlessly tackles contentious issues, such as income inequality, xenophobia, education, and the relationship between journalism and justice. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JACK LEW

  • Secretary of the Treasury (2013-2016)

Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew (2013- 2017) has served as the most senior economic official in the U.S. government, helping to shape policies that drove the longest economic recovery in American history.  At Treasury, he oversaw all aspects of international and domestic fiscal policy, including issues related to financial regulation, global sanctions regimes, tax policy, debt management, and trade.  As a speaker, he brings the freshest insights and an insider's knowledge of the individual people and policies affecting the direction of the global economy.  Secretary Lew addresses these issues both from an historical perspective -- given his over 30 years of government experience -- and by looking forward to how the new Administration and Congress may tackle the many challenges they face.  With his unique perspective, Secretary Lew presents an engaging view of how complex financial and geopolitical forces are shaping our economy, both domestically and overseas.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

SEKOU KAALUND

  • Managing Director, JP Morgan Chase & Co.

With more than two decades of Wall Street experience, Sekou Kaalund has a proven track record of achieving revenue growth and developing highly profitable client relationships in start-up, turn around, and scale businesses. His unique background spans leadership experiences in staff and line roles across institutional and retail businesses. He has developed market strategies, managed strategic business transactions, and led complex organizations.

As head of Consumer Banking at Chase for the Northeast Division, Sekou oversees 1000 branches in five regions with 10,000 employees and over $325 billion in deposits and investments. He runs the largest division in Consumer Banking, which as a standalone is the equivalent of the 4th largest bank in the country. Sekou has a strong track record developing talent, forming inclusive teams, and leveraging a vast network to connect people with opportunities.

Sekou has established key connections across client segments and industries. As part of JPMorgan’s Corporate and Investment Bank, he managed some of the largest, complex firmwide relationships with Asset Manager and Hedge Funds. He also was the Americas Head of Sales for Public & Corporate Pensions, turning around a low performing segment and growing business by 300%, while achieving four-years of record sales. He joined JPMorgan as Head of Private Equity Fund Services Business Development and built a global team, achieved 60% growth, and won new clients in countries previously unpenetrated.

Because of Sekou’s commitment to impact and experience building businesses, he was tapped to launch Advancing Black Pathways, the first global corporate initiative that leveraged a data-driven strategic framework to develop scalable programs to reduce the racial wealth gap. The success of this initiative—which included hiring thousands of black students, providing millions of dollars in capital to black businesses, and reaching over one million individuals with financial health content—led to a historic five-year firm-wide $30B commitment to advance racial equity.

Sekou’s contributions have been recognized by Ebony Magazine’s 2020 Power 100 list, “Titans of Industry”; SAID Institute 2020 Mark of Excellence; World of Money 2019 Wall Street Legacy Award; and Face2Face Africa’s 2019 “30 Black Stars”. He has been featured in publications, including BBC, Forbes, NBC, CNBC, Black Enterprise, and Essence. Sekou serves on non-profit and corporate boards, including CLMBR,  INROADS (Vice Chair), Duke University School of Public Policy, and America Needs You. 

Additionally, Sekou held leadership roles at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Citi. He earned a Master’s Degree from Duke University and a Bachelors from Hampden-Sydney College. Sekou resides in the NY metropolitan area with his wife and three children. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

GREG NORMAN

  • Golf’s “Great White Shark”

Arguably the most successful athlete-turned-businessman in the world, Greg Norman is known as much for his entrepreneurial spirit in the boardroom as his dominance on the golf course. The internationally renowned “Great White Shark” won more than 90 tournaments worldwide, including two Open Championships, and he holds the distinction of defending his No. 1 position in the world golf rankings for 331 weeks, the second-longest reign in history. As one of the most prolific players in the game’s history, his career culminated in 2001 when he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame with a higher percentage of votes than any other inductee in history.

Greg Norman now transcends the game of golf, with over a dozen companies around the world bearing his name and the iconic shark logo as part of the Greg Norman Company, which he leads as Chairman & CEO. His internationally recognized brand boasts more than 100 golf course designs across six continents, a global real estate collection, award-winning wine, golf-inspired lifestyle apparel and a diverse investment division. Across all facets of business, the Greg Norman brand consistently delivers the quality that his name is synonymous with and continues to inspire people to attack life.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

GLORIA STEINEM

  • Iconic Visionary of the Women's Movement

Gloria Steinem remains an iconic and inspiring voice, and one of the most visible symbols of the women's movement. Ms. Steinem continues to be an ever-present and sought-after speaker on all fronts of social activism. Steinem now produces and hosts WOMAN, a new tv series that explores human rights and violence against women around the world, with a focus on first-person accounts and support systems. It is aired on Vice TV where Steinem offers its millennial audience, newly awoken to her legacy, ways to get involved.  “What I hope is, seeing it will be the closest thing to being on the ground yourself,” she said. “It is being a witness. And people in hard times need a witness, and somebody who can help.” 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ASHLEY JUDD

  • Award-Winning Actress

Heralded for starring in both box office hits and for her unforgettable performances in independent films, Ashley Judd is a renowned actress, humanitarian, and political activist.

One of the most vocal and influential figures of the #MeToo movement, Judd was named to TIME's "Person of the Year" as one of the silence-breakers and change-makers who helped shift the culture and conversation around sexual abuse and harassment. A feminist and social justice humanitarian, Judd has worked internationally with NGO’S, grass roots organizations, governments, and supranational bodies. She serves as Global Goodwill Ambassador for UNFPA, is the Global Ambassador for Population Services International, and is Chairperson of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project: Curbing Abuse, Expanding Freedom.

As an actress, Judd's films tell very personal stories-- which is exactly what she does at speaking engagements. A voice for the often voiceless, Judd speaks on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves. Whether it's sharing the story of a terminally ill patient suffering from a preventable illness a world away, or the story of a family struggling to find clean drinking water in Appalachia, Judd shines illuminating light on the vulnerable and the at-risk. She also dives into topics of women's rights, mental health, the environment, advocacy and more.

Ashley began her life-long activism at the tender age of 19 when she organized a campus-wide walk out of classes at the University of Kentucky to protest the use of the “n” word by a revered member of the Board of Trustees at the University of Kentucky. A member of an all white sorority, none of whom joined her protest, she risked her friendships and social standing to do what she knew was right. When the Governor would not remove the offending Board member, Ashley reached out to the Black organizations on campus to organize a march on the Kentucky state capitol.

Her young activism flourished from there, soon encompassing the anti-apartheid movement and America`s marital rape laws. She has been indefatigable for racial justice and equality ever since. Some of the many highlights of three decades of activism include her iconic and courageous Nasty Woman speech at the Women’s March in 2017 which garnered tens of millions of views.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY

  • Academy Award-Winning Actor

Academy Award-Winning Actor Matthew McConaughey's impressive career has spanned 40 feature films that have grossed over $1 billion dollars. A Texas native heralded for his constant career reinvention, McConaughey is a dedicated philanthropist whose just keep livin' Foundation empowers high school students to lead active lives and make healthy choices for a better future.

A force of nature both onscreen and in business, McConaughey serves as creative director for Wild Turkey, has co-created his own bourbon called Longbranch, is part owner of Austin FC, and serves as the Minister of Culture/M.O.C for the University of Texas sports arena and Austin FC MLS Soccer Club.

In his New York Times #1 bestselling book, Greenlights, McConaughey writes what he calls a love letter to life.  Greenlights takes readers on a journey of lessons he grappled with throughout his life reminding us to connect with grace, truth, and the beauty of being alive.

In engagements that are equal parts empowering and entertaining, McConaughey shares lessons from his life and career, the impact of his philanthropic efforts, and the importance of chasing your passion.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

AMBER HEARD

  • Actress, Activist and Humanitarian

Amber Heard is an actor, activist and humanitarian. 

Renowned for her roles in films such as The Danish Girl, Her Smell, Aquaman and Justice League, Amber continues to build a successful career in Hollywood while simultaneously using her platform as a public figure to amplify her role as a humanitarian and to bring awareness to human rights issues. She is most passionate about including LGBTQ rights and fighting for the political, social and economic aid and rights for refugees and migrants. She frequently visits locations around the world to fight on behalf of marginalized communities from Syrian refugees, indigenous groups in Central America to migrants at the US border. 

An outspoken advocate for women's rights and for the civil rights of survivors of all gender-based violence around the world, Amber works with organizations that encourage survivors both personally and politically to come forward and reclaim their power. Amber makes frequent trips to DC to lobby and fight on behalf of the civil rights of women and the innumerable silent survivors of gender-based violence. Amber is a Women’s Rights Ambassador at the ACLU, and was the first American actress to be named Human Rights Champion of the UN Human Rights Office.

An eloquent and passionate speaker, Amber has lent her voice to major global events like the UN Social Good Summit, Global Citizen Festival, One Young World Conference and the Incredible Women Gala. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

RICKI LAKE

  • Actress, Producer, Author, and Family Advocate

Pop culture icon Ricki Lake has built an award-winning acting and producing career on her graciously candid sensibility and her authentic, relatable nature. A storyteller, talk show host, documentarian, and passionate activist, Lake has worked hard to make this world a better place through the use of her voice and platform. Lake’s legacy is undoubtedly her ability to share the truth on a wide variety of subjects through her unique lens.

Rising to fame at 18 years of age as the original Tracy Turnblad, in John Water’s Hairspray, she went to on make more than 20 films including Cry-baby, Serial Mom, and Mrs. Winterbourne among others. Ricki then went on to become the youngest talk show host in history at the age of 24. Her show was the voice of the younger generation and the success of her show was unprecedented and changed the genre of talk television forever.  

Lake’s award-winning documentary The Business of Being Born has become a national platform and tool for childbirth education in schools and hospitals, and is hailed as the “must see” film among mothers to be. In addition to other successful film projects, Lake also executive produced documentary film Weed the People, which examines the use of cannabis as medicine for children with pediatric cancer and its status as a Schedule I prohibited drug in the United States.

The author of Never Say Never: Finding a Life That Fits, Lake speaks to worldwide audiences, offering actionable advice for those struggling in their own skin. In empowering, impassioned conversations, Lake shares her journey from troubled childhood to weathering near-bankruptcy, an extremely difficult divorce, and the suicide of a deep love to ultimately finding success and happiness. In recalling the ups and downs of her experience, she reminds audiences that life always hands you the unexpected, so you should never say never. With her signature informative yet conversational delivery, Lake educates people on how to make informed choices when it comes to their health and inspires any group to let go of their own fears to find happiness within themselves.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

KEVIN HASSETT

  • Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers (2017-19)

Dr. Kevin Hassett is among the world's leading economists, and served as the 29th Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers from 2017 through 2019.  He was recently called back to the White House to serve as a special economic advisor to President Trump to manage data-driven decisions in response to the Coronavirus economic fallout.

While working in the Trump White House, Hassett was a key force driving internal and external debate on virtually every economic topic, from taxes and trade, to substance abuse and deregulation. While at the White House, Hassett was the top public spokesperson for the White House on economic policy and the state of economy, appearing regularly on Fox, Fox Business, CNBC, MSNBC, Bloomberg, CNN, and more.  Hassett was even drawn upon at times to run the televised White House press briefings. 

Sought-out by numerous presidential candidates, Hassett served as John McCain's chief economic adviser in the 2000 presidential primaries and an economic adviser to the campaigns of George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election and McCain in the presidential election of 2008. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ELIZABETH NYAMAYARO

  • United Nations Senior Advisor on Gender Equality (2013 – 2020)

Elizabeth Nyamayaro, a former Senior Advisor at the United Nations on Gender Equality and the founder and CEO of AfricaYouth.org, spent her childhood in an African village that was ravaged by both famine and HIV/AIDS. Born in Zimbabwe, Elizabeth has worked as a humanitarian at the forefront of global development for over two decades, addressing the world’s greatest inequalities and improving the lives of underserved communities. While at the United Nations, Elizabeth created and launched HeForShe, one of the world’s largest solidarity movements for gender equality, galvanizing men in every single country in the world. A strong advocate for women rights and youth empowerment, she has held positions with UNAIDS, the World Health Organization, the World Bank and UN Women, and she is currently a Special Advisor for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). She wrote a memoir about her life and experiences, I Am A Girl From Africa. Named as Apolitico’s 100 Most Influential People in Gender Policy 2018 & 2019, Elizabeth has been touted by The New York Times as “one of only two women transforming Davos” with her social impact work featured in Vogue, Fast Company, Fortune, Elle, BBC and CNN. A strong advocate for women rights and youth empowerment, she served as inaugural Glass Lions jury at Cannes Lions and has received the Feminist Majority Foundation’s prestigious Global Women’s Rights Award. Elizabeth is a Political Scientist by training and holds a MSc in Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science and leadership education from the Harvard Business School.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ITZHAK PERLMAN

  • 16 Time Grammy Award-Winning Violinist

One of the only household names in classical music today, Itzhak Perlman enjoys superstar status rarely afforded a classical musician. Beloved for his charm and humanity as well as his talent, he is treasured by audiences who respond not only to his remarkable artistry, but also to his irrepressible joy for music-making and communicating with music lovers around the world. In his presentations, Mr. Perlman's joy of music is brought to life on stage as he uses his violin to demonstrate the power of music by emotionally connecting with his audience.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ROBIN SHARMA

  • Globally Respected Leadership Expert

Robin Sharma is one of the world's premier speakers on Leadership and Personal Mastery, named one of the World's Top Leadership Gurus. As a presenter, Sharma has the rare ability to electrify an audience yet deliver uncommonly original and useful insights that lead to individuals doing their best work, teams providing superb results and organizations becoming unbeatable.

For nearly 20 years, many of the most well-known organizations on the planet, ranging from Nike, GE, Microsoft, FedEx, PwC, HP and Oracle to NASA, Yale University and YPO have chosen Robin Sharma for their most important events, when nothing less than a world-class speaker will do.

Sharma's books such as The Leader Who Had No Title have topped bestseller lists internationally and his social media posts reach over six hundred million people a year, making him a true global phenomenon for helping people do brilliant work, thrive amid change and realize their highest leadership capacities within the organization so that personal responsibility, productivity, ingenuity and mastery soars.

Sharma has been ranked as one of the Top 5 Leadership Gurus in the World in an independent survey of over 22,000 businesspeople and appears on platforms with other luminaries such as Richard Branson, Bill Clinton, Jack Welch and Shaquille O'Neill.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ELLIE KEMPER

  • Actress, Writer and Comedian

Known for her television roles on the American version of The Office and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Ellie Kemper is an actress, writer, comedian, and the author of My Squirrel Days, a collection of personal essays that detail her journey from adolescence to Emmy-nominated actress.

In conversations that are equal parts funny and inspiring, Kemper shares behind-the-scenes stories from her time on two of America’s most beloved modern shows; her rise from a struggling actor to a television star; the importance of mentorship in her career; balancing her acting career, publishing a book and having a child in the span of two years; how to keep a positive outlook when facing the challenges of the modern world; and how to effectively follow your dreams.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

VANESSA BAYER

  • Seven-Season Saturday Night Live Cast Member

Vanessa is best known for her seven seasons on legendary comedy series, Saturday Night Live, where she was nominated for an Emmy Award for her hilarious and memorable work.  She is currently working on the loosely autobiographical Showtime pilot, Big Deal, that she wrote with SNL alum Jeremy Beiler, in which she will star.  

On television, Vanessa was most recently seen as 'Amy/Friday' on Will & Grace and as 'Officer Debbie Fogel' on Brooklyn Nine-Nine.  Vanessa's other television credits include Shrill, I Think You Should Leave, Drunk History, What We Do In The Shadows, Single Parents, Love, and Portlandia, among others.  

Bayer lent her voice to Universal Pictures' animated feature Despicable Me 2 and starred in the series Sound Advice that she co-created with her brother Jonah for Broadway Video's Above Average.  She starred in the Netflix original movie, Ibiza, produced by Will Ferrell, Adam McKay & Nathan Kahan.  She also featured in the box office hit, Trainwreck alongside Amy Schumer.  Most recently, Vanessa appeared in the independent feature Wander Darkly starring opposite Diego Luna and Sienna Miller.  Bayer can also be seen in Susan Johnson’s independent feature, Carrie Pilby, Dreamworks feature Office Christmas Party, and the indie film The Polka King.  

Last year her children’s book, How Do You Care For A Very Sick Bear?, was widely received and revered by children and critics everywhere.  She also received The Gilda Award from Gilda’s Club, which benefits people living with cancer.

Bayer came to the cast of SNL from iO Chicago, the Annoyance Theater and the Second City.  She starred in the acerbic puppet show Felt and the improv team Revolver at iO Chicago. She wrote and performed in the Annoyance Theatre's Swear Jar and performed stand-up at Zanies. 

Originally from Cleveland, Bayer received her degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 2004.  While in college, she interned at Sesame Street and Late Night With Conan O’Brien and was a member of Bloomers, a storied all-female musical comedy troupe.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ALEX MOFFAT

  • Actor, Comedian, Writer, and Saturday Night Live Cast Member

Alex Moffat is a New York-based actor, stand-up, writer, and current cast member on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE where he made appearances starting in 2016 and became a repertory player in 2018. He is known for his impression of President Joe Biden, one example of his range of characters. He hails from Chicago where he was a regular performer at iO and The Annoyance Theatre as well as an official acro-dunker for the renowned Chicago Bulls. You can see him on Showtime's Billions, and starring in the feature Uncle John. Alex lent his voice as the role of Jimmy in Disney's sequel Wreck-It Ralph 2 and most recently, he can be seen in the film The Opening Act directed by Steve Byrne featuring an all-star comedy cast including Jimmy O. Yang and Bill Burr.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

W. KAMAU BELL

  • Sociopolitical Comedian, Political Satirist & Host of CNN's United Shades of America

W. Kamau Bell is a sociopolitical comedian who is the host and executive producer of the Emmy Award-winning CNN docu-series, United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell. He recently made his Netflix debut with a new stand-up comedy special, Private School Negro. Kamau has a book with the easy-to-remember title, The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6' 4", African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama's Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian. He is the director of the critically-acclaimed documentary, Cultureshock: Chris Rock’s Bring the Pain.

Kamau has hosted three critically-acclaimed podcasts: Kamau Right Now!, Politically Re-Active, and Denzel Washington is The Greatest Actor of All Time Period. Kamau is on the advisory board of Hollaback! and Donors Choose and is the ACLU Celebrity Ambassador for Racial Justice. The New York Times called Kamau “the most promising new talent in political comedy in many years.” 

Kamau has been nominated for multiple NAACP Image Awards and a GLAAD award, and he was featured on Conde Nast’s ‘Daring 25’ list for 2016. The SF Weekly called Kamau “smart, stylish, and very much in the mold of politically outspoken comedians like Dave Chappelle,” though he was mostly just excited that they called him “handsome.” The New Yorker said, “Bell’s gimmick is intersectional progressivism: he treats racial, gay, and women’s issues as inseparable.” Kamau is also known for his criminally short-lived FX & FXX comedy series, Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell.

 

 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

CHARLES DUHIGG

  • New York Times Bestselling Author of "The Power of Habit" and "Smarter Faster Better"

Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit has spent three years on the New York Times Bestseller list. His latest bestselling book, Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business (2016) is a fascinating exploration of the science of productivity, and why, in today’s world, managing how you think—rather than what you think—can transform your life. Duhigg's journalistic accomplishments have made him an in-demand speaker for organizations from the UCLA School of Management to Fortune 500 companies and The Johnson Foundation to the National Association of Science Teachers. His presentations are both descriptive and prescriptive, and speak to a wide range of groups from the fields of business, science, medicine, and education. He is a Pulitzer prize-winning investigative reporter and writes for The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, and other publications. Duhigg hosts the "How To!" podcast for Slate Magazine and is a 2020-2021 Business News Visionary Award recipient

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ADAM BRAUN

  • New York Times & Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, The Promise of a Pencil

Coca-Cola, Kraft, and Great-West Life have all hosted New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author Adam Braun and praised him as “The best speaker I’ve ever seen in the history of our company’s offsite events.” (Coca-Cola HBC); “The feeling was unanimous, the best speaker we’ve ever had at an offsite.” (Kraft Brands); “We all agreed that he is someone to watch over the next few years.” (Great-West Life)

Adam Braun knows how to motivate people to powerful action and organizations who bring Adam to their event are seeing the difference. His TEDTalk "The Five Phrases That Can Change Your Life," has been viewed 1.3 million times. 

The Founder of Pencils Of Promise, Adam Braun’s story is how one young man turned $25 into more than 525 schools, serving 100,000 students around the world, and built a global community which is well on its way to achieving its goal of making a quality education a possibility for everyone. His story proves that anyone can take small steps to lead a successful and significant life. 

Adam's book, The Promise of a Pencil, did not become a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller just because it was a great story; it became a sought-after guide for achieving goals and dreams and in the book Adam outlines chapters that provide actionable steps toward success. Adam empowers audiences to discover their next big idea, and he gives them guideposts for a path forward. Watch him in action in this inspiring presentation:  Creating Extraordinary Change in Life & Business

Adam went on to become Founder & CEO of MissionU, a 21st-century higher education company teaching hard and soft skills for the new economy. MissionU was an early pioneer in remote learning for workforce development that led to it being named to Fast Company's "Most Innovative Companies" in 2018, and it was acquired by WeWork later that year.

By the age of 31 Adam was already named to Business Insider’s 40 Under 40, Wired magazine‘s 50 People Who Are Changing the World, and was selected as one of the World Economic Forum’s first ten Global Shapers. Braun was previously nominated for the TED Prize and has received the nation's oldest and most prestigious award for public service, the Jefferson Award. 

 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MAYIM BIALIK

  • Award-Winning Actress renowned for "Big Bang Theory"

Mayim Bialik starred on the hit CBS comedy, The Big Bang Theory as Amy Farrah Fowler, for which she received two Critics Choice Awards, four Emmy Award nominations, and a SAG Award nomination. From playing the young version of Bette Midler’s character in Beaches to her turn as Blossom Russo in the iconic 90’s sitcom Blossom, Bialik has appeared in numerous beloved roles throughout her dynamic acting career. She currently stars as the lead in the Fox comedy show Call Me Kat, and is a co-executive producer on the show. 

Bialik puts her Neuroscience degree to use in her podcast, Mayim Bialik's Breakdown, where she breaks down the topic of mental health, especially to bust myths and misunderstandings. After a successful guest hosting turn at Jeopardy!, Bialik hosts Jeopardy! spinoff series for broadcast, cable, and streaming platforms.

An acclaimed author, Bialik has written two #1 New York Times best sellers, Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular, and the recently released Boying Up: How to Be Brave, Bold and Brilliant. She has also written a parenting book, Beyond the Sling, and a cookbook, Mayim’s Vegan Table. Bialik has recently dedicated her skills as a writer, actress, neuroscientist and mother to driving the lifestyle website GrokNation.com, which she started in 2015.

Following the end of Blossom, Bialik left acting for twelve years to earn a BS in Neuroscience from UCLA in 2000 with a minor in Hebrew & Jewish Studies. She went on to complete her PhD in Neuroscience, also at UCLA, and then completed her doctorate in the fall of 2007, which examined the role of oxytocin and vasopressin in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in adolescents with Prader-Willi syndrome. While at UCLA, Bialik was a dedicated student leader in UCLA Hillel, including conducting and writing music for UCLA’s Jewish acapella group.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ELIZABETH DUKE

  • Governor of the Federal Reserve (2008-2013)

Elizabeth “Betsy” Duke is a highly regarded banker with many firsts as a woman in banking. Although she has been a key decisionmaker in the boardroom of both the Federal Reserve and a major US bank, her commonsense view of the world was shaped in 30 years of community banking and small business lending. She joined the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in 2008, just as the financial crisis got underway. With her practical understanding of the banking industry, she was the Fed’s point person on housing, consumer and small business issues during the crisis and the recovery. She stepped up to chair the board of directors of Wells Fargo after the discovery of serious sales practices issues required that company to take a hard look at its culture. As Board Chair she oversaw a nearly complete replacement of the board and management team and maintained regular dialogue with investors and regulators.

Today, her understanding of the perspectives of both investors and public policymakers combines with her high-level experience and crisis-tested judgement to give color and texture to her remarks. Audiences appreciate that Duke has walked down Wall Street, Main Street, and Constitution Avenue. Her speeches and panel discussions highlight the interplay between the banking system and the economy with a focus on fiscal, monetary, and regulatory policy. With a conversational style, she approaches policy from the standpoint of the factors that shape it and the consequences that flow from it.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ERIC WHITACRE

  • Grammy-Award Winning Composer and Conductor

Grammy-winning composer and conductor Eric Whitacre is unlike any keynote speaker you've seen before. His secret power lies in his one-of-a-kind fusion of music and interactive multi-media, with lessons that radically transform the way your organization feels and thinks. He injects new life into organizations that may feel stuck, uninspired, or overwhelmed by the pace of change; provides insight on transformative innovation and disruptive leadership; and opens audiences' eyes to new ways of creating and collaborating. 

Working at the vanguard of art and technology. Whitacre has brought his unforgettable combination of speaking and music to the TED conference-- where his talk went viral-- and at events for Google, UNICEF and the United Nations. As audiences rave: "Probably the most emotionally impactful speaker we have ever had — people were mouth opened, crying, not leaving their seats."

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ANDREW YOUNG

  • Civil Rights Activist & Former Executive Director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)

Ambassador, Congressman, Mayor, humanitarian, ordained minister, international businessman, and sports enthusiast, Andrew Young has been serving and shaping our country for almost 50 years.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

KEN LANGONE

  • Co-Founder, The Home Depot

Iconoclastic entrepreneur and business legend Ken Langone is renowned as the co-founder of The Home Depot, where he was lead director and a member of the executive committee of its board since the company's founding, helping it expand to a national chain with over 2,000 locations and 400,000 employees. A pillar of corporate America for decades, Langone is the Founder and CEO of investment banking firm Invemed Associates LLC, served as CEO and President of Geeknet, Inc. (2011-2013), and was a director of the New York Stock Exchange. 

Langone's New York Times bestseller, I Love Capitalism!: An American Story, tells his compelling personal story rising up from a low-income family to becoming one of America's most successful businessmen. A passionate defender of the American Dream, Langone demonstrates that everyone is entitled to dream big and reach their maximum potential. Langone provides on-the-nose business insights, sharp analysis on the current political and economic climate, and real-life, empowering, inspiration on success and leadership. 

A world-class philanthropist, Langone's many contributions include a major gift to NYU's Medical Center, resulting in its renaming as the NYU Langone Medical Center. He also serves on the boards of Unifi, Inc., Micell Technologies, Relationship Sciences and Juice Press. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

HENRY KISSINGER

  • Secretary of State (1973-1977)

Foreign Policy Magazine named Henry Kissinger one of the "Top 100 Global Thinkers" for a "half-century ruling the U.S. foreign policy community." World-renowned for his unparalleled skills in the art of diplomacy, Dr. Kissinger is one of the shrewdest, best-informed and most articulate figures ever to occupy a position in Washington. A vital presence in international and national politics, Dr. Kissinger understands firsthand the delicate balance of world power and America’s influence.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON

  • U.S. Senator from Texas (1993-2013)

Kay Bailey Hutchison is a business woman and public servant with more than 40 years of experience in the public and private sectors. She served in the U.S. Senate for 20 years, representing the state of Texas. She served in the Senate leadership, having first been elected Vice-Chairman of the Republican Conference and later elected Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, the fourth-highest ranking Republican Senator. In 2017, she became the permanent Representative of the United States to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, where she was responsible for holding the alliance together and mapping out a strategy for how the United States works with Russia and China specifically in the world in general. Forbes magazine ranked her one of the world's 100 most powerful women.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JOY REID

  • MSNBC Political Analyst and Host of "The ReidOut"

Joy Reid is the host of the new primetime cable news program, The ReidOut, making her the first black woman to host a primetime cable news program. Prior to The ReidOut, Joy served as a political analyst at MSNBC and host of the hit weekend news morning show, AM Joy.  She is the author of three books: Fracture: Barack Obama, the Clintons and the Racial Divide, We Are the Change We Seek: The Speeches of Barack Obama, which she co-edited with Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne, and her latest book: The Man Who Sold America: Trump and the Unraveling of the American Story, which spent four weeks on the New York Times best-sellers list. Reid also co-hosts a podcast: Reid This-Reid That with veteran TV journalist Jacque Reid. She has worked in local and national TV news, as a talk radio producer and co-host, and as a press secretary during two presidential campaigns, including for Barack Obama's campaign in Florida in 2008. Her columns have appeared in multiple outlets including The New York Times, The Guardian, The Miami Herald, New York Magazine, and The Daily Beast.

Reid graduated from Harvard University in 1991 and was a 2003 Knight Center for Advanced Journalism fellow. She has received media awards from the Women’s Media Center, the National Action Network and the National Association of Black Journalists, and her work has been nominated for an Emmy Award, a GLAAD Media Award, and two NAACP Image Awards.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

OLYMPIA SNOWE

  • Bipartisan Leader in Congress

Olympia Snowe is recognized as a policy thought-leader in Washington. She is also an inspiration for the barriers she overcame to become one of the most powerful women in Washington. The Washington Post summed up Senator Snowe's powerful legacy as a politician, "with several historic distinctions to her name: She is the first woman in U.S. history to serve in both chambers of a state legislature and both chambers of Congress. She was the first Greek American woman to serve in Congress, the youngest Republican woman elected to the House and the first Republican woman to serve on the Senate Finance Committee." 

She made the decision not to seek a fourth term in the United States Senate when she arrived at a stark reality: that the excessive political polarization in Congress would not diminish in the short term.  As a result, she joined the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, to take her fight for bipartisanship in a different direction.  At the BPC, she serves as a Senior Fellow where she is able to harness her insider’s knowledge to promote change from outside of Congress.  

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JOE LIEBERMAN

  • Advocate for Centrist Policies to Break Partisan Gridlock

A thoughtful legislator. A principled man. An effective leader. This is the reputation that Joe Lieberman earned himself after four terms as the representative of Connecticut in the United States Senate.

Perhaps best known as the Democratic candidate for Vice President in 2000, Senator Lieberman  established himself as a national leader — one who works across party lines to find common ground, a person who speaks his conscience and who gets things done for the good of all people in America.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

CLARENCE PAGE

  • Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist

Pulitzer Prize winner Clarence Page is one of the most nationally recognized and highly regarded syndicated columnists in the country. A member of the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board, Page is also a regular contributor of essays to The News Hour with Jim Lehrer and has been a regular on The McLaughlin Group, The Chris Matthews Show, Nightline and Lead Story news panel programs. 

A go-to voice on American culture and politics thanks to his sharp, thoughtful and moving analysis, Page has received lifetime achievement awards from the Chicago Headline Club, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the National Association of Black Journalists. In his speeches, he decodes top political issues with clarity, balance and humor. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

DEVAL PATRICK

  • Governor of Massachusetts (2007-2015)

Deval Patrick served two terms as the 71st governor of Massachusetts. An accomplished executive, passionate leader and gifted orator, Deval Patrick will capture—and hold—the attention of any audience.  Guided by the advice of his grandmother to “hope for the best and work for it,” he entered office in 2007, a first-time candidate propelled by an unprecedented grassroots campaign and lead the Commonwealth to top national rankings in education, health care, energy efficiency, economic competitiveness and more. Through a challenging economic environment, the Governor maintained a disciplined growth strategy of investment in education, innovation and infrastructure.

The Governor was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States where his platform included opportunity and economic growth, reforming our healthcare and criminal justice system, an accessible and functioning democracy, and collaborative global leadership for the 21st century.

His next step in public life is TogetherFUND, a political action committee to support progressive politics, candidates for the United States Senate and House in so-called "swing" states and districts, and grassroots groups working to drive turnout and engagement among disenfranchised and marginalized voters.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

STEVEN LEVITT

  • Bestselling Author, Freakonomics Series

Co-author of the New York Times bestselling Freakonomics series, and 2003 recipient of the American Economic Association’s prestigious John Bates Clark Medal, given to the country's best economist under 40, Steven D. Levitt works with businesses to apply his Freakonomics approach (combining data, economic theory, and unorthodox thinking) to the corporate world.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

STEPHEN DUBNER

  • Bestselling Author, Freakonomics Series

Stephen J. Dubner is an award-winning author, journalist, and radio and TV personality. He is best-known as co-author of the New York Times bestselling Freakonomics series. They have sold more than 7 million copies in more than 40 countries. Dubner is also the host of the Freakonomics Radio podcast, which gets 5 million downloads a month, and he maintains the popular Freakonomics blog, which has been called “the most readable economics blog in the universe.”

Freakonomics, published in 2005, was an instant international bestseller and cultural phenomenon. Hailed by critics and readers alike, it still appears regularly on The New York Times bestseller list. SuperFreakonomics followed in 2009, to similar acclaim, and in 2010 a documentary film version of Freakonomics was chosen as the closing film of the Tribeca Film Festival.

The most recent successes in the series include Think Like A Freak (2014), which became an instant New York Times bestseller, and  When to Rob a Bank (2015), which is a collection of the best Freakonomics.com blog posts.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JIM MESSINA

  • CEO, The Messina Group

One of the world's most successful political advisors and renowned Democratic strategist Jim Messina is the mastermind behind former-President Obama and then-Vice President Biden’s 2012 re-election campaign. Seizing the reins on what Bloomberg Businessweek dubbed “the highest-wattage crash course in executive management ever undertaken,” Messina, with the guidance of technology’s foremost leaders, abandoned every step of a traditional presidential campaign and merged technology and politics in a way that was both unpredictable and unprecedented.

Messina’s strategies established the modern presidential campaign—Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt called it “the best-run campaign ever.”  The American Association of Political Consultants later crowned him the Campaign Strategist of the Year. 

Messina is among the most sought after legislative DC insiders, having worked in the Obama-Biden administration as Deputy Chief of Staff where he worked closely with both former-President Obama and President-elect Joe Biden on the passage of the historic Affordable Care Act, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act , which has been credited with saving the U.S. economy, and the landmark repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” Jim earned the nickname “The Fixer” as he worked closely with President Obama and Vice President Biden and Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle to pass the Affordable Care Act. For over twenty years, Jim served as Chief of Staff for various Senate and House offices on Capitol Hill where he worked to pass key legislation such as multiple tax cut bills, the Medicare prescription drug bill, and several trade agreements.

Messina has gone on to elect over a dozen Presidents and Prime Ministers on five continents including: the UK’s Theresa May and David Cameron, Mexico’s Enrique Peña Nieto, Argentina’s Mauricio Macri, Italy’s Matteo Renzi and Spain’s President Mariano Rajoy, who he helped secure a surprising re-election win. 

Currently at the helm of The Messina Group as CEO, Messina provides strategic consulting to top businesses around the world, including Uber, Airbnb, Google, Delta Air Lines, Hutchison Whampoa, and over 300 others. As a board member of Blockchain.com, Jim will help shape the future of cryptocurrency.

A fixture on news outlets such as MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, Bloomberg, BBC and more, and sought-out for the boards of countless organizations including Organizing for Action (OFA), Virgin HyperloopOne, Google’s Advanced Technology Panel, Fortera, and Pillpack, Messina is an in-demand voice at the crucial intersection of politics, business, and technology. He provides illuminating, actionable insights on our political and business landscape. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JENNIFER PALMIERI

  • Former White House Communications Director and Communications Strategist

Jennifer Palmieri is a writer and one of the most accomplished communications advisors in politics today. Author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Dear Madam President and her newest book, She Proclaims: Our Declaration of Independence from a Man’s World, Jennifer was White House Communications Director for President Obama and head of Communications for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. She has been on the frontlines of American politics for 20 years and one of a few people with a hands-on, working knowledge of the complex media environment operating in the U.S. today.

Having served in the West Wing for 12 years under President Obama and President Clinton she has an unparalleled level of knowledge and experience in understanding how U.S. Presidents operate and there is no one working in politics today with more experience in managing crises. She has held the positions of White House Deputy Press Secretary for President Clinton, national press secretary for the Democratic Party and press secretary for the 2004 John Edwards presidential campaign. As someone who worked on the campaign of the first female Democratic nominee, and been a communications advisor to women in the national spotlight, she has a unique perspective on how media and voters treat women in powerful positions.

She is also a guest host of Showtime’s The Circus and a contributing editor to Vanity Fair.

After losing her sister to early-onset Alzheimer’s in 2017, she has written and spoken about her family’s experience in an effort to aid other families facing the same disease.

 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

PENNY PRITZKER

  • U.S. Secretary of Commerce (2013-2017)

Penny Pritzker is an entrepreneur, civic leader and philanthropist with more than 30 years of experience in numerous industries. Named by Forbes as one of the 100 most powerful women in the world, Pritzker is the founder and Chairman of PSP Capital Partners and Pritzker Realty Group, a global private investment firm that takes a long-term, fundamental approach to investing in and building market-leading businesses in sectors such as professional services, real estate, technology, agriculture, industrial services and consumer products. 

From June 2013 through January 2017, Pritzker served as U.S. Secretary of Commerce in the Obama Administration. Pritzker was a core member of President Obama’s economic team and served as the country’s chief commercial advocate, leading the Administration’s trade and investment promotion efforts. During her tenure, she launched SelectUSA, the first federal initiative aimed at attracting foreign direct investment to the United States, which facilitated $23 billion in investment to date and created or retained tens of thousands of good paying American jobs. Pritzker also developed the agency’s first comprehensive digital and data agenda, chaired the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE) program and served as the Administration’s point person on manufacturing. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

FELIPE CALDERON

  • President of Mexico (2006-2012)

Felipe Calderón is the 56th President of Mexico. Establishing economic reform as a top priority of his administration, Calderón implemented policies that catapulted Mexico into a powerful player in the global economy. Since leaving his post as President, he has focused his leadership and attention on the economic benefits of acting on climate change, and has positioned himself as a leading voice on this global issue. President Calderón has hosted and chaired the G-20 Summit of Leaders, the most important forum of heads of state and government. He also chaired the UN Conference on Climate Change COP 16, which marked a new era of cooperation in this field. He was named "Statesman of the Year" by the World Economic Forum and "Champion of the Earth" by the United Nations, and received the Teddy Roosevelt Award for the Environment, the GLOBE Award from the Global Legislators Organization for a Balanced Environment, the International Star of Energy Efficiency award, and TIME magazine has designated him as one of their top 100 influential people in the world. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

OLIVIER BLANCHARD

  • Former Chief Economist, International Monetary Fund (2008-2015)

Olivier Blanchard is a renowned international economist and former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund. Since October 2015, he is the Fred Bergsten Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, in Washington. He is also the Robert M. Solow Professor of Economics emeritus at MIT.  

HWA EXCLUSIVE

GERHARD SCHRÖDER

  • Chancellor of Germany (1998-2005)

When companies invite Former Chancellor of Germany Gerhard Schröder to speak at an event, they know their audiences are going to be informed about geopolitics on a level beyond what they read in the papers or hear in the news cycle.  Gerhard Schröder shares in his speeches - whether a keynote address to thousands or an intimate BOD dinner - his insights gained from personal conversations with Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin, and the reigning powers in Iran.  He is a true statesmen who can address any global issue of importance to his audience including the European refugee crisis, the stability of the EU, energy policy and its influence on geopolitics, and the implications of new trade opportunities in the Middle East.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

WAYNE GRETZKY

  • National Hockey Legend

Wayne Gretzky, nicknamed "The Great One," is widely considered to be the greatest hockey player of all-time. Following his successful career on the ice, Gretzky has stayed close to the game he loves. He is the lead studio analyst for TNT's hockey broadcasts, was Head Coach and EVP of the Phoenix Coyotes from 2005 to 2009, named the Vice Chairman of the Edmonton Oilers from 2016-2021 and was the official ambassador for the NHL’s Centennial Celebration in 2017.

Gretzky retired as a player on April 16, 1999, after 20 seasons in which he dominated the National Hockey League unlike any player in history. Gretzky helped win four Stanley Cup Championships and three Canada Cup tournament titles during his illustrious career. He became the NHL's all-time leading goal, assist, and point producer for both regular season and playoffs. Gretzky won 10 Art Ross Trophies as the NHL's leading scorer, nine Hart Trophies as the League's MVP, and two Conn Smythe Trophies as playoff MVP. He earned five Lady Byng Trophies as the NHL's most gentlemanly player and made 18 consecutive All-Star Game appearances, securing three All-Star MVP Awards. Gretzky is an eight-time First All-Star Team member and seven-time Second All-Star Team member. He holds virtually every offensive record in the NHL and his tireless support of the game has contributed significantly to the popularity it enjoys today.

Upon his retirement, Gretzky held or shared 61 NHL records. Following his final game, the NHL bestowed on Gretzky the unique distinction of being the only player in the history of the NHL to have his jersey number retired by all member clubs. "No. 99" was formally retired at the 2000 NHL All-Star Game in Toronto and will never again be worn by an NHL player.

On November 22, 1999, seven months after his retirement, Gretzky was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Canada, becoming the tenth and final player in Hockey Hall of Fame history to have the mandatory three-year waiting period for enshrinement waived by the Hall's board of directors.

In 2002, Gretzky served in a managerial role with Team Canada as the Executive Director of Team Canada's Olympic Hockey Team. Under Gretzky's leadership, Team Canada persevered to win the Gold Medal. Gretzky served in the same capacity with Team Canada for the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.

The Wayne Gretzky Foundation is dedicated to helping disadvantaged youngsters throughout North America participate in hockey. Gretzky also gives his time to countless other charitable endeavors. He serves as Honorary Chairman of Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities in Canada, and is an Athlete Ambassador and Honorary Member of the Board of Trustees of Right to Play, an athlete driven humanitarian organization that uses sports to enhance child development in some of the most disadvantaged communities in the world. Gretzky also is a participant in “Hands That Shape Humanity”, a project for the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ALEX FERGUSON

  • Record-Breaking Coach Lauded as the Most Successful Manager in the History of Professional Sport

An authority on leadership and management, Sir Alex Ferguson is regarded as one of the most admired and respected managers in the history of football, the world’s most popular sport.When Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 after 26 years as manager of Manchester United football club, media outlets around the world lauded his legendary career. The New York Times called Sir Alex “…a candidate for the title of greatest coach, or manager, in history — not only in soccer, but in any sport on any continent.” As a manager, Sir Alex was often guarded in his public comments, but now, Sir Alex is able to candidly share with audiences his personal views on his leadership and management success and details of his storied career.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

TROY AIKMAN

  • 3-Time Super Bowl-Winning Quarterback

Former Dallas Cowboys player Troy Aikman has harnessed the drive and dedication that formed the foundation of his Hall of Fame football career into several successful business ventures since retiring from the game. Through broadcasting, investing in numerous companies, and The Troy Aikman Foundation, Aikman has quickly discovered numerous ways to keep himself occupied in “retirement.” 

After leaving the playing field, Aikman joined the NFL on FOX full-time as a game analyst. He quickly displayed the accuracy and work ethic that marked his playing career and moved up to FOX’s No. 1 broadcast crew. Aikman has impressed both critics and fans with the consistently entertaining and informative brand of coverage.

An empowering and insightful speaker, Aikman engages audiences with conversations about how to identify (and maximize) the individual assets of members on any team, how to use unexpected change and setbacks to grow, what he learned from the struggles and triumphs of his football career, and more.

 

 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MARIA SHARAPOVA

  • International Tennis Icon

Maria Sharapova is a world-class tennis champion and entrepreneur. Her passion for craftsmanship and detail is reflected in everything she does — both on and off the tennis court. 

After moving to the United States from Russia at age six to pursue her tennis career, Maria turned professional at age 14. She won Wimbledon at age 17 - the first of her five career Grand Slam titles -  and has been ranked #1 in the world by the WTA on five separate occasions. Maria was also the 7th female player in the open era to complete the career Grand Slam and the first female athlete to serve as the Olympic flag bearer for the Russian delegation. Maria chronicles much of her tennis career in her New York Times best-seller, Unstoppable: My Life so Far. 

Outside of tennis, Maria Sharapova is an active founder, CEO and business investor. She founded her premium candy line, Sugarpova, and has artfully designed and scaled all aspects of the company. She oversees the day-to-day decision-making and growth of the business — from creative branding and packaging to product R&D and retail expansion. Maria is also passionate about supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs — investing in several companies and participating in mentorship programs for women in business. 

 A curious person by nature, Maria is always seeking opportunities to learn and grow from others. She has taken courses at Harvard Business School and is collaborating with architect Dan Meis on a new concept for boutique wellness centers. Maria brings a creative and hands-on approach to all of her projects, spanning tennis, business, design and more. 

In her passionate remarks, Sharapova addresses everything from business advice and how to perform like a champion to women's empowerment and her own inspirational life story. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

KAREN G. MILLS

  • Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (2009-2013)

Karen Gordon Mills is a renowned expert on fintech, small business, entrepreneurship, job creation, and the economy at large.  Businesses and governments (including officials in the United Kingdom, Australia and the European Union) seek her insight not only for her higher-level ideas of growth and innovation, but also for important small business tactical insights such as access to capital, regional economic clusters, hiring skilled workers, boosting exports, and tapping into government and commercial supply chains. Mills was widely praised for doing this on a national level when she served in President Barack Obama's Cabinet as Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration and as member of the President's National Economic Council. Mills is the President of MMP Group and a longtime venture capitalist and private equity investor, having built companies that range from tech platforms to Annie’s macaroni and cheese.

Author of Fintech, Small Business & The American Dream: How Technology is Transforming Lending and Shaping a New Era of Business Opportunity, Mills is a leading voice on how new technologies are revolutionizing the small business lending market, and how traditional institutions can create the impetus for innovation and change.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

TOM COLICCHIO

  • Award-Winning Chef and Restaurateur

Tom Colicchio spent his childhood immersed in food, cooking with his mother and grandmother. It was his father, however, who suggested that he make a career of it. Tom taught himself to cook with the help of Jacques Pépin’s legendary illustrated manuals on French cooking, La Technique and La Méthode. At age 17, Tom made his kitchen debut in his native town of Elizabeth, New Jersey, at Evelyn’s Seafood Restaurant.

Colicchio then cooked at prominent New York restaurants including The Quilted Giraffe, Gotham Bar & Grill, Rakel, and Mondrian. During his tenure as executive chef of Mondrian, Food & Wine magazine selected him as one of the top 10 “Best New Chefs” in the U.S. and The New York Times awarded the restaurant three stars.

In July 1994, Tom and his business partner Danny Meyer opened Gramercy Tavern in Manhattan’s Gramercy Park neighborhood. Tom’s cooking at Gramercy Tavern won consistent recognition, garnering three stars from Ruth Reichl of The New York Times and earning him The James Beard Foundation’s 2000 “Best Chef-New York” Award.

In 2001, Tom opened Craft one block south of Gramercy Tavern. Soon after, The New York Times awarded Craft with three stars, deeming the restaurant “a vision of food heaven.” Craft was awarded The James Beard Foundation Award for “Best New Restaurant” in 2002. That same year, Tom received The Bon Appétit American Food and Entertaining Award for “Chef of the Year.” The New York Times revisited Craft in September 2011, ten years after its debut, upholding its three stars and stating that the restaurant is “as magical and delicious as it was when it opened.”

Crafted Hospitality, currently includes New York’s Craft, Riverpark, and Temple Court; Craft Los Angeles; Las Vegas’ Heritage Steak and Craftsteak; and Small Batch in Garden City, NY.

Tom has published three cookbooks to date. The first, Think Like a Chef (Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2000), won The James Beard Foundation “KitchenAid” Cookbook Award in May 2001. Tom’s second cookbook, Craft of Cooking, was released by Clarkson Potter/Publishers in 2003. A sandwich book inspired by ‘wichcraft, was released by Clarkson Potter/Publishers in March 2009.

Since 2006, Tom has been applying his experience and expertise to cable television as the head judge on Bravo’s hit reality cooking series Top Chef. The Emmy-winning show is currently in its 18th season.

In May of 2010, Colicchio was awarded The James Beard Foundation’s coveted “Outstanding Chef” award, the culmination of his 30 years of hard work in the restaurant industry.

Tom appears in and served as Executive Producer on A Place at the Table, Participant Media’s documentary about food and security in America. It was produced and directed by Kristi Jacobson and Colicchio’s wife Lori Silverbush and premiered at the 2012 Sundace Film Film Festival. Magnolia Pictures released the film on March 1, 2013.

Tom and his restaurants give back to the community by supporting charities including Children of Bellevue, City Harvest, Alex’s Lemonade Foundation, United Way of New York, and Food Bank for New York City. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Lori Silverbush, and three sons.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

PADMA LAKSHMI

  • Emmy-Nominated Host and Producer, Bravo's Top Chef

Emmy-nominated Padma Lakshmi is internationally known as a food expert, model, actress and bestselling author, and activist. Lakshmi serves as host and an executive producer of Bravo’s Emmy award-winning Top Chef, which is currently in its 16th season. She is also the host and producer of the acclaimed Hulu show Taste the Nation, winner of the 2021 Critics Choice Award, and which explores the rich and diverse food culture of various immigrant groups- ultimately revealing stories that challenge notions of identity, belonging, and what it means to be American.

Lakshmi established herself as a food expert early in her career, having hosted two successful cooking shows and writing the bestselling Easy Exotic. Lakshmi followed this success with the publication of her second cookbook, Tangy, Tart, Hot & Sweet, and her food memoir, the New York Times bestselling Love, Loss and What We Ate.

In addition to her work as a TV host and producer and writer, Lakshmi is a savvy businesswoman, having had multiple companies of her own, including her home décor line, The Padma Collection, and Padma’s Easy Exotic, a collection of frozen rices, lentils and other culinary products. 

An ambassador for the ACLU, focusing on women’s reproductive health and immigration issues, Lakshmi is also co-founder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ABIGAIL POSNER

  • Director, BrandUnit, Google (Humanizing Digital)

Today’s unprecedented speed of change is forcing companies to pivot like never before and leverage their most innovative assets -- their PEOPLE.  For centuries, our workforce has been focused on specific roles and siloed divisions, but now the path to growth will come by inspiring every employee (from leader to individual contributor) with a new path to bring different, untapped sides of themselves to work, and ultimately become more curious, creative and action-oriented.  This process of creating a more holistic person and organization is what Abigail Posner refers to as expansiveness. Tapping into her Harvard background in social anthropology, as well as her practical application in business through her work at Google, where she pioneers a focus around Humanizing Digital, Abigail provides an inspirational narrative and a roadmap for how people and organizations can embrace a new WHOLE-istic approach to business innovation and growth.

If you are looking to guide people in your organization to embrace more than a siloed vision of their roles, as well as become more vested in using their unique perspectives and skills to be more creative and innovative, then Abigail is the perfect guide to spark novel thinking and lead your people to action. Beyond her role at Google, she is a world-renowned speaker, podcaster, writer, beauty blogger, and lifestyle influencer. From appearances before packed audiences at Lincoln Center and SXSW, to speaking in over 10 countries, Abigail has shared her insights on culture, technology and leadership to audiences of thousands and proves that her own expansive approach to life has infused her work with a creative and innovative edge.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JOSEPH LUBIN

  • Founder and CEO, ConsenSys, blockchain venture studio

Joseph Lubin is a Co-Founder of Ethereum—the most superior advanced blockchain platform by size, functionality and applicationand founder of ConsenSys, one of the largest and fastest-growing blockchain companies in the world.

Named to CoinDesk’s “Most Influential in Blockchain,” Joseph co-founded the Ethereum Project and founded ConsenSys as a venture production studio focused on building developer tools and decentralized applications on the Ethereum platform. Prior to working on Ethereum, Lubin’s career focused on the intersection of cryptography, engineering, and finance, including his role as VP of Technology in Private Wealth Management at Goldman Sachs.  

Sought-out to speak at events ranging from The World Economic Forum to SXSW, in his compelling keynotes Joseph reveals the transformative power of blockchain technology and his vision for a decentralized future. Equal parts informative and inspiring, he sheds light on how new technologies have the power to transform industries, and how organizations can reap the benefits. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

PHILIPP HILDEBRAND

  • Chairman, Governing Board of the Swiss National Bank (2010– 2012)

Not only is Philipp Hildebrand "a thinker and strategist," according to the Financial Times, "many economists and policymakers argue that his bold moves and non-bureaucratic mindset are just what is needed amid the economic turmoil." He is currently Vice Chairman of BlackRock Inc. He most recently served as Chairman of the Governing Board of the Swiss National Bank, where he was a strong advocate of the bank’s policy of capping the franc against the euro. He was also one of the first western central bankers to publicly demand tougher capital standards for banks in 2007, before the Lehman Brothers crisis in 2008. During the financial crisis, Dr. Hildebrand played a prominent international role as a member of the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and as the Swiss Governor of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

HWA EXCLUSIVE

LAURA TYSON

  • First Female Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisors (1993-1995)

As an economist, policy-maker, professor, and former business school dean, Laura D'Andrea Tyson has long been a leading champion of ways to re-think the role of business in society. Currently a Professor and Director of the Institute for Business and Social Impact at the Haas School of Business and the chair of the Board of Trustees of the Blum Center for Developing Economies at the University of California, Berkeley, Tyson has also served as Dean of London Business School from 2002 through 2006 and as Dean of the Berkeley Haas School of Business from 1998 through 2001.

Frequently sought our for her economic insight from the highest levels of government, Tyson was a member of the US Department of State Foreign Affairs Policy Board (2011-2013) and served as a member of President Barack Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness (2011-2012). She was also a member of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board (2009-2011). 

Tyson is currently a Senior Advisor at Credit Suisse Research Institute and The Rock Creek Group. Among the many other esteemed positions Tyson currently holds are:

  • Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress
  • Member of the Advisory Council of the Brookings Institution Hamilton Project
  • An advisory board member of Generation Investment Management, H&Q Asia Pacific, and the Observatory Group
  • Member of the Asia Commission of the Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute
  • Advisory committee member of the Presidential Leaders Scholars
  • Member of the international advisory council of Bocconi University
  • Advisor to the Alliance for Competitive Taxation
  • Special Advisor at the Berkeley Research Group
  • Member of the Fair Shake Commission on Income Inequality and Middle Class Opportunity
  • Serves on the economic advisory board of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School
  • Member of the Berggruen Institute on Governance’s Think Long Committee for California, 21st Century Council and Governance Index
  • Member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Women’s Empowerment
  • Member of the Boards of Directors of AT&T, CBRE Group Inc., and Silver Spring Networks and Lexmark International Inc.
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the Jacobs Foundation, The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, and the Opportunity Institute

In addition to her economic work at the highest levels of governments and Fortune 500 companies, she is a leader in the blending of business and social change, exploring ways that for-purpose organizations can impact social change using for-profit principles, and vice versa. Additionally, she has tremendous experience and insight into global trade and trace policy, as she helped usher China into the WTO and was instrumental in the creation of NAFTA and other trade legislation.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

PHIL LIBIN

  • Digital Entrepreneur & Venture Capital Investor

Phil is a co-founder and the CEO of All Turtles, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) startup studio. He is also the co-founder and former CEO of the global productivity tool Evernote, which created an epic transformation in workflow and has redefined the way individuals and teams work today. A sought-after leader on innovation, Libin provides audiences with an engaging look at what it takes to reinvent productivity at global scale.  His investment focus is generally on using technology to enhance humanity, productivity, and business globally.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MARTIN SHEEN

  • Award-Winning Actor

Endeared to audiences nation-wide for his acting career which spans more than five decades, Martin Sheen uses his dynamic presence and celebrity status to lend an inspired voice to political and humanitarian causes around the globe.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

BILL RANCIC

  • The Original Apprentice

After bursting on to the scene as NBC’s first Apprentice, Bill Rancic has traveled to every part of the globe, sharing his life experiences and business acumen with tens of thousands of leaders, businesses and organizations on a variety of important topics. His expertise ranges from why some companies thrive in chaos — and others don't — to the leadership behaviors needed in a world beset by turbulence, uncertainty and dramatic change.

What makes Bill so unique is that he is both a student and teacher of leadership and has a healthy obsession with what makes great companies and leaders tick.

Having invested nearly two decades living the topic, Rancic has authored four books. These include New York Times bestseller You’re Hired: How to Succeed in Business and Life, which examines how some companies and leaders make the leap to superior results; the enduring classic, Beyond the Lemonade Stand, which teaches young people and empowers them with the value of both money and positive self-image. In addition, Rancic co-authored I Do… Now What? with celebrity wife Giuliana Rancic where they share secrets to a supportive love and true partnership in marriage. He also just penned his first novel, First Light.

Driven by a relentless curiosity, Rancic really began his business journey when graduated cum laude from Loyola University. He then went on to become a successful entrepreneur when he founded a monthly online subscription-based retailer.  Since that time, he has inspired millions of people around the globe to work towards reaching their full potential, both in business and in their personal lives. He is currently co-owner of the RPM Restaurant Group and the Giuliana Prosecco.  

Rancic appears regularly on numerous daytime broadcast and cable television programs such as Today, The View, Rachael Ray, Steve Harvey and various CNBC programs.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MORGAN DEBAUN

  • Founder and CEO of Blavity Inc.

Morgan DeBaun is a serial entrepreneur and corporate advisor. As the Founder & CEO of Blavity Inc., the leading digital media company for Black culture and millennials, Morgan has grown the company into a market leader for Black media, reaching over 100 million readers per month through a growing brand portfolio which includes: Blavity News, 21Ninety, AfroTech, Travel Noire, Shadow & Act, and Lunchtable. Under DeBaun’s leadership, Blavity has launched several leading consumer summits, including Summit 21 for Black women creators, and AfroTech, the largest tech conference for Black innovators and founders.

DeBaun acts as an advisor to influential global brands and companies including Disney, American Airlines, CES, Pantora Bridal and Rosen Skincare. She is also an angel investor in Golde, a consumer brand present in over 200 stores, and Public, which has a $1B+ valuation.

DeBaun is a recipient of Ad Color’s Innovative Award, has been recognized by Forbes in the “30 Under 30” and America’s Top 50 Women in Tech lists, and was named as one of the 100 Most Influential African Americans by The Root.

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BILLIE JEAN KING

  • Sports Icon and Equality Pioneer

As one of the 20th century's most respected and influential people, Billie Jean King has long been a champion for social justice and equality. She has created new inroads for both genders in and out of sports during her legendary career and she continues to make her mark today, primarily through the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, which is dedicated to promoting equality and inclusion in the workplace.

King, who won an astounding 39 Grand Slam tennis titles during her career, blazed trails for women everywhere in 1970 when she became one of nine players to break away from the tennis establishment and accept a one dollar contract to compete in the newly created Virginia Slims Series. The revolt led to the birth of women's pro tennis and the formation of the Women's Tennis Association. King went on to star in one of the greatest moments in sports history when she defeated Bobby Riggs in the famous match dubbed “The Battle of the Sexes,” which was immortalized on the silver screen in the film of the same name. Her memoir, ALL IN: An Autobiography, published by Knopf in August 2021, is garnering rave reviews.

Named one of the "100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century" by Life and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, King moves audiences with empowering lessons on leadership, inclusivity, equality, and finding your purpose.

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CARLI LLOYD

  • Produced One of the Greatest International Soccer Careers in Women’s Soccer History

Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist and Two-Time World Cup Champion Carli Lloyd is a former soccer legend who played for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team for 17 years (2005-2021). Carli was awarded the most prestigious and highest award in soccer: FIFA World Player of the Year (2015 and 2016); only one other American player has received the award twice.

She was best known for her clutch performances in the biggest moments, but it was Lloyd’s consistent production over the course of her career, her extreme dedication to the game and her relentless pursuit of self-improvement that perhaps best exemplifies her contribution to U.S. and world soccer history.

Carli is a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist (2008 and 2012) and a Bronze Medalist (2020). She holds the unique distinction of scoring in every Olympic medal match, including the 2008 gold medal match against Brazil, a brace in the 2012 gold medal game against Japan, and a brace in the 2020 Bronze medal game against Australia. Carli holds the record for All-time leading scorer in USWNT Olympic history with 10 goals. She is the only American player to score in four different Olympics (2008, 2012, 2016, 2020).

She also competed in four Women’s World Cup tournaments (2007, 2011, 2015, and 2019), and is a two-time World Cup Champion (2015 and 2019). She became the first player in FIFA Women’s World Cup to Score a Hat Trick in a World Cup Final (2015). She was awarded the Golden Ball (MVP) and Silver boot at the 2015 World Cup. Carli played in more World Cup (25) and Olympic matches (22) than any other USWNT player. She scored 134 goals, in 316 Caps (games played), which ranks 2nd All-time on the international stage for men and women. 

Carli is a role model who empowers and inspires others to be Better Every Day and to never give up on achieving their goals. Carli also runs her own CL10 Soccer Clinics for ages 8-18 years of age for both boys and girls. The bestselling author of When Nobody Was Watching, Carli empowers audiences to find their own success with lessons from both in and beyond the world of sports.

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CAROLINE RANDALL WILLIAMS

  • Award-Winning Poet

Caroline Randall Williams is a catalyst. She makes change possible by bringing art and joy into the room in such a way that the grit of real challenge and limits may become eclipsed by analysis, innovation, and skill. She is an award-winning poet, young adult novelist, and cookbook author as well as an activist, public intellectual, performance artist, and scholar. She is the author of the powerful New York Times Opinion piece You Want a Confederate Monument? My Body Is a Confederate Monument, which grabbed international attention as a reckoning in the movement to dismantle systemic racism.

Born and raised in Nashville Tennessee, Williams is a Harvard graduate and a Writer-in-Residence in Medicine, Health, and Society at Vanderbilt University.  She focuses her work and speaks to the places where art, business, and scholarship intersect, moving people closer to their best lives and corporations closer to their ideal identities.

You may have seen her on Morning Joe, or Dr. Oz, or The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell. More likely you’ve read her. Caroline’s first book, The Diary of B.B. Bright, Possible Princess (co-authored with Alice Randall) won the Harlem Book Fair’s Phillis Wheatley Prize and was a finalist for the NAACP Image Award. Her second co-authored volume, Soul Food Love won the NAACP Image Award and got her invited to speak at The Smithsonian. In 2017 the New York Times published an op-ed she wrote and it went viral. Her book of poetry, Lucy Negro Redux, earned rave reviews and got optioned to become a ballet. In 2019 the ballet debuted to more rave reviews with the New York Times review concluding that Lucy Negro Redux was “something wildly original, something so unlike anything else that all description falls short of its otherworldly reality. A place where, when the curtain drops, the very city cries out: “Brava! Brava! Oh, brava!” Another reviewer wrote, “All this is to say that Attitude: Lucy Negro Redux is not just original, but revolutionary — marking a seismic shift in the art form not just in Nashville, but in dance the world-over.” No wonder she was chosen in 2015 by Southern Living as one of “50 People Changing the South” for her work around food justice, and in 2016 as a national Neiman Marcus “Face of Beauty” because she personifies “beauty, brains, and passion.”

She has taught in two of the poorest states in the union -- Mississippi and West Virginia -- and she has been educated at two of the richest universities on the globe -- Harvard and Oxford. After graduating from Harvard University, where her undergraduate thesis received Magna Cum Laude honors, Caroline moved to Mississippi where she taught public school on a dirt road in Sunflower County for two years. In Mississippi, Caroline lived in an America many Americans are hardly aware of any longer, an America as rich in culture as it is wretched in poverty, towns still split into white and black by train tracks and bridges. During her second year, she taught 9th grade English to 86 kids who didn’t have a book to take home. She got that job by tutoring eight kids who the state of Mississippi said couldn’t pass the English exit exam—eight for eight, her kids passed.

To every speaking engagement Caroline brings a fierce intelligence, disarming charm, and a depth of lived experience. 

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ALLI WEBB

  • Founder, Drybar, Squeeze, and Becket + Quill

Renowned entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author Alli Webb is the founder of Drybar and the co-founder of Squeeze and Becket + Quill.

Named to Fast Company's “100 Most Creative People in Business,” Fortune’s “40 Under 40” list, Marie Claire’s “Most Fascinating Women,” and Inc.'s “100 Women Building America’s Most Innovative and Ambitious Businesses,” Webb is a bonafide business powerhouse and innovative leader paving the way for aspiring entrepreneurs the world over. She is currently on the Board of Directors for Ideal Image.

A former professional hair stylist, Webb left the industry to start her own family, but began offering affordable in-home blowout services to her mommy friends, and the concept for Drybar was born. Launching with just a sole California location, within a decade Drybar exploded into a nationally-recognized and highly sought-after brand with over 150 locations nationwide and line of products and tools sold at popular retailers such as Nordstrom, Sephora, and Ulta.

Currently the co-host of “Raising the Bar,” a podcast about what it takes to launch a business, Webb has also opened the doors the latest extension of her expanding empire, Squeeze, an innovative massage concept that lets you book and pay online.  

In 2021, Webb launched the latest extension of her empire by co-founding Becket + Quill, a high end jewelry line of classic pieces at affordable prices.

Webb is a co-founder of The Feel-Good Company, a shared-service agency helping brands get to where they are today. One of their brands is Okay Humans, a talk therapy experience that aims to modernize therapy and make it more accessible. 

In her informative, actionable and inspiring remarks, Webb shares insights into business innovation and tapping into the entrepreneurial spirit, creating a company culture and brand that lasts, and the challenges and opportunities in being a female entrepreneur.  

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HER MAJESTY QUEEN NOOR

  • Global Humanitarian & Activist

Her Majesty Queen Noor is an international public servant and advocate for cross-cultural understanding and conflict prevention and recovery issues such as refugees, missing persons, poverty, climate change and disarmament. Her peace-building work has focused on the Middle East, the Balkans, Central and Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa.

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JEAN-CLAUDE TRICHET

  • President, European Central Bank (2003-2011)

Former President of the European Central Bank (2003-11) and Chairman of the Bank of France (1993-2003) Jean-Claude Trichet is a global authority on financial markets and the economy. While at the helm of the European Central Bank, Trichet oversaw the Eurozone's handling of the Great Recession and European Debt Crisis in the aftermath of the 2008 financial collapse. Currently the Chairperson of the Board at Bruegel-- a leading European think tank focused on economic policy-- Chairman of the Group of Thirty, and European Chairman of the Trilateral Commission, Trichet offers razor shop analysis on risks and opportunities facing the global economy. 

Trichet has been named to the Financial Time's “Person of the Year” and “Fifty Faces that Shaped the Decade,” as well as listed on International Economy magazine's “Policy Maker of the Year,” Newsweek's “World’s Most Powerful” and TIME's “Most Influential People in the World.”

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BONO

  • Humanitarian & Philanthropist

Bono uses his rock star status to raise awareness about the crises in Africa: unpayable debts, uncontrolled spread of AIDS, and the unfair trade rules which keep Africans poor.  Bono co-founded DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa) to raise public awareness of the issues in its name, and influence government policy on Africa. On behalf of DATA, Bono has lobbied U.S. Presidents and Congressional leaders, along with the heads of many other G8 nations. DATA is a founding member of the One Campaign to make poverty history, which is part of a global network of millions of people campaigning against extreme poverty.

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DOLLY PARTON

  • Country Music Superstar and Actress

Dolly Parton is the most honored female country performer of all-time and, according to Nielsen, is country music’s #1 most marketable, recognizable and beloved artist in the world. Additionally, Parton’s coveted Q Score ranking—which measures public appeal and branding affinity—lists the superstar among the highest-ranked celebrities across the entire entertainment industry.

An international icon, Parton has made countless contributions to the music industry. Achieving 25 RIAA certified gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards, she has had 25 songs reach number 1 on the Billboard Country charts, a record for a female artist. She has 41 career top 10 country albums and 110 career charted singles. She has won 7 Grammy Awards, 10 Country Music Association Awards, 5 Academy of Country Music Awards, 3 American Music Awards and is one of only five female artists to win the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year Award.

In 1999, Parton was inducted as a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, and in 2001 she was inducted into the National Academy of Popular Music Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2001. Broadcast Music, Inc. honored Dolly with their Icon Award in 2003, and in 2004, the U.S. Library of Congress presented her with their Living Legend Award for her contribution to the cultural heritage of the United States. This was followed in 2005 with the National Medal of Arts, the highest honor given by the U.S. government for excellence in the arts. In 2006 Dolly was honored by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for her lifetime of contributions to the arts. In 2007, Dolly was named the recipient of the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. She has her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Parton opened her own theme park, Dollywood, in 1986. Dollywood would go on to become the state’s number one tourist attraction. In 1988, Dolly founded a group of dinner attractions called Dolly Parton’s Stampede. In 2001, she built Dollywood’s Splash Country, which is Tennessee’s largest water park.

Dolly Parton’s entertainment businesses attract 4.5 million visitors annually and employ more than 3,000 people. In 1988, she began the Dollywood Foundation. Currently the foundation funds the Dolly Parton Imagination Library which gives every preschool child a book each month from the time he or she is born until the child reaches kindergarten. With the help of local sponsors, this program has expanded to over 800 communities in 41 states. In 2016, Parton announced her My People Fund, to help victims of the wildfires in Sevier County, Tennessee. In 2017, she created the Mountain Tough organization to provide continued support to fire victims, and pledged over $3 million to this cause.

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WOLF BLITZER

  • Anchor, The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer

One of the most insightful journalists in America today, Wolf Blitzer draws on his unique international breadth of experience and depth of understanding when discussing the issues facing Washington and the world today.

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RICK SANTORUM

  • U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania (1995-2007)

A passionate champion of America’s founding principles, Senator Rick Santorum's impressive presidential campaign positioned him as a leading voice of the Republican Party. Senator Santorum began his first presidential campaign as a dark-horse candidate, but with a victory in the Iowa caucuses, he became a center-stage challenger who went on to win another ten states, over 3 million votes, and claim the mantle of conservative alternative to the front-runner. In four years in the U.S. House of Representatives, 12 as U. S. Senator, Rick Santorum earned a reputation as a passionate fighter for conservative values and a vocal advocate for smaller government, cutting wasteful spending, a strong national defense, and a return to our country’s founding principles.

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APRIL RINNE

  • Global Authority on the New Economy, Future of Work and Navigating Constant Change

A World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and one of the “50 Leading Female Futurists” in the world, April Rinne is equal parts global authority, advocate, ally and adventurer. She sees trends early, understands their potential, and helps others do the same. Focus areas include the digital economy, sharing economy, future of work, travel and tourism, and public policy.

April helps individuals and organizations navigate a world in flux. Even before 2020, the pace of change was mind-boggling. Then a pandemic hit and accelerated many shifts already underway, ushering in a "new-now-next-never normal" that humanity has yet to fully grasp. Yet the future does not see a return to stability or certainty. Quite the opposite: around every corner, there is more change. So how do we move forward?

In her keynotes, presentations and book Flux: 8 Superpowers for Thriving in Constant Change, April guides the way. April has been weaving a story about how to thrive amid flux for as long as she can remember, drawing on her history as a futurist, advisor, global development executive, microfinance lawyer, investor, mental health advocate, certified yoga teacher, globetrotter (100+ countries) and insatiable handstander. She brings global perspective and extraordinary cross-cultural understanding to how we see, think about, struggle with and ultimately forge positive relationships with change.

April also harnesses her very personal experiences with flux, including the death of both of her parents in a car accident when she was 20. She shares how she learned to let go of her own future, buck convention, create a "portfolio career" and find meaning – and how you can do so, too.

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BRET STEPHENS

  • Op-Ed Columnist, The New York Times

Bret Stephens is a U.S. foreign policy expert and highly-awarded columnist for "his incisive columns on American foreign policy and domestic politics, often enlivened by a contrarian twist." Audiences value Mr. Stephens' timely insights and also his "breath of fresh air" delivery.

Bret Stephens is an op-ed columnist for the New York Times. He previously spent 16 years at the Wall Street Journal, most notably writing "Global View," the foreign-affairs column, for which he was awarded the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary. 

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NATAN SHARANSKY

  • Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel

Natan Sharansky is a former Soviet dissident, political prisoner and a symbol of human rights who has spent his life championing democracy and freedom. As a member of the Knesset, he has served in different Israeli governments and various Cabinet positions, including Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Interior, and Minister of Diaspora Affairs.

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JANE LUTE

  • Former Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security (2009-2013)

Jane Holl Lute has dedicated her career to preventing terrorism, enhancing global stabilty and security, and helping those in crisis.  It says something about the times in which we live that Ms. Lute now focuses on cyberterrorism, the source of today's most menacing threats to nations, businesses and individuals.  Audiences praise Ms. Lute for grounding her remarks about cybersecurity in her roots as a United Nations Peace builder and Assistant Secretary-General of the U.N. responsible for comprehensive on-the-ground support for humanitarian operations in crises.  She has also served as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security where she was responsible for the day-to-day management of the Department's efforts to prevent terrorism and enhance security, secure and manage the nation's borders, administer and enforce U.S. immigration laws, strengthen national resilience in the face of disasters, and ensure the nation's cybersecurity.

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HASAN MINHAJ

  • Peabody Award-Winning Comedian

Pioneering, two-time Peabody Award-winning comedian Hasan Minhaj is the creator of Netflix's comedy show, Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj, which brought an inclusive and nuanced perspective to global news, politics and culture. 

As Host of The Daily Show Trevor Noah wrote in TIME: "Patriot Act is the manifestation of Hasan’s whip-smart commentary, charisma and sincerity. It’s also a consistent reminder that Hasan is America. And America is Hasan.”

Named to TIME's "100 Most Influential People in the World," Minhaj originally rose to prominence as a senior correspondent on The Daily Show. He has gone on to host the White House Correspondents' Dinner and air his own critically-acclaimed one-hour Netflix comedy special, Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King. 

A first generation American, Minhaj comes from a Muslim family originally from India. In his comedy and at speaking engagements, he draws on his personal history and the immigrant experience to explore the modern cultural and political landscape with depth and sincerity. 

 

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CASEY NEISTAT

  • YouTube personality, filmmaker and digital creator

YouTube personality, filmmaker, producer and digital creator Casey Neistat has redefined brand content on the internet, setting a new standard for the way brands interact with digital creators. 

Casey, who got his start working as a dishwasher, is a self-taught filmmaker who discovered his passion for making movies with a friend. After attaining commercial success with the HBO series The Neistat Brothers and indie film Daddy Longlegs, Casey founded the social media app Beme, which was purchased by CNN for $25M. With ten years of experience in creating TV commercials, Neistat took his story-telling ability and married it with his commercial experience to revolutionize brand content for companies such as Mercedes and Nike.

Beyond YouTube-- where Casey reaches over 11 million subscribers--  Casey’s audience has followed him to Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat to hear his honest narrative and get a glimpse into the creator lifestyle. In keynotes that are as engaging and humorous as they are informative, Neistat shares actionable lessons on innovation and creativity, as well as cutting-edge insight into how to level-up your organization’s brand and content strategy. Heralded for his motto of “Do What You Can’t,” Casey empowers audiences to think outside the box and redefine their creative potential.

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LIZA DONNELLY

  • Award-Winning Cartoonist, The New Yorker

With award-winning cartoons covering a gamut of topics from global politics, to pop culture, to gender equality, New Yorker cartoonist Liza Donnelly proves that pen and ink are a powerful catalyst for engaging conversation about political and social issues. Donnelly's TEDTalk on how humor and art can empower has racked up over 1,200,000 views, and her work appears in The New York Times, Forbes, Medium, Politico, Huffington Post, Daily Beast, Salon, CNN, The Nation, National Lampoon, GlamourGood Housekeeping, and most recently as Contributing Cartoonist on CBS This Morning. Donnelly's "Live Drawing"where equipped with nothing more than an iPad and her quick hand she is able to bring high-profile moments to life—has allowed audiences to engage with major events including the Women's March on Washington, The Olympics, The Oscars, the 2017 Presidential Inauguration, and more.  

Donnelly is also a Cultural Envoy for the US State Department and a member of the United Nations initiative "Cartooning for Peace," which has brought her to the global stage to speak about freedom of speech, world peace, women's rights and other world issues. She is the author of 15 books, numerous essays and her spot-on ability to observe the world with a thought-provoking and humorous lens is resonating with audiences around the world!

 

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TAN FRANCE

  • Star of Emmy-winning Netflix hit Queer Eye

Successful fashion designer Tan France is renowned as the witty wardrobe wiz leading the charge in the fashion department on the Emmy-winning makeover hit and Netflix re-boot, Queer Eye. Ready to make America fabulous again, one makeover at a time, France showcases how the experience is so much more than just new clothes; it’s about real-life issues, changes, and acceptance on all sides.

Following the global success of Queer Eye, Tan released his New York Times bestselling memoir, Naturally Tan, which reveals what it was like to grow up gay in a traditional South Asian family, as one of the few people of color in South Yorkshire, England. Tan also released the 1st season of his viral YouTube series, Dressing Funny, which features him making over his celebrity friends, including Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Nick Kroll, Miranda Sings, Pete Davidson, and John Mulaney. He also co-hosts a Netflix competition series Next in Fashion and a MasterClass Style for Everyone. He is the host of the Queer Icons podcast and has a gender-neutral clothing line, Was Him. 

With his trademark wit, humor, and radical compassion, Tan shares empowering lessons on creativity and innovation, diversity and inclusion, and what it takes to break down barriers to foster human connection and acceptance. He provides a unique perspective on the happiness found in being yourself. 

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LISA LING

  • Emmy Award-Winning Journalist

Lisa is the Executive Producer and host of This is Life on CNN, now its eighth season. For the show, Lisa has embedded with a notorious biker club and explored the medicinal use of psychedelics in psychotherapy.

For five seasons prior, Lisa EP’d and hosted Our America on OWN. She was also a field correspondent for The Oprah Winfrey Show and contributor to ABC News' Nightline. For these shows she reported from dozens of countries; covering stories about gang rape in the Congo, bride burning in India and the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda, among other issues that are too often ignored.

Lisa was the first female host of National Geographic’s flagship show Explorer which sent her to cover the phenomenon of female suicide bombing, the spread of the MS-13 gang—considered the world’s most dangerous gang, and the humanitarian crisis inside North Korea.

She got her start in journalism as a correspondent for Channel One News where she covered the civil war in Afghanistan at 21 years of age. She later went to become a co-host of ABC Daytime's hit show The View, which won its first daytime Emmy during her time at the show.

Lisa is the co-author of Mother, Sister. Daughter, Bride: Rituals of Womanhood, and Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and The Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home that she penned with her sister Laura.

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EDWARD NORTON

  • Award-Winning Actor, Screenwriter, Director and Producer

Edward Norton is an award-winning actor, screenwriter, director and producer. He is a visionary entrepreneur and committed social and environmental activist. Norton is a founding partner of CrowdRise, a web-based technology platform that changes the way organizations share their mission and involve those who support their causes. He speaks personally about his fundraising efforts and our responsibilities, particularly with regard to sustainability and natural resource management in our industrial economy.

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ANN CURRY

  • Emmy Award-Winning Journalist

What is the Ann Curry difference? She is more than a highly esteemed, award-winning journalist. Ann brings stories to life. Her reporting is raw, bold, and deeply personal, because she knows how to connect with each person she interviews. Her passion to share someone else’s truth so that she can better inform the world, comes from a deep understanding of the importance of service and it continues to be the driving force of her work on and off camera or stage. Audiences praise her for her “…genuine interest, insights, compassion for others, passion for your work, and obvious intellect and talents ... Your message was inspirational.” (Welcome House of Northern Kentucky, Inc.) Her celebrity status in the “Who’s Who” of the journalism world is a wonderful vehicle bringing her to events around the world, but at the end of the day, Ann is a person who will connect with every member of an audience and share a message that will leave each person forever changed.

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KEVIN WARSH

  • Member of the Board of Governors, Federal Reserve System (2006-2011)

Kevin Warsh is a monetary policy expert and economist who served the United States in the Federal Reserve and the White House, and whose insights are sought by Central Banks around the world. Most notably, he was hired by the Bank of England, where he issued an independent report proposing reforms in the conduct of monetary policy in the United Kingdom. Parliament recently adopted the report’s recommendations. 

Kevin Warsh serves as the Shepard Family Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Economics at the Hoover Institution and lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He advises several private and public companies, including service on the board of directors of UPS.  Warsh is also a member of the Group of Thirty (G30). He played a significant role in stabilizing the economy during the U.S. financial crisis. His authoritative and enlightening presentations on both domestic and international economic issues are helping audiences and corporations understand how U.S. and foreign monetary policy impacts large and small businesses, as well as individuals. Warsh is particularly well-positioned to explain the risks and rewards of Brexit, as well as economic strategy under this U.S. administration.

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VICENTE FOX

  • President of Mexico (2000-2006)

A visionary leader with a deep understanding of the economic and social challenges facing Latin America, President Vicente Fox is one of the world’s most important voices on the contemporary geopolitical landscape and the role of business in the developing world. When elected to the presidency of Mexico in 2000, he broke the stranglehold that the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party had held on the State for seven decades. A charismatic reformer, he is credited as playing a vital role in Mexico’s democratization, and with strengthening the country’s economy. After leaving office in 2006, President Fox and his wife founded Centro Fox, a non-profit dedicated to discover, exercise, and harness the leadership qualities we all have inside of us. 

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AUTHORS OF FREAKONOMICS

  • International Bestselling Authors of Freakonomics Series

Since the remarkable success of the International Bestsellers Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics (more than 5 million copies sold worldwide), its much heralded authors, Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, have given more than 1,000 lectures, some to audiences as large as 10,000, and are still in high demand. The books have made economic analysis and "out of the box thinking" so accessible and interesting to the general population that the Freakonomics team has gained additional success, including: the Freakonomics blog, which receives 2 million page views per month; Freakonomics Radio, which is No. 1 on iTunes, with 5 million downloads per month, and broadcast on public-radio stations across the country; their Twitter feed has over 600,000 followers; their Freakonomics documentary, was a hit at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival, and a hit on iTunes, Netflix and....Showtime; and both Levitt and Dubner continue to have national media exposure. Levitt and Dubner offer story after story, with research backing each theory, that address ways to create behavior change and show which incentives work and don't work.

The duos most recent book successes include Think Like A Freak (2014), which became an instant New York Times bestseller, and  When to Rob a Bank (2015), which is a collection of the best Freakonomics.com blog posts.

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ALEXA VON TOBEL

  • Serial Entrepreneur & Bestselling Business Author

Serial entrepreneur Alexa von Tobel, CFP is founder and managing partner of Inspired Capital and the New York Times bestselling author of Financially Fearless and Financially Forward.  Alexa connects with established and foundling entrepreneurs through her speeches, books and podcast, Inc. Founders Project with Alexa von Tobel.  She leads conversations that resonate with the full entrepreneur experience- everything from nuts and bolts of operations and marketing to high-level gut checks.  Most recently she is being sought out for her experience on how to navigate through a recession while staying connected to customers. 

Prior to Inspired Capital, Alexa founded LearnVest with the goal of helping people make progress on their money. After raising nearly $75 million in venture capital, LearnVest was acquired by Northwestern Mutual in one of the biggest fintech acquisitions of the decade. Following the acquisition, Alexa joined the management team of Northwestern Mutual as the company’s first-ever Chief Digital Officer, overseeing digital strategy. She later assumed the role of Chief Innovation Officer through which she oversaw Northwestern Mutual’s venture arm.

Alexa has appeared on the cover of Forbes Magazine, been interviewed on NPR’s "How I Built This" and been featured in a wide variety of publications from The New York Times to Vogue. She is a member of the 2016 Class of Henry Crown Fellows and an inaugural member of President Obama’s Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship. Alexa has been honored with numerous recognitions including: Fortune ’s "40 Under 40", Fortune 's "Most Powerful Women," Forbes ’ "30 Under 30", Inc. Magazine 's "30 Under 30" and World Economic Forum's Young Global Leader.

 

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ERICA KESWIN

  • Author, Bring Your Human to Work and Rituals Roadmap

Erica Keswin is a workplace strategist who has worked for the past twenty years with some of the most iconic brands in the world as a consultant, speaker, writer and professional dot-connector. Her book Bring Your Human to Work: Ten Sure-Fire Ways to Design a Workplace That is Good for People, Great for Business, and Just Might Change the World, a Wall Street Journal bestseller in its first week, serves as a powerful guide to a workplace revolution that honors relationships and puts people first. Her newest book, Rituals Roadmap: The Human Way to Transform Everyday Routines Into Workplace Magic, an indispensable guide to taking your employee engagement to the next level.

In Erica's game-changing keynotes, she highlights how relationships are the most powerful driver of success for individuals and companies striving to attract and retain talent and loyal customers. Leaving audiences deeply informed and engaged, she reveals her tried-and-true, human roadmap for people seeking a more meaningful and connected work life, and provides actionable insights on everything from how to cultivate a work culture of diversity and inclusion, to how to connect with customers in an authentic way. 

Erica’s work and insights can be seen in varied media outlets, including Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Huffington Post, O Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, Mogul, and Conscious Company. She is also the founder of the Spaghetti Project, a platform devoted to sharing the science and stories of relationships at work.

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J. CRAIG VENTER

  • Pioneering Scientific Researcher on the Existence of Life & Human Genome

Few speakers are able to answer, "What is the meaning of life?" more than just rhetorically, but J. Craig Venter helps his audiences understand the meaning at its scientific essence. He is regarded as one of the leading scientists of the 21st century for his numerous, invaluable contributions to genomic research and the study of life, and through his studies he has become a teacher and policy advisor on health, longevity and the environment.   He is co-founder of Human Longevity Inc. and a scientist of human existence—from sequencing the human genome to actually creating synthetic life.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MATTHEW WALKER

  • Scientist and New York Times Bestselling Author of "Why We Sleep"

A Sleep Scientist at Google, Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at UC Berkeley, founder and director of the school's Center for Human Sleep Science, and now bringing his science directly to the public as host of The Matt Walker Podcast, Dr. Matthew Walker is a celebrated sleep expert. The author of the New York Times bestseller Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams, hailed as an "important and fascinating book" by Bill Gates, Dr. Walker explains how we can harness sleep to dramatic effects including: to improve learning, mood and energy levels; regulate hormones; prevent cancer, Alzheimer’s, obesity, and diabetes; slow the effects of aging; increase longevity; enhance the education and lifespan of our children; and boost the efficiency, success, and productivity of our businesses. Previously, Dr. Walker was a Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and served as Chief Scientist and scientific counsel for numerous technology companies, including Hello and Fitbit.

Dedicated to the communication of science, Dr. Walker has shed light on his groundbreaking research everywhere from Google to TED, where his talk "Sleep is your superpower" has over 3 million views. He discusses the impact of sleep on human health and disease in a way that is digestible for any audience and provides tangible takeaways on wellness and peak performance. Dr. Walker translates his work for any industry and audience, and also offers workshops of various kinds to business leaders, technology firms, and medical and healthcare professionals.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

DAVID KESSLER

  • A Foremost Expert on Grief and Healing

David Kessler is the world’s foremost expert on grief and loss. His experience with thousands of people on the edge of life and death has taught him the secrets to living a happy and fulfilled life, even after life’s tragedies. He is the author of six books, including the new bestselling book, Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief.  His books and work have received praise by so many, including Saint (Mother) Teresa.

David’s personal experience as a child witnessing a mass shooting while his mother was dying in a hospital helped him begin his journey. For most of his life, David has taught physicians, nurses, counselors, police, and first responders about the end of life, trauma, and grief. He facilitates talks, workshops and retreats for those experiencing grief. However, despite his vast knowledge on grief, his life was turned upside down by the sudden death of his twenty-one-year-old son. It inspired him to write his newest book, Finding Meaning

David’s volunteer work includes being an LAPD Specialist Reserve for traumatic events as well as having served on the Red Cross’s disaster services team. He is the founder of www.grief.com which has over five million visits yearly from 167 countries.

 

HWA CO-EXCLUSIVE

MARGARET TRUDEAU

  • Mental Health Advocate

Margaret Trudeau is celebrated for her role as a respected mental-health issues advocate and proponent of living a vibrant, joyful life especially as we age. From becoming the Canadian prime minister’s wife at a young age, to the loss of both her son and her former husband, to living with bi-polar disorder, Margaret shares her personal stories to remind others of the importance of nurturing the body, mind, and spirit.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

BILL FRIST

  • U.S. Senate Majority Leader (2003-2007)

Uniquely qualified to discuss the challenges and solutions in health policy, Senator (and Dr.) Bill Frist is consistently recognized among the most influential leaders in American healthcare. He is a nationally acclaimed heart and lung transplant surgeon, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader, and chairman of the Executive Council of the health investment firm Cressey & Company. Senator Frist is also the co-founder of Aspire Health, the nation’s largest provider of non-hospice, community-based palliative care in the country, and host of healthcare podcast A Second Opinion, Rethinking American Health. 

Senator Frist has also been a leader in education, having founded the State Collaborative on Education Reform (SCORE) in Tennessee, which has become a national model on how to best reform a statewide education system. 

 

Senator Frist has been at the forefront of many debates and government initiatives that have shaped a myriad of policies over the years. He brings an experienced voice to the current issues of health reform, education, government policy, global health issues and volunteerism. 

 

He is actively engaged in the business as well as the medical, humanitarian, and philanthropic communities.  

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ALLYSON FELIX

  • Most Decorated U.S. Track & Field Olympic Athlete
Allyson Felix stands alone. She is the most decorated Track & Field Olympian in U.S. history. An eleven-time Olympic medalist. Seven-time Olympic Champion. World Record Holder. She has won a mind-blowing twenty-nine global medals at the Olympics and World Championships. At this stage of her career, Allyson has found passions off the track which she believes are her true calling. She loves children and serves as a member of the Right To Play board hoping to raise awareness for underserved children in developing regions, and she is a strong advocate for pregnant women and mothers. Her determination is now carrying over to the business sector where she is an investor in a plant based protein bar company, serves as an advisor to a fitness technology startup, and started her own shoe company, Saysh. She has also hosted a wrap-up series for an Emmy-winning prime-time show on NBC. Allyson has accomplished so much, but her greatest accomplishment and her greatest love is her daughter, Camryn, who reminds her everyday that she can never stop fighting for what is right in this world. She continues to strive for greatness in all areas reminding us that we all can achieve things we never dreamed of.
HWA EXCLUSIVE

TONY GONZALEZ

  • NFL Great and Analyst, Fox NFL Kickoff

Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez is a former Kansas City Chief and Atlanta Falcons All-Pro tight end. He is currently a fixture on FOX NFL Kickoff, the FOX NFL Sunday show, and on the FOX NFL Thursday pregame show. 

An author and an entrepreneur, Gonzalez develops multi-media programs that celebrate and advocate sports for children in an educational format. His latest ventures also include a new podcast, Wide Open with Tony Gonzalez, which provides an  unrestrained and raw look into how to embrace all the revolutionary change taking place in the world of health, mindset, wellness, family and more. 

Gonzalez’s philanthropic endeavors include a partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs; Shadow Buddies, an organization that provides emotional support through education regarding illness, disability or medical treatments, as well as being named an ambassador for Scholars’ Hope, working with underserved children in Huntington Beach, Calif.

At engagements worldwide, Gonzalez inspires audiences with his thoughtful insights on health, and shares how to evolve and better yourself, how to overcome the fears holding you back from reaching your goals, and lessons learned from his storied career.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

STEPHEN A. SMITH

  • Famed Sports Television Personality and Journalist

American sports television personality, radio host, journalist, and actor Stephen A Smith offers powerful and humorous lessons from the world of sports and beyond on adversity, leadership, building a personal brand, and ethics. 

Known for his colorful catchphrases and thought-provoking analysis, Smith is a host on ESPN's First Take, he’s an NBA analyst/insider on SportsCenter, and also hosts his weekly NBA show SportsCenter with Stephen A Smith

Born in the Bronx and raised in Hollis Queens, Smith is the youngest of six siblings. Coming up from humble beginnings, he began his career in newspapers in 1993 at the New York Daily News and the Philadelphia Inquirer (1994-2010), before transitioning into television at CNN/Sports Illustrated (1999-2000) and Fox Sports (2001-2003). Smith ultimately landed at ESPN In October 2003.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

BEN RHODES

  • Political Contributor, NBC News & MSNBC

Ben Rhodes is the author of the New York Times bestsellers After the Fall: Being American in the World We've Made and The World As It Is; a contributor for NBC News, MSNBC and Crooked Media; the co-chair of National Security Action; and an advisor to former President Barack Obama. From 2009-2017, Rhodes  served as a Deputy National Security Advisor to President Obama. In that capacity, he participated in nearly all of President Obama’s key decisions, and oversaw the President’s national security communications, speechwriting, public diplomacy and global engagement programming. He also led the secret negotiations with the Cuban government which resulted in the effort to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba, and supported the negotiations to conclude the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran. Prior to joining the Administration, he was a Senior Speechwriter and foreign policy advisor to the Obama campaign. From 2002-2007, he worked for former Congressman Lee Hamilton, supporting his work on the 9/11 Commission and Iraq Study Group.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MOHAMED ELBARADEI

  • Director General Emeritus, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

For the past two decades, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei has played a key role in the most high-stakes conflicts of our time. Director General Emeritus of the International Atomic Energy Agency, he offers unparalleled insights from his 12 years at the agency's helm, which earned him and the IAEA a joint Nobel Peace Prize. A prominent voice for peace, freedom and democracy in the Arab and Islamic worlds, he comments on today's most pressing matters such as threats from Iran, Syria, Turkey and North Korea. Audiences look to Dr. ElBaradei to add context to the drastic and often dark headlines we read every day and guides audiences through his vision for stability and peace without terrorism.

 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

AMARYLLIS FOX

  • Former CIA Clandestine Service Officer, Writer and Peace Activist

New York Times bestselling author, peace activist, and former CIA Clandestine Service Officer Amaryllis Fox has stopped at nothing to improve the world we live in. 

From interviewing Suu Kyi for the BBC while working with the Burmese democracy movement – which briefly landed her in prison – to spending time in Dili, East Timor, working to settle IDPs in the world’s newest country, Fox has spent years doing hands-on work to drastically enhance global communities. As a political and terrorism analyst for South East Asia, and then a Clandestine Service officer overseas, Fox was deployed as a spy under non-official cover--the most difficult and coveted job in the field. Her intensive training included everything from how to get out of flexicuffs while locked in the trunk of a car, to how to withstand torture, to the best ways to commit suicide in case of captivity. Her remarkable experiences spending a decade hunting the world’s most dangerous terrorists in sixteen counties-- all while getting married and giving birth to her daughter-- are chronicled in her New York Times bestselling memoir Life Undercover: Coming of Age in the CIA.

The book has been translated into 23 languages and was chosen by Time Magazine, the Washington Post, the New York Times and People Magazine as a notable book of the year. It is being adapted into a television series by Apple, featuring Brie Larson. She is the host of Netflix's hit documentary series The Business of Drugs, which ranked #1 in the United States on Netflix the week of its release. Her viral video about listening to our enemies has been viewed over 130 million times worldwide. Previously, she hosted History Channel’s American Ripper and starred in Freak Power, a feature film about Hunter S. Thompson's campaign for Sheriff of Aspen in 1970. Amaryllis has offered guest commentary on global events everywhere from FOX News to BBC.

Sought-out to speak at TED, Fox's remarks are equal parts informative and inspiring. She brings the conflict resolution, communication, and teambuilding techniques and strategies she learned during a career in counterterrorism to audiences worldwide, and shares invaluable insights on human nature and how to apply these findings to daily life, vastly enriching our relationships and unlocking the power to communicate, collaborate, and together achieve common goals. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

KAREN HUGHES

  • Counselor to President George W. Bush (2001-2002)

One of the world's foremost communication strategists, Karen Hughes specializes in strategic messaging, crisis communications and executive positioning with clients ranging from global corporations to Fortune 500 CEOs. The current Worldwide Vice Chair at esteemed communications agency Burson Cohn & Wolfe, Hughes also served as counselor to President George W. Bush and Under Secretary of the State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. For her work in Washington D.C., Hughes has been described as "the most powerful woman ever to serve in the White House" (Dallas Morning News) and "the most powerful public diplomacy czar in decades" (The Boston Globe). 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MICHAEL NUTTER

  • 98th Mayor of Philadelphia

Michael Nutter served as the 98th Mayor of the City of Philadelphia, his hometown. He served 22.5 years as an elected official in Philadelphia, serving 14.5 years as a City Council member, and then 2 four year terms as Mayor, leaving office on January 4, 2016 due to term limits.

Mayor Nutter was considered one of the foremost leaders in innovation, tackling challenges of public safety, increasing funding for educating children, revitalizing the economy and spurring economic growth, restoring ethics and integrity to city government, ensuring fiscal discipline and making Philadelphia one of the great green and sustainable cities in America.

Known for keeping an active and engaged schedule as Mayor, Michael Nutter is doing the same as a private citizen. He's a Professor at Columbia University, a Senior Fellow with Bloomberg Philanthropies What Works Cities Program, Chair of the Mayors Advisory Board for Airbnb, and holds numerous Fellowships and Advisory positions in academic, political, non-profit and corporate entities. Mayor Nutter is actively engaged in the work of cities and trying to make them work better on behalf of their citizens.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JOYCE BANDA

  • Africa's Second Female President

An entrepreneur, activist, politician and a philanthropist, Dr. Joyce Banda is the former president of Malawi, making her the country's first female president and Africa's second. Voted as Africa's most powerful woman by Forbes magazine and voted as one of the most powerful women in the world, she is a champion for the rights of women, children, the disabled and other marginalized groups. Continuing her tireless work encouraging women to enter political office and championing the rights of women and the disenfranchised, Dr. Banda has taken on a Distinguished Visiting Fellowship at the Center for Global Development, jointly with the Woodrow Wilson Center, where she brings her invaluable experiences as a leader in African politics. She is also a member of the United Nation's Council of Women World Leaders. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

DANIEL SHAPIRO

  • U.S. Ambassador to Israel (2011-2017)

Appointed by President Barack Obama, Daniel Shapiro served as the United States Ambassador to Israel from July 2011 until the end of the Obama Administration. As Ambassador, Shapiro won praise from leaders of both countries for his deft management of the U.S.-Israel relationship during Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, the Iran nuclear agreement, regional instability, and periods of significant bilateral tension and disagreement. Among Shapiro's major contributions were negotiating the $38 billion Memorandum of Understanding for U.S. military aid to Israel, unprecedented public outreach in fluent Hebrew to Israel’s diverse communities, and 40 percent growth in U.S.-Israel trade.

Shapiro's time as the Ambassador to Israel followed a diverse career of over 20 years in senior foreign policy and national security positions in the United States government, including as the Senior Director for the Middle East and North Africa at the National Security Council.

Currently, Shapiro is the Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Tel Aviv University’s Institute of National Security Studies. His remarkable breadth of insights have been featured across the major media networks, and his writing has appeared in Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, Washington PostCNN, MSNBC, Israeli Channel 2, and more. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

HOWARD DEAN

  • Chairman, Democratic National Committee (2005-2009)

Dean’s groundbreaking campaign for the U.S. Presidency and subsequent four years as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee provided him with both an insider's view and a reformer's commitment to the economy, foreign trade policy and international relations. His 12 years as Governor of Vermont and his Chairmanship of the National Governor's Association have given him a vast knowledge of domestic issues. Prior to entering the political realm, Dean was a physician and used that expertise during his political career as a champion of healthcare reform. Today, he uses his dual knowledge of politics and healthcare to speak on the current issues. 

His skillful stewardship of the party as Democratic National Committee chair began in 2005 and continued through the inauguration of President Barack Obama. As Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Governor Dean made the Democratic Party competitive in every race, in every district, in every state and territory, while integrating national and state party operations and standing up for Democrats' core values.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

RICHARD PHILLIPS

  • Hero of the High Seas & Real Life Inspiration for the Movie Captain Phillips

While we all aspire to live bravely in the face of life's significant challenges, few of us are tested to live bravely before the guns of hostile Somali pirates who threaten our leadership and authority, our lives, and the lives of our colleagues. Before Somali pirates hijacked his cargo ship and held him captive for five days, making him the center of a riveting international drama which played out live on television, Captain Richard Phillips was as normal as each of us doing our best at work and home.  Audiences connect with Captain Phillips on a personal level, become friends with him by the evening's end, and leave lifted by his inspirational message.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

R. GLENN HUBBARD

  • Chairman of the U.S. Council of Economic Advisors (2001-2003)

An economic advisor to Presidents, a well-respected Professor, leading Republican economist R. Glenn Hubbard has been the architect of policies that affect millions. Event planners invite Hubbard to speak at their events not only to offer their audiences shrewd economic commentary but also to ensure their program maintains the gravitas they've worked so hard to cultivate. Hubbard is that rare economic policy speaker who entertains as he delivers a complex message clearly and concisely - the same skills which have made him a familiar face on political and economic television news programs.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ALAN DERSHOWITZ

  • Renowned Defense Attorney; Prominent Scholar on U.S. Constitutional & Criminal Law

Professor Alan M. Dershowitz is a Brooklyn native who has been called “the nation’s most peripatetic civil liberties lawyer” and one of its “most distinguished defenders of individual rights,” “the best-known criminal lawyer in the world,” “the top lawyer of last resort.”  He has been named America’s most “public Jewish Defender,” -- “the Jewish state’s lead attorney in the court of public opinion.” He is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School.  Dershowitz, a graduate of Brooklyn College and Yale Law School, joined the Harvard Law School faculty at age 25 – the youngest in the school’s history -- and became an Emeritus professor after 50 years of teaching and 10,000 students.

In his speeches he continues to challenge audiences with his thought-provoking perspectives on today’s foremost social, legal, and ethical issues.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MOIRA FORBES

  • President and Publisher, ForbesWoman

As the Executive Vice President of Forbes Media, Moira Forbes is responsible for driving new business initiatives across the company’s diverse media platforms, and branding Forbes events worldwide. She is also the President and Publisher of ForbesWomen, a multi-media platform dedicated to successful women in business and leadership. Apart from hosting "Success with Moira Forbes," a video series on the Forbes Video Network featuring candid, one-on-one interviews with today’s top women leaders and "The Takeaway with Moira Forbes," a video series on Forbes where Moira interviews bold leaders weekly, she also writes a dedicated leadership column for Forbes.com profiling today’s most dynamic business leaders. In 2013, Moira launched the annual Forbes Women’s Summit in New York City, which brings together 250 female leaders to discuss and solve the world’s most intractable issues.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ALEX GUARNASCHELLI

  • Acclaimed American Chef, Author, and Popular Television Personality

Few American chefs, much less female chefs, can boast leading Michelin-starred restaurants abroad. Chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli can, having embarked on a culinary journey that saw her working in some of France's top restaurants. Today, Guarnaschelli is recognized as one of America’s most accomplished top chefs, acclaimed for her work in the kitchen, as an author, as a social media personality, and as a popular television personality.  

The daughter of esteemed cookbook editor Maria Guarnaschelli, as a child Guarnaschelli received a global education in food as she was raised on the cuisine of whatever book her mother happened to be working on at the time. But it was not the younger Guarnaschelli’s fate to be only a spectator; her mother urged her to be a participant. 

Having worked at the iconic Guy Savoy and La Butte Chaillot in Paris, with Daniel Boulud at Manhattan’s famed Daniel, and in Los Angeles at the acclaimed Patina, Guarnaschelli quickly rose through the ranks in whichever city she found herself in. She went on to helm her own restaurants: New York's  Butter, The Darby, a unique supper club, and Driftwood Room in Miami.  

A Food Network star, Guarnaschelli is the host of Supermarket Stakeout and previously served as host of The Cooking Loft and Alex’s Day Off. She's also been a recurring and guest judge on several prime-time series including Chopped (which earned each of the judges a James Beard Foundation Award for best Television Program), Beat Bobby Flay, and Iron Chef America (and its many spin-offs). She is currently launching the third season of her Food Network digital series, Fix Me a Plate, in which the New York native takes audiences on an insider’s tour of the city’s best no-frills food spots.  

Beyond her television appearances, Guarnaschelli  premiered a one-woman live comedy show, Busting My Chops, at Caroline’s on Broadway. She is also a popular mainstay on social media, and was named the Head of Twitter’s Food Council, a group of leading culinary figures who regularly join the Twitter conversation on all things food and food culture. The author of multiple cookbooks, Guarnaschelli's latest work, Cook with Me (Clarkson Potter, October 2020), explores how the relationships with her family have shaped her as a chef and home cook. 

A passionate and dynamic speaker, Guarnaschelli also serves as an emcee and provides cooking demonstrations to the delight of audiences. In remarks, she provides lessons from a life steeped in culinary education and adventure, her own travels, and experiences as a mother and in world-renowned kitchens. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MARCUS SAMUELSSON

  • James Beard Award-winning Chef and Owner, Red Rooster

Marcus Samuelsson is the acclaimed chef behind many restaurants worldwide including Red Rooster Harlem, Red Rooster Shoreditch, and Marcus B&P. Samuelsson was the youngest person to ever receive a three-star review from The New York Times and has won multiple James Beard Foundation Awards including Best Chef: New York City.  He was tasked with planning and executing the Obama Administration’s first State dinner honoring Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. 

Samuelsson was also crowned champion of television shows Top Chef Masters and Chopped All Stars , and served as a mentor on ABC’s The Taste. A committed philanthropist, Samuelsson co-produces the annual week-long festival Harlem EatUp!, which celebrates the food, art, and culture of Harlem. Samuelsson is co-chair of the board of directors for Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP). In May 2016, he was inducted into the James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America. He is the author of multiple books including The New York Times bestselling memoir Yes, Chef, the young adult version-- Make It Messy, Marcus Off Duty cookbook, and his latest book-- The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem. In addition, he is one of the founders of the website Food Republic. 

Recent restaurant openings include: Red Rooster Shoreditch in East London; Marcus B&P in Newark, New Jersey; and Streetbird Express at the world-famous Madison Square Garden.  He most recently announced the opening of his newest restaurant, Marcus, coming to Montreal in Spring 2019. 

Samuelsson’s new TV series titled No Passport Required with VOX/Eater and PBS debuted summer of 2018.  He most recently joined Buzzfeed's Tasty as Executive Chef-in-Residence of their newly launched talent program.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

GUY FIERI

  • Award-Winning Chef and Restaurateur

Guy Fieri, chef, restaurateur, New York Times bestselling author, and Emmy Award-winning host, began his love affair with food at the age of ten, selling soft pretzels from a three-wheeled bicycle cart he built with his father called “The Awesome Pretzel Cart”. After selling pretzels and washing dishes for six years, Guy earned enough money to pursue his dream of studying abroad as an exchange student in Chantilly, France. There he gained a profound appreciation for international cuisine that further strengthened his passion for food. He returned to the U.S. and graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a degree in Hospitality Management.

In 2006, Guy won the second season of Food Network Star and was awarded a six-episode commitment for his own show, Guy’s Big Bite. Since that time, Guy has created a thriving culinary empire as the host of top-rated TV shows, including the Emmy-nominated Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Guy’s Grocery Games, Guy’s Family Road Trip , and most recently, Guy’s Big Project and Guy’s Ranch Kitchen. In addition, he has opened over 63 restaurants around the world and at sea, from the Las Vegas strip and the Atlantic City boardwalk to South Africa and Dubai. He has also authored six bestselling cookbooks.

In 2013, Guy fulfilled a personal passion with the launch of Hunt & Ryde Winery in Sonoma County, named for his two sons, Hunter and Ryder. He continues to support numerous charities, including his own, Cooking with Kids, as well as The Make-A-Wish Foundation and Best Buddies International. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

DAVID CHANG

  • Award-Winning Chef and Founder, Momofuko

David Chang is the chef and founder of Momofuku. Called one of “the most influential people of the 21st century” by Esquire, David has appeared on numerous television shows, and was the first chef to be featured on the Emmy-award winning PBS television show, The Mind of a Chef. His cookbook Momofuku and memoir Eat A Peach are New York Times bestsellers. Along with Academy Award Winning Director Morgan Neville, David is a creative force behind Ugly Delicious, an eight-part Netflix original documentary series about foods we love and the stories that shape them. He is the host of The Dave Chang Show, a podcast featuring conversations with thought-provoking guests. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ADAM SAVAGE

  • Former co-host and Executive Producer, Mythbusters

One of the most beloved figures in science and technology, Adam Savage has spent most of his life gathering skills that allow him to take ideas and make them real.

In his book, Every Tool’s a Hammer: Life Is What You Make It, Adam shares his golden rules of creativity, problem solving, and much more. This inspiring read not only explores the MythBusters star’s journey through 40-plus years as a maker and creator, but offers readers profound advice on how to pursue what truly inspires them.

In speaking to audiences around the world, Adam challenges and inspires people to turn their curiosities into creations. From finding what inspires you to following through on making an idea a reality, Adam encourages you to push the boundaries of what's possible, and provides a toolbox of techniques to achieve personal and professional success.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ROBIN ARZON

  • Vice President of Fitness Programming and Head Instructor, Peloton

New York Times best-selling author of Shut Up And Run, Robin discovered her passion for athletics after healing from a traumatic experience through movement. She fearlessly left behind a successful law career to embark on new adventures in the health and wellness space, and has since reinvented herself into an avid ultra-marathoner and renowned fitness coach.

As Vice President of Fitness Programming and Head Instructor at Peloton, she believes that sweat transforms lives, and her story is living proof. She successfully partners with major lifestyle and fitness brands, using her powerful influence to connect directly with consumers through social media. In 2020, she was named one of the most influential people on Fortune Magazine’s "40 Under 40" list. Her life’s mission is to redefine, reform, and rethink possibility through movement.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

DAPPER DAN

  • Fashion Innovator

A New York Times bestselling author and global fashion icon with a remarkable rags to riches story, Dapper Dan pioneered streetwear in the early 1980s with his eponymous store on 125th Street. Co-opting luxury branding to design original garments with high-end detail, Dapper Dan first drew powerful New York City hustlers as clientele, who flocked to him thanks to his strong street reputation as a legendary professional gambler and dandy. He then went on to outfit the world’s top entertainers and celebrities, all leading to his notoriety. 

Dapper Dan’s incredible personal journey from a hungry boy with holes in his shoes, to a teen who gambled drug dealers out of their money, to a beloved legend in the worlds of Harlem, fashion, and hip hop, is chronicled in his New York Times bestseller, Dapper Dan: Made in Harlem. It’s also a story that inspires and resonates with audiences worldwide, and is now being developed into a premium drama series and a documentary series. In his empowering and riveting remarks, Dapper Dan highlights the importance of tenacity, curiosity, and determination to make ones wildest dreams a reality.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MISHA EUCEPH

  • Trailblazing Pakistani-American Podcast Host

Misha is a Pakistani-American podcast host, writer and producer, on a mission to make shows that inspire awe and push audio into uncharted territory. She is the founder and CEO of Dustlight Productions, a mission-driven podcast studio. In 2020, the Los Angeles Business Journal named her as one of their “20 in their 20’s.” This followed Ad Week naming her “Producer of the Year” and her podcasts landing on 9 best-of lists in 2019.

Misha helped make The Michelle Obama Podcast as an Executive Producer with her production company, Dustlight, in collaboration with Higher Ground Audio and Spotify.

In 2019, Misha made “Tell Them, I Am.” The LA Times called the show “quietly revolutionary.” The New York Times called it “hypnotic listening” and TIME, The Atlantic, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post, and the NYT Podcast Club named it one of their best podcasts of 2019. The series is about the small defining moments in our lives— the voices are all Muslim; the stories are universal. You can learn more about the podcast from this interview on All Things Considered.

Misha also produced The Big One: Your Survival Guide in 2019, named one of TIME, The Atlantic, Thrillist, Vulture, IndieWire, and NYT Podcast Club’s best podcasts of the year. The New Yorker’s Sarah Larson called it “riveting” and “strangely reassuring.”

All this podcasting started with Beginner, her autobiographical series about learning to belong as an immigrant in America. The Guardian’s Rowan Slaney said it brought her week “oodles of joy.”

When Misha wants to give her ears and voice a break, she hosts Quran Book Club on IGTV, make jokes on McSweeney’s and writes serious things for the Wall Street Journal. Sometimes, she naps. But that’s not featured anywhere.

She got her Masters in Journalism at Northwestern University, and has taught as an adjunct professor at USC Annenberg and the Transom Radio Workshop.

If you want to make podcasts, read How To Make a Podcast, which Misha wrote for you.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

DAVID KATZ

  • Founding Director, Yale Prevention Research Center

Dr. Katz has been acclaimed by colleagues as the “poet laureate” of health promotion and praised by audiences around the world for his passionate work to help us live longer, healthier lives. A clinician, researcher, author, inventor, journalist, and media personality, Dr. Katz is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions; supported nominations for the position of U.S. Surgeon General; recognition by Greatist.com as one of the 100 most influential people in health and fitness in the world; inclusion by LinkedIn as one of the original 150 INfluencers; and a 2019 nominee for a James Beard Foundation Award in the category of health journalism. 

 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JOE LOCKHART

  • Strategic Communications and Media Expert

Joe Lockhart is widely recognized as one of the top communications and public affairs professionals in the world, and offers strategic communications counsel to CEOs, C-suite executives, and Washington's most powerful leaders.  He knows how to handle a crisis and regain control of a narrative, honed through decades of experience in public affairs, corporate communications, administration, and political campaigns. Lockhart is perhaps best known for his service as White House Press Secretary under President Bill Clinton from 1998 to 2000. He has also worked for the National Football League (NFL) as executive vice president, overseeing communications, government affairs, social responsibility and philanthropy, and for Facebook as vice president of global communications. Lockhart's current role is to advise corporations and organizations on their communications strategies and vulnerabilities. He was vice chairman for public affairs at Edelman; he was also previously the founding partner and managing director of the Glover Park Group, and was executive vice president at Bozell Sawyer Miller. 

An award-winning journalist, he is also a frequent contributor to CNN and reflects on the week's news with Katie Barlow as they co-host the Words Matter podcast

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JUDITH JAMISON

  • Legendary Dancer and Choreographer

Judith Jamison - American dancer, Choreographer and Artistic Director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater - is a legendary icon in the world of the performing arts. Ms. Jamison, who as a dancer with the troupe, became the most stellar of modern dance's female performers and was appointed Artistic Director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in December 1989 at the request of her mentor, Alvin Ailey, who personally chose her to succeed him. Ms. Jamison has shared her talent and artistic oversight at one of the most respected dance companies in the world for more than 50 years. Audiences respond to her passionate and electric remarks, and carry with them the truth of their own potential.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MARGARET I. CUOMO

  • Board-certified Radiologist

Margaret I. Cuomo, M.D. is a board certified radiologist, teaching professional, and national advocate for the prevention of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. A trusted expert on health and wellness who empowers people to make lifestyle decisions to tangibly improve their health, Dr. Cuomo explores the ways in which food, exercise, sleep and stress management and more can reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease and how lifestyle modification—altering long-term habits— not only promote general health and well-being, but can be used to treat and prevent a wide range of diseases. Some of Dr. Cuomo’s other areas of expertise include: preventive medicine, public policy as it relates to health and wellness, toxic chemical reform, and the ways in which government, the medical community, the media, academia and more should partner in order to effect change in the "war on cancer." 

Her book, A World Without Cancer: The Making of a New World and the Real Promise of Prevention, presents a provocative and surprising look into the ways that profit, personalities, and politics obstruct real progress in the war on cancer. This groundbreaking book, based on her own first-hand experience with cancer patients, has been described as “urgent and powerful,” “an eye-opening look at the way we fight cancer,” and a “call for bold leadership to transform our system from treatment to prevention.”

A fearless advocate for the health of all people worldwide, Cuomo also addresses the power and necessity of STEM education and provides people with the tools and inspiration needed to transform their lives.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

KURT ANDERSEN

  • Host, Peabody-winning public radio program Studio 360

Kurt Andersen–a brilliant analyst and synthesizer of historical and cultural trends, bestselling novelist, groundbreaking media entrepreneur, and host of public radio’s Studio 360– takes a smart and refreshingly hopeful approach to our culture and politics. A bestelling author of many social and political commentaries, most recently, Evil Geniuses: How Big Money Took Over America, Andersen provides audiences with a fascinating examination of America’s culture that brilliantly displays how we’ve gotten to where we are today, and where we are going.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MICHAEL CHERTOFF

  • U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security (2005-2009)

Michael Chertoff is a renowned security expert whose extensive experience includes serving as the second Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  He founded the Data Equilibrium Project to explore data protectionism and the gap between privacy and national security.  He is also co-founder and executive chairman of The Chertoff Group, a security and risk management firm where he provides high-level strategic counsel to corporate and government leaders on issues from risk identification and prevention to preparedness, response and recovery.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JONATHAN SAFRAN FOER

  • Award-Winning, Bestselling Author

Award-winning, bestselling author Jonathan Safran Foer engages audiences in thoughtful dialogue on his books, culture and society, how we define ourselves, and the choices we make in food, in love and in life. His books include Everything is Illuminated, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Here I Am, Eating Animals, and We Are the Weather. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JOHN STOSSEL

  • Current Events Commentator with a Libertarian Point of View

Nineteen-time Emmy-winner John Stossel is a highly respected journalist who has earned a reputation for asking hard-hitting questions—and offering the tough truth. Hailed by The Dallas Morning News as "the most consistently thought-provoking TV reporter of our time,"  he is the host of Stossel on Fox where he highlights 'current consumer issues with a Libertarian point of view.' He is best known for being the former co-anchor of 20/20. Stossel began his career as a business-bashing consumer reporter calling for government regulation. But when he saw regulation fail, he began reporting on the wonderful things that free markets create: prosperity, innovation, choice, and freedom.

 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

DESIREE ROGERS

  • CEO and Co-Owner, Black Opal Beauty and Fashion Fair Cosmetics

An influential business leader, Desiree Rogers has helped major organizations reinvent business models and reach new and more diverse audiences with tangible results. The first black CEO and Co-Owner of Black Opal Beauty and Fashion Fair Cosmetics, and a former CEO of Johnson Publishing Company, Rogers is heralded for her uncanny business acumen and innovative approach to marketing and brand development. Beyond her experience in the private sector, Rogers was appointed by President Obama as White House Social Secretary, re-positioning the White House as the “People’s House” and implementing innovative events.

Named to the "50 Most Influential People in the Multicultural Market" by WWD, "Top 25 Women to Watch" by Crain's Chicago Business, and "Top 50 Most Powerful African American Business Women" by Black Enterprise, Rogers offers insights on everything from how to make marketing work in a digital and global age, to how to talk about race and foster a positive, inclusive work environment. Sought-out to speak at TED, Rogers has the unique ability to connect with her audience, energize and inspire teams, and illuminate new strategic pathways and operational approaches.

"If you are afraid, there is no way to be open. Reach beyond, take a chance, be respectful, and always think of what you can do for others." - Desirée Rogers, TEDx Speech, 2016

HWA EXCLUSIVE

STEVEN ROBERTS

  • Leading Political Pundit

Steve Roberts has been a journalist for almost 50 years, covering some of the major events of his time, from the antiwar movement and student revolts of the 60s and 70s to President Reagan's historic trip to Moscow in 1988 and twelve presidential election campaigns. 

A well-known commentator on many Washington-based TV shows, Roberts also appears regularly as a political analyst on the ABC radio network. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MICHAEL MOSS

  • #1 New York Times Bestselling Author, "Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us"

Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and author of the New York Times bestsellers Hooked: Food, Free Will, and How the Food Giants Exploit our Addictions and Salt Sugar Fat, Michael Moss is a leading expert on the food industry, health and wellness, and marketing. Taking audiences on an eye-opening journey deep inside some of the world's biggest and most successful companies, he offers audiences an illuminating and surprising look at the researchers, marketers, strategists, and CEOs who seduce us with their products. Moss brings to vivid life the creative ways food manufacturers use the science of human behavior, biology and marketing to hook us. Using humor, case studies, and insight gleaned from investigative reporting that won him a Pulitzer Prize, he shows how companies get consumers to buy, often at the expense of their health.

Informative, engaging and often hilarious, Moss also offers lessons on the new world of health food, smart marketing strategies regardless of industry, and the state of journalism today. Hailed as "extraordinary" (University of the Sciences), "powerful" (Epicure) and "riveting" (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation), Moss tailors his remarks to every audience, ensuring they leave deeply informed and with actionable takeaways. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

CODY KEENAN

  • White House Director of Speechwriting for President Barack Obama (2013-2017)

Cody Keenan has been a speechwriter for President Barack Obama for nearly a decade, rising from a campaign intern in Chicago to Director of Speechwriting at the White House. Through times of challenge and change, Keenan has helped President Obama craft remarks on every topic for every audience – from tiny backyards in Iowa to the biggest stadiums in the country; from sermons on the National Mall to the State of the Union Address.  Over eight years in the White House, their collaborations were compared to the works of Abraham Lincoln, described as the “‘I Have a Dream’ speech for the 21st Century,” and categorized even by prominent Republicans as “speeches that every child should read in school.” 

Together, Keenan and Obama's efforts resulted in some of the most unforgettable addresses of our time.  From Tucson to Newtown to Charleston, Keenan helped President Obama fill his role as Consoler-in-Chief.  From commencement addresses to Selma to Obama’s Farewell Address, they redefined the essence of the American creed and charted an inspiring, optimistic course for a new generation’s active citizenship.  In 2017, Obama asked Keenan to continue their partnership, and today, Keenan serves as Obama’s collaborator on his upcoming book, and as his post-presidential speechwriter.

Described as the "Springsteen" of Obama's White House and included in British GQ's "35 Coolest Men Under 38 (And a Half)", when it comes to finding a message that resonates, Keenan is truly in a league of his own. As Obama said of Keenan, "I rely on Cody not just to share my vision, but to help tell America’s story.  He’s a brilliant writer.  He’s relentless.” 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ELLIOTT ABRAMS

  • U.S. Special Representative for Iran and Venezuela at the Department of State (2020-2021)

An expert on U.S. foreign policy around the globe and a top White House adviser on Middle Eastern issues, Elliott Abrams has served in major foreign policy positions for three Republican U.S. Presidents, George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and Donald Trump. He is a Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C.   

He served as Special Assistant to the President & Senior Director for Democracy, Human Rights, and International Operations (2001–2002), Special Assistant to the President & Senior Director for Near East and North African Affairs (2002–2005), Deputy Assistant to the President & Deputy National Security Advisor for Global Democracy Strategy (2005-2009), and most recently, as the U.S. Special Representative for Iran and Venezuela at the Department of State (2020-2021). 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

DAVID MAKOVSKY

  • Expert on U.S. Policy in the Middle East

David Makovsky’s expert insights and accessible and exceptionally engaging style on the past, present and future of U.S. policy to the Middle East and Arab-Israeli peace process shed light on future challenges and opportunities. He has a wide array of insights based on his recent position as a senior US official during the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, where he was a member of the peace team. He also offered his insight and expertise during the Gaza War. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

DANIEL GORDIS

  • Senior Vice President and Koret Distinguished Fellow, Shalem Center

Daniel Gordis is widely cited on matters pertaining to Israel. Professor Alan Dershowitz has called him “one of Israel’s most thoughtful observers,” while Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic has written, “If you asked me, ‘of all the people you know, who cares the most about the physical, moral and spiritual health of Israel?’ I would put the commentator and scholar Daniel Gordis at the top of the list.”  Leonard Fein has written that Gordis is “perhaps the single most popular speaker on Israel to American Jewish audiences.” The Forward has called him “one of the most respected Israel analysts around.”

Of his latest book, We Stand Divided: The Rift Between American Jews and Israel, Michael Oren, former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., says, “Impassioned, brilliant, and riveting, We Stand Divided is the essential book for understanding American Jewish-Israel relations. Gordis has made an outstanding contribution to the field.”

 

 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

HADASSAH LIEBERMAN

  • Inspiring Speaker on Issues of Health, Women & Judaism

Hadassah Lieberman charms audiences with stories from her extraordinary life, focusing on women’s health issues, assisting nonprofit organizations, and promoting international understanding. Ms. Lieberman successfully tailors her remarks to fundraising objectives that enable an organization to reach their goals.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MARTIN INDYK

  • Policy Expert & Advisor on the Middle East, Israel & Iran

Martin Indyk has been an active participant in the dramatic Middle East peace process and plays a leading role in advising on U.S. Middle East policy and U.S.-Israel relations. Ambassador Indyk's speeches are full of vivid details of high-level negotiations in Washington and the Middle East. He provides an insider's account of the players and dynamics that shape the volatile region and impact the prospects for peace. Currently a Distinguished Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Ambassador Indyk was the last U.S. special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. He has now written a history of Henry Kissinger's role as the first U.S. Middle East peace envoy.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JONATHAN SARNA

  • Leading Commentator on Jewish History, Religion and Life

Dr. Jonathan Sarna is the Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History and Chair of the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program at Brandeis University, as well as Chief Historian of the new National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia.

Dubbed by the Forward newspaper in 2004 as one of America’s fifty most influential American Jews, he was Chief Historian for the 350th commemoration of the American Jewish community, and is recognized as a leading commentator on American Jewish history, religion and life. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

DAVID HOROVITZ

  • Founding Editor, The Times of Israel

David Horovitz is the founding editor of The Times of Israel, the Jerusalem-based current affairs website that launched in February 2012.  The Times of Israel, which provides independent coverage of Israel, the region and the Jewish world, is the fastest-growing news site in the Jewish world, and now also publishes in French, Chinese, Arabic and Persian.

Horovitz was previously editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post (2004-2011). Before that, he was editor and publisher of the award-winning news magazine The Jerusalem Report.

He has written from Israel for newspapers around the world, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Irish Times and (London) Independent, and is a frequent interviewee on CNN, the BBC, Sky, Fox News, NPR and other TV and radio stations.

Horovitz lectures widely in Israel, the United States and Europe on Israeli current affairs, regularly giving the introductory briefing on Israel to Congressional delegations brought to Israel under the aegis of AIPAC.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JOSEPH TELUSHKIN

  • Widely Acclaimed Authority on Judaism & Ethics

Joseph Telushkin, once named by Talk magazine as one of the 50 best speakers in the United States, is one of America’s leading ethicists. His book, Words that Hurt, Words that Heal, inspired Senators Joseph Lieberman’s and Connie Mack’s Senate Resolution #151 to establish a National Speak No Evil Day in the United States, a day in which Americans would go for twenty-four hours without saying anything unkind or unfair about, or to, anyone. An invaluable sourcebook of tools for businessmen, Words that Hurt, Words that Heal, contains suggestion after suggestion of how and when to criticize, how to keep a disagreement from turning into a quarrel, and the one technique that will keep you, even when angry, from ever saying something that can destroy a relationship.

His newest book building on the groundbreaking title, Words That Hurt, Words That Heal: How the Words You Choose Shape Your Destiny, was released in January 2019. 

 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MATT ISEMAN

  • Licensed physician, Emmy Award winning Host and professional comedian who shares his “prescription for laughs”

“Life is short, do what makes you happy.” That’s the advice that Matt Iseman got from his dad, a world renowned physician, when Matt quit medicine to pursue stand up comedy. And those words still guide Matt today. 

Renowned as the host of the four-time Emmy-nominated American Ninja Warrior and as the winning contestant of the newest Celebrity Apprentice, Matt is beloved for his energetic, charismatic style. A regular on multiple TV programs, Matt shared his medical expertise and unique lifestyle tips on Hallmark’s Home & Family; won an Emmy Award for his hosting on Style's Clean House; and combined his lifelong passions of sports and comedy to host Sports Soup on Versus (now NBC Sports Network). 

Matt's ongoing battle with Rheumatoid Arthritis transformed him into a strong supporter of the Arthritis Foundation. His battle with Renal Cell Carcinoma has also made him a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society. 

Heralded as "fantastic...energetic, kind, personable, and relatable" (BlueCross BlueShield), Matt combines his winning sense of humor and unique experiences and perspective as a doctor turned comic, who also hosts a smash hit show. His dynamic remarks can cover everything from battling cancer, to overcoming obstacles, to the paramount importance of following your dreams. 

 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

DANIEL KURTZER

  • Critical Voice on the Middle East, Israel & Egypt

Having served in numerous positions of international influence, Daniel Kurtzer is a uniquely qualified speaker with a distinct perspective on the geopolitical realties and culture of one of the world's most troubled regions. During a 29-year career in the U.S. Foreign Service (including U.S. Ambassador to Israel and U.S. Ambassador to Egypt) he was instrumental in formulating and executing U.S. policy toward the Middle East peace process. After retiring from the State Department, he served as a member of Secretary of State John Kerry’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board, and as an advisor to the bipartisan Iraq Study Group.

He is the co-author of Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace: American Leadership in the Middle East; co-author of The Peace Puzzle: America’s Quest for Arab-Israeli Peace, 1989-2011; and editor of Pathways to Peace: America and the Arab-Israeli Conflict.

HWA

PETER SHEAHAN

  • Bestselling Author and World Renowned Speaker on Exploiting Business Trends and New Market Opportunities

After decades of standing in the fire with leaders of high-performing organizations, Peter Sheahan has come to believe that an organization will only go commercially where its leaders first go personally.

Having grown his own companies by accelerating the growth and transformation for clients that include: Apple; Chick-fil-A; DeBeers; and AT&T -- Peter will provoke you to get bigger, by getting better! When leaders are true to their purpose, they gravitate towards doing work that matters and solving higher-order problems. The journey to get there requires that they have the courage to tell themselves the truth, take intelligent risks, and assume ownership for driving the alignment necessary to build an organization which behaves in ways worthy of its leadership position.

In being true to his own ambitions and relentless pursuit of growth, Peter has published seven books, built three global companies and delivered more than 2,500 presentations in 40+ countries. Today he and his team at Karrikins Group are focused exclusively on inspiring leaders to do the hard work required to accelerate growth and transformation.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

DAVEED DIGGS

  • Award-Winning and Trailblazing Actor, Writer, Rapper, and Producer

Tony, Grammy, and Lucille Lortel Award-winning actor, writer, rapper and producer, Daveed Diggs is widely known for originating the dual roles of ‘Thomas Jefferson’ and ‘Marquis de Lafayette’ in the Broadway sensation Hamilton. His independent film Blindspotting, which he co-wrote, produced and starred in, debuted at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and was released by Lionsgate. Variety called it, “The most exciting cinematic take on contemporary race relations since Do the Right Thing nearly 30 years ago,” and Eric Kohn of IndieWire wrote, “Daveed Diggs is an instant movie star.” His performance earned him an Independent Spirit Award nomination for “Best Lead Role.”

Diggs was seen in the thriller Velvet Buzzsaw, which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and starred alongside Jake Gyllenhaal. Diggs was in the hit film Wonder opposite Julia Roberts and Jacob Tremblay, in a performance heralded as “irresistibly charming” and “deeply sympathetic.” He can also be heard as the voice of ‘Dos’ in Fox’s animated film Ferdinand opposite Kate McKinnon and John Cena and seen in Netflix’s The Starling.

On television, Diggs can be seen in TNT’s series Snowpiercer opposite Jennifer Connelly and Netflix’s rotoscope series Undone by Raphael Bob-Waksberg. He has also lent his voice the live-action film adaptation of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Fox’s Bob’s Burgers, Netflix’s Bojack Horseman, Disney's Soul, and Josh Gad’s Central Park. He was seen on ABC’s Emmy-nominated series Blackish, and Netflix’s hit comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. He also starred in HBO’s Tour de Pharmacy alongside Andy Samberg and Orlando Bloom. Previous television credits include NBC’s Law & Order: SVU and Netflix’s The Get Down created by visionary director Baz Luhrmann. Diggs executive produced ABC’s The Mayor and is currently creating original content for ESPN and the banking app ZELLE.

Diggs is also a member of the West Coast-based experimental hip-hop trio, “clipping.” Diggs has toured nationally and internationally, both as a solo artist and with “clipping,” playing venues including Sonar Festival in Barcelona; Off Festival in Krakow; ATP Iceland in Keflavic; and Brooklyn's AfroPunk Fest. Special engagement bookings include the Red Bull Music Academy and Moog Electronics. The group was also nominated for a Hugo Award for their sophomore album Splendor & Misery.

HWA

SETH MATTISON

  • Workforce Strategist and Management Trendspotter

Seth is an internationally recognized thought leader, advisor, and top-rated keynote speaker on talent management, change and innovation, digital transformation, leadership, and the future of work.

His research, case studies, and thought leadership focus on inspiring audiences while sharing actionable strategies to drive meaningful outcomes for individuals and their organizations. He also coaches high-performing leaders with practical, life-tested ideas, concepts, and frameworks to elevate their impact and create lasting legacies.

Over the past decade, Seth has shared his insights with thousands of business leaders around the globe for many of the world’s most recognizable brands including Mastercard, Johnson and Johnson, IBM, The Dallas Cowboys, AT&T, PepsiCo, GE Energy, E&Y, Caterpillar, and The Walt Disney Company, to name a few.

In addition to speaking, Seth is the founder and CEO of FutureSight Labs, an org design and transformation firm that supports many of the world’s most inspiring leaders by helping prepare themselves and their organizations for the future of work through research, training, advising, coaching, digital tools, and thought leadership.

HWA

MICHELLE STACY

  • President, Keurig Inc. (2008-2013)

If you drank a cup of coffee, brushed your teeth or shaved this morning, your life has already been impacted by Michelle Stacy’s leadership.

For the last 35 years, Michelle Stacy has built a career that has culminated in leadership positions at Gillette, P&G, and most recently as President of Keurig. These companies have all benefited from her ability to develop and articulate a clear vision and strategy, build brands, and identify avenues for growth.

Michelle’s key to managing and driving exceptional growth has been her ability to create a positive and focused culture that generates high employee engagement, as well as talent for creating company-wide commitment to lead with a higher purpose.

HWA

JULIE WILLIAMSON

  • Co-Author with Peter Sheahan of MATTER: Create more value, move beyond the competition, and become the obvious choice

Dr. Williamson is a Vice President of Strategy and Research for Karrikins Group, where she has worked with some of the world's largest companies, helping them set and execute on strategy and transformation. She is a leading voice in how organizations link together communication, design, strategy, sales, marketing and service to deliver sustainable growth. She uses both traditional and forward looking resources in her strategy and transformation work, leveraging design thinking to help client arrive at solutions that are informed by data and inspired by creativity.

Her work with Peter Sheahan on the recently released book MATTER: Create more value, move beyond the competition, and become the obvious choice highlights Julie’s commitment to working with clients to find and deliver on opportunities for growth and development.

Julie is an educator and a professional, teaching undergraduate and graduate level courses on organizational strategy, behavior, and change, and helping students connect the theoretical concepts to real-world applications. Her work with knowledge management and leadership development has been put to the test with Fortune 100 companies and stands well outside of the classroom.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

RIZ AHMED

  • Award-winning actor, writer, producer, musician, and director

Emmy award winner Riz Ahmed is a critically acclaimed actor, writer, producer, musician, director and activist.

Best known as the star of the explosively successful "The Night Of" on HBO, for which Ahmed became the first man of  Asian descent to win an acting award at the Emmys, Ahmed has graced the cover of TIME’s “100 Most Influential People.”

As Riz MC, Ahmed came up in the London music scene as a rap battle champion, going on to write and perform both as a solo artist and with his band, Swet Shop Boy. A vocal activist and advocate, Ahmed has raised awareness and funds for Rohinya and Syrian refugees, and his award-winning piece in the Nikesh Shukla–edited collection of essays, The Good Immigrant, has been dubbed “essential reading.” 

Ahmed has been sought-out to speak everywhere from the British Parliament’s House of Common,  where he was an invited guest to speak on  diversity, to the BBC, where he’s spoken on harmful stereotypes and representation. He provides powerful remarks on diversity and inclusion, combating negative stereotypes, and harnessing creativity for good.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

EDDIE NDOPU

  • Award-Winning Humanitarian and Renowned Disability Justice Practitioner

Eddie Ndopu is an award-winning, internationally acclaimed humanitarian, storyteller, public intellectual, and disability justice practitioner. In recognition of Eddie’s influence as a global changemaker, Antonio Guterres, the current Secretary-General of the United Nations, recently appointed him as one of the UN’s official Advocates for the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Eddie is the Founder of A BILLION REASONS, a groundbreaking social impact incubator established in partnership with the World Economic Forum to tackle the Sustainable Development Goals through the lens of universal design and disability-based innovation. 

Eddie sits on the Boards of IMAGINE and The Valuable 500. He also serves as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council for Social Justice, and Verizon’s high-level Advisory Board for Disability and Accessibility.

An African Leadership Academy alumnus, Eddie made history in 2017 by becoming the first disabled Black man to graduate from Oxford with a Masters Degree in Public Policy. He also graduated summa cum laude from Carleton University, with a Bachelors in Human Rights. 

Eddie is currently working on his debut memoir, Sipping Dom Perignon Through a Straw.  

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ROMAN COPPOLA

  • Famed Filmmaker, Screenwriter & Producer

Roman Coppola is a director, screenwriter, producer, and inventor. Growing up in the world of filmmaking, Coppola earned his stripes by wearing all hats available on set, from sound recording to cinematography, to writing, directing, producing, even acting, and earned his first BAFTA nomination as visual effects director on Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

In addition to writing, directing and producing feature films CQ and A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III, Coppola has played an integral part in many other film projects, including second unit work, producing, and cowriting with frequent collaborators Sofia Coppola on such projects as On the Rocks, Marie Antoinette, Lost in Translation, The Virgin Suicides and with Wes Anderson on projects including Isle of Dogs, The French Dispatch, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Darjeeling Limited, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and Moonrise Kingdom, which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

Coppola is also president of pioneering independent production company American Zoetrope, earning him producing credits on the aforementioned Sofia Coppola projects, as well as many other films including Walter Salles’ Cannes Palme d’Or nominated On the Road.

In addition to feature film work, Coppola is the founder and owner of award- winning commercial and music video production company The Directors Bureau. Through The Directors Bureau, Coppola has directed countless iconic music videos for the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, Daft Punk, Air, The Strokes and Phoenix. For the now-legendary Fatboy Slim Praise You video, Coppola has 3 MTV VMAs, and his stream-of-consciousness video for Phoenix’s Funky Squaredance now lives in the permanent collection at the MoMa.

Coppola is also no stranger to television, winning a Golden Globe Award as co-creator of Mozart in the Jungle. Additionally, Coppola has directed numerous television specials including The Strokes: MTV $2 Bill, the Emmy-nominated A Very Murray Christmas, Arcade Fire’s Saturday Night Live special Here Comes the Night Time, and Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special.

As an inventor, Coppola has many creations under his belt including an inflatable film enclosure Photobubble, colorful, high-quality tote bags from Pacific Tote Company, and a stream-lined communication app which will be announced soon.

Currently, Coppola continues his work on various startup projects including a blockchain-based film community, several short-form projects in development, as well as a feature film with Wes Anderson, and a feature film of his own.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MARIO LOPEZ

  • Two-time Emmy Award-winning host of NBC’s "Access Hollywood"

Mario Lopez is the consummate entertainer, from acting in and producing multiple iconic TV shows, to penning bestselling books in fitness and inspiration, to hosting on TV and radio- Lopez is one of the hardest workers in Hollywood and a beloved fan favorite. He uses his platform to promote social equality and healthy children and families, partnering with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America as well as driving Hollywood projects which promote inclusive positive images, particularly for Latinx communities.  For all of these reasons, Mario is an outstanding choice as host or emcee for any event. 

The two-time Emmy-winner is the host of NBC’s "Access Hollywood" and has an over-all development deal with NBC/Universal.  He is also the host of the nationwide iHeartMedia radio shows, "On with Mario Lopez,” "iHeartRadio Countdown with Mario Lopez" and the iHeartRadio boxing podcast, “The 3 Knockdown Rule."

As a producer, Lopez co-created and executive produced the Netflix series “The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia,” a Latinx family comedy that centers on a 15-year-old robotics engineer and her family. Lopez became a household name as ‘A.C. Slater’ on the hit 90’s teen series, “Saved By The Bell,” he appeared in and produced the “Saved By The Bell” reboot for NBC’s streaming service Peacock.  Additionally, Lopez serves as executive producer of the upcoming music competition series, “Menudo.” 

As an actor, Lopez has most recently appeared on the NBC hit drama “This is Us” and the CW series “Jane the Virgin.” Lopez has also made appearances on “Brooklyn 99,” “The Roockie,” and a recurs as ‘Cruz’ on Disney’s animated series “Elena of Avalor” with his daughter Gia.    He played ‘Dr. Mike Hamoui’ in an extensive arc on F/X network's popular show "Nip/Tuck," Lopez previously starred in the highest-rated program in ABC Family history, "Holiday in Handcuffs" and also starred opposite Mark Consuelos in the made-for-TV movie, "Husband for Hire.”

No stranger to rigorous routines, Lopez danced his way to the finals in the third season of ABC's hit series, "Dancing with the Stars." Shortly after, in the summer of 2009, he successfully completed his first run on Broadway, starring in the long-running hit musical "A Chorus Line" as the beloved character Zach.

As an author, Mario released his first autobiography, "Just Between Us." In his memoir, he shares his successes and disappointments, never before-told stories and family values. Lopez became a New York Times best-selling author with his healthy eating guide, "Extra Lean." In May 2011, he released the follow-up to "Extra Lean," entitled "Extra Lean Family." Additionally, Mario penned "Mario Lopez's Knockout Fitness," a best-selling fitness book that offers readers a look into his impressive workout regime. Additionally, he co-authored "Mud Tacos," a vibrant children's book with his sister Marissa; and "Mario & Baby Gia," a children's book he wrote for his daughter Gia. "Mario & Baby Gia" is currently being developed into an animated series.

Mario was named the Alumni Ambassador of Fitness by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), joining the ranks of some 25 other prominent alumni, including Denzel Washington and former President Bill Clinton in the organization's BE GREAT campaign. Via the campaign, he helps bring to light the major issues affecting today's young people, including the importance of graduating from high school and maintaining a healthy lifestyle and the key role community-based organizations like BGCA play in the positive development of children.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MARCUS BUCKINGHAM

  • New York Times Best-Selling Author, Researcher, and Founder of the Strengths Revolution

Marcus Buckingham is a global researcher and thought leader focused on unlocking strengths, increasing performance and pioneering the future of how people work.

Building on nearly two decades of experience as a Senior Researcher at Gallup Organization, he currently guides the vision of ADP Research Institute as Head and Talent Expert. He founded The Marcus Buckingham Company in 2006 with a clear mission: to instigate a “strengths  revolution.” It started, as all revolutions do, with the simplest of ideas: that when people spend the majority of each day on the job using their greatest talents and engaged in their favorite tasks, basically doing exactly what they want to do, both they and their organizations will win.

In other words, companies that focus on cultivating employees’ strengths rather than simply improving on people’s weaknesses stand to dramatically increase efficiency and productivity while allowing for maximum personal growth.

In all of his speeches, Marcus demonstrates the correlation between strengths-driven, engaged employees and business fundamentals such as turnover rates, customer satisfaction, profits, and productivity. Challenging entrenched preconceptions about achievement to get to the core of what drives success, Marcus’s strengths-based approach is a win/win scenario that, without exaggeration, will define the future of work.

In his compelling presentations, Marcus Buckingham helps leaders focus on what’s most important for their team right now as Covid-19 shifts us all to a new reality. He breaks down 5 Things All Leaders Should be Doing Today, and his Lead from Strength Virtual Series dives into how individuals and teams can use their strengths to build resilience, connection and confidence. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

SCOOTER BRAUN

  • Founder, SB Projects

Scooter Braun is one of the entertainment industry’s biggest entrepreneurs and innovators and the founder of SB Projects, a diversified entertainment and media company with ventures at the intersection of music, film, television, technology, brands, culture, and social good. Today, Braun has a roster of the top pop culture icons under his management, record label, and publishing companies that include Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Zac Brown Band, and Karlie Kloss, to name a few.

Braun has broken more new artists than any other music executive in the last decade and now has expanded his reach by establishing a fund which invests in some of the largest management, media, and rights companies in the industry. SB Projects houses a film and television production division which led to Braun making waves in the industry with his first documentary film, Never Say Never, and also continues to impact new verticals under its tech incubator, Silent Labs, which holds investments in Uber, Spotify, Songza, Casper, Waze, and Pinterest. In 2018, Braun announced new ventures including Mythos Studios, which will develop franchise films, and Good Story Entertainment, which will build out unscripted, live event, and documentary spaces.

As Braun continues to expand SB Projects, he remains committed to the company’s founding philosophy of giving back and designs a philanthropic element for each new initiative. Braun serves as Chair of the Advisory Board of Pencils of Promise, a non-profit organization that builds schools in developing countries. He is also on the board of Fuck Cancer, an organization focused on prevention and early detection of cancer, which his wife Yael Braun co-founded. Braun, his clients, and his companies have – together – granted more wishes for Make-A-Wish than any other organization in the history of the foundation. In 2017, Braun proved to be the music industry’s ‘first-responder’ when he organized the One Love Manchester benefit concert and Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief telethon, within just months of one another.

Braun lives in Los Angeles with his wife and three children.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

CHARLIZE THERON

  • Academy Award-Winning Actress

Few stars have used their platform and celebrity more effectively for good than Charlize Theron. Be it her work to advance women's rights domestically and abroad, to combat gender-based violence around the world, or to advance global health efforts, Charlize demonstrates masterfully how to use one’s platform for good. Theron is not only an United Nations Messenger of Peace, she is also the founder of the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, an organization that invests in the health, communities and education of African youth and their ability to keep themselves safe from HIV/ AIDS. Since its founding in 2007, CTAOP-supported programs have reached over 250,000 young people in Southern Africa with critical health services. In addition, her foundation created the CTAOP Youth Leaders Scholarship Program, which cultivates and strengthens young community leaders in South Africa by providing comprehensive scholarships for tertiary education.

The South African born
, Academy Award-winning actress is one of the most celebrated of our time, captivating audiences across the globe with her ability to embody an array of real life and imagined characters. Her impressive resume includes her portrayal of Megyn Kelly in 2019’s Bombshell, which was produced by her company, Denver and Delilah, and earned Academy Award, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) nominations. She has also had starring roles in The Devil’s Advocate, The Cider House Rules, and the critically acclaimed Monster, for which she earned an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and an Independent Spirit Award. Most recently, Theron can be seen in Netflix’s The Old Guard, also produced by Denver and Delilah. Next up, Theron will reprise her role as “Cipher'' in the 9th installment of the Fast and Furious franchise, set to hit theaters in 2021.

Heralded for bringing her remarkable life experiences and passionate activism to life at each and every engagement, be it virtually or in-person, Theron shares insights on issues ranging from women's health and
 safety, to humanitarianism, global health, racial equity, social justice, and global citizenship. At a recent event, SAP called Charlize's moderated discussion “powerful,” making all other events seem “tame.” Charlize is a passionate and authentic speaker and truly a uniquely talented actor, producer, businesswoman and philanthropist.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MARCUS LEMONIS

  • Serial Entrepreneur and Investor

As an impressionable youth, Marcus Lemonis read the description of Entrepreneur to his mother from the dictionary while working on a school project, which inspired him to challenge himself and make his dreams come true. His humble beginnings and journey through life represent the heart and soul of what true entrepreneurism is. Although he was not born in America, he is proud to be living the American Dream through hard work, determination and believing. Those who have had the chance to hear his story through his moving speaking engagements would say that he is humble, down to earth and 100 percent brutally honest. 

He stars in CNBC's Streets of Dreams With Marcus Lemonis, where he travels across the United States to take a look at the most influential streets in the country that fuel America's business cultures. A past nominee for the 2018 Critic’s Choice Award for Best Structured Reality Series for his work on CNBC’s The Profit, Marcus lends his business expertise to struggling businesses in various industries across the country while using his famous People-Process-Product principle. Through his 3P mantra, he analyzes every business by the quality people, whether they have an excellent and relevant product, and the best possible process for creating, delivering, and selling that product. While many people frequently call him the “business turnaround king,” he will be the first to say that he really helps people with tough love so they can use the experience to inevitably succeed. In 2022, he will star in The Renovator, an HGTV series where he helps frustrated families renovate their homes that no longer serve their needs. 

Marcus was born in war-torn Beirut, Lebanon in 1973; and, at nine months old, was adopted by a couple living in Miami, FL. As a young child, he was exposed to positive and prosperous business values at his family-owned auto dealership. His entrepreneurial spirit bloomed at age 12 while attending Epiphany Catholic School, when he started a lawn mowing service to generate money for a candy business while enlisting his friends for their help. He then graduated from Christopher Columbus High School and moved to Milwaukee, WI to attend Marquette University, where he studied Political Science, Criminology and Economics. 

With approximately 165 locations in 37 states and a comprehensive e-commerce platform, Marcus has long time served as the Chairperson at America’s #1 source for RVs, camping accessories, RV maintenance and repair - Camping World and Gander RV & Outdoors. In 2017, he became the RV Business Newsmaker of the Year for “evolving into one of the most transformational characters in the U.S. recreational vehicle industry.” 

With multiple ventures on his resume, Marcus can be seen sharing his knowledge through numerous business and entertainment television programs and is also regarded as one of the most sought-after industry experts and keynote speakers in the small business sector today. 

Marcus drives results through collaborations, partnerships and relationships. His advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is simple: know your numbers, trust the process and remember that he’s 100 percent IN CHARGE!

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ABBY WAMBACH

  • FIFA Women's World Cup Champion and Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist

Olympian, Activist, Author

Abby Wambach is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, FIFA World Cup Champion, and six-time winner of the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year award. She was the United States’ leading scorer in the 2007 and 2011 Women’s World Cup tournaments and the 2004 and 2012 Olympics. An activist for equality and inclusion, she is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller WOLFPACK as well as the adaptation of WOLFPACK for the next generation, an instant New York Times bestseller. Abby is the host of ABBY's PLACES on ESPN+, in which she showcases what makes her beloved sport of soccer a worldwide sensation. Abby sits on the Board of Directors for the all-women-led nonprofit organization Together Rising. She lives in California with her wife, Glennon Doyle, and their three children.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ROBIN DIANGELO

  • New York Times #1 Bestselling Author of 'White Fragility' and 'Nice Racism'

Robin DiAngelo is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism, which has been on the NYT bestseller list since June 2018 and translated into multiple languages. White Fragility is widely considered an essential guide for white people seeking to understand and challenge racism. Her newest book, Nice Racism: How Progressive White People Perpetuate Racial Harm picks up where White Fragility left off and dives deeper into the conversation. Her research has been the subject of conversations taking place in business and organizations worldwide and has influenced the international dialogue on race. In her talks, Dr. DiAngelo, an academic, author, and facilitator, explains systemic racism with clarity and accessibility. She has the exceptional ability to speak directly about what has traditionally been a deeply challenging and taboo conversation in a way that opens and engages her audience. In so doing, she provides the questions and perspectives needed to develop more racially-just practices.

 

 

 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MICHAEL B. JORDAN

  • Critically-Acclaimed Actor

Michael B. Jordan is an award-winning actor, director, producer, and social activist who uses his considerable platform to advocate for inclusion and diversity. Jordan is known for iconic roles in global blockbuster films Black Panther, Just Mercy, the Creed trilogy, and Fruitvale Station, his breakout film which won accolades at the Sundance Film Festival, as well as memorable starring roles on the television series’ The Wire, Friday Night Lights, and Parenthood. An industry leader, Jordan invests in social change through his cutting-edge production company Outlier Society Productions, which partnered with Amazon on a 360-degree creative relationship. In 2020, Jordan launched a partnership with Color of Change to raise awareness about inclusion and lead the charge for industrywide new policies such as inclusion riders, which will dramatically shift the culture of the film industry. Jordan embodies the role of artist citizen, and galvanizes audiences with his commitment to making a difference and changing the world.

Jordan was named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020 and one of New York Times’ 25 Greatest Actors of the 21st Century, and speaks profoundly about how justice is central to his work in art and philanthropy. His charitable efforts are significant, and through his superb storytelling and personal journey, he sparks meaningful conversations about creating a values-driven mission for your business, team, and in your life.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

CANDACE PARKER

  • WNBA Champion, WNBA Finals MVP & Two-Time WNBA MVP

One of the most influential athletes of this generation, Candace Parker is an entrepreneur, activist, a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and one of the most decorated women’s basketball players of all-time with two WNBA MVP Awards. Candace continues to aspire for greatness in all aspects of the world around her and build a legacy that she hopes will inspire others to break through glass-ceilings as she has. Off the court, Parker is a bold, insightful and inspiring thought leader who is passionate about the importance of women’s rights, voters’ rights and Black Lives Matter.

In September of 2020, Parker was the first female athlete to join the Social Change Fund, the mission of which is to invest in and support organizations that are working to liberate Black people and advocate for indigenous people and communities of color through the lens of policy solutions, community representation and narrative
change.

In August 2021, Parker launched the first season of her podcast Moments with Candace Parker which celebrates parenthood to the fullest -- the smallest victories, the messiest failures and the bravest decisions. Parker is the first woman and WNBA player to appear on the cover of an NBA 2K game for the WNBA 25th Anniversary Special Edition, released on September 10, 2021.

After 13 seasons with the Los Angeles Sparks, Parker signed with the Chicago Sky and will make her return to her hometown.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

TAYLOR CASSIDY

  • Viral Content Creator on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube

Spearheading social media, Taylor Cassidy is a content creator on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube teaching millions of unsung Black history figures accompanied by her quick wit and strong passion. Seen in her series Fast Black History and Black Girl Magic Minute, she uses her platform to advocate for inclusion, representation, and love for one’s culture.

By creating an open environment for discussion around self-esteem, and mental health, she’s earned a Streamy Creator Honor from Liza Koshy and listed as TikTok’s 2020 Top 100 under "Voices of Change: Most Impactful Creators." Generous with sharing her story on Black identity and finding her creative voice, she is passionate about encouraging others to dream bigger for themselves.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JENNA WORTHAM

  • Staff Writer for The New York Times Magazine

Journalist, author, podcaster, and cultural figure Jenna Wortham is a thought leader at the intersection of tech, culture, and identity, offering engaging and incisive analysis to spellbound audiences across mediums. She co-edited the critically acclaimed visual anthology Black Futures, and is currently a staff writer for the New York Times Magazine, whom editor Jack Silverstein called “one of the most savvy and intelligent voices anywhere covering digital business and culture.” Jenna is also the co-host of the highly popular New York Times podcast Still Processing, which won a Webby Award and has appeared on year-end ‘Best of’ lists for The Atlantic, The Huffington Post, and Indiewire.

Jenna’s writing has appeared in Vogue, WIRED, The Economic Times, and more, and they have received numerous honors, including the prestigious MacDowell Fellowship. Jenna is uniquely positioned to speak to the challenges and possibilities of globalization of culture via the internet, and how we can continue to build our collective future in ever-changing digital spaces.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ENUMA OKORO

  • Nigerian-American Writer & Lecturer

Enuma Okoro is a Nigerian-American writer, lecturer, and speaker, who believes that the stories we believe, and tell ourselves become the stories we live. Using the arts, cultural identity, contemplative spirituality and psychology, Okoro explores the power of story and narratives in our individual and collective identities. She examines the stories we live, where they originate, how they are used, and how unquestioned stories and inherited narratives affect our public and private lives. To this end, her work covers a broad but intersecting range of topics: the arts as a lens for understanding human experience, meaning and identity-making, transcultural literacy and how cultural collisions have an impact on human development and social narratives, women’s empowerment, and intentional living with integrity and self-honor.

Born in Manhattan to Nigerian parents, Okoro was raised in five countries on three continents, and has spent her life living and working as a global citizen. Her educational and professional background is in Psychology and Communications, Family Systems Therapy, Creative and Academic Writing, and Theology. She is a certified spiritual director in the Ignatian tradition. Okoro has written and edited four non-fiction books, her poetry is published in anthologies, she is a weekend columnist for the Financial Times, and her work has been featured in The New York Times, ABC’s Good Morning America, The Washington Post, The Atlantic Monthly, The Guardian, Harpers’ Bazaar, Vogue, CNN, Essence, Artsy, Cultured, The Cut, Aeon, Catapult, and other media outlets.

As an international speaker, Okoro has spoken at over 100 engagements including universities, corporate institutions, organization and conferences. Her speaking invitations have come from four continents and have included Oxford University, Princeton University, The Atlantic Dialogues, The EurAfrican Forum, The Ford Foundation, The MEDays International Forum, Bloomberg Media Conference, Harvard Business School, The Abu Dhabi Culture Summit, and more. She had the honor of being the first woman of African descent to deliver a talk from the historic 200-year-old platform of The American Church in Paris, France, where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was the first man of African descent to speak from the same platform in October 1965. Okoro gave a TEDx talk in London focused on global perceptions of women, identity, and cultural collisions.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MATT JAMES

  • TV Personality, Entrepreneur & Activist

Matt James is an American television personality, entrepreneur, and activist, most recently known for his historical role as the first Black male lead on ABC’s hit show, The Bachelor. 

While living in New York and pursuing a career in finance, Matt co-founded ABC Food Tours, which creates experiences for students facing challenges in food insecurity and adversity at home. Connecting with over 1,500 students and 30 tours thus far, the goal is to provide opportunities for underprivileged kids on a larger scale, through introducing them to positive role models in professional careers, leadership roles, healthy lifestyles and more, just as football had done for him. 

With this mission in mind, he felt called to take on the role as the first Black male lead on The Bachelor, which was announced just four days after the death of George Floyd and in a time of heightened focus on civil rights and racial injustices in both the United States and globally. As James has said, he took the opportunity as a chance to be a role model and positive example of a Black man, for many of whom it may have been “the first time having someone like myself in their home.’” Since the March 2021 season finale, James continues to use his platform of over 1 million followers to encourage important conversations and work as a conduit for social change and awareness. 

James has worked with brands including Verizon, American Express, Lululemon and more while serving as a minority owner, ambassador, and share holder in Lettuce Grow, a hydroponic farming company aimed to reduce the impact that growing food has on the planet and support children’s programming in urban populations.  James is an avid supporter of the Lebron James Family Foundation, Hack the Hood, and the Getting Out and Staying Out (GOSO) Foundation. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

EUGENE DANIELS

  • White House Correspondent

Eugene Daniels is a Playbook author and White House correspondent, with a focus on Vice President Kamala Harris, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, the Second Gentleman and emerging power players in Washington. Since joining Politico in 2018, he’s covered the midterms, the Democratic presidential primary and general election through print, video journalism and podcasts.

Eugene will continue to leverage Politico's many platforms as part of the Playbook team. During the country’s reckoning with race in 2020, Eugene moderated Politico's Confronting Inequality Town Hall series that examined how inequities in policing, housing, healthcare, education and employment permeate and plague the United States.

Prior to Politico, Eugene covered the 2016 primary, general election and national politics as a political reporter at Newsy. He began his career in local television in Colorado Springs and graduated from Colorado State University in 2012.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

DR. MARCIA CHATELAIN

  • Professor of History and African American Studies, Georgetown University

Marcia Chatelain is currently a Professor of History and African American Studies at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Previously, she was a Reach for Excellence Assistant Professor of Honors and African American Studies at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. She is a scholar of African-American life and culture, and her first book South Side Girls: Growing up in the Great Migration (Duke University Press, 2015) reimagined the mass exodus of black Southerners to the urban North from the perspective of girls and teenage women. She won a 2021 Pulitzer Prize for her latest book, Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America (Liveright/W.W. Norton, 2020) which examines the intersection of the post-1968 civil rights struggle and the rise of fast-food industry. Franchise was chosen as a New York Times Critics’ Top 10 Book and the Hagley Prize for Best Book in Business History. In 2016, the Chronicle of Higher Education named Marcia a Top Influencer in Higher Education in recognition of her curation of #FergusonSyllabus, a response to the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014. She is a 2019 Andrew Carnegie Fellow. Chatelain also served on the Georgetown University Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation, and is a renowned voice on universities, slavery, and reparations.

Dr. Chatelain helps organizations respond to and solve the challenges that confront them. Problems can emerge when communication is impaired or unfinished business impedes progress. Dr. Chatelain is an experienced facilitator and strategist. She has provided support to schools grappling with negative incidents surrounding racism, assisted university departments in identifying new priorities after campus-wide protests, and led workshops on inclusive pedagogy for multiple high school faculties. From developing parent engagement programs to assessing diversity programs or thinking about the needs of first-generation college students, Dr. Chatelain uses her scholarly and practical experience to help organizations plan for the future.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

THE GRAPEVINE

Owner, Creator and Host Ashley Akunna and Owner, Executive Producer, and Co-Host Donovan Thompson come together to create The Grapevine, a television show on YouTube with panel-style discussions on topics from politics to pop culture, the economy, and more. With an audience that boasts over 190,000 subscribers, the grassroots series places hot button issues in the hands of Millennial and Gen Z panelists to dissect and bring forth fresh, raw and nuanced conversation. The Grapevine is known for featuring Black millennial voices and discussing Black issues that may not get coverage in the mainstream media, bringing issues that previously were only chatted about in private circles to the screen. When Akunna and Thompson come together as The Grapevine in their talks, their discussions are just as electric and educational as the show, bringing forth conversations on colorism, race, beauty standards, queer and gender identities, and so much more.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ASHLEY AKUNNA

  • Owner, Creator and Host of The Grapevine

Born in San Antonio, Texas and raised in the suburbs of North Jersey, Ashley is a storyteller on a mission to create art that places Black women front and center in complex and uniquely crafted worlds. Hailing from an Igbotic culture of rich and immersive storytelling, she discovered her love of film as a young girl whose parents put her in front of the television as a means of distraction. After graduating from The University of the Arts with a focus in Narrative and Documentary Filmmaking, Ashley went on to create the hit discussion series, The Grapevine, on Youtube. With an audience that boasts over 190,000 subscribers, the grassroots series places hot button issues in the hands of Millennials and Gen Z panelists to dissect and bring forth raw and nuanced conversation.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

DONOVAN THOMPSON

  • Owner, Executive Producer & Co-Host, 'The Grapevine'

Curious to his core, Donovan is a rule-breaker hell-bent on moving culture forward. As a content creator, producer, writer, and performer, he harnesses the power of storytelling to normalize empathy. Growing up Black and gay in Brooklyn during the 90s put him at odds with the world around him. Fitting in wasn’t an option and luckily, he’d have it no other way. His love for music and art provided a great escape, but it has also fueled his passion to confront outdated social attitudes. He’s on a mission to prove through The Grapevine, his hit digital talk-show, as well as his upcoming tv and literary works, that confrontation and compassion together, are a great recipe for progress.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ZOZIBINI TUNZI

  • Voice for Gender Equality

A powerful and versatile speaker, Zozibini Tunzi first gained national attention after delivering a memorable winning answer to host Steve Harvey during the 2019 Miss Universe competition.  Zozi, as she is known, responded, and rallied young women to “take up space”. These words became her battle cry not only to the pageant judges who awarded her the coveted title, but to young girls and women around the world watching the television show. She emphasized that the time was now for them to take their place in society and cement themselves in the history books.

Before becoming Miss Universe, Zozi worked for a global advertising agency and has a huge passion for music and the arts. She begins in pageantry after noting the women before her using the opportunity to become leaders in their communities and use the impact for the greater good. She watched former titleholders utilize their huge following to influence, spark change or continue conversations as young community leaders.  Zozi looked forward to winning the crown and the opportunity to use her title as a microphone and to be a catalyst for positive change. She managed to achieve some of her wishes, and she spoke frequently about women empowerment, diversity and inclusion in the beauty industry, media, and other industries during her reign as Miss Universe.

As Miss Universe, Zozi has been spending a big part of her year speaking out against gender-based violence and pushing forward gender equality, not only on social media, but on multiple panels across the world. She spent her year advocating for organizations including UN Women #HeForSheCampagin, Latino Commission on Aids and Smile Train International to name a few.
HWA EXCLUSIVE

HANNAH BEACHLER

  • Academy Award-Winning Production Designer, Black Panther

Hannah Beachler is an Academy Award-winning production designer and curator known for blockbuster projects like Black Panther and Beyoncé’s stunning visual concept albums Lemonade and Black is King. She became the first African American to win an Academy Award for Production Design for her work on Black Panther. Hannah designed the interstitials for Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s mega tour OTRII, and was tapped by the Metropolitan Museum of Art to curate and design the exhibit “Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Period Room.” Other notable film designs include Fruitvale Station, Creed, Miles Ahead, No Sudden Move, Dark Waters, and Moonlight.

Following her groundbreaking Oscar Award, Hannah was named one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business,” one of Marie Claire’s “50 New Guard,” Ellevate’s International Woman of Change, and was listed on Elle’s “2019 Women in Hollywood’s Power List” and InStyle’s “50 Badass Women List.” She is a sought-after speaker for events, engaging audiences at Google, Ford’s World Symposium, Detroit CityLab, UX Week 2018, MoMa NYC, World 50, Inc., Harvard University Graduate School of Design, and United Nations African Descendants. Hannah offers insights about her work in the film industry, the power of storytelling, and the role of art and design in innovating for the future.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

WILL HURD

  • U.S. Representative (R-TX) (2015 - 2021)

Will Hurd is currently a managing director at Allen & Company and former member of Congress, cybersecurity executive, and undercover officer in the CIA. For almost two decades he’s been involved in the most pressing national security issues challenging the country whether it was in the back-alleys of dangerous places, boardrooms of top international businesses or halls of Congress.

After stopping terrorists, preventing Russian spies from stealing our secrets, and putting nuclear weapons proliferators out of business, Will helped build a cybersecurity company that prepared businesses for the next domain of conflict – cyberspace.

While in Congress, Texas Monthly and Politico Magazine called Will “The Future of the GOP,” because he put good policy over good politics at a time when America was often consumed with what divides us rather than what unites us. He was able to get more legislation signed into law in three terms than most congressmen do in three decades – substantive legislation like a national strategy for Artificial Intelligence.

Will is a native of San Antonio and earned a Computer Science degree from Texas A&M University. Additionally, he is growing the US transatlantic partnership with Europe as a trustee of the German Marshall Fund, an OpenAI board member, and most recently served as a fellow at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics. He is also the author of American Reboot: An Idealist’s Guide to Getting Big Things Done, due February 2022.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MICHAEL SMITH

  • Co-founder of Inflection Point Entertainment

Michael is one of the sports industry’s most versatile, creative, and accomplished storytellers. He’s currently the co-host of the new Peacock show, “Brother From Another.” In 15 years at ESPN, he served in a variety of roles and worked across all of the network’s platforms – including as a reporter, commentator, host, and anchor. Respected from locker rooms to owners’ boxes and beyond, Smith brings a long list of both sports and entertainment industry relationships throughout his stellar 20-year career in media. Prior to joining ESPN, Michael was a reporter for the Boston Globe, serving as the paper’s NFL and New England Patriots beat writer.

Michael began his journalism career while a student at Loyola University in his hometown of New Orleans, serving as a sports reporter and copy editor for the New Orleans Times-Picayune and sports columnist for the award-winning Loyola Maroon. Michael received his BS in mass communication from Loyola in 2001. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and three children. Michael is a member of the 2017 Class of Henry Crown Fellows within the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

FOLAKE OLOWOFOYEKU

  • Actress in the CBS Hit Comedy 'Bob Hearts Abishola'

Nigerian-born actress Folake Olowofoyeku has won the ❤️ of critics and audiences alike with her title role in the CBS half-hour comedy Bob ❤️ Abishola. In this comedic examination of immigrant life in America from a creative team led by Chuck Lorre (The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men), a middle-aged, divorced medical sock salesman (Billy Gardell) from Detroit suffers a heart attack and falls for his cardiac nurse (Folake), an immigrant from Nigeria and young single mom. “Olowofoyeku bewitches as the delightfully gruff and straightforward Abishola,” applauds the Hollywood Reporter, recognizing the “surprising level of nuance” in the series which renders it “nothing short of groundbreaking.”  Audiences seem to agree, tuning in to make it one of the highest rated among the network’s series. 

She received the 2019 Breakout Actress in TV Award for her work on the series on behalf of the Sync Con Honors. Her additional television credits include a recurring role on Transparent and guest roles on The Gifted, Modern Family, How to Get Away with Murder, Westworld, Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Law & Order: Criminal Intent, among others.

Olowofoyeku’s feature film credits include When They Could Fly, which earned her a Best Actress award at the prestigious ReelHeART International Film Festival in Toronto, Central & Broadway, for which she won Best Actress in a Fashion Film at the CinéFashion Film Awards, Female Fight Club, The Bride, The Child Within and Hellbenders-3D, among others.

As a voiceover artist, Olowofoyeku voiced the Priestess on the video game “Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series – Episode 1.” Olowofoyeku’s other passion is music – she sings, plays guitar and piano and enjoys DJing. In 2019, she released her single, “Happy, Happy (Money Dun Come)” under the moniker ‘Fọlákẹ́’.

Olowofoyeku grew up in Lagos, Nigeria and spent time in London. Her native language is Yoruba. Growing up in Nigeria, the youngest of twenty children, Folake always dreamt of being in the arts, a dream that went squarely against the wishes of her parents, Chief Babatunji and Chief Mrs. Felicia Olowofoyeku, who insisted on the family profession of law and politics. During a summer vacation in New York City, unbeknownst to her family, Folake began to pursue her goal as a student at City College of New York, where she would earn her B.A. with honors in theatre and a diploma in Audio Engineering from The Institute of Audio Research (IAR), also distinguishing herself on the basketball court where she competed with CCNY's Beavers in the NCAA. She subsequently moved to Los Angeles to earn success in the film and television industry.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

DANIEL CORMIER

  • Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight UFC World Championship

Daniel is one of the most decorated fighters in UFC history. A former two-division world champion, DC held the heavyweight and light heavyweight world championships simultaneously. He is also an accomplished Olympian and former All-American at Oklahoma State.

Cormier is the head wrestling coach at Gilroy High School, having been appointed in the summer of 2018. Cormier made his film debut in 2014, playing himself in the 2014 comedy Mantervention. In February 2015, Cormier starred in the videoclip All About That Cake, a parody of All About That Bass, to promote the 2015 World MMA Awards. In January 2018, he was featured on an episode of Sneaker Shopping on the YouTube channel Complex.

In February 2019 he featured in "Sub-Zero's Head Shatter", the first episode of the YouTube series "The Science of Mortal Kombat" by Because Science. Cormier is known for being a dedicated fan of the New Orleans Saints and professional wrestling.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

KWAME ALEXANDER

  • New York Times Best-Selling Author, Poet, and Educator

Kwame Alexander is the New York Times bestselling author of 35 books, a regular contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, and the Founding Editor of VERSIFY, a publishing imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt whose mission is to "Change the World One Word at a Time.”

Twice long-listed for the National Book Award, Kwame is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including The Newbery Award, The Coretta Scott King Author Honor, Three NAACP Image Award Nominations, the Inaugural Pat Conroy Legacy Award, The Dominion Energy Strong Men and Women of Virginia, and the Penn State Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award. 

He has appeared in or on: The Today Show, Comedy Central, BET, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Parade Magazine, and ESPN’s TheUndefeated.com. He has delivered hundreds of keynote speeches for corporations, educational institutions, commencements, and annual organization conferences such as Hallmark, Writer’s Digest, Teachers College Columbia University, and The International Literacy Association. 

Kwame has led cultural exchange delegations to Brazil, Italy, Singapore, and Ghana, where he built the Barbara E. Alexander Memorial Library and Health Clinic, as a part of LEAP for Ghana, an international literacy program he co-founded.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

CATHERINE COLEMAN FLOWERS

  • Internationally Recognized Advocate for the Human Right to Water and Sanitation

Catherine Coleman Flowers is an internationally recognized environmental activist, MacArthur “genius” grant recipient, and author. Whether addressing equal access to water, the effects of climate change on different communities, or the effect of history on today's inequities, Flowers' lens of leadership in environmental justice and climate change engages and inspires attendees with tangible solutions and ways to take action. Thought-provoking and informative, Flowers’ talks have left lasting impressions at Duke University, Georgetown University, Wheaton University, and more.

Founder of the Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice (CREEJ), Flowers has spent her career promoting equal access to clean water, air, sanitation, and soil to reduce health and economic disparities in marginalized, rural communities. In addition, Flowers serves as Rural Development Manager for Bryan Stevenson’s Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), is a Board Member for the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary, and sits on the Board of Directors for the Climate Reality Project and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Flowers is also Co-Chair of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Commission on Accelerating Climate Action and Practitioner in Residence at Duke University.

In 2021, her leadership and fervor in fighting for solutions to these issues led her to one of her most notable appointments yet — Vice Chair of the Biden Administration’s inaugural White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council. 

As the author of Waste: One Woman’s Fight Against America’s Dirty Secret, Flowers shares her inspiring story of advocacy, from childhood to environmental justice champion. She discusses sanitation and its correlation with systemic class, racial, and geographic prejudice that affects people across the United States. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JIMMY BUTLER

  • 5-time NBA All-Star

Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat is a 5-time NBA All-Star and a 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist who was the 30th overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft. Originally from Tomball, Texas, Butler (31) attended Marquette University and won the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award in 2015 as a member of the Chicago Bulls. Jimmy is a 4-time All Defensive Team selection, and a 3-time All NBA honoree. 
 
Butler’s vast off-the court interests and passions include traveling, listening to country music, coffee, soccer, fashion and playing dominoes with his friends and family. He also enjoys wine tasting, cooking and working out. 
 
Jimmy is widely regarded as one of the hardest working, most fit, self-made players in the entire NBA. His popular YouTube page has 640K + subscribers while his Instagram page has nearly 6M followers. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MJ ACOSTA-RUIZ

  • Emmy Award-Winning Sportscaster

MJ Acosta-Ruiz is the host of NFL Total Access on the NFL Network. Acosta-Ruiz is the first ever Afro-Latina and woman of color to host a show at the NFL Network. Fully bilingual in English and Spanish, she also contributes across multiple platforms for NFL Mexico & NFL Español.

In her nearly decade long career, the Emmy Award-winning journalist continues her work as an advocate for representation and equality. MJ works closely with women’s empowerment groups such as A Seat at the Table, and is dedicated the amplifying the voices of marginalized communities. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MICHAEL 'KILLER MIKE' RENDER

  • Rapper & Songwriter

Michael Render, aka Killer Mike, is a Grammy-award winning rapper, businessman and activist. He is one half of the hip hop duo, Run the Jewels, host of the Netflix series, “Trigger Warning with Killer Mike,” and co-owner along with Tip ‘T.I.’ Harris of famed Atlanta restaurant, Bankhead Seafood. 

A native of Atlanta, Render made his musical debut on “Snappin’ and Trappin’” from OutKast’s 2000 LP Stankonia, and later appeared on the Grammy-award winning song “The Whole World,” from Outkast’s greatest hits album. He has since released five full-length albums as a solo artist and four albums for Run the Jewels. His fourth album was released on June 5.

Render was raised in the Adamsville/Collier Heights neighborhood on the Northwest side of Atlanta. He began organizing at the age of 15 and made a name for himself as an activist well before he recorded a single song. In addition to advocating for the decriminalization of marijuana, and restorative justice programs for young people, Render has worked locally with the anti-violence organization, Black Teens for Advancement and the Atlanta/Fulton Commission on Children and Youth through its Kids 4 a Change program.

A fierce advocate for black businesses, in July 2016, Render used his considerable influence to urge citizens to move their money to Black-owned banks. The Bank Black program is estimated to have moved more than $60 million to black-owned banking institutions. He was later presented with the James E. Young Visionary Leadership Award by the National Bankers Association for his impact.

It would be easy for someone of Render’s stature to focus exclusively on his career, but Render believes service to the community is the rent he pays for existing. Through his SWAG Shop barbershops, which he co-owns with his wife, he’s held back-to-school events offering free haircuts, braids, and school supplies for Atlanta children.

He has also used his platform to champion a love for the arts. His commitment to arts and culture was recognized recently when he was appointed to a three-year term for the prestigious High Museum of Art in Atlanta.

The pride of Atlanta, the city dubbed an $11.6 million boring machine, “Driller Mike,” in his honor. He was named to NME's "The Ten People Who Defined 2020" list for his powerful lyrics and activism, his album, RTJ4, made Variety's "Best Albums of 2020" list alongside Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, and he was named as the recipient of 2020's Billboard Change Maker Award.

Of all his roles and responsibilities, recognition and celebration, Mike is most proud to be called “husband” to Shana, and “father” to two sons and two daughters.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

AKALA

  • BAFTA and MOBO award- winning Hip-Hop Artist, Writer and Social Entrepreneur

Akala is an award-winning hip-hop artist, writer and social entrepreneur, and one of the most respected voices in the UK's racial equity and social justice movement.

His best-selling memoir, Natives, is a searing modern polemic about race and society: From the first time he was stopped and searched as a child, to the day he realized his mom was white, to his first encounters with racist teachers. The memoir is now being adapted into a documentary series on BBC. Always working to promote bigger ideals to the collective through his work, Akala takes his own experiences and widens them out to look at the social, historical and political factors that have shaped modern society, and where we might go from here. With a potent grasp of history and profound storytelling ability, Akala's debut young adult novel The Dark Lady gives a rare insight on the life and times of multicultural London during the 16th century - this brilliant, at times brutal, novel from the amazing imagination that is Akala is inspired by Shakespeare’s 'Dark Lady' sonnets.

Akala is also the co-founder of The Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company, a music theater production company aimed at exploring the social, cultural and linguistic parallels between the works of William Shakespeare and that of modern day hip-hop artists, which he chronicled in his TEDx Talk. Akala's work offers young people a different view of the arts and ultimately, themselves. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

TIKA SUMPTER

  • Famed Actor and Producer

As an accomplished actor and producer, Tika Sumpter has established herself as one of Hollywood’s rising stars. Sumpter has spent the past few months setting up projects for her to star in and produce across the industry. Her current development slate includes projects with Michael B. Jordan and Liz Raposo’s Outlier Society, Amy Poehler’s Paper Kite, Participant Media, and Amazon Studios as well as award-winning writers such as Kay Oyegun, Niceole Levy, and MacArthur Genius Award Winner Jackie Woodson.

Previously, Sumpter delivered what Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter called, “a spot-on performance” as “Michelle Obama” in Miramax’s feature film Southside With You, which she co-produced with John Legend. She most recently starred in Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog alongside Jim Carrey and James Marsden, and recently wrapped shooting its sequel. Her other feature credits include David Lowery’s The Old Man and the Gun opposite Robert Redford, Danny Glover, and Sissy Spacek, Tyler Perry’s Nobody's Fool opposite Tiffany Haddish, the independent feature An Acceptable Loss opposite Jamie Lee Curtis, Universal’s hit action comedy franchise Ride Along, opposite Kevin Hart and Ice Cube; HBO’s Emmy-winning film, Bessie, with Queen Latifah; and Universal's award-winning James Brown biopic Get on Up with Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Chadwick Boseman.

On television, Sumpter can currently be heard on the hit TBS animated show Final Space with Fred Armisen. For the past two years, she starred in Kenya Barris’ Black-ish spinoff, Mixed-ish, for ABC. Sumpter began her career on the Daytime Emmy-award winning soap opera, One Life to Live, which garnered her an NAACP Image Award nomination.

Sumpter, along with Thai Randolph, is also the co-founder of Sugaberry, a lifestyle brand created by, for, and about moms of color. Their podcast, The Suga, recently won a Gracie Award for co-host/ensemble podcast.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

SARA SIDNER

  • Multi Award-Winning National and International CNN Correspondent

Sara Sidner is CNN's multiple award-winning national and international correspondent.

In 2020 Sidner helped lead the network’s coverage in Minneapolis, Minnesota after the police killing of George Floyd. Sidner was front and center in the midst of tear gas, rubber bullets, and fires during protests against police brutality that erupted for weeks in Minneapolis and then spread across the country and the world. Months prior Sidner lead the Network’s coverage in Seattle, Washington covering the first known major deadly coronavirus outbreak in the United States. 

In 2016 she took on a beat which focused on social, racial, and political conflict across the United States. During her work she was involved in extended coverage in the Charlottesville White Nationalist Rally that ended with the murder of anti-racism protestor Heather Heyer. She covered the trial of the Neo-Nazi who killed Heyer. She has also interviewed numerous victims of racism as well as members of the KKK, white nationalist, and Neo-Nazi at the center of a new resurgence of overt and violent racism in America.

In 2014 Sidner led the network's coverage in Ferguson, Missouri where protests continued for more than 100 days after an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, was shot and killed by a white police officer. She was there for weeks while a grand jury looked at evidence and ultimately decided not to indict the officer. Their decision sparked two nights of rioting in Ferguson after weeks of peaceful protests. But it also lead to nationwide protests and a national conversation about race and policing in America, as well as a state commission and Presidential task force on policing.

Previously, Sidner worked for CNN as an international correspondent based in India then Jerusalem and later Abu Dhabi. She has reported from a multitude of countries, including India, Israel, the Palestinian territories, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Libya, Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Taiwan and Malaysia, Chile, and Haiti.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

NICOLE BYER

  • Actress, Comedian, Writer

Nicole is one of the most versatile and recognizable voices in the comedy landscape today. She currently stars as host of Netflix’s Emmy-nominated competition baking series Nailed It, which was just renewed for a third season. She can also be seen as producer and star of the scripted comedy series Loosely Exactly Nicole, which debuted its first season on MTV and aired its second on Facebook Watch. The show features her unique brand of confidence and irreverence as she demonstrates the hilarious missteps of what it means to be out on your own for the first time. Byer also appears in the new Netflix animated series Tuca & Bertie alongside Tiffany Haddish and Ali Wong and continues to host her popular weekly podcast Why Won't You Date Me

Byer was an early standout and fan favorite on MTV’s hit series Girl Code, a strong and smart female-driven comedy series that brings viewers a hilarious how-to manual full of over-the-top tips to push the envelope and open the dialogue about the wonders and woes of womanhood. She is also an Upright Citizens Brigade alum who continues to cement her status as a force in standup comedy, regularly performing in cities across the country.

Previously, Byer received national attention for her Above Average web series Pursuit of Sexiness, which she co-created and starred in alongside Sasheer Zamata. The series followed the adventures of two broke, single, and adorably self-absorbed young women trying to find a good guy in New York City. Her additional film and television work includes Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, Lady Dynamite, Brooklyn 99, The Unicorn, Black Lady Sketch Show, Bojack Horseman, and 30 Rock.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

CHESLIE KRYST

  • Miss USA 2019

A powerful and versatile speaker, Cheslie Kryst first gained national attention after delivering memorable answers to onstage questions asked during the Miss USA 2019 Competition. Her responses about #MeToo, #TimesUp, and millennials helped her to win the title and become the first practicing attorney to be crowned Miss USA.

Before becoming Miss USA, Cheslie worked full time as a complex civil litigation attorney and also served as counsel, pro bono, for clients serving excessive time for low-level drug offenses. She spoke frequently about criminal justice reform and women’s empowerment during her reign as Miss USA and also spent her year advocating for organizations including Dress for Success,  Smile Train, Best Buddies, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Now on the Board of Directors and the Co-Chair of the JEDI Advisory Council at Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, she continues to speak on these topics, as well as diversity, fashion, and the intersection of the two.

Cheslie’s work as a correspondent for the nationally broadcast entertainment news show, Extra TV, sharpens her ability to captivate a wide range of audiences. She regularly interviews some of entertainment's biggest names, such as Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks, Henry Golding and Lizzo to name a few.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JEMAR TISBY

  • Founder of The Witness, Inc.

Dynamic, significant, and prophetic, Jemar Tisby is a public historian with the ability to explore racial justice solutions and cultural conversations that compel listeners to action. Tisby brings history to bear with contemporary relevance. His style provides audiences with richly-informed explorations, unflinching moral insight, and clear paths forward.

Tisby is the founder of The Witness, Inc. He is the author of How to Fight Racism and The New York Times bestselling book, The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the Church's Complicity in Racism. His latest book, How to Fight Racism Young Reader's Edition: A Guide to Standing Up for Racial Justice, publishes in January 2022. Jemar has been a co-host of the Pass The Mic podcast since its inception seven years ago. His writing has been featured in The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and The New York Times, among others. He is a frequent commentator on outlets such as NPR and CNN's New Day program. He speaks nationwide on the topics of racial justice, U.S. history and Christianity. 

Tisby received his PhD in History at the University of Mississippi studying race, religion, and social movements in the twentieth century

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ANDRE IGUODALA

  • NBA Champion

Andre Iguodala has made his mark as one of the NBA’s premier players. Named to the NBA All-Defensive Team twice, a three-time NBA Champion with the Golden State Warriors, Iguodala was also a member of the United States National Team at the 2010 FIBA World Championship and 2012 Summer Olympics, winning the gold medal both times. Iguodala was named the National Basketball Players Association’s First Vice President in 2019.

Off the court, Iguodala is known for his savvy business instincts and has been at the forefront of navigating the worlds of venture capital and technology in the Bay Area. He was profiled in The New York Times for his business and tech investment success. Iguodala has invested in over 40 companies through F9 Strategies, including GOAT, Zoom, HIMS, Lime, Thrive Global, AllBirds, Casper, STANCE, and Carta. In partnership with Bloomberg, Iguodala created The Players Technology Summit, which convenes top executives and leaders in the technology, venture capital, and sports communities to exchange ideas and share expertise in an educational and empowering forum. Iguodala is also a member of the Board of Directors for Jumia Technologies, a leading e-commerce platform widely considered the “Amazon of Africa.”

Andre’s memoir, The Sixth Man, is a deeply personal look at Iguodala’s life growing up in Springfield, Ill., with his single mother and brother, who he says taught him how to be a defender early on. Iguodala recounts his early awareness of segregation and racism, the strength and influence of the strong women in his life (and later, coaches), and his gradual realization of how to best harness his intelligence, ambition, and drive.

In insightful, impassioned speeches, Iguodala engages audiences with digestible information on tech investing, data trends and analysis, and shares his insights on leadership, how to overcome obstacles to pursue your passions, the lessons he has learned from his storied career, how his upbringing shaped his success, and more.  

HWA EXCLUSIVE

CURT MENEFEE

  • Award-Winning Reporter, Veteran Sports Anchor, and Broadcaster

Curt Menefee is a well-established and respected sports anchor and reporter. During the NFL season, he serves as co-host of FOX NFL Sunday  along with Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Jimmy Johnson and Michael Strahan. The program has been the #1 pregame show for 21 consecutive years – with Menefee on board for 10 seasons. Menefee also provides prefight coverage during UFC main events, and hosts the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Champions League final pregame show. In 2015, he will be part of the PGA U.S. Open commentary team.

Menefee’s career includes sideline-reporting for FOX Sports, calling plays in the game booth for NFL and NFL Europe League, broadcasting sporting events from Madison Square Garden with WNYW-TV, and working as the sports director and weeknight sports anchor for KTVT-TV in Dallas. He also hosted a daily two-hour show on The Ticket  sports radio in Dallas, anchored sports for WTLV-TV (NBC) in Jacksonville, hosted a live two-hour daily sportscast on Sports News Network, and served as sports anchor and reporter at WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wisconsin and WOI-TV (ABC) in Des Moines, Iowa.

In 1996, Menefee received The Associated Press Award for ‘Best Sports Reporter in New York.’ And in 1993, 1994 and 1995, he won four Katie Awards (the Texas equivalent of an Emmy) – two were for ‘Best Sportscast’ and the other two were for ‘Best Sports Special.’

He co-hosts A&E Network’s Canine Competition Series America’s Top Dog, which showcases working dogs, K9s, and underdogs, facing off on huge obstacle courses to test their speed, agility, and more. He is also hosting the new series An Animal Saved My Life,  which shows heroic acts made by animals, with stories from people who have been saved by these heroes.

Menefee earned a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies, with minors in History and Physical Education, from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He currently serves on the school’s Board of Trustees, and dedicates as much time as possible to community work.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

CRIS CARTER

  • NFL Hall of Famer

Cris Carter is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, longtime broadcaster and studio analyst, philanthropist, and powerful speaker about his battle with addiction and his recovery, sharing his profound story with worldwide audiences. A member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s, Carter is heralded as one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history, and has transitioned to a career in broadcasting, becoming a fixture on the sports television landscape. With his work on HBO’s Inside the NFL, and ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown Carter thrills audiences with his mastery of the game and willingness to get candid in interviews. His skillful moderation can be heard on his podcast WR1 with Cris Carter, where he interviews legends of the WR position and upcoming superstars in the game.

A dedicated philanthropist, Carter is co-chair and founder of CarterBrothers Charities and has been recognized for his work with inner-city youth. He also serves as a mentor in President Barack Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” Alliance. Carter is lauded for his ability to inspire any audience with honest and empowering conversations, speaking about the challenges and triumphs of his storied career, his powerful recovery story, and how to use life's most challenging obstacles to emerge a stronger, better version of yourself.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

BRANDON MARSHALL

  • 13 Year NFL Veteran

Brandon Marshall is an American football wide receiver who played college football at the University of Central Florida and was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL Draft. Brandon has also played for the Miami Dolphins, Chicago Bears, New York Jets, and New York Giants.

As the Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of PROJECT 375, Brandon is passionately dedicated to his work in the mental health community. PROJECT 375 is a national non-profit dedicated to unlocking human potential through conversation, education, and inspiration. Brandon believes strongly that football is his platform and his work in the mental health community is his purpose in life. With suicide being the second leading cause of death in youth ages 10-24, he is dedicated to ensuring youth across the nation receive prevention and early intervention services. Aligning with this mission, Brandon will host The Toughest Opponent, a show that addresses mental health in sports.

Aside from his work with the foundation, Brandon is an active participant in other mental health organizations such as Child Mind Institute as an ambassador for the Healthy Brain Network. Brandon advocates for the NFL Life Line and McLean Hospital. He has also been a participant in the Senate Finance Committee in Washington, D.C., testifying about mental health issues in our health care system. Marshall also co-hosts First Things First on Fox Sports 1, sharing opinions on each day's top sports stories and co-hosts the I AM ATHLETE podcast, discussing many topics from sports to fashion, lifestyle, and more. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

SYDNEY MCLAUGHLIN

  • Olympic Track and Field Athlete and Gold Medalist

The youngest U.S. Olympian to compete in track and field since 1972, Sydney McLaughlin set a junior world record in the 400m hurdles at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. She also won the silver medal at the 2019 World Championships in the 400m hurdles, and is the current NCAA record-holder in the 400m hurdles. She broke her own World Record in the women's 400 meter hurdles to win the gold in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Named the Gatorade National Girls Athlete of the Year, two years in a row, McLaughlin gave a movingand headline-makingspeech about how she overcame obstacles to become one of the top young track and field athletes in America.

Having left the University of Kentucky to pursue a professional career, McLaughlin is also a face of New Balance.

Known for one of her personal mottos, "the only limit is myself," McLaughlin offers empowering and inspiring remarks on overcoming every obstacle, perseverance, learning and evolving from your mistakes, staying open to new experiences, and the pursuit of success. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

LEVAR BURTON

  • Award-Winning Actor, Writer, Producer, and Director

LeVar Burton launched his acting career while still a student at the University of Southern California. Cast in the groundbreaking role of Kunta Kinte in the landmark television series Roots, at 19 he found himself on the cover of Time magazine. A seemingly impossible act to follow, Burton managed to do so in dramatic fashion, achieving further global acclaim as Chief Engineer Geordi La Forge in the iconic Star Trek: The Next Generation television series and feature films. But it has been his role as host and executive producer of the beloved PBS children’s series Reading Rainbow that he is most proud of. Airing from 1983 to 2009, it was not only one of the longest-running children’s television shows in history, but also one of the most acclaimed, earning over 200 awards including multiple Emmys and a Peabody. He is also the host and executive producer of the television game show Trivial Pursuit. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

WYNTON MARSALIS

  • International Jazz Icon

World-renowned trumpeter, bandleader and composer Wynton Marsalis is a leading advocate of American culture. At the age of 17, Marsalis left New Orleans to attend the Juilliard School in New York City. He quickly found himself in an ideal place to learn what was required to be a jazz musician and bandleader, when he hit the road with Art Blakey and the Jazz Masters. Wynton assembled his first band in 1981 and promptly began touring, performing over 120 concerts annually for 15 consecutive years. With the power of his musicianship, the compelling sound of his swinging bands and a far-reaching series of performances and music workshops, Marsalis rekindled interest and excitement in jazz worldwide and attracted a new generation of fine young talent to the genre. As the Co-founder, Managing and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, as well as the Director of Juilliard Jazz, Marsalis has elevated jazz music to the forefront of America’s leading arts and educational institutions. Wynton has recorded over 100 jazz and classical recordings, which have garnered nine GRAMMY Awards® and sold over 7 million copies worldwide. In 1997, Marsalis became the first jazz artist to be awarded the prestigious Pulitzer Prize in Music for his oratorio Blood on the Fields. Marsalis' vision for a brighter American future resonates deeply with companies and organizations across a multitude of fields. With Wynton, audiences are treated to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take a front row seat as he speaks about a lifetime of innovation, soul, and music. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

TAYLOR ROOKS

  • Sports Journalist, Anchor & Interviewer

Taylor Rooks is an acclaimed sports journalist and interviewer whose probing questions give rise to some of today's most pressing discussions beyond the game.  She hosts the "Take It There With Taylor Rooks" interview show for Bleacher Report, among other duties for Turner Sports. 

A New York Times profile of Taylor praised her for conducting some of the N.B.A.'s most impactful interviews during her two months living inside the NBA bubble during the COVID season.  She is able to read the moment and the player to get at the emotions behind the game. "Taylor Rooks gets the interviews that go viral," praises the New York Times.

Previously, she worked as a host, reporter, and correspondent for the Big Ten Network and as a sideline reporter for CBS Sports Network. A native of Georgia, Taylor attended the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, where she majored in broadcast journalism and reported on football and basketball recruiting for scout.com. She made national news with her stories and knowledge of basketball—specifically in recruiting. Rooks broke multiple stories regarding Cliff Alexander, Jalen Brunson, Quentin Snider, Aaron Jordan, Charles Matthews, and Jayson Tatum.

Taylor comes from a family of athletes. Her father is former football player Thomas Rooks, while her uncle is legendary MLB Hall of Famer, Lou Brock. Taylor is also the niece of former Pittsburgh Steelers and New Orleans Saints NFL player, Marv Woodson.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

SARAH BROOM

  • New York Times Best-Selling Author of The Yellow House

Sarah M. Broom is the author of the 2019 National Book Award Winner and instant New York Times bestseller The Yellow House, a brilliant, haunting and unforgettable memoir about the inexorable pull of home and family, set in a shotgun house in New Orleans East. Heralded as “one of the year’s best memoirs…an urgent meditation on the American dream” (Entertainment Weekly), “a remarkable journey” (Robin Roberts, Good Morning America), and “an instantly essential text, examining the past, present and possible future of the city of New Orleans, and of America writ large” (cover review of the New York Times Book Review), Sarah’s debut has been dubbed a must-read book in over 15 publications including the LA Times, the Washington Post, Vanity Fair, NPR, and TIME.

Sarah’s previous work has appeared in the New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Oxford American, and O, The Oprah Magazine among others. A native New Orleanian, she received her Masters in Journalism from the University of California, Berkeley in 2004. She was awarded a Whiting Foundation Creative Nonfiction Grant in 2016 and was a finalist for the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Creative Nonfiction in 2011. She has also been awarded fellowships at Djerassi Resident Artists Program and The MacDowell Colony. She lives in New York state.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

TIFFANY D. CROSS

  • Host of The Cross Connection on MSNBC

Tiffany D. Cross is the host of The Cross Connection on MSNBC, the bestselling author of Say It Louder: Black Voters, White Narratives, and Saving Our Democracy (Amistad/HarperCollins) and a 2020 Resident Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics. She is a longtime cable news veteran having previously served as the D.C. Bureau Chief for BET Networks, an Associate Producer for CNN, and a freelance Field Producer. Tiffany also spent time on the campaign trail having both covered and worked on numerous local, state, and federal campaigns.

She moved from the control room to the greenroom when she co-founded The Beat DC, a national platform that intersected politics, policy, business, media, and people of color that was widely read by elected officials, CEOs and C-Suite executives, opinion leaders, and media influencers.

Tiffany's broad experience across media, politics, and policy includes more than two decades of navigating newsrooms and campaigns while engaging different constituencies on the ground. Known for her unique ability to engage audiences with digestible dialogue about some of today’s most complicated issues, she is a sought after effervescent voice in the progressive discourse. The Cross Connection airs on Saturdays at 10AM EST on MSNBC.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ROY WOOD JR.

  • Comedian and Correspondent, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

Roy Wood Jr.’s comedy has entertained millions across stage, television and radio. In addition to stand-up comedy, producing and acting, Roy is currently a correspondent on Comedy Central's Emmy & NAACP Award winning The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. During his tenure, he has used The Daily Show’s brand of satire to shed a light on serious issues like Chicago gun violence, police reform, LGBTQ+ discrimination, ICE deportations and PTSD in the Black community. His recent credits include guest starring roles in Netflix’s comedy series Space Force, AMC’s Better Call Saul, and The Last O.G on TBS.

Roy expanded his already large role on Comedy Central with a comprehensive “first look” deal and is developing his comedy pilot ‘Jefferson County: Probation.’ He also wrote and starred in the Comedy Central web series The Night Pigeon, the story of a black superhero with minimal powers fighting the biggest baddest gang in his community, The Gentrifiers. Additionally, Comedy Central is committed to produce and air Roy’s third one-hour standup special. His second special, Roy Wood Jr.: No One Loves You premiered as part of Comedy Central’s Stand-Up Month in January 2019, the network’s highest rated original stand-up premiere since his February 2017 one-hour, Roy Wood Jr.: Father Figure. In 2017, he was also named the new host of Comedy Central’s storytelling series, This is Not Happening. He hosts two podcasts, The Daily Show - Behind The Scenes and Roy's Job Fair

Roy is a graduate of the Florida A&M University with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism. True to his roots, he is a strong and outspoken advocate for reshaping the image of Alabama and the American South as a whole. In 2018, he penned a New York Times piece on the subject. He is actively working with the Birmingham City Council and the Film Commission to bring more entertainment jobs to the state. During the pandemic, Roy has spent time raising money for the staff of his hometown comedy clubs in Alabama through tipyourwaitstaff.com and Laugh Aid. In October 2006, he made his network television debut on the Late Show with David Letterman. In 2008, he appeared on HBO’s historic Def Comedy Jam and in 2010 was selected by America as one of the top three finalists on NBC’s Last Comic Standing. He has appeared on The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Conan, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. He has also performed for the troops on numerous USO tours in the Middle East and the Pacific Islands. Prior to The Daily Show, Wood co-starred for three seasons on the TBS sitcom Sullivan & Son. Angeles. Keep up with Roy on Twitter and Instagram @roywoodjr.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

DESHAUNA BARBER

  • Miss USA (2016)

Deshauna Barber is a former Miss USA and award-winning international speaker, coach, and entrepreneur with a bold approach to inspiring and encouraging her audience. Deshauna uses her experience as an Army officer, Non-Profit CEO, former Miss USA, and STEM graduate to inspire her audience. Deshauna shows the power of perseverance and tenacity to now become a top-rated speaker that is widely sought after by Fortune 500 companies. She currently works full time as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Service Women’s Action Network, the nation’s leading 501c3 nonprofit organization advocating on behalf of all service women and women veterans in the country.  

Deshauna is currently receiving her Diversity, Social Justice and Inclusion Certification at University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Virginia State University and a Master of Science degree in Computer Information Systems and Services from University of Maryland University College. 

As Miss USA, she spent her year-long reign advocating for our men and women in uniform by encouraging our government to provide additional support for soldiers suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The 31-year-old uses her platform to encourage us to pay close attention to the mental health of our service members after deployments and their service to our country.  

Captain Barber has served her country for over 10 years and now works as cadet instructor at Howard University's Bison Battalion during her Army Reserve commitment. When she is not serving her country, she travels the world as a full time Motivational Speaker. She has made it her life goal to encourage, inspire and strengthen the people around her. 

Deshauna has appeared on The Steve Harvey Show, The Rachael Ray Show, Fox and Friends, The Chelsea Show, Good Morning Washington, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The T.D. Jakes Show, The Nightly Show, The Source on Sirius XM, The Daily Show, Lunch Break, Live with Kelly, Good Morning America and in Glamour Magazine and Diversity Magazine.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

CARI CHAMPION

  • Sports Anchor, Journalist, & Host

Cari Champion has worked across the country covering network news, entertainment, and sports stories of national interest for ABC, CBS, NBC and other cable networks. Champion worked as anchor, sports journalist, and host and spent nearly a decade at ESPN where she served as a SportsCenter anchor and host of ESPN2’s First Take. Champion made history with her move to Vice TV, working alongside co-host Jemele Hill, as the first Black women to host a late-night cable show. Currently, Champion currently hosts the “NFL Next Live” Thursday Night Football live stream alongside former NFL wide-receiver, Andrew Hawkins and hosts TNT’s studio show, “The Arena.”

In her energizing and uplifting talks, at virtual and in-person events, Cari empowers audiences worldwide with a unique perspective and thoughts on women in the male-dominated world of sports, race, and ethnicity in both sports and media, how to overcome personal and professional adversity.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

LENA WAITHE

  • Emmy Award-Winning Writer, Producer and Actor

Lena Waithe is an award-winning writer, creator, producer, actor and CEO establishing herself as a Hollywood powerhouse, who expertly taps into emerging cultural sensibilities with a sharp wit and unique perspective, challenging audiences to think outside conventional norms. Lena became the first Black woman to win the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for her work on the critically acclaimed Netflix series Master of None. She continues to grow her body of work with diversity, charisma, and comedy.

Beyond the screen, Lena’s production company Hillman Grad Productions has partnered with Indeed to launch Rising Voices, a $1.35M investment in BIPOC filmmakers to fight against the status quo by giving marginalized storytellers the opportunity to access the industry and tell their stories. A tireless advocate for representation, Lena was honored at the 2020 Essence Black Women in Hollywood event, took home a Gracie Award for her Showtime series The Chi, and was featured on the 2018 TIME 100 list in a tribute written by Vice President Kamala Harris. Lena is a sought-after leader in the entertainment industry, speaking to the endless possibilities of intentional collaboration that centers under-represented voices.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

HELENE COOPER

  • Pulitzer Prize-Winning New York Times Pentagon Correspondent

 

Helene Cooper is a Pentagon correspondent with The New York Times. Prior to this assignment, she covered the White House and was The Times’ diplomatic correspondent. She joined the newspaper in 2004 as the assistant editorial page editor, a position she held for two years before she ran out of opinions and returned to news. She has reported from 64 countries, from Pakistan to the Congo.

Previously, Helene worked for 12 years at the Wall Street Journal, where she was a foreign correspondent, reporter, and editor, working in the London, Washington, and Atlanta bureaus. She is the winner of the Raymond Clapper award for Washington reporting (2000), the Sandy Hume award for best reporter under the age of 35 (2001), the Missouri Lifestyle award for feature writing (2002), a National Association of Black Journalists award for feature writing (2004), and the Urbino Press Award for foreign reporting (2011). In 2015 she won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting, an Overseas Press Club Award for International Reporting, and a George Polk Award for Health Reporting, all three for her coverage of the Ebola crisis.

Born in Monrovia, Liberia, Helene is the author of The House at Sugar Beach: In Search of a Lost African Childhood (Simon and Schuster), a New York Times best seller and a National Book Critics Circle finalist in autobiography in 2009. In 2009 and 2010, she appeared on the TV quiz show, Jeopardy!, as a clue. She has also appeared on Meet the Press, Washington Week, The Tavis Smiley Show, The Chris Matthews Show, and This Week.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

RYAN COOGLER

  • Award-Winning Writer and Director

Producer, director and screenwriter Ryan Coogler is behind history and headline-making films including Fruitvale Station, Creed, and The Black Panther, the last of which shattered box office records and became the highest-grossing film of all time by a black director. Named to TIME's "30 People Under 30 Who Are Changing the Word," Coogler's work is not just critically and commercially successful, but has been hailed for celebrating often overlooked cultures and characters and bringing unprecedented diversity to the silver screen. 

Having always harbored a talent for storytelling, Coogler discovered his own passion for filmmaking as a college freshman, and began shooting shorts with his teammates and friends. From winning the Dana and Albert Broccoli Award for Filmmaking Excellence at the Tribeca Film Festival for his short Locks, to the U.S. Grand Jury Prize for dramatic film at Sundance for Fruitvale Station, to three Oscars as director and co-writer for Black Panther, Coogler's work resonates with and empowers audiences worldwide. 

As a speaker, Coogler offers eye- and mind-opening insights on the power of storytelling, racial equality, and innovative approaches to changing the world.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

GRETCHEN RUBIN

  • Happiness Expert

Gretchen Rubin relentlessly explores human nature to understand how we can create happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative lives. She helps us understand ourselves so that we can develop and keep effective strategies and habits that lead to the lives we want. Rubin helps us apply a personalized structure around our pursuit of happiness, moving it from the abstract to the concrete.

She is the author of several books, including the blockbuster New York Times bestsellers, Outer Order, Inner Calm; Better Than Before; The Happiness Project; Happier at Home and The Four Tendencies. She has an enormous readership, both in print and online, and her books have sold more than 3.5 million copies worldwide, in more than thirty languages. She makes frequent TV appearances and is a much sought-after speaker. She has addressed corporate audiences at places such as GE, GoogleLinkedIn, Accenture, Procter & Gamble, as well as university audiences such as Yale Law School, Harvard Business School, and Wharton. She has appeared at numerous conferences as a featured speaker or keynoter, including SXSW, World Domination Summit, the 92nd Street Y, 5×15TEDxBlogHerthe Atlantic, Alt Design, Q Cities, Behance’s 99u, Mom 2.0, West Point, Lucid, and the Texas, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania Conferences for Women

She is also a CBS News Contributor. On her weekly podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin, she discusses good habits and happiness with her sister Elizabeth Craft. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

SETH MATLINS

  • Expert on Purpose/Values-Driven Marketing and Award-Winning Brand Marketer

Seth Matlins is an award-winning brand marketer, renowned expert on purpose- and values-driven marketing, and current Head of Cultural Strategy and Insights at Endeavor’s 160over90 agency. For over 20 years, Seth has designed brand, human, and culturally-driven solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing global brands – his ideas have shaped brands, businesses, and the cultural landscape itself. He is an intrepid innovator, and served as President of Rock the Vote, founded the marketing division for CAA, was the first Global CMO for Live Nation, and launched his own double-bottom-line women’s brand and company. As a thought leader on the role of ‘purpose’-driven marketing, Seth invigorates audiences with focused insights on leveraging ‘purpose’ as a strategic and financial driver for companies across industries.

Seth is the author of both federal legislation, The Truth in Advertising Act (HR 4341), which called on the FTC and advertising industry to consider the unintended consequences of photoshopped ads and images, and The Scratch & Sniff Book of Weed, now in its 7th printing. An in-demand authority on marketing, cultural and brand strategy, and creativity, Seth is passionate about tailoring unique and indelible talks that will generate long-lasting change.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JARRETT HARPER

  • Criminal Justice and Foster Care Reform Advocate

Jarrett Harper is a criminal justice and foster care reform advocate working to stop life sentences for children, develop better rehabilitation resources for those returning to society, and put an end to the foster care-to-prison pipeline.

Jarrett is a survivor of the California foster care system and endured 20 years of mass incarceration. After experiencing unimaginable trauma and abuse, at 16, Jarrett took the life of his abuser to protect himself and his younger brother. A year later, he was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole plus ten years. Despite having no chance of release from prison, he found forgiveness and hope and transformed his own life by helping change the lives of other men in prison who had the opportunity to get out.

After 20 years of creating and facilitating self-improvement programs for his peers, Jarrett’s sentence was commuted by Governor Jerry Brown through the tireless work of a group of dedicated advocates. On June 18, 2019, he was released from prison by Governor Gavin Newsom. Shortly after his release, Jarrett became an ambassador for Represent Justice’s Just Mercy campaign and has quickly become a sought-after speaker, booking engagements for Verizon, Google, YouTube, Jordan Park, USC, Princeton, Big Brothers, and Big Sisters, Human Rights Watch, and Parole Justice That Works.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

THE MINIMALISTS

  • Best Selling Authors of "Everything That Remains", "Minimalism", and "Essential"

Netflix stars and New York Times bestselling authors Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, known to their audience as The Minimalists, help millions of people live meaningful lives with less through their website, books, podcast, and films. They have been featured in the Wall Street JournalTime magazine, and GQ, and they have spoken at Harvard, Apple, and Google. With more than 100 million downloads, The Minimalists Podcast is one of the most popular shows on Apple Podcasts. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

TREY EDMUNDS

  • NFL Running Back & Full Back, Pittsburgh Steelers

“Setbacks only create new opportunities.” - Trey Edmunds

Pittsburgh Steelers running back, Ferrell “Trey” Edmunds is the ultimate embodiment of these words. The oldest of the three Edmunds boys, Trey paved the way and set a standard of unyielding work ethic and drive for his younger brothers, Terrell (Pittsburgh Steelers, Safety) and Tremaine (Buffalo Bills, Linebacker).

Having suffered multiple career halting injuries during college ball, Trey’s journey to the NFL was far from easy. Despite neither being drafted nor a priority free-agent signing in 2017, Trey never faltered, kept pushing, and maintained positivity. His grit and determination would eventually overpower the setbacks, landing him a spot on the Saints 53-man roster…where he would play in all 18 games.

Trey’s ability to defy the odds time and time again is a testament to his character and is a beautiful reminder that success begins with belief in oneself. Trey’s ability to inspire, motivate, and unify his family and teammates through his own journey has made him an indispensable team member and leader.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ALIE WARD

  • Emmy Award-Winning Host, "The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation with Mo Rocca,”

Emmy Award-winning science correspondent, host, and podcaster Alie Ward is an expert in curiosity, engaging audiences across mediums with her explorations in science, inventions, and food. Alie won a Daytime Emmy Award for her work as a correspondent for CBS’s The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation with Mo Rocca, hosts Did I Mention Invention? on the CW, and appears on Netflix’s Brainchild and 100 Humans, and the Science Channel’s How to Build Everything. She is a Consulting Producer for the Obamas’ Higher Ground Productions on their Netflix shows Ada Twist, Scientist and Waffles & Mochi, making STEM and cooking fun and accessible for young audiences. Alie is best-known for her podcast Ologies, a comedic science podcast that consistently ranks among the top five science podcasts, captivating audiences and making us think outside the box.

Alie is a culinary host, appearing on the Cooking Channel’s Food: Fact or Fiction and Unique Sweets. She also created the Cooking Channel series Tripping Out with Alie and Georgia. Alie was a staff writer and editor for the Los Angeles Times, an on-air contributor for KTLA, and is a co-founder of the science communication collective Nerd Brigade. With her fascinating background and witty point of view, Alie inspires audiences to find and follow their passion, try something new, and let curiosity reign.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MICHELE TAFOYA

  • Multi Emmy Award-Winning Sports Reporter

Multi Emmy Award winner Michele Tafoya joined the NBC Sports Group in 2011 as a sideline reporter for Sunday Night Football after more than a decade at ABC/ESPN, where she saw her profile rise steadily since 2000 through a variety of on-air roles, most notably as a reporter for Monday Night Football and ABC’s coverage of the NBA Championships. Tafoya is a part of NBC’s Olympic coverage and has served as the sideline reporter for NBC's coverage of Super Bowl XLVI, XLIX, LII, and ABC’s coverage of Super Bowl XL.

After serving as the sideline reporter for ABC Sports' Monday Night Football for two seasons (2004-05), Tafoya joined ESPN's Monday Night Football in 2006. In the fall of 2008, Tafoya made the difficult decision to step down from her NBA reporter role to spend more time with her family.

Tafoya previously hosted The Michele Tafoya Show on WCCO News Radio 830 AM in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Prior to ABC/ESPN, Tafoya worked for CBS Sports from 1994-2000 as a game reporter and studio host for NFL, college football and college basketball telecasts. She hosted CBS' NCAA Tournament selection show, Goodwill Games and U.S. Open coverage, as well as CBS's late-night Winter Olympics programs. She was also a WNBA commentator on Lifetime from 1997-99, for which she won The American Women in Radio and Television Gracie Award for “Outstanding Achievement by an Individual On-Air TV Personality.”  She would later win the same award for her sideline work on Sunday Night Football.

Early in her career, Tafoya worked as a host and Minnesota Vikings sideline reporter for KFAN-AM in Minneapolis and also served as a Minnesota Timberwolves host and sideline reporter for the Midwest Sports Channel. She spent three years at WCCO-TV in Minneapolis as a sports anchor and reporter from 1995 to 1998.

A native of Manhattan Beach, California, Tafoya graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a degree, with honors, in mass communications.  She also earned her master's degree in business administration from the University of Southern California. The Davie-Brown Index ranked Tafoya among the most likeable TV sports personalities, including “Biggest Trend-Setter.”

HWA EXCLUSIVE

KAY ADAMS

  • Host of NFL Now and Good Morning Football on NFL Network

Kay Adams hosts the NFL Network’s Emmy-nominated morning show, Good Morning Football. Prior to her role with NFL Network, Kay had several on-air hosting roles including NBC Sports Network's Fantasy Football Live, and DirecTV’s Fantasy Zone

This upcoming fall, Kay will continue as host of Amazon's flagship football show, NFL Now. In addition to her responsibilities in the football world, Kay is also the host of the syndicated daily program People, an extension of the prestigious magazine. 

Kay has also hosted various events including the red carpet at the NFL Honors Ceremony, Nickelodeon's Superstar Slime Showdown, TruTV's Impractical Jokers Live Special, and has served as a special correspondent for EXTRA & Entertainment Tonight. This past year, she also served as host of the mobile app version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire for SONY.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

COLT MCCOY

  • Quarterback, Arizona Cardinals of the NFL

Colt McCoy is an American football quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals. He was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft, after playing college football for the University of Texas. He has also been a member of the San Francisco 49ersWashington Redskins, and New York Giants.

A decorated high school player in the state of Texas, McCoy achieved several distinctions, including two-time Associated Press 2A Offensive MVP and First-team All-state selection. McCoy attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he played for coach Mack Brown's Texas Longhorns football team from 2005 to 2009. Colt was a four-year starter from 2006-2009 and was mentioned as a Heisman Trophy candidate in his freshman year in 2006. He won or shared the team's MVP all four years, the only player in school history to do so. One of the winningest quarterbacks, and arguably one of the most well-known college players of all time, in his senior season, McCoy was 13 of the top 15 major college player awards, including quarter of the year, offensive player of the year and outstanding football player of the year.

McCoy was drafted in the third round as the 85th overall pick by the Cleveland Browns in the 2010 NFL Draft. He spent two years with the Cleveland Browns and in April 2013 the Browns traded McCoy and a 2013 6th round pick to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for San Francisco's 2013 7th and 5th round picks. After spending roughly a year with the 49ers, McCoy signed with the Washington Redskins in April 2014 and played for five years. In March 2020, McCoy signed with the New York Giants, and most recently he signed with the Arizona Cardinals in March 2021.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

PETER SCHRAGER

  • Host of NFL Network's Emmy-Nominated 'Good Morning Football'

Peter Schrager serves as an NFL insider and host of NFL Network's popular weekday morning show, Good Morning Football. Schrager is also an analyst on FOX NFL Kickoff, a senior NFL writer for FOXSports.com and a sideline reporter for Fox Sports. In addition to his game day coverage, he is a regular contributor to FS1 studio shows. Peter is also an accomplished author who has written two books: Strength of a Champion with OJ Brigance, and the New York Times Bestseller Out of the Blue with Victor Cruz (2012).

In addition to the NFL, Peter has covered the Olympics and the NBA for FOX, and has been a frequent contributor to GQ. Schrager won an Emmy in 2013 for his work on Inside the NFL

HWA EXCLUSIVE

NATE BOYER

  • Former Active-Duty Green Beret and NFL Player for Seattle Seahawks

Nate Boyer is what many would deem a renaissance man. The Army Green Beret is also a philanthropist, humanitarian, and former football player for the Texas Longhorns (despite never playing a down of organized football prior to the Special Forces), and later for the Seattle Seahawks becoming the oldest rookie in NFL history at age 34. Being a member of both the military veteran and athlete community, he saw an opportunity to team up both populations to tackle their transition struggles together through his charity Merging Vets & Players (MVP). Boyer's belief that "Anything is Possible" has served him well throughout his life, and has made him especially fit to speak about finding one's passions and living with purpose. Nate currently works in Film and TV as a producer, director, actor, and host. Among several other projects he currently produces and hosts the NFL Network show, INDIVISIBLE, which features NFL players and community leaders across America, discussing issues that are relevant to them, and how they’re solving those problems.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

VICTOR CRUZ

  • Super Bowl Champion

Victor Cruz is a Super Bowl champion. As an undrafted free agent, Cruz impressively played his way onto the Giants’ 53-man regular season roster. He finished his first season with a single-season franchise record for receiving yards and was named second-team All-Pro by the Associated Press.

Cruz co-hosts E!’s morning news show, Pop of the Morning, a mix of celebrity news, interviews and discussions around pop culture moments.

An active philanthropist, Cruz established the Victor Cruz Foundation to promote positive change in the lives of youth by providing innovative educational programs that equip students with skill sets to prepare them for a successful future. The foundation is especially committed to continued research and partnerships with STEM programs. In partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of America, his foundation launched and implemented the “Science in Sports” program. This curriculum provides students with a hands approach to STEM curriculum while simultaneously teaching them the science behind football as it relates to the NFL.

In engaging conversations, Cruz discusses how motivation and perseverance drove his career; the impact and goals of his foundation; the importance of exposing youth to STEM programs; and more.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MATTHEW BERRY

  • Senior Fantasy Sports Analyst, ESPN

Universally regarded as “the face of fantasy football,” Matthew Berry, aka “The Talented Mr. Roto,” is the Senior Fantasy Sports Analyst for ESPN.

Named the 2013 Marketer of the Year by the Academy of Marketing Science for his leading role in fueling the national growth of fantasy football, Berry is the most read weekly columnist on ESPN.com during football season. An Emmy Award winner for his work on ESPN2's Sunday morning show Fantasy Football Now, (the highest rated non-live event show on ESPN2) Berry also hosts the award-winning The Fantasy Show with Matthew Berry on ESPN+, regularly among the most watched studio shows on ESPN’s streaming service.

Berry's multi-award-winning podcast Fantasy Focus: Football is ESPN’s most downloaded original podcast on a per episode basis and is regularly in the top ten in the sports category and the top 40 overall on iTunes during the season. His first book, Fantasy Life was a New York Times Bestseller, spending many months on the list. Named to USA Today’s “NFL’s 100 most important people”, Sports Illustrated’s “Top 100 to follow on Twitter,” and to Mashable’s “32 Must Follow Accounts for NFL Fans,” Berry currently has over 1.5 million highly engaged social media followers.

Named by his peers as the 2017 FSTA “Analyst of the Year,” Berry is one of four people to be named to the Hall of Fame for both the Fantasy Sports Trade Association and the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He is a “fantasy consultant” for many celebrities and has been featured in or appeared on many magazines, TV shows, websites and YES, that is him doing a cameo in Avengers: EndGame, helping Robert Redford recover a briefcase from Tony Stark and Thor. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

RYAN TANNEHILL

  • Pro-Bowl NFL Quarterback for the Tennessee Titans

Ryan Tannehill is a current Pro-Bowl NFL Quarterback for the Tennessee Titans.

Following an exceptional high school career in Big Spring, TX, Tannehill committed to Texas A&M. Tannehill’s collegiate career began in earnest as a record-setting wide receiver in 2008, before ultimately making the switch back to his natural position of quarterback in 2010. He shattered the program single-game passing record in his first start against Texas Tech and made his mark with victories against Oklahoma, Nebraska and Texas. Tannehill concluded his Texas A&M career with a total of 5,450 passing yards and 42 touchdown passes in nearly two full seasons as quarterback.

In the 2012 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins selected Tannehill with the 8th overall pick, becoming the first quarterback selected by the Dolphins in the first round since Dan Marino in 1983. In his rookie season, Tannehill set franchise rookie records for passing yards, attempts, and completions. Following seven years in Miami, Ryan was traded to the Tennessee Titans prior to the 2020 season.

During his first season in Tennessee, Ryan took over at the helm after six games and reinvigorated the Titans franchise, leading the team to a 7-3 record and a wild card berth in the 2019-20 NFL playoffs. Tannehill went on to lead the Titans to the AFC Championship after impressive victories over defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and the top seeded Baltimore Ravens. Ryan accumulated a NFL-best 117.5 passer rating, a 70.3 percent completion percentage, an NFL-high 9.6 yards per attempt. To cap off the monumental season, Ryan was named to the Pro Bowl and awarded the 2019 NFL Comeback Player of the Year.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

CAM NEWTON

  • NFL Quarterback

Cam Newton is the first NFL player in 60 years to win the Heisman Trophy, a national championship, and be the No. 1 overall draft pick in the same academic year.

In 2011, his rookie year, Newton set an NFL record for touchdowns rushing in a season by a quarterback and became the first player in league history to throw for 4,000 yards and rush for 500. He helped the Carolina Panthers improve from 2-14 to 6-10 in one season.

For his efforts, Newton was awarded the 2011 Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, named the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year and was selected to the 2011 Pro Bowl.

Following an impressive year at Auburn University in 2010, Newton took home every major post-season award. He was also honored by the House of Representatives as “the most outstanding college football player in the United States.”

In 2015, Newton led the Carolina Panthers to a first place finish in the NFC South with a record of 15-1, scoring an impressive 45 touchdowns during the season. After a postseason victory over the Seattle Seahawks, the Panthers took on the Arizona Cardinals for the NFC Championship and a spot in Super Bowl 50. Newton was outstanding once again as the Panthers cruised to a commanding 49-15 victory. Cam Newton was signed by the New England Patriots as a free agent on July, 8, 2020. 

Off the field, Newton has hosted several charitable events focused on children’s needs and has plans to continue giving back to the community.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

KATIE SOWERS

  • Coaching with the Kansas City Chiefs

The first woman and openly gay coach to coach in a Super Bowl, former San Francisco 49ers Offensive Assistant Coach Katie Sowers paves the way for equality in the workplace. Coach Sowers is in her second season as assistant coach with the Ottawa University women’s flag football program and has recently been named Ottawa’s director of athletic strategic initiatives. She is the Offensive and Defensive Scheme Advisor for the Braves, coaching them to a national championship. She is also starting her first year with the Kansas City Chiefs under the Bill Walsh Diversity Fellowship. 

Through hard work and dedication, Katie has found success in a male-dominated industry and is creating an environment that welcomes all types of people, no matter their race, gender or sexual orientation.

In her authentic talks, Katie encourages audiences to find their “why” and become an irreplaceable asset to their team. An inspiration to anyone afraid to pursue their passions, she shows how it’s possible to break down barriers and make dreams come true. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

LARA SPENCER

  • Co-Anchor, ABC's Good Morning America

Lara Spencer is an Emmy-winning anchor and reporter for Good Morning America, and has been a journalist with ABC news since 2000. She is also the creator, host and Executive Producer of HGTV’s Emmy® Award-winning “Flea Market Flip” as well as “Everything But the House."

Spencer has written two New York Times Bestselling books: I Brake for Yard Sales, and Flea Market Fabulous. In addition to her career, Spencer is the mother of two children and very active at her Alma Mater Penn State University where she was an All-American platform diver.  She is also a dedicated advocate for pet adoption and has 3 rescue dogs of her own. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

QUIARA ALEGRÍA HUDES

  • Pulitzer Prize-Winning Playwright

Quiara Alegría Hudes is the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of "Water By the Spoonful"; author of a memoir, My Broken Language; and screenwriter for the major motion picture In the Heights. Previously, she wrote the book (aka script) for the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical and Hollywood blockbuster In the Heights and authored other plays and musicals that have been produced around the world. Her notable essays include "High Tide of Heartbreak" in American Theater Magazine and "Corey Couldn’t Take It Anymore" in The Cut. In opposition of the carceral state, Hudes and her cousin founded Emancipated Stories, a platform where people behind bars can share one page of their life story with the world. As a barrio feminist and joyous mischief maker, Quiara y su hermana created the Latinx Casting Manifesto. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

SARAH ELIZABETH LEWIS

  • Associate Professor of History of Art and Architecture, and African and African American Studies, Harvard University

Public intellectual, scholar and associate professor at Harvard University in the Department of History of Art and Architecture and the Department of African and African American Studies, Sarah Elizabeth Lewis' research focuses on the intersection of African American and Black Atlantic visual representation, racial justice, and representational democracy in the United States from the nineteenth century through the present. Her scholarship and research have been profiled by outlets including The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and her presentations on race in America are sharp, knowledgeable, and insightful. 

One of the most eloquent speakers on the national conversation on race, Lewis believes the fight to end racial injustice cannot be merely legal or political. It has to involve images and it has to involve culture, because the fight is a struggle for visibility. A popular and in-demand speaker, her talks at the nexus of art, race, and justice leave audiences not only inspired, but rejuvenated and hopeful. A frequent speaker at universities and conferences, her mainstage TED talk, Embrace the Near Win, has received over 2.9 million views. 

Her award-winning “Vision & Justice” issue of Aperture magazine received the 2017 Infinity Award for Critical Writing and Research from the International Center of Photography and launched the larger Vision and Justice Project, based on the topic of her core curriculum course at Harvard University, filled with compelling inquiry and a sense of timeliness. Lewis says that the point of her course, Vision & Justice magazines, and the talk is to answer the following questions: How is representational democracy tied up with visual representation? How can our culture shift the narratives we have about who counts and who belongs in society?

Lewis is also the bestselling author of The Rise, a fascinating examination of how our most iconic creative endeavors—from innovation to the arts—are not achievements but conversions, corrections after failed attempts. Translated into six languages, the book is a successful lesson on creativity, innovation, and discovery. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

TOM SEGURA

  • Stand-up Comedian, Writer, Actor

Actor, comedian, and podcaster Tom Segura is one of the biggest names in the comedy business, with chart-topping stand-up albums and multiple hit Netflix specials. Segura is a regular on some of the most downloaded podcasts in the world of comedy such as The Joe Rogan Experience and WTF with Marc Maron, in addition to co-hosting his own hit podcast Your Mom’s House with his wife, comedian Christina Pazsitzky. His wildly popular Netflix comedy specials Disgraceful, Mostly Stories, and Completely Normal led to the sold-out, 100-city Take it Down Tour. Segura delights audiences with pop culture insights and hilarious anecdotes that guarantee an unforgettable event.

Segura is a sharp-witted cultural commentator, with his first two comedy albums Thrilled and White Girls with Cornrows debuting at #1 and sustaining popularity, while his most recent hour-long album Mostly Stories topped iTunes and Billboard Comedy charts for consecutive weeks. He has appeared in the feature films Countdown and Instant Family, as well as The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Conan, Workaholics, Happy Endings, The Late Late Show, Comedy Central Presents: Tom Segura, and many more. Segura is a highly sought-after speaker who can deliver engaging talks in both English and Spanish.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JEFF BENEDICT

  • New York Times Bestselling Author of 'The Dynasty,' 'Tiger Woods,' and more

New York Times Bestselling author, producer, and commentator Jeff Benedict is a leader in sports journalism, whose storytelling power has captivated audiences across mediums. Jeff has written sixteen non-fiction books and many feature stories about some of the most iconic figures in sports history. He has been tapped as executive producer and writer for documentary adaptations his books, including a 10-part series based on his bestseller The Dynasty, the definitive inside story of the New England Patriots, with Imagine Entertainment for Apple TV. In 2021, he co-produced a documentary for HBO based on his #1 bestselling biography Tiger Woods. He is an executive producer on a Netflix documentary for his book Poisoned, co-produced the feature film adaptation of his book Little Pink House, and was a writer for the NFL Films documentary based on Steve Young’s biography QB. Jeff is a sought-after commentator for his unmatched ability to get to the heart of a historic moment or figure, sculpt a narrative, and look for the untold story.

Jeff has been a special-features writer for Sports Illustrated, the Los Angeles Times, and The Hartford Courant, and his essays have appeared in the New York Times.  His stories have been the basis of segments on 60 Minutes, CBS Sunday Morning, HBO Real Sports, Discovery Channel, The Today Show, Good Morning America, 20/20, 48 Hours, NFL Network, and NPR.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JOEL STEIN

  • Former TIME Magazine columnist

Celebrated journalist and author Joel Stein is a sharp, thoughtful, and hilarious moderator and emcee for events worldwide. As a speaker, he also provides insights on today's political climate and cultural moment, and the ways in which we can get disparate-- and often disagreeing-- groups to come together. 

A TIME columnist for nearly two decades, Stein has written over a dozen cover stories on everything from pop culture, to politics, sports, business, and technology. He's also been a columnist for Men’s Health, Entertainment Weekly, and the Los Angeles Times. 

Stein’s the author of two books, Man Made, and most recently, In Defense of Elitismwhich explores the power of people with seemingly opposing mindsets coming together, and makes a compelling argument for a return to empathy and understanding in society today.

Sought-out to speak and moderate everywhere from Ted to Google to college campuses nationwide, Stein customizes his remarks for every audience, infusing them with his sense-of-humor and unique ability to bring unexpected-- and fascinating-- details to light. As a moderator he's interviewed Barbara Streisand, Seth Rogen, Joan Rivers, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Questlove, Fred Armisen, and more. He's heralded for bringing out the best stories and thoughtful analysis from his subjects, and keeping the conversation moving in organic and dynamic ways. 

 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

GRANT WILLIAMS

  • Trailblazing NBA Player with the Boston Celtics

Professional basketball player Grant Williams is a leader on and off the court, as two-time back-to-back SEC Player of the Year and Vice President of the National Basketball Players Association. He is recognized by fans of his college team as the greatest player in their history, and has been called “a true student of life and basketball” by the Boston Globe. Known for his passion for strategic thinking, Williams is a former chess champion, outer space enthusiast, a math wiz, and a dedicated academic mentor, receiving the Bill Russell National Mentor of the Year Award. His passion for using his gifts in service of giving back to the community is central to his purpose, and he invigorates audiences with his sharp wit, personal story, and belief that your dreams should be central to your everyday life for maximum success.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JOHN MCENROE

  • Pop Culture Icon

Tennis legend John McEnroe embodies the American spirit. On and off the court, McEnroe has proven himself to be one of the most intriguing and controversial public figures of his time. Throughout his playing years, his bold and irreverent style made him, for many, a symbol for a generation of "rock n' roll" athletes. Since leaving the court, his unique commentary and style in the broadcast booth have garnered him national Sports Emmy nominations. He has written two bestsellers, all based on his trademark retort to the chair umpire: You Cannot Be Serious and But, Seriously.

He won his first Grand Slam singles title in 1979 when he captured the first of four U.S. Open Championships. In 1981, he took the first of his three Wimbledon singles titles, becoming the youngest #1 ranked male in the history of professional tennis. With seven grand slam singles championships and ten grand slam doubles championships, McEnroe is still considered one of the greatest players of the game.

McEnroe was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island, in August 1999. In September of that year, during the United States Open in New York, the United States Tennis Association announced John's selection as the thirty-seventh Captain of the United States Davis Cup Team for the 2000 campaign.

With more than 150 singles and doubles titles to date, McEnroe has compiled an unparalleled record of achievement and raised the level of the game itself. One of his proudest achievements was leading the USA to five Davis Cup titles. His knowledge of the game and magnetic personality have made him an instant hit as a network television commentator. He has offered commentary for a variety of television networks, including ESPN, CBS, NBC, USA, and the BBC as well as EuroSport and Australia's Channel 7.

McEnroe has a serious interest in art and oversees The John McEnroe Gallery in the Soho area of New York City, where he showcases the work of contemporary artists. He has also established The John and Patty McEnroe Foundation, an organization established to distribute grants and pledges to a wide variety of charitable causes.

McEnroe is the Founder and Director of The Johnny Mac Tennis Project, Inc. (JMTP), which changes young lives by removing the racial, economic and social barriers to success through tennis, and the John McEnroe Tennis Academy (JMTA). John's passion and belief is that great players can be developed in urban settings, while still having the opportunity to live at home, to pursue their educational goals, and to participate in a variety of sports and extracurricular activities. Through various channels, including community outreach, the John McEnroe Tennis Academy works to recruit the most talented and the most highly motivated young athletes in the New York City Metropolitan area, and beyond.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

LAURA LING

  • Journalist

Laura Ling is an award-winning journalist and author. She most recently hosted the Discovery mini-documentary series, The Power of Kindness that looks at the scientific roots and benefits of being kind. She hosts Everyday Bravery, a podcast about overcoming life’s biggest challenges.

Ling is the host of Conquered on Z Living Network, a series that profiles awe-inspiring people who have broken boundaries to achieve their goals. She has also hosted two documentary series airing on the E! Network: E! Investigates and Society X with Laura Ling. The shows investigate topics such as teen suicide, the challenges faced by military spouses, and underground youth subcultures in America.

Prior to joining E! Ling served as Vice President of Current TV’s journalism department and created Vanguard, the network’s weekly investigative documentary series. As a Vanguard correspondent, she traveled the world to report on subjects including slave labor in the Amazon, the drug war in Mexico, Internet censorship in China, and women’s rights in Turkey. Under her leadership, Vanguard received numerous prestigious awards including the Alfred I. DuPont Award and several Emmy nominations.

In March 2009, while reporting on the trafficking of North Korean women, Ling and her colleague Euna Lee were detained by North Korean soldiers along the Chinese-North Korean border. The two journalists were arrested and held captive in North Korea for 140 days before being granted a special pardon and returning to the United States. She documented her experience in the 2010 memoir, Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home, that she penned with her sister, Lisa.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

SCOTTIE PIPPEN

  • Six-Time NBA Champion (1991-93, 1996-98)

One of basketball’s most talented, versatile and successful players, Scottie Pippen’s improbable journey to the NBA landed him in Chicago, where he and Michael Jordan teamed up to lead of one of the game’s greatest dynasties. Scottie was born in Arkansas, the youngest of 12 children, and he didn’t receive a single Division I scholarship offer. He walked on at an NAIA school, Central Arkansas, and was drafted fifth overall in the 1987 NBA Draft. He quickly established himself as one of the league’s best two-way players and in only his fourth season, claimed the first of six NBA world championships in eight years. Scottie was beloved by his teammates and when you listen to him speak, you’ll understand why—his candidness, charisma, humor and wit provide audiences with memories they’ll never forget.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

LINDA YVETTE CHÁVEZ

  • Co-Creator, Co-Showrunner, Director, and Executive Producer of Netflix's 'Gentefied''

Linda Yvette Chávez is the co-creator, co-showrunner, director, and executive producer of Netflix’s hit series Gentefied, a TV series produced by America Ferrera and MACRO. Gentefied's first season was a Peabody Award nominee and a three-time Imagen Foundation award nominee, including Best Comedy Series. While producing Gentefied, Linda adapted the book, I am not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, a New York Times bestseller by Erika L. Sanchez, into a feature film for Anonymous Content (The Revenant, Spotlight) and MACRO (Judas and the Black Messiah, Mudbound). Acquired by and slated to premiere on Netflix, the film will be America Ferrera’s directorial debut. Chávez was also tasked with penning Eva Longoria’s directorial debut for Searchlight Pictures by revamping Flamin Hot, a feature film that tells the story of Richard Montanez, the creator of Hot Cheetos. Glamour Magazine named Linda one of the top Latinas changing the game for representation in television. Variety highlighted her as a part of their Comedy Impact Report alongside comedy heavy hitters like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Dave Chapelle. She and her co-creator Marvin Lemus graced the cover of the WGA's 2020 Summer Issue of Written By Magazine. Linda’s currently showrunning season two of Gentefied.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JAY CASPIAN KANG

  • Writer-at-Large, The New York Times Magazine

Jay Caspian Kang is a writer-at-large at The New York Times Magazine and the author of The Loneliest Americans. He was a founding editor at Grantland and an Emmy-nominated correspondent on Vice on HBO. He writes about race, identity, and economics for a variety of publications and outlets including This American Life, The New Yorker and The Nation and can speak at-length about a variety of topics, city planning, the history of immigration in the United States, education policy, Affirmative Action and gambling. Jay is a co-host of the podcast, Time to Say Goodbye, providing commentary, reporting, and links about Asia, the Coronavirus and Asian-America. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

LECRAE

  • Two-Time Grammy Award-Winning Hip-Hop Artist, Songwriter, Record Producer, and Actor

A multi-Grammy Award-winning, platinum selling artist, Lecrae has evolved into a New York Times best-selling author, entrepreneur, speaker, thought leader, philanthropist, and Co-Owner/President of Reach Records. Referring to himself as a ‘social anthropologist,’ Lecrae seeks social change through authentic connections and calls for redemption through positive change. This year, he’ll also release his second book, I Am Restored: How I Lost My Religion, But Found My Faith, a follow-up to his New York Times best-seller, Unashamed.

A catalyst for restoration in faith, music, and popular culture, Lecrae's viral TED Talk helped the public see beyond his music and focus on his message: what we say and do in hip-hop - and in the world - matters, so we should be thoughtful, careful, generous and respectful.  In countless interviews, in his music and in his writings, Lecrae continues the message in hopes of restoring faith. We can change the narrative, empower the disenfranchised, and close wealth gaps and can restore the dignity stripped from us, but we can’t do that by separating ourselves. We need to connect with each other and lean on God to restore our sense of purpose and worth,” shares Lecrae. 

To date, he has sold more than 3 million copies and been nominated for 5 Grammy Awards including a win for Best Gospel Album, 15 Dove Awards, one Billboard Music Award, and received both a Soul Train Music Award and BET Hip-Hop Nomination. From his 2017 album, All Things Work Together, his single “I’ll Find You” ft. Tori Kelly, is now certified platinum by the RIAA (sold over 1 million copies) and “Blessings” ft Ty Dolla $ign is now Gold (sold over 500k).

 

 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

EUGENE LEE YANG

  • Producer, Actor, Director, and Writer

Producer, actor, director, and writer Eugene Lee Yang is one of today’s most recognizable queer Asian-American performers, with his work as a digital producer receiving billions of views, distinguishing him as a preeminent culturally influential YouTube creator. A multi-hyphenate creative in the visual space, Yang’s work is mission-driven, leveraging his colossal platform for philanthropic goals – his viral video I’m Gay raised $150,000 for The Trevor Project, and his documentary We Need to Talk About Anti-Asian Hate raised over $600K for GoFundMe’s Stop Asian Hate campaign. The expertise of Yang’s storytelling prowess enables him to dip into comedy and vulnerability, sharing insights about creativity, connection, and how telling our unique stories can change the world.

A prolific creator, Yang is known as a vital member of Buzzfeed’s comedy quartet ‘The Try Guys’, who launched an independent production company that has led to significant projects: the New York Times bestselling book The Hidden Power of F*cking Up, an international live tour, and an upcoming Food Network series. Yang has spoken to spellbound audiences at events for The Trevor Project, Korean American Story, and the Human Rights Campaign, who honored him with their Visibility Award.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MAYSOON ZAYID

  • Comedian, Writer and Disability Advocate

Renowned comedian, actress, writer, and disability advocate Maysoon Zayid jokes that if there were a competition called the Oppression Olympics, she would win gold. “I’m Palestinian, Muslim, I’m a woman of color, I’m disabled,” Zayid tells audiences, “and I live in New Jersey.” Hilarious, disarming, and with a message that matters, Zayid's comedy and commentary resonate with audiences worldwide. She is the co-founder/co-executive producer of the New York Arab American Comedy Festival and The Muslim Funny Fest, and her famed TED Talk, "I got 99 problems... palsy is just one" has over 10 million views. As Zayid states in the talk's intro: "I have cerebral palsy, which means I shake all the time. Look. It's exhausting. I'm like Shakira meets Muhammad Ali."  

Hailed in Glamour as "the most fearless comic alive," Zayid has performed around the world, and headlined both the Arabs Gone Wild Comedy Tour and The Muslims Are Coming Tour, in which comedians toured the U.S. in an effort to counter Islamophobia. Zayid is also a disability advocate who fights to mainstream disabled students worldwide and for disability rights. Her bestselling memoir Find Another Dream chronicles her life story in finding her voice and own path to stardom. 

Maysoon is a Princeton University Arts Fellow for 2021-23 and will begin two years of teaching and community collaboration in September.

Zayid's candid, inspiring, and laugh-out-loud funny talks cover topics ranging from beating the odds, to fostering inclusivity and battling discrimination, to the challenges facing the disability community.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

BLAIR BRAVERMAN

  • Famed Dogsledder and Adventurer

Blair Braverman is an author and dogsledder whose stories are equally riveting on and off the page. She and her dogs have traveled through thousands of miles of wilderness in Alaska, the Yukon, Scandinavia, and the upper midwest. But the dogs are just as happy with small adventures, which Braverman recounts with equal weight—focusing not just on grand journeys, but on the teamwork, love, and trust that get them there. 

Braverman is a contributing editor for Outside magazine, and writes for a range of venues, including The New York Times, Vogue, and This American Life. Her dog team has been featured on The Today Show and in O: The Oprah Magazine, Washington Post, Time, Teen Vogue, and on National Public Radio. 

Braverman’s first book, Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube (Ecco, 2016), was called “stunning and sharp” by the New York Times Book Review. She lives with her husband, Quince Mountain, and their 21 huskies in northern Wisconsin. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

TONY HAWK

  • Professional Skateboarder

Tony Hawk was nine years old when his brother changed his life by giving him a blue fiberglass Bahne skateboard. By 14 he’d turned pro, and by 16 he was widely considered the best skateboarder on earth. World Champion for 12 years in a row, Hawk continues to skate demos and exhibitions internationally, making him the most recognized action-sports figure in the world.

According to some marketing surveys, Tony is the most recognizable athlete of any kind in the United States. In 1999, he teamed up with Activision to create the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater video game. His life would never be the same. In a stroke of good timing, at the X Games that same year, Tony became the first skateboarder to ever land a 900, the holy grail of vert skateboarding.

Today, his business skills have helped create a Tony Hawk brand that includes a billion-dollar video game franchise, successful businesses such as Birdhouse Skateboards, Hawk Clothing, and the Tony Hawk Signature Series sporting goods and toys. His speaking engagements draw huge crowds, inspiring everyone from media savvy millennials to corporate veterans and tech conferences. An intuitive marketer with social networking, Tony’s fan base numbers in the millions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. His video game series has surpassed $1.4 billion in sales, and his first mobile game, Tony Hawk’s Skate Jam, launched in December 2018. Also in late 2018, Tony partnered with brand marketing veterans to cofound D/CAL, a brand consultancy and creative ad agency based in Detroit and San Diego.

Tony regularly appears on television and in films, and hosts a show on Sirius XM radio’s Faction channel. His autobiography, HAWK—Occupation: Skateboarder , was a New York Times bestseller, and his book How Did I Get Here? The Ascent of an Unlikely CEO, covers the business side of his career. In 2012, in partnership with Google, Inc., Tony’s film production company, 900 Films, launched the RIDE Channel which has since grown into the biggest skateboard destination on YouTube.

Tony is a role model for fans of all ages. His Tony Hawk Foundation has given away over $7.9 million to over 600 skatepark projects throughout the world. Tony’s foundation helps finance public skateparks in low-income areas in all 50 states and other parts of the world through their partnership with Skateistan, providing a safe place to skate. Skateparks that received financial assistance from the Tony Hawk Foundation currently serve over 6-million kids annually.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

KRISTI YAMAGUCHI

  • Olympic, U.S. and World Hall of Fame Figure Skater

Kristi Yamaguchi is an Olympic, U.S. and World Hall of Fame figure skater. She has won two World Championship Gold medals along with an Olympic Gold medal.

Kristi’s professional career has flourished both on and off the ice. When she joined the cast of Stars on Ice in 1992, her presence helped define the tour as the preeminent skating show in the world. She toured for 10 years, consistently delivering exquisite performances that brought audiences to their feet. During that time, she also won numerous professional competitions and frequently appeared on television specials. She served as a Goodwill Ambassador for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City and was one of the few artists asked to perform at both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Kristi has also authored multiple books including: Figure Skating for Dummies, Always Dream, as well as New York Times Best-selling children’s books Dream Big, Little Pig!, and It's a Big World, Little Pig!.

Throughout her professional career, Kristi has been a highly sought after corporate spokesperson and done work with Kellogg’s® and the American Lung Association. She is the creator of, Tsuya, a clothing line that delivers the style that fits every part of an active lifestyle. Kristi’s victory on the sixth season of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars is another achievement in a career marked with golden success.

One of Kristi’s lasting legacies will be her Always Dream Foundation (www.AlwaysDream.org) founded in 1996. It was established with one goal in mind: to find innovative ways to provide support for a diverse range of programs designed to inspire and embrace the hopes and dreams of children. Committed to the belief that early childhood literacy is the foundation on which all academic and life success is built, the Foundation has set its sights on improving access by children of low-income families to books and technology.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

GUS KENWORTHY

  • Freestyle Skier and Olympic Silver Medalist

Gus Kenworthy is one of a kind, not only for his skiing, but also for his personality, determination, advocacy, and heart. Born in Chelmsford, Essex, UK, Gus’ family moved to Telluride, Colorado when he was 2 and began skiing shortly after. He picked up his first sponsor at the age of 16, and he continues to push the sport and establish new boundaries. His dedication to his craft established him as one of the top park skiers in the world, and one of a select few athletes that consistently makes the podium in slopestyle, halfpipe and big air events.

At the age of 22, Gus earned the privilege of representing the United States in the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, proudly bringing home the Silver medal in Slopestyle. After the city of Sochi decided to kill stray dogs during the 2014 Olympics, Gus arranged for four stray puppies and their mother to come back to the United States. Drawing attention to the plight of rescue animals, Gus became an activist and advocate for the well-being of dogs, partnering with Humane Society International. In 2015 Gus made the bold and courageous decision to come out as an openly gay man. Never one to shy away from the camera or his fans, he chose the cover of ESPN magazine as the vehicle to deliver the news and received widespread support, love and praise for the choice to reveal his true self. In South Korea in 2018, he went on to make history as one of the only two openly gay men ever to compete for the United States at the Winter Olympics. Prior to his qualifying run for slopestyle, Gus kissed his boyfriend on camera, immortalizing it as the “kiss seen round the world,” an iconic moment for the global LGBTQ and sport communities alike. Gus transitioned into his new role seamlessly, using his fame to bring to light issues he is passionate about. No stranger to activism, Gus participated in the AIDS/LifeCycle ride, a 545 mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles, and more than tripled their previous individual fundraising record by raising over $250,000 in donations for the organization that year. He also works with the Trevor Project in an effort to prevent suicide in LGBTQ youth, along with the Happy Hippie Foundation aiding homeless and LGBTQ kids.

Gus’s versatility as a public figure is unlimited. In 2019, he made his acting debut on “American Horror Story: 1984,” the wildly popular horror show is in its ninth season. Beyond his athletic prowess, Gus has become a symbol of hope and acceptance, transcending boundaries and overcoming obstacles, proving to be a one of a kind icon. Gus’s talent has no bounds, through his success as an Olympic medalist in skiing, his efforts in activism, and overall star power, Gus Kenworthy has established himself as a global icon.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

EZRA FRECH

  • Youngest Member of the U.S. Paralympic Track and Field Team at the 2021 Tokyo Paralympic Games

An accomplished athlete and sought-after motivational speaker, Ezra Frech was born with congenital limb differences, missing his left knee and left shin bone, and with only one finger on his left hand.  Now 16 years-old, Ezra has used a prosthetic leg since he was 11 months and a running blade since he was 4 years old. 

In 2016, Ezra was 11 years old watching his friends and mentors compete on the world’s stage at the Rio Paralympic Games when he told his mother, “I want to go to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games” and immediately started training.  Fast forward to June 2019 when Ezra made the US Paralympic Track and Field Team as a 14 year-old and competed in three international events, including the Junior World Para-Athletics Championships, where he won three medals, the Para-Pan American Games where he won two silver medals, and the World Para-Athletics Championships, where he placed in the top 8 in all three of his events and was the youngest athlete out of 1,400 competitors. 

Ezra continued to train through the pandemic before finally getting back on the track in January 2021 at his school to began a regimented training program, all the while being a full-time 10th grader. In the spring of 2021, Ezra performed well at the U.S. Paralympic Track and Field Trials, where he become the T63 National Champion in the 100M and Long Jump, set an Americas record in the long jump, and punched his ticket to Tokyo in the high jump by hitting the A Standard of 1.8 meters.  Ezra competed in the T63 Long Jump (making the finals and earning 8th place) and the T63 High Jump (placing 5th) at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.

Ezra has been featured on dozens of radio and network television shows, including the Ellen DeGeneres Show and Good Morning America, sharing his story and raising awareness and understanding for the physically challenged.  Since he was 4 years old, Ezra has done motivational speaking at schools, hospitals, companies, and leadership conferences, bringing his message that “Being Different is OK.”  Ezra’s motto is “You can Dream it, You can Hope for it, or You can Make It Happen.”  and he believes you should “Focus on What You Have Versus What You Don’t Have.”

Ezra is the inspiration behind and co-founder of Angel City Sports, a high-growth, high-impact non-profit organization dedicated to providing the joy of sports to children and adults with physical disabilities. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

RICHARD LAPCHICK

  • Human Rights Activist and Internationally Recognized Expert on Racial Equality in Athletics

Human rights activist, pioneer for racial equality, author Richard Lapchick has leveraged his standing in the sports world to advocate for inclusion, encouraging players to speak out against injustice for more than 50 years and consulting with companies as an expert on managing diversity. He has received countless awards and honors, including the Arthur Ashe Institute Leadership Award in 2021 in recognition of his trailblazing work and dedication to diversity and social justice, the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian of the Year Award in 2021, and he was included on Beyond Sport's Inspirational 50 people (living and passed) who used sport to change the world along with Billie Jean King, Muhammad Ali, and Nelson Mandela. Lapchick imparts meaningful insights about building thriving, inclusive teams and creating a culture of equality in sport, in our companies, and in life.

Lapchick believes sport can be an effective instrument of positive social change, and launched the DeVos Sports Business Management Program, which SportsBusiness International called one of the top programs in the world. A prolific author, Lapchick has published 17 books and is a regular columnist for ESPN.com and The Sports Business Journal. Considered among the nation’s experts on sport and social issues, he has spoken in the United States Congress, at the United Nations, the European Parliament, and the Vatican, most notably. He is a board member of the Women’s Sports Foundation, the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games, United Abolitionists, and the onePULSE Foundation. He founded the Hope for Stanley Alliance and Shut Out Trafficking.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

CHERYL BURKE

  • Two-Time Winner of 'Dancing with the Stars'

With over 25 years dancing experience and several championship titles under her belt, Emmy nominated professional dancer Cheryl Burke, tangoed and sambaed her way into the hearts of millions through the hit ABC television show Dancing with the Stars becoming champion twice with Emmitt Smith in Season 3 and Drew Lachey in Season 2.

Cheryl has been named one of People Magazine’s Most Beautiful and often appears on Maxim’s Hot 100 List.  In 2008, Burke was awarded an Asian Excellence Award and in 2010, she made a much talked about appearance in the music video for Ne-Yo’s Camera Phone.  In addition to her onscreen roles, Burke is a noted motivational speaker.  Having been publicly attacked about her weight and battling body image issues her entire life, Burke often speaks at medical conferences, women’s conventions and to school age children about self-esteem and having a healthy body image.  She also speaks about being a survivor of domestic sexual abuse. Her accomplishments in entertainment were celebrated in 2020 with an induction into the Robert Chinn Foundation’s Asian Hall of Fame.

For Cheryl, dancing is a way of life. It provides a medium for her to express her inner feelings and passions all while maintaining focus and composure during extremely high-pressure situations. It is dancing that has made her such a competitor, both on and off the floor, and made her strive for perfection in anything that she sets out to do. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JOHN LEGEND

  • 12-time Grammy® Award Winner

EGOT-winning, critically acclaimed, multiplatinum singer-songwriter John Legend has garnered 12 Grammy Awards, two Emmy Awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Tony Award, among others. Legend is the first African-American man to earn an EGOT and one of only fifteen people in the prestigious EGOT club. Legend has released seven celebrated albums over the course of his career and is also a coach on The Voice.

Beyond his music career, John, along with partners Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius, is a principal of Get Lifted Film Co. Most recently, Get Lifted produced David E. Talbert’s acclaimed holiday film Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey for Netflix, the HBO, IDA Award-winning docu-series Atlanta's Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children, the IFC and AMC comedy series Sherman's Showcase and Sherman's Showcase: Black History Month Spectacular, and Rhythm + Flow for Netflix. Their other recent projects include the documentary 40 Years A Prisoner on HBO Max and the documentary Giving Voice, which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and is available for streaming on Netflix. Their forthcoming projects include the film Monster, which was recently acquired by Netflix, and the film adaptation of S.A. Cosby’s novel Blacktop Wasteland. Recently announced, Get Lifted and Erik Feig’s PICTURESTART formed Picture LIFT, a joint venture focused on developing, producing and financing multiple films in the $10M range, featuring diverse filmmakers and inclusive casts. 

From a young age, Legend aspired to use his position in the entertainment industry as a platform for social change. Throughout his career, Legend has committed his time, energy, and resources to social justice and equality. His philanthropy and advocacy has focused on building just, equitable, and thriving communities. Legend initiated the #FREEAMERICA campaign in 2015 to change the national conversation surrounding our country’s misguided criminal justice policies and to end mass incarceration. In 2007, Legend started The Show Me Campaign, to give every child access to a quality education as well as address systemic issues in our criminal justice system that disproportionately impact the poor, minorities, and disadvantaged.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

SCOTT CONANT

  • Renowned Chef and Restauranteur

Chef, cookbook author and TV personality Scott Conant brings a deft touch and unwavering passion to creating culinary experiences with thoughtful hospitality and soulful cuisine. He is the chef and owner of The Americano, Mora Italian and Cellaio. Conant has published three cookbooks, including the acclaimed Bold Italian, and is a regular judge on Food Network’s Choppedhost of the spinoff series Chopped Sweets, and frequent co-host on Beat Bobby Flay

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MERRYL TENGESDAL

  • First and Only African American Woman USAF U-2 Pilot

Colonel Merryl Tengesdal (ret.) is the first and only African American woman to fly the United States Air Force’s U-2 “Dragon Lady” high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft. As a former Naval Aviator and Air Force Combat Pilot, Merryl has been deployed worldwide supporting combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and military operations in South America, the Caribbean, and the Horn of Africa. Since her retirement, Tengesdal has become a highly sought-after motivational speaker for industry, non-profit organizations and educational institutions on a wide range of topics that share a common theme of overcoming adversity. She shares her experiences and insights on leadership as a woman and person of color in spaces where women and people of color are underrepresented, maximizing physical and mental health, and applying military leadership to business enterprises and everyday life. Tengesdal has a keen interest in promoting efforts to increase women and children of color in STEM.

Tengesdal has extensive command and senior leadership experience including Deputy Operations Group Commander and Inspector General for the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, Director of Operations and Commander for the 9th Physiological Support Squadron. As the first female selected to be Commander of Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, Detachment 2 at Palmdale, CA, she led the oversight of a multi-billion-dollar depot-level maintenance, repair, and developmental testing program for the U-2. She retired in 2017 from the Pentagon in her last assignment as the Director of Inspections for the Air Force Inspector General, where she oversaw USAF’s conventional, nuclear and special access inspections program for 860,000 Airmen.

Tengesdal is a Reality Television Star, starring on season 2 of CBS’s uplifting, competition show Tough as Nails (2021) and promotes increased minority involvement in the Trades. She has also appeared as a commentator on PBS’s UNLADYLIKE2020: The Bessie Coleman Story (2020) and as a technical consultant to Steven Spielberg on Bridge of Spies (2015).

HWA EXCLUSIVE

BOBBY FLAY

  • Award-Winning Chef and Restaurateur

Award-winning chef, restaurateur, cookbook author, and media personality Bobby Flay offers high-energy, dynamic insights on business success, perseverance, food and lifestyle, and balancing the many flavors in our work and lives.

The first chef to ever receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Bobby Flay is behind famed restaurants in New York City, Las Vegas and beyond, such as Gato, Amalfi, Bobby Flay Steak, and Bar Americain. He also has 11 outposts of his Fast Casual concept, Bobby’s Burger Palace, across the United States. He's the author of 15 best-selling cookbooks, an Emmy award-winning star of countless Food Network programs, and both a James Beard and Rising Star of the Year Award-winner.

A powerhouse in the kitchen, on-screen, and at events, Bobby has been sought-out to speak (and do cooking presentations) everywhere from Google to The New York Times. He leaves audiences energized and empowered to improve the way they live and work.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

EMILY OSTER

  • Associate Professor of Economics, Brown University

Emily Oster is a Professor of Economics at Brown University.  She holds a PhD in Economics from Harvard University.

Emily’s academic work focuses on health economics and statistical methods. In addition to her academic work, Emily has written two bestselling books on data driven parenting, Expecting Better and Cribsheet. Her third book, The Family Firm: A Data-Driven Guide to Better Decision Making in the Early School Years is set to come out in August 2021. She writes a twice-weekly newsletter called ParentData with over 50,000 subscribers. Emily’s work has been featured in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, CNBC, NPR, Slate and others.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

CATHERINE PRICE

  • Author of How to Break Up With Your Phone and The Power of Fun: How to Feel Alive Again

Hailed in The New York Times as "the Marie Kondo of brains," Catherine Price is an award-winning science journalist, speaker, and author of How to Break Up With Your Phone: The 30-Day Plan to Take Back Your Life (Ten Speed Press), among other books. Her newest book, The Power of Fun: How to Feel Alive Again (Dial Press) will be released in December 2021. As a speaker, consultant and workshop leader, Catherine helps individuals and organizations create healthier personal and professional relationships with their phones (and other devices), and establish best practices to encourage creativity, productivity and mental health. In other words, she helps people scroll less, live more, and have fun. 

How to Break Up With Your Phone has been published in 30 countries and featured in scores of high-profile media outlets around the world, including NPR, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, Time Magazine, Wired, Vox, Refinery29, BBC World News Service, and many others. A New York Times article about Catherine and her 30-day program titled " Do Not Disturb: How I Ditched My Phone and Unbroke My Brain,” went viral, receiving more than 2 million hits in less than a week. 

Catherine is also the creator and founder of Screen/Life Balance, which is dedicated to helping people learn how to scroll less and live more. Screen/Life Balance is part of Catherine’s continued mission to create evidence-backed resources to help people around the world design lives in which they control their technology, rather than the other way around—with the ultimate goal of increasing happiness, productivity, creativity, health and wellbeing. 

Catherine speaks, consults, and leads workshops on how individuals and corporations can set better boundaries with — and best practices for — their devices in order to maximize creativity and productivity, improve mental health and brain function, reduce burnout, spend more time doing the things that actually matter to them...and have more fun! Her engagements can be customized based on audience size and area of interest, but they are always compelling and actionable, chock-full of what Catherine calls "science-backed self-help."

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JAMES LAPINE

  • Famed and Award-Winning Stage Director, Playwright, Screenwriter, and Librettist

Winner of three Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize, James Lapine is a writer, director, and Broadway legend. Known for genre-defining powerhouse collaborations with Stephen Sondheim, he was the writer and director for Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, Passion, the multi-media review Sondheim on Sondheim, and co-produced and directed the revelatory HBO documentary Six by Sondheim for which he garnered an Emmy nomination and a Peabody Award. A prolific creator, he wrote and directed the Tony Award-winning Falsettos, the film Custody, and wrote the film adaptation for Into the Woods, as well as numerous Broadway and off-Broadway productions. Lapine is a beloved and eloquent titan of the theater, sharing star-studded stories and creative insights with enraptured audiences.

An instantaneous New York Times bestseller, Lapine’s book Putting it Together: How Stephen Sondheim and I Created Sunday in the Park with George chronicles the nuances of a powerful collaboration and the creative process that produced the Pulitzer Prize-winning Drama. A consummate artist, Lapine was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2011, and in 2015 received the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers awards for a lifetime of exceptional achievement in the theatre. Lapine is a devoted student of humanity, enriching conversations with insatiable curiosity, humor, and poignant observations on art and life.