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><strong>Michael “Killer Mike” Render  & Andrew Young empower financial wellness in marginalized communities</strong></p>

Michael “Killer Mike” Render  & Andrew Young empower financial wellness in marginalized communities

Beyond the mic, MICHAEL “KILLER MIKE” RENDER has been a driving force in empowering economic resilience, advocating for financial literacy, and fostering entrepreneurship within marginalized communities. Render paired up with ANDREW YOUNG, a former member of Congress, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and Mayor of Atlanta, to run Greenwood, a successful Black-owned bank that works to combat systemic racism.

<p><strong>Ashley Judd helps the White House unveil a national suicide prevention strategy </strong></p>

Ashley Judd helps the White House unveil a national suicide prevention strategy

Actor and humanitarian ASHLEY JUDD, who lost her beloved mother to suicide, recently spoke at the White House to help the Biden administration launch its national suicide prevention strategy. Judd has worked with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (which recognized her with their Life Saver Honor in 2023), wrote on the need for improved privacy laws in death by suicide in the New York Times, and spoke at SXSW on the need for responsible reporting on suicide and prevention resources. Ashley also spoke about the First Amendment and privacy as the Keynote Speaker at the National Media Lawyer’s Conference.  As reported by AP News, Judd said, “I carry a message of hope.”

<p><strong>U.S. track & field star Ezra Frech shares his perspective on the importance of the Paralympic Games</strong></p>

U.S. track & field star Ezra Frech shares his perspective on the importance of the Paralympic Games

U.S. Paralympic Track & Field Team boy wonder EZRA FRECH joined NBC to give a much-needed Paralympics 101 overview. On national news, Frech detailed his goal to normalize disability through his advocacy, explaining the role of the Paralympics Games in this social advancement. Frech told listeners, “Winning medals is great, breaking world records is fun. I don't believe that's what I was put here to do. I believe I was put here to use sport, track & field, and the Paralympics as a vehicle to normalize disability on a global scale.”

<p><strong>Linsey Davis to moderate presidential debate</strong></p>

Linsey Davis to moderate presidential debate

Emmy Award-winning ABC correspondent LINSEY DAVIS was announced as moderator for the historic September debate between Trump and Biden. Davis is the perfect choice to bring perspective to political conversations, having led the first roundtable discussion with Black female mayors of Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Baton Rouge, and Tacoma, as well as a series of interviews with the spouses of presidential candidates in a series called Running Mates.

<p><strong>Harvard’s Gen Z expert John Della Volpe provides a fresh, data-driven generational perspective on ‘The Daily Show’</strong></p>

Harvard’s Gen Z expert John Della Volpe provides a fresh, data-driven generational perspective on ‘The Daily Show’

Harvard IOP polling director and author of Fight: How Gen Z is Channeling Their Fear and Passion to Save America JOHN DELLA VOLPE went onto The Daily Show to explain Gen Z’s behavior. As a polling and sentiment expert, Volpe has spoken about generational issues to the Milken Institute, Duke University, Bain Capital, and many more globally prominent hosts, sharing that “the point of any public opinion research is to give voice to a generation.”

<p><strong>How Candace Parker finds ownership in sport and invests in women as President of Basketball for Adidas</strong></p>

How Candace Parker finds ownership in sport and invests in women as President of Basketball for Adidas

Back-to-back WNBA Champion, WNBA Finals MVP, two-time WNBA MVP, and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist CANDACE PARKER is the first-ever President of Adidas Women’s Basketball alongside her work as an investor. A star role model for women of any age, Parker (alongside her daughter Lailaa) is a part owner and investor of Angel FC and an investor in LOVB, a professional women’s volleyball league. Parker’s commitment to uplifting women across sports represents her strong dedication to personally furthering gender equity as a high-profile figure.

Our Exclusive Speakers

HWA EXCLUSIVE

KEVIN MCCARTHY

  • 55th Speaker of the House

55th Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy is described as a man exuding “true American grit.” Prior to his election to Congress, McCarthy served as the fastest rising Minority Leader in the California State Legislature. In Congress, he held nearly every elected leadership position in the House Republican conference and served under four Presidents, during two economic crises, and through consistent political upheaval while always maintaining his approach to governing as a Happy Warrior. After his election to Speaker, McCarthy went on to secure $2T in deficit reduction. McCarthy’s decade and a half at the pinnacle of U.S. government has imbued him with powerful insights into politics, leadership, and values.

Throughout his career, McCarthy fought for a more effective, efficient, and accountable federal government. McCarthy’s invaluable perspective as a Washington insider, as well as his sharp insights and analysis, make him the ideal voice on the future of the U.S.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

GENERAL MARK MILLEY

  • 20th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (2019-2023)

General (Ret.) Mark A. Milley served as the 20th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the nation's highest-ranking military officer, and the principal military advisor to the President, Secretary of Defense, and National Security Council. He retired Sept. 29th, 2023. Prior to becoming Chairman on October 1st, 2019, General Milley served as the 39th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army. General Milley is currently a distinguished fellow in residence with the Security Studies Program in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a Charles and Marie Robertson visiting professor and visiting lecturer at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA). 

In addition to his degree in Political Science from Princeton University, General Milley has multiple master’s degrees – in International Relations from Columbia University and in National Security & Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College. He is also a graduate of the MIT Seminar XXI National Security Studies Program. In the past more than four decades, General Milley has had multiple command and staff positions in six divisions as well as Special Forces. General Milley’s substantive experience in leadership provides impressive and enlightening insight for every audience who engages with him.

General Milley’s depth of knowledge and discernment of today’s geopolitical issues gives shape and meaning to the shifting power centers in the global operational environment. His perspective is invaluable for audiences looking to understand the impact of current conflicts and managing risks on boards of directors and leadership teams who are responsible for making strategic decisions and identifying vulnerabilities. More than a lesson in history or current events, General Milley helps audiences understand the significance of this moment in time as a potential turning point in history.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

SANNA MARIN

  • Former Prime Minister & Head of Government of Finland (2019-2023)

Sanna Marin is the Former Prime Minister of Finland (2019-2023) and the leader of the Finnish Social Democratic Party. Appointed at the age of 34, Marin served as the youngest Prime Minister of the world when taking office in 2019. In 2015, Marin was elected to Parliament on her first run, where she was a member of the Grand Committee, Legal Affairs Committee, and Environment Committee. She has also served as Chair of the Social Democratic Party since 2020. Marin’s government has been considered one of the most successful in handling the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in terms of lost lives and economical damage caused by the pandemic. Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Marin led her country through the most swift NATO accession process in the whole history of the alliance. Marin now specializes in topics of geopolitics, strategic autonomy, climate change, and female leadership.

Marin has been actively engaged in politics since 2006. “Being involved and making a difference represent civil rights for me. Changing things takes commitment. The welfare state or the ground rules for working life should not be taken for granted; they are the result of hard work and determined efforts.” Environmental values are also close to Sanna Marin’s heart: “Climate change and loss of biodiversity are some of the biggest problems of our times. Addressing them takes strong political will and determination.”

Marin made history as the longest-serving woman prime minister of Finland, leading a parliamentary coalition entirely headed by women and a majority-women cabinet. She has spoken at Davos AM23, the Lowy Institute, the Munich Security Conference, and for New York University’s 2023 Commencement, among others. In addition to the historical challenges during her leadership, Marin’s government passed many progressive reforms in Finland, including world's most ambitious climate laws aiming for carbon neutrality by 2035, family leave reform sharing paid leave with both parents equally as well as major reforms improving healthcare, education and human rights.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

BORIS JOHNSON

  • Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Rt. Hon. Boris Johnson is a champion of democracy, freedom, and free market capitalism. He served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Leader of the Conservative Party, Foreign Secretary and Mayor of London. Mr. Johnson believes that the sheer innovative power of the west will take us through the ramifications of the Ukraine war and post-Covid shocks, as well as defeat struggling authoritarian regimes. He believes technology, driven by free market democracies, will ultimately defeat our biggest challenges on health, science, and global warming. Mr. Johnson is sought-after for his illuminating insights on global security, the world economy, and his continued work supporting freedom around the world.

Mr. Johnson argues that in the 21st century, countries must be able to deregulate and be as competitive as possible. That is why he successfully delivered Brexit – taking back control of U.K. law, marking the biggest constitutional change for half a century, and enabling the United Kingdom to generate the fastest vaccine approval in the world and the fastest vaccine rollout in Europe – with all the subsequent economic benefits. In addition to his work in politics, he is an award-winning journalist, writer, and editor. He is the author of almost a dozen books, from the globally bestselling historical biography of Winston Churchill, The Churchill Factor, to the self-illustrated children’s book The Perils of Pushy Parents. He edited the Spectator magazine for six years and has written for dozens of major publications including, most notably, London’s Daily Telegraph. He currently writes a weekly column for the Daily Mail. Mr. Johnson is the kind of politician and visionary thinker who takes risks for the principles of democracy, freedom, and free markets, and stands alongside those fighting against authoritarian regimes.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

DAVID PLOUFFE

  • Obama Campaign Manager and White House Senior Advisor

A pioneering force of innovation in politics, technology, and grassroots leadership, David Plouffe has distinguished himself as a proven field general and idea generator. He served as Campaign Manager of Barack Obama's historic victory in 2008 and then as Senior Advisor to President Obama in the White House, where he stood at the center of the debate on key issues now facing our country – from tax and entitlement reform to immigration reform and foreign policy challenges. Combined with his pathbreaking work at Uber, and policy and advocacy efforts at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Plouffe is a transcending force at the intersection of politics, policy, and business. He now consults for leading companies in the consumer, social media, crypto, and technology sectors. Plouffe delivers unprecedented insights on disruptive innovation, from the front lines of momentous shifts in both politics and business.

Plouffe is known for thinking beyond the conventional. With his tenacious, methodical, and proven methods, he knows the essential ingredients to crafting a team built for success. He is the author of two New York Times bestsellers including The Audacity to Win: The Inside Story and Lessons of Barack Obama’s Historic Victory and is a political analyst for NBC News. Plouffe’s array of accomplishments demonstrate his profound ability to bridge the gap between dreaming and achieving.

With his unassuming style, Plouffe communicates motivated and innovative solutions pertinent to any organization seeking to be at the forefront of change in their industry. Drawing people in with rapid-fire, detail-oriented, and visceral stories from the ground, he shares his playbook for success when facing overwhelming and seemingly insurmountable odds. Still deeply immersed in political data and electoral trends, Plouffe can breakdown what could happen in 2024 better than anyone.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

GINNI ROMETTY

  • Former Chairman, President, and CEO of IBM

Ginni Rometty is a leader, innovator, and convener who believes that how we work and lead is as important as what we achieve. As the ninth Chairman, President, and CEO of IBM, Ginni transformed the 100-year-old company, reinventing 50 percent of its portfolio, building a $25B hybrid cloud business, and establishing IBM’s leadership in AI and quantum computing. She drove record results in diversity and inclusion and supported the explosive growth of an innovative high school program, P-TECH, to prepare the workforce of the future in more than twenty-eight countries. Ginni is the author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller Good Power: Leading Positive Change in Our Lives, Work, and World (Harvard Business Review Press). In the book, as she does in sought-after events, Ginni shares milestones from her life and career while redefining power as a way to drive meaningful change in positive ways for ourselves, our organizations, and for the many, not just the few – a concept she calls “good power.”

Through her work with the Business Roundtable, Rometty helped redefine the purpose of the corporation. She has been named Fortune’s #1 Most Powerful Woman three years in a row, is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and has been honored with the designation of Officier in the French Légion d’Honneur. Today, Rometty serves on multiple boards including J.P. Morgan Chase, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and co-chairs OneTen, a coalition committed to upskilling, hiring, and promoting one million Black Americans without four-year degrees by 2030 into family-sustaining jobs and careers. She offers unparalleled insights on leadership, organizational and societal transformation, DEI, the future of work and education, and more, and is in-demand for events with groups including the World Economic Forum at Davos, The Milken Institute, Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit, the Consumer Electronics Show, and Grace Hopper, to name a few.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JOE SCARBOROUGH

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

MSNBC's Morning Joe co-host, New York Times Bestselling author, and former U.S. Congressman Joe Scarborough ignites audiences with his no-holds barred political commentary and far-reaching insight. Drawing on his experience as an influential player in Republican politics – and now one of the most in-demand commentators – Scarborough speaks candidly about the important issues facing Americans every day. In August of 2023, Morning Joe was the most watched morning show on all of cable. A Washington Post and New York Times bestselling author, Joe’s books and his keynotes offer an incisive perspective on the trends in Republican politics, what that means for business, and the values that resonate with audiences.

As popular on stage as he is on TV, Joe brings the same energy to his events as a speaker. He is a member of the Cable News Hall of Fame and has been named to the prestigious "TIME 100" list. With his signature off-the-cuff commentary, he offers a dynamic and fast-paced perspective on the current political and media landscape and cuts through the headlines of the day to get to what really matters to your audience.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

AMANDA GORMAN

  • Inaugural Poet for President Joe Biden

Award-winning wordsmith, change-maker, and #1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller Amanda Gorman is the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history. Amanda began writing at only a few years of age and has become one of the most recognizable poets in the world. A committed advocate for the environment, racial equality, and gender justice, her activism and poetry have been featured on The Today Show, PBS Kids, and CBS This Morning, and in the New York TimesVogue, and EssenceAmanda has performed multiple commissioned poems for CBS This Morning, and she has spoken at events and venues across the country, including the Library of Congress and Lincoln Center.

Amanda has appeared on the cover of TIME, was the first poet to grace the cover of Vogue, was one of 5 Variety Power of Women honorees and cover star, as well one of 3 cover stars for Glamour's Women of the Year. She has received a Genius Grant from OZY Media, is the recipient of the Poets & Writers Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award, and is the youngest board member of 826 National, the largest youth writing network in the United States.

Amanda is the author of the special edition of her inaugural poem The Hill We Climb, as well as the poetry collection Call Us What We Carry and the children’s book Change Sings, all debuting at #1 on New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. Her next children’s book, Someday, Something, is due out in the fall of 2023. Amanda’s profound and uplifting remarks ensure an unforgettable experience for her audience.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

DE KAI

  • Statesman of AI and Pioneer in AI Ethics and Policy

De Kai is a pioneering AI scientist who is widely regarded as “the Statesman of AI.” A founder of the contemporary AI field as known today, three decades ago De Kai invented and built the world’s first global-scale online language translator. De Kai continues to push boundaries in AI research, alongside speaking to philosophical questions about the fears and possibilities of humanity's new technology and how we can be empowered to shape our future. De Kai is Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at HKUST and Distinguished Research Scholar at Berkeley’s International Computer Science Institute. His cross-disciplinary works relating AI, cognition, language, music, creativity, media arts, ethics and society centers on enabling cultures to relate, and stems from a liberal arts perspective emphasizing creativity in both technical and humanistic dimensions.

De Kai’s groundbreaking projects have spurred the paradigm shift toward today’s state-of-the-art statistical natural language processing technologies. He has done research at Berkeley, UCSD, University of Toronto, Bell Laboratories, Columbia University, TU Munich, and Toronto. He founded HKUST's internationally funded Human Language Technology Center which launched the world's first global-scale online language translator over twenty years ago.

De Kai is among only 17 scientists worldwide named by the Association for Computational Linguistics as a Founding ACL Fellow and has been named one of the 100 most influential figures of Hong Kong. He serves on the board of AI policy think tank TFS (The Future Society), which is heavily involved in drafting the European Union’s forthcoming AI Act. In 2018, Google named De Kai as one of eight inaugural members of its AI Ethics council, ATEAC (Advanced Technology External Advisory Council). Over the past decade, De Kai has given hundreds of talks worldwide on AI ethics, society, and safety.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

KIM SCOTT

  • NYT & WSJ Bestselling Author, 'Radical Candor' & 'Just Work' (To be re-released as 'Radical Respect' in May 2024)

Leadership & culture expert Kim Scott is the author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller Radical Candor: Be a Kickass Boss without Losing your Humanity, which launched a global management revolution. Kim is the co-Founder of Radical Candor®, LLC – a company dedicated to helping organizations and teams move from a culture of command and control to one of collaboration. Previously, Kim led AdSense, YouTube, and Doubleclick Online Sales and Operations at Google, and then joined Apple to develop and teach a leadership seminar. She has been a CEO coach at Dropbox, Qualtrics, Twitter, and several other tech companies.

Kim was the co-Founder & CEO of Juice Software – a collaboration startup, and led business development at Delta Three and Capital Thinking. Earlier in her career, she worked as a senior policy advisor at the FCC, managed a pediatric clinic in Kosovo, started a diamond cutting factory in Moscow, and was an analyst on the Soviet Companies Fund. Kim is the author of three novels, and her book Just Work: How To Root Out Bias, Prejudice, and Bullying to Create a Kick-Ass Culture of Inclusivity (which is being re-released as Radical Respect in May 2024) is an essential guide leaders and their employees need to create more just workplaces and establish new norms of collaboration and respect.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

LAURIE SEGALL

  • Former Senior Tech Correspondent, CNN; Reporter, '60 Minutes'

Silicon Valley technology reporter Laurie Segall is the go-to source for businesses, investors, and decision-makers seeking to understand and leverage the power of technology. As the former senior tech correspondent for CNN and a reporter for 60 Minutes, Segall has engaged in conversations with the world's most influential tech leaders, including Mark Zuckerberg, Tim Cook, and OpenAI’s Sam Altman, as well as today’s most pressing questions on how AI will change our society. Her memoir, Special Characters: My Adventures with Tech’s Titans and Misfits, chronicles her experiences as a young reporter during the late 00s tech boom, providing a unique vantage point into the industry's most transformative moments and figures. She is the founder of Mostly Human, an entertainment company with a focus on society and artificial intelligence. Through her insightful questioning and deep understanding of the tech industry, Segall provides audiences with valuable perspectives on the forces shaping our digital future.

As a sought-after speaker, Segall brings her unparalleled expertise and strategic vision to the stage, inspiring audiences to think differently about the role of technology in their businesses and industries. Segall has received numerous awards for her work championing women and tech, including multiple Gracie awards. Segall has been featured in publications including Forbes, Business Insider, NY Mag's The Cut, CBS This Morning, and SF Chronicle. She is a sought-after speaker at industry conferences, including Web Summit, Center for Humane Technology, Founders Forum, SXSW, etc.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

RON KLAIN

  • Chief of Staff to President Biden (2021-2023)

Ron Klain was the longest serving first Chief of Staff for any Democratic President (2021-2023). As Chief of Staff to President Biden, Mr. Klain oversaw the Biden-Harris White House staff and served as a member of the Cabinet. President Biden called Ron Klain “a once-in-a-generation talent with fierce intellect and heart.” Mr. Klain has been praised for his bipartisan legislative achievements, a historic focus on judicial nominations, and guiding the White House to an unexpected victory in the midterm elections. A frequent guest on TV news shows, Mr. Klain was a well-known spokesperson for the administration. Mr. Klain was selected for the TIME 100 list of global leaders while serving as Chief of Staff.

Mr. Klain held senior posts in private law practice and spent more than a decade as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Revolution LLC, an investment firm launched by AOL Co-Founder Steve Case in 2005. He is now a partner in global legal giant O'Melveny's Litigation Department and serves on the firm's Executive Committee. In addition, Mr. Klain has devoted many years to public service. He has served as on the Executive Council of TechNet, the Democracy Forward Foundation, and a member of the external advisory boards of the World Economic Forum’s Global Health Security Project and the Ending Pandemics Project. Mr. Klain has worked on eight Presidential campaigns, serving as a top debate preparation advisor to Presidents Biden, Obama and Clinton, and Democratic Presidential nominees Al Gore, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JOHN J. SULLIVAN

  • Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia (2019-2022)

Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia John J. Sullivan was appointed a Distinguished Fellow at Georgetown University effective November 1, 2022, after retiring from a career in public service that has spanned four decades and five U.S. presidents. Before his most recent post in Moscow, as recalled in his memoir, Midnight in Moscow, Ambassador Sullivan served as the 19th U.S. Deputy Secretary of State from 2017 to 2019, as well as the Acting U.S. Secretary of State in March-April 2018. In the Obama Administration, he was chairman of the U.S.-Iraq Business Dialogue, a government advisory committee on U.S.-Iraq commercial relations.  In the private sector, as a partner in the global law firm MayerBrown LLP, Ambassador Sullivan was a sought-after advisor to CEOs, general counsels, and senior executives.

A graduate of Brown University, Ambassador Sullivan attended Columbia University School of Law, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and Book Reviews Editor of the Columbia Law Review.  He served as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter and Judge John Minor Wisdom.  Ambassador Sullivan is a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy and the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Secretary of State's Distinguished Service Award, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff's Joint Meritorious Civilian Service Award, the Secretary of Defense’s Medal for Exceptional Public Service, and many others. 

For the last three years, Ambassador Sullivan managed the U.S. Embassy in Russia during its most difficult period in many decades, exemplifying service, leadership, and crisis management through unprecedented challenges.  His vast experience and insights contribute to riveting programs about global affairs, the impacts of national security and foreign policy on industries and business, and much more.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

VAL DEMINGS

  • U.S. Representative (D-FL, 2017-2023)

Former Congresswoman and Orlando Police Chief Val Demings is a rising political star who has made an impact with her message, “everyone counts, and everyone is accountable.” A lifelong public servant, Demings broke numerous glass ceilings in her rise through the Orlando Police Department, her election to Congress, her appointment to prosecute the first impeachment of former president Donald Trump, her campaign for Senate in Florida, and her consideration as a potential running mate to President Joe Biden. She is heralded as a tireless champion for public safety, civil rights, the rule of law, and the American Dream – Demings shares her perspective and insights as a riveting keynote speaker.

Demings served as the U.S. Representative for Florida’s 10th District from 2017-2023, and held positions on numerous House Committees including Judiciary, Intelligence, Homeland Security, and Oversight and Government Reform. Demings was a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, Women’s Caucus, and New Democratic Caucus, as well as a member of the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery Review Board and the Elections Security Taskforce, to name just a few. At sought-after events with groups including the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, the Orlando Economic Partnership, League of Women Voters, 92nd Street Y, and many others, Demings shares her uplifting and inspiring vision for the promise of what America could be, if we have the courage to fight for it.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MICHAEL SPENCE

  • Nobel Laureate, Economic Sciences

Nobel Laureate and award-winning professor Michael Spence is the author of The Next Convergence and co-author of Permacrisis: A Plan to Fix a Fractured World. Spence is the Philip H. Knight Professor Emeritus of Management in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford, and a Distinguished Visiting Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is an Adjunct Professor at Bocconi University in Milan, and an Honorary Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford University. In 2001, Spence received the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his work in the field of information economics.

Spence is a Senior Advisor to Jasper Ridge Partners and a Senior Advisor to General Atlantic Partners, and chairs GA’s Global Growth Institute. He chairs the Advisory Board of the Asia Global Institute and was the Chairman of The Independent Commission on Growth and Development (2006-2010). He is a member of the Advisory Council of the Luohan Academy in Hangzhou. He previously served as Dean of the Stanford Business School (1990-99) and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University (1984-90). Spence was awarded the John Kenneth Galbraith Prize for excellence in teaching and the John Bates Clark Medal, awarded to American economists under age 40 for a "significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge."

HWA EXCLUSIVE

KAI BIRD

  • Pulitzer Prize-Winning Biographer, Historian, and Journalist

Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer, historian, and journalist Kai Bird is the co-author of American Prometheus, the exhilarating biography that inspired Christopher Nolan’s Oscar-sweeping Oppenheimer. Released in 2005, American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer received enormous acclaim – the New York Times called it “exhaustive and exhilarating” and The Boston Globe called it “an achievement not likely to be surpassed or equaled.” Bird and his work have received tremendous accolades – in addition to the Pulitzer, he won the National Books Critics Circle Award, the Duff Cooper Prize for History, and is an elected member of the prestigious Society of American Historians. Bird is both a relentless chronicler of history and a consummate storyteller – elevating lessons from the past to undeniable relevance for audiences of today.

Bird is the New York Times bestselling author of The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames, and biographies of Jimmy Carter, John J. McCloy, McGeorge Bundy, and William Bundy. He chronicled his childhood in the Middle East in his memoir, Crossing Mandelbaum Gate: Coming of Age Between the Arabs and Israelis. He is the Executive Director and Distinguished Lecturer of the Leon Levy Center for Biography at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City. Bird’s work includes critical writings on the Vietnam War, Hiroshima, nuclear weapons, the Cold War, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the CIA. His current project is a biography of Roy Cohn, to be published by Scribner.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

REV RUN

  • Hip-Hop Icon and Front Man of RUN DMC

Hip-hop icon, DJ, and preacher Rev Run is one of the most iconic figures in music. The front man of seminal hip-hop group RUN DMC, Rev has sold tens of millions of records worldwide and is widely credited for ushering rap music into mainstream culture. An inductee of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, RUN DMC was named the greatest hip-hop artist of all-time by both MTV and VH1. Describing his considerable impact, Rolling Stone writes, “[Run] took hardcore hip-hop from an underground street sensation to a pop-culture phenomenon... In the process, [Run] helped change the course of popular music, paving the way for rap’s second generation.” A cultural icon, Run has been invited to countless corporate conferences and large-scale events as a motivational speaker and celebrity DJ.

Run remains a dynamic figure in entertainment today. He is the author of several books, is an ordained minister, and a beloved TV personality. His hit MTV show, Run’s House, aired for six seasons and became one of the most widely viewed shows on cable television. Run created and starred in Rev Run’s Sunday Suppers (Food Network), Rev Runs Around the World (Travel Channel), Rev Run’s Home Renovation (HGTV), and All About the Washingtons (Netflix). Most recently, Run starred in The Hip Hop Nutcracker (Disney+) and Disney’s Christmas Holiday Show (ABC Network). Run is in demand for his uplifting style, which resonates across audiences from Black History Month celebrations to mission-driven organizations to corporate clients looking to create an unforgettable experience.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ZIWE

  • Acclaimed Comedian, Writer, and Actress

Comedian, writer, and actress Ziwe has captured audiences with her signature candor, wit, and salient commentary on race and politics in America. Ziwe hosted the A24 produced late-night variety sketch show, Ziwe, which was heralded by audiences and critics alike. As one of TIME’s 100 Next Gen Leaders, her refreshing approach to broadcast journalism represents the renaissance of late-night. Her guests have included Fran Leibowitz, Gloria Steinem, Stacey Abrams, Chet Hanks, and Julia Fox, among others. Ziwe is the author of a much-anticipated book of essays, Black Friend.

Hailed as the multi-hyphenate comedic voice to emerge from social media, Ziwe garnered attention during the early months of the pandemic with her provocative and hilarious interviews on her Instagram Live & YouTube talk series, Baited. The show featured interviews full of hard truths with the likes of Caroline Calloway, Alison Roman, Rose McGowan, and Jeremy O. Harris. She has released an album of songs from her Showtime show, Ziwe: A Famously Iconic Soundtrack, and has been featured as an actor on Succession, The Great North, Dickinson, and more. Ziwe’s iconic comedic voice, balanced with her incisive perspective as a cultural critic, ensures a memorable event that will resonate with audiences of all kinds.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ROCHELLE WALENSKY, MD, MPH

  • Former Director of the Center for Disease Control (2021-2023)

Former Director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Dr. Rochelle Walensky is a renowned expert exploring the challenges and gifts of what it means for leaders, organizations, and the world to protect public health. Dr. Walensky was the chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital and served as the 19th director of the CDC and the ninth administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Having received an M.D from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, she also trained in internal medicine and earned an MPH in clinical effectiveness from the Harvard School of Public Health in 2001. In the earliest part of the pandemic, Dr. Walensky served on the front lines, taking care of patients, serving on the Massachusetts General Hospital incident management team, and conducting research on vaccine deliver and strategies to reach underserved communities. Dr. Walensky’s tenure at the CDC began on January 20th, 2021, when she led the nation - and the world - through unprecedented times, facing the largest density of infectious threats likely ever seen in this country.

Dr. Walensky has worked to improve HIV screening and care in South Africa, led health policy initiatives, and researched clinical trial design and evaluation in a variety of settings. She was chair of the Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council at the National Institutes of Health from 2014 to 2015. She has also been a member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents and had been co-director of the Medical Practice Evaluation Center at Massachusetts General Hospital since 2011 before assuming the position of CDC Director. She is currently current Menschel Fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Sought-after for her perspective on public health and crisis management, Dr. Walensky has spoken for groups including Boston University, Northeastern University, Bloomberg, Milken Institute, Aspen Ideas, and more.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

AMBASSADOR TERRY BRANSTAD

  • Former U.S. Ambassador to China (2017-2020)

Former U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad is the president of the World Food Prize Foundation, and the longest serving governor in the history of the United States. In addition to his role as president of Des Moines University Medical School, his public service includes election to the office of Lt. Governor and three-terms in the Iowa House of Representatives. He is a founding partner of the Branstad Churchill Group, a strategic consulting firm that provides advice, guidance and solutions to organizations, corporate leaders and investors seeking to navigate the complexities associated with conducting business in China and the United States.  

During his tenure as U.S. Ambassador to China, Branstad’s two greatest accomplishments included the signing of the historic Phase-One Trade Agreement in January of 2020 and successfully lobbying the Chinese government to stem the flow of fentanyl into the United States. Last year, Branstad was named “Ambassador-In-Residence” at Drake University in Des Moines, where he received his Juris Doctorate.  He continues his public service as the national co-chair of the capital campaign to modernize the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in West Branch, Iowa. Branstad has spoken for groups including KraneShares, the Committee of 100, US Meat Export Federation, National Pork Producers, and more.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

VICTORIA EADY BUTLER

  • Award-Winning Master Blender, Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey

Award-winning whiskey master blender Victoria Eady Butler is one of the key women behind the fastest-growing whiskey brand in U.S. history, Uncle Nearest, Inc. A relatively new face in the spirits world, whiskey is definitely in her blood. Butler is the great-great-granddaughter of the first known African American master distiller Nearest Green and carries on her family’s legacy first-hand. An Imbibe 75 alumnus, Butler was concluding a successful career as an analytical manager for the Regional Organized Crime Information Center in Nashville when Uncle Nearest Whiskey Founder and CEO Fawn Weaver invited her onboard. Butler quickly transitioned to master blender after curating a definitive batch of whiskey for the brand, which sold out immediately and won numerous awards, including two double-golds at international competitions.

Butler is a member of the executive team, and oversees the blending process of the core and Master Blend portfolios for the many-time award-winning Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey. Butler has been sought after to speak for groups including the Bourbon Women Association, the Vibe Conference, The Mercantile Library, Tennessee Whiskey Festival, the Black Bourbon Society, to name a few.

Butler is one of Imbibe Magazine’s “75 People to Watch,” and has been featured in Wine Enthusiast Magazine, The New York Times, Garden & Gun, Food & Wine, and many more. Butler currently oversees the Nearest Green Foundation, a 501(s)(3) non-profit organization that provides scholarships to Nearest Green’s descendants, which is funded by the sales of Uncle Nearest whiskeys. An industry trailblazer, she was the first female to be awarded Master Blender of the Year at the American Icons of Whisky Awards and in 2022, she became the first person in history to win that title back-to-back. In compelling keynotes, moderated conversations, and Q&As, Butler shares her incredible journey to the top of her industry and her insights about building a purpose-drive and profitable brand.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

CHRIS VOSS

  • Former FBI Lead Hostage Negotiator and Authority in High-Stakes Negotiation

Former international FBI hostage negotiator and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Chris Voss share a methodology that can used anywhere in the world, a strategy to build stronger relationships in a shorter period of time and enable audiences to negotiate deals they never thought would be possible. Chris was the lead international kidnapping negotiator for the FBI, as well as the hostage negotiation representative for the National Security Council’s Hostage Working Group. During his government career, he also represented the U.S. Government at two international conferences sponsored by the G-8 as an expert in kidnapping. Prior to becoming the FBI lead international kidnapping negotiator, Christopher served as the lead Crisis Negotiator for the New York City Division of the FBI. Christopher was a member of the New York City Joint Terrorist Task Force for 14 years. He was the case agent on such cases as TERRSTOP (the Blind Sheikh Case – Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman), and the TWA Flight 800 catastrophe and negotiated the surrender of the first hostage taker to give up in the Chase Manhattan bank robbery hostage taking.

Voss is the Wall Street journal bestselling author of Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It and The Full Fee Agent: How to Stack the Odds in Your Favor as a Real Estate Professional. Drawing on his 24-year tenure in the Bureau and training by not only the FBI but also Scotland Yard and Harvard Law School, Voss teaches a popular MasterClass and is the Founder & CEO of The Black Swan Group. He is a recipient of the Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement and the FBI Agents Association Award for Distinguished and Exemplary Service. Voss leverages his many years of experience in international crisis and high-stakes negotiations to develop a unique program and team that applies these globally proven techniques to the business world.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

GEOFF DUNCAN

  • Georgia's 12th Lieutenant Governor (2019-2023)

A former professional baseball player, CNN contributor and successful entrepreneur, Geoff Duncan served as Georgia’s Lieutenant Governor from 2019-2023. As the state’s second-most powerful Republican and president of the State Senate, Duncan used a bipartisan approach to navigate the chamber through a global pandemic, civil unrest, and economic tumult. Duncan has established himself as a bold leader, especially in the areas of health care, public safety, technology, and economic development. His efforts to spearhead Georgia becoming the “Technology Capital of the East Coast” have been nationally recognized. After rising to national prominence, he authored a book entitled, GOP 2.0: How the 2020 Election Can Lead to a Better Way Forward for America's Conservative Party.

Prior to public service, Duncan enjoyed a successful career in the private sector. In 2001, he founded a marketing company that sold promotional products to mid-size and large corporate clients nationwide. In 2003, he launched a tech-enabled literature fulfillment division for several large corporate clients. In 2016, Duncan was hired as the CEO of a health care company where he successfully raised several rounds of early round growth capital. In 2019, he founded a consulting business to help growth stage private companies work directly with their management teams. Duncan also serves as a strategic advisor to several venture capital firms around the country.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JOEL BERVELL

  • 'Medical Mythbuster' - Over 760K Followers and 120M+ Views

Ghanaian-American medical student and science communicator Joel Bervell is known as the ‘Medical Mythbuster’ for creating viral medical content on social media that is at the forefront of conversations about racial disparities in healthcare, the hidden history of medicine, and overlooked biases in the healthcare industry. After entering medical school, Bervell became a highly respected TikTok and Instagram creator, with over 1M+ combined followers and 200M+ views. In his videos, as he does in speaking engagements, he breaks down complex topics about how healthcare fails to serve marginalized groups. A gifted educator and engaging speaker, Bervell has been sought after to share his unique and inspiring perspective with groups like Novartis, MetaGoogleTikTok, the Clinton FoundationGeneral Electric, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and on behalf of the Congressional Black Congress, among others.

Bervell has been featured in the New York Times, on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Good Morning AmericaBusiness Insider, NPR, YahooNews, WebMD, and more, and has advised organizations like TikTok on efforts to increase Diversity & Inclusion. The Medical Mythbuster serves on councils including the White House Office of Public Engagement’s Health Care Leaders in Social Media, the Council for Responsible Social Media, and the World Health Organization’s ‘Operation Fides’. He has collaborated with brands including Neutrogena, Google, Samsung, Listerine, Gushers, the American Medical Association and numerous others. Bervell’s work earned him the honor of being named a Seattle Forbes 30 Under 30, Smithsonian Channel ‘Cyclebreaker’, a Scientific American ‘Revolutionary’, a 2022 National Minority Quality Forum “40 Under 40 Leader in Minority Health,” and the 2022 recipient of the American Medical Student Association’s Racial Justice in Medicine Award.

For leaders and organizations looking to understand diversity, equity, and inclusion in healthcare, increase understanding of overlooked stories, or examine the changing landscape of social media, Bervell offers an unparalleled perspective that will resonate with audiences.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

BAN KI-MOON

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

Career diplomat and eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon has spent his eminent career in public service inspiring international cooperation and advocating for human rights and sustainable development. Prior to taking on what has been called “the most impossible job on this earth” at the helm of the UN, Ban served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of South Korea. In his memoir, Resolved: Uniting Nations in a Divided World, Ban chronicles his decade at the helm of the UN mobilizing world leaders around a new set of global challenges. He is the Founder of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, a non-profit whose mission is to empower women and youth to live in a peaceful and prosperous world. Among the most respected and well-known statesmen of his generation, Ban is sought-after for his gift of transforming his tremendous experience into an inspiring call to action for audiences of all kinds.

Ban has been named a “Top 100 Global Thinker” by Foreign Policy for his achievement of making the Paris Agreement a legally binding treaty less than a year after it was adopted. He has also been named to Forbes list of “The World’s Most Powerful People,” and is a recipient of France’s Legion of Honour. Ban serves as President and Chair of the Global Green Growth Institute, and chairs the Global Commission on Adaptation as well as the International Olympic Ethics Commission. At events worldwide with groups like the World Economic Forum, The Barclays Asia Forum, WE Day, and more, Ban’s sought-after perspective on our most pressing global issues inspires leaders, lawmakers, and global citizens to take action for a healthier, more peaceful, and more equitable world.

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

Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, Michelle Obama never imagined that she’d become First Lady of the United States. She never imagined that one day, she would inspire people all around the world and drive historic change. As the daughter of a city water-pump operator and a stay-at-home mom, girls like her aren’t supposed to do any of that.

But Michelle Obama has spent her life challenging us to reconsider where that “supposed to” comes from — and who determines it. Her life shows us that you don't have to look a certain way or act a certain way to fit in; you don't have to make a lot of money or come from a certain group or class or faith in order to matter. Each of us can write our own story. And when we share those stories with one another, we can lift each other up along the way.

That’s why, as an author, Michelle speaks candidly about her experiences as a wife, mother, Black woman, and First Lady of the United States, telling her story in a way that empowers others to see the beauty in their own. Through her advocacy work, she strives to help young people see the power of their voice and the boundless promise inside of them.

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. An advisor to several early-stage companies, Ms. Nooyi currently serves on the boards of Amazon, Philips, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the Partnership for Public Service, and is an independent director of the International Cricket Council. She is a trustee at the National Gallery of Art, and is on the Dean’s Advisory Council at MIT’s School of Engineering.

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. In 2019, her portrait was inducted into the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, and in 2022 she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. 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, and teaches the MasterClass "Leading with Purpose."

HWA EXCLUSIVE

TINA FEY

  • Award-Winning Actor, Producer, and Writer

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. In January 2021, she returned as host with Fey for the special telecast.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

GARY COHN

  • Vice Chairman of IBM

Finance industry legend Gary Cohn brings unparalleled private and public sector leadership experience to offer an unmatched perspective on the forces impacting the global and U.S. economy, the intersection of finance and technology, and economic policymaking. Heralded by The Wall Street Journal as “an economic-policy powerhouse” and called a “go-to figure on matters related to jobs, business and growth” by The New York Times, Cohn is the current Vice Chairman of IBM and former chief economic advisor to the President of the United States. A pro-business and pro-growth champion, Cohn speaks on issues ranging from monetary policy to fiscal policy, trade to tech, regulatory policy to the legislative process, translating uncertainty into tangible takeaways for audiences worldwide.

Cohn’s expertise in the global financial system, tech advances, and the inner-workings of economic policy have him in-demand everywhere from the World Economic Forum to the Bloomberg New Economy Forum. Cohn is the former Director of the U.S. National Economic Council and served as President and Chief Operating Officer of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. from 2006-2016. Cohn brings both a CEO’s and White House insider’s point of view to each engagement, sharing prescient, tangible insights with an engaging sense of humor.

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

STEVE MARTIN

  • Iconic Actor and Comedian

Beloved entertainer Steve Martin is an award-winning comedian, actor, writer, producer, and musician. The multi-hyphenate creative rose to prominence on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1967-1969). He has since delighted audience on screens through his standup on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and NBC’s Saturday Night Live alongside his iconic films: Planes, Trains & Automobiles, Roxanne, Parenthood, L.A. Story, Father of the Bride, Pink Panther, and many more. Also an accomplished musician, Martin has composed multiple award-winning, boundary-pushing bluegrass albums. 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.

Martin’s Netflix special with Martin Short, An Evening You Will Forget For The Rest Of Your Life, received four Emmy nominations. Their tours, Now You See Them, Soon You Won’t, and The Funniest Show in Town at the Moment, were smashing successes showcasing Martin’s creative versatility. Martin and Short also star together in Hulu’s must-watch comedy series, Only Murders in the Building.

For his multi-medium work, Martin has won an Academy Award, five Grammy awards, an Emmy, the Mark Twain Award, and the Kennedy Center Honor. He has been welcomed to speak by hosts such as the Getty Research Institute, Center Stage Entertainment, the New Yorker Festival, and more. Audiences flock to Martin’s melodic performances, warm stage presence, and indelible humor.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

RYAN REYNOLDS

  • Acclaimed Actor, Comedian, Film Producer, and Screenwriter

Ryan Reynolds is one of Hollywood’s most diverse leading men seamlessly transitioning through varied genres of drama, action and comedy in his rich and ever evolving career.  He is equally as successful off-screen as a producer, screenwriter, entrepreneur, and marketing powerhouse.

He is the Golden Globe nominated star and producer of the 20th Century Fox billion-dollar franchise Deadpool.

Beyond acting, Reynolds is a successful entrepreneur and an award-winning marketer, creating breakthrough campaigns for Deadpool as well Aviation Gin, Mint Mobile and the Match Group. He is an owner of Aviation Gin, Mint Mobile, Wrexham Football Club, Chief Creative Officer of MNTN and a co-founder of Maximum Effort Productions. He has been recognized as one of the most creative people in business by Fast Company, The Hollywood Reporter, Wall Street Journal and AdWeek among others.

Reynolds is an in-demand speaker for engaging, insightful conversations about his storied career in Hollywood and significant business endeavors.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

TOM BRADY

  • Seven-Time Super Bowl Champion Quarterback

Seven-time Super Bowl champion, New York Times bestselling author, and entrepreneurial mogul Tom Brady has garnered accolades on and off the field as a leader and expert in peak performance. Brady has won 19 division titles, seven Super Bowls, three NFL MVP’s and three first-team all-pro awards, all while pioneering a holistic approach to preparation, performance, and recovery. Building on this honed expertise, in 2013 Brady and longtime body coach, Alex Guerrero, co-founded TB12, a health and wellness brand, to share his proven TB12 Method and holistic systematic approach to wellness. Brady’s motivational book, The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance, has gone on to become a New York Times #1 bestseller.

Brady’s serial ventures include his namesake next generation apparel brand BRADY and his global, multi-platform content company 199 Productions, which already boasts numerous high-profile projects including a partnership with ESPN, Disney, and Religion of Sports to produce the tentpole docuseries Man in the Arena, which won the 2022 Sports Emmy for Outstanding Documentary Series. Most recently, the company partnered with Paramount Picutres on the film 80 for Brady. He has long prioritized philanthropy, sustaining relationships with a number of non-profits including the TB12 Foundation, Best Buddies, Make-A-Wish and more. Among other notable achievements, Brady has been honored as ESPY’s “NFL Best Player,” Sports Illustrated’s “Sportsperson of the Year,” TIME’s “100 Most Influential People,” and being named to the NFL 100th Anniversary “All Time Team.” Brady shares personal stories of perseverance, leadership, and disruption as well as savvy business insights about the latest trends in impactful conversations for audiences of all kinds.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

SULLY SULLENBERGER

  • 'Miracle on the Hudson' Captain

Ambassador “Sully” Sullenberger has been dedicated to the pursuit of safety his entire adult life. He recently served as the U.S. Ambassador and Representative to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a United Nations Specialized Agency, after being nominated by President Biden. As a global thought leader, he has now resumed his profession as a sought-after keynote speaker to audiences around the world and continues his advocacy for safety in global air travel.

Born in Denison, Texas, Sullenberger pursued his childhood love of aviation, learning to fly at 16. He is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, and served as a fighter pilot in the United States Air Force. He went on to be an airline pilot, instructor, and accident investigator. He still flies privately.

Sullenberger became internationally renowned on January 15, 2009, as Captain of US Airways Flight 1549, when he and his crew safely guided their disabled jetliner to an emergency water landing in New York City’s frigid Hudson River, during what has been called the “Miracle on the Hudson.” Sullenberger and his crew received international acclaim for their actions, including the passage of a Congressional resolution recognizing their bravery. Sullenberger was ranked second in TIME's "Top 100 Most Influential Heroes and Icons of 2009” and was awarded the French Legion of Honour.

Sullenberger is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Highest Duty: My Search For What Really Matters and also wrote Making a Difference: Stories of Vision and Courage from America's Leaders. Clint Eastwood directed the major motion picture about Sullenberger, titled SULLY, based on Highest Duty, with Tom Hanks in the lead role. The film was released to critical acclaim in September 2016. Highest Duty was republished that year as SULLY: My Search for What Really Matters.

Sullenberger is an international lecturer and keynote speaker on how to achieve the highest levels of performance, reliability, and safety through effective crisis management, continuous learning, leadership, and culture.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MOHAMED EL-ERIAN

  • Chief Economic Advisor at Allianz

Internationally respected economist and financier Mohamed El-Erian is a go-to voice around the world on how to decode the global economy, policies, and international markets – markets hang on his analysis and insight. With experience at the highest levels of business and government, El-Erian currently serves as the Chief Economic Advisor at Allianz, the corporate parent of PIMCO where he formerly served as Chief Executive and co-Chief Investment Officer. He is the President of Queens’ College, the University of Cambridge, Chair of Gramercy Fund Management, a columnist for Bloomberg View, and a contributing editor at the Financial Times. El-Erian receives resoundingly positive feedback for his events, such as: “In my thirteen years as an event producer, I have never received such positive feedback from a keynote speaker before. I can say with 100% confidence that this was a wise investment in our business.” (Information Management Network)

El-Erian has been named to Foreign Policy’s list of “Top 100 Global Thinkers” for four years in a row. Since 2014, he has been serving on the jury for the Financial Times/McKenzie Book of the Year award. He also served as Chair of President Obama’s Global Development Council from December 2012 to January 2017. He serves on two corporate boards and several advisory committees and non-profit boards. He has been a LinkedIn top influencer. Meeting planners share their praise for El-Erian’s ability to connect with audiences through a humorous laid-back style, and to clearly explain the complex issues of the global economy.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

STACEY ABRAMS

  • Political Leader, Voting Rights Activist, and Serial Entrepreneur

Political leader, business owner, and bestselling author Stacey Abrams is heralded for her candid insights on politics, leadership, entrepreneurship, social justice, and being a true force for change. A tax attorney by training, Abrams served eleven years in the Georgia House of Representatives, seven as Minority Leader, and became the Democratic nominee for governor in 2018 and 2022. She has launched multiple nonprofit organizations devoted to democracy protection, national and local voter engagement, tackling social issues, and building a more equitable future in the South.

An incomparable entrepreneur, Abrams has built a remarkably broad portfolio across nonprofit, political, and business sectors. She co-founded financial services firm NOWaccount Corp., Nourish, Inc. – a beverage company with a focus on infants and toddlers, and Insomnia Consulting to specialize in development, investment, and consulting for complex infrastructure projects, including transportation, waste-by-rail transfer, energy, facilities, and water. Abrams and her business partner published Level Up – a guidebook for entrepreneurs.

Abrams is also the CEO of Sage Works Productions, Inc., an entertainment production company. She conceptualized and produced the Academy Awards-shortlisted documentary All In: The Fight for Democracy and wrote the New York Times bestselling books Our Time is Now and Lead from the Outside. She is also the author of the political thrillers While Justice Sleeps and Rogue Justice, two children's books, and several romantic suspense novels, three of which are under development. She has been nominated for an Emmy and received the NAACP Image Award in 2021, 2022, and 2023.

Sought-out to speak everywhere from TED, where her talk has almost 7M views and counting, to college campuses, to corporate board rooms, to the Commonwealth Club and Chatham House, Abrams is a powerful and passionate speaker. As TIME wrote of her, "People tend to remember the first time they heard Stacey Abrams speak, and it’s easy to see why."

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SYMONE SANDERS TOWNSEND

  • Political Strategist and Former CNN Political Commentator

Seasoned political strategist, former CNN political commentator, and author Symone Sanders Townsend is a gifted communicator with a passion for problem solving, social justice, and in-depth analysis of today’s most important issues. Sanders Townsend previously served as the national press secretary for U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, the youngest person to ever hold that title. She served as a senior advisor for President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign and was appointed as a senior member of the Biden-Harris administration, and will now bring her nuanced and critical insight to MSNBC as the host of SYMONE, as well as serving as an anchor and hosting a show on The Choice, MSNBC’s digital streaming arm. In her book No, You Shut Up: Speaking Truth to Power and Reclaiming America, Sanders Townsend shares her take-no-prisoners approach to life, politics, and career success, advocating for a new generation to be powerful in their own right. A rousing call to leadership, Congresswoman Maxine Waters raved, “Symone’s honest and profound reflection on standing up and speaking out is sure to inspire young people across the country to become the change agents the world needs.”

Sanders Townsend is a highly sought-after commentator and speaker, from her TED Talk Stop asking permission!, to an invigorating conversation at SXSW, Politico’s 2019 Women Rule Summit, the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity, and many more. She served as the National Chair of the Coalition of Juvenile Justice Emerging Leaders Committee, a member of the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice, and in her role as principal of the 360 Group, Sanders Townsend worked on leading-edge solutions to tough political and social problems. Sanders Townsend shares her expertise in communication and political strategy, in-depth analysis of key political issues, and the challenges and possibilities for radical change with authenticity, humor, and insight.

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TINA BROWN

  • Award-Winning Journalist, Author, and Editor

Legendary editor, journalist, CEO, and New York Times bestselling author Tina Brown is an expert on leading through extreme disruption. Brown transformed Vanity Fair, increasing sales from 200K to 1.2M, reinvented The New Yorker, and pioneered online journalism as the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Beast. Now CEO of Tina Brown Live Media, she was the visionary Founder of Women in the World Summits and served as the CEO from 2010-2020. An engaging and talented speaker and moderator, Brown offers lessons on reinvention, shifting business models and market conventions, and taking risks.

Brown is the author of New York Times #1 bestselling biography The Diana Chronicles as well as The Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983-1992, which was named as one of the best books of 2017 by TIME, The Economist, Vogue, and more. Her new book The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor – the Truth and the Turmoil, which has been heralded as one of the most anticipated books of 2022, highlights Brown’s expertly observed insights into the world of the royal family. A leader in one of the most disrupted industries in our time, Brown was featured in CNBC’s documentary The Brave Ones, championing her leadership and legacy. Whether she’s sharing stories of triumphant turnarounds or offering concrete tools and inspiration for embracing risks, Brown is an engaging and powerful speaker who makes an impact with both individuals and organizations.

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PEGGY NOONAN

  • Pulitzer Prize-Winning Columnist for The Wall Street Journal

Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and bestselling author Peggy Noonan has provided unique and thoughtful analysis of our nation and its leaders to millions of readers worldwide. Her Wall Street Journal column, Declarations, has run weekly since 2000. Forbes Magazine hailed her column as “principled, perceptive, persuasive, and patriotic.” She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary in 2017. Noonan has 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. Noonan’s speeches are filled with humorous anecdotes and political insight, as entertaining as they are thought-provoking.

A current political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC, Noonan provides unique and thoughtful analysis of our nation and its leaders. Noonan has spoken to groups as diverse as the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, World Affairs Council, the University of Charleston, the 92Y, and more.

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MIKA BRZEZINSKI

  • Celebrated Commentator on Current Events, World Affairs, and Women's Empowerment

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. A former anchor of CBS Evening News Weekend Edition and CBS News correspondent who frequently contributed to CBS Sunday Morning and 60 Minutes, Brzezinski has covered some of the most pivotal moments of the 21st century, from the September 11 attacks to multiple presidential elections. Brzezinski is also the author of seven bestselling books that serve as essential and inspiring guidebooks for empowering women, offering encouragement and practical advice on claiming and communicating their worth. As a speaker, Brzezinski brings a powerhouse combination of journalistic integrity, leadership insights, and empowering advocacy to your event.

Brzezinski offers empowering insights into women's equality and work-life balance as well as a dynamic perspective on the current political and media landscape, which she has shared with hosts including Harvard University, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the Lake Nona Institute.

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MASAI UJIRI

  • Vice-Chairman and President, Toronto Raptors

Vice-Chairman and President of the Toronto Raptors Masai Ujiri is a charismatic and visionary leader credited with driving his team to its most successful period in franchise history, including an NBA Championship. Having been named Toronto’s most influential person, he urges citizens to “believe in this city – believe in yourselves.” He has received numerous accolades for his executive leadership, and few speak as 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's personal story reflects his entrepreneurial journey from Nigeria to being the most sought-after executive in the NBA.

A native of Nigeria, Ujiri speaks passionately about his development work in Africa, which is based on investment, not charity, and lifting up communities by empowering women and young people. Masai co-founded Giants of Africa, an organization which uses sport as a tool to enrich the lives of African youth and create opportunities for them on and off the court. Masai’s ethos is to “Dream Big,” and now GOA connects with youth – both boys and girls - in more than 17 African countries and territories. Ujiri has also served as the director of the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program, and recently hosted the Moving Sports Forward: Turbo Charging Africa forum at the United Nations Unstoppable Africa Conference in New York City. 

A global citizen, Ujiri’s perspective is shaped by 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. In 2020, Masai launched thatshumanity.org, inspired by his experiences and the lessons learned from leaders like Nelson Mandela. “For me,” he says, “it’s about seeing each other. Really seeing. Trying to understand what someone else is going through. And helping if we can. Even if it’s just a kind word. Some encouragement. That’s humanity.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JULIA GILLARD

  • 27th Prime Minister of Australia (2010-2013) & First Woman to Hold the Office

27th Prime Minister of Australia, world leader, and acclaimed author Julia Gillard offers fresh insights on geopolitics, the global economy, gender equality, and global health. The first woman to serve as Australia’s Prime Minister, Gillard received worldwide attention for her speech in Parliament on the treatment of women in professional and public life. Gillard is the author of three books: her memoir, My Story, Women and Leadership: Real Lives, Real Lessons, co-authored by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, which analyzes the influence of gender on women’s access to positions of leadership, and Not Now, Not Ever: Ten years on from the misogyny speech, which explores the history and culture of misogyny and the roadmap for the future.

Gillard is a Distinguished Fellow with the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution in Washington and serves as an Honorary Professor at the University of Adelaide. She currently serves as Chair of beyondblue – one of Australia’s leading mental health awareness bodies, Wellcome – a global charitable foundation which supports science to solve urgent health challenges, and is the inaugural Chair of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership – which is addressing women’s under-representation in leadership through research, practice, and advocacy. She previously led the Global Partnership for Education – the global funding body for education in developing countries. Gillard was appointed to lead South Australia’s Royal Commission into Early Childhood Education and Care.

Named to Forbes list of “The World’s Most Powerful Women,” Gillard’s expertise in leadership, global and mental health, and gender equality has established her a global leader and key voice in today’s most important conversations.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

GREG GUTFELD

  • Host, 'GUTFELD!' #1 Rated Late Night Show

Political satirist, libertarian, New York Times bestselling author, and hit TV host Greg Gutfeld has been called “outrageous and outspoken,” neither of which he denies. Greg is the host of the #1 rated late night show GUTFELD! on FOX News, where he parodies current events and tackles key issues with his trademark humor. One of the biggest stars of cable news, he also contributes to his own digital community The Gutter, where he covers every lifestyle topic imaginable with his unique comedic conservative-libertarian perspective. A gifted speaker, Greg delivers a custom tailored experience, enabling him to connect with every audience he meets, providing both a highly entertaining and thought-provoking event.

Greg is also a many-time New York Times bestselling author of The Joy of Hate, Not Cool, How to be Right, The Gutfeld Monologues, and The Plus: Self-Help for People Who Hate Self-Help. His next book, The King of Late Night, reveals how Greg took a throw-away time slot in the middle of the night and turned it into a cult classic, becoming who The Weekly Standard calls “the most dangerous man on television.” Greg consistently receives rave reviews, such as: “Greg was outstanding and the crowd loved him! People are still talking about how much fun they had and how funny and smart Greg was.” (Morris County Republican Committee)

HWA EXCLUSIVE

KIZZMEKIA CORBETT-HELAIRE

  • Lead Scientist, COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Development

Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett-Helaire 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-Helaire 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-Helaire 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. 

 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL

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

Revered cultural icon Shaquille O’Neal is referred to in the celebrity tradition of a one-word moniker: Shaq. Over his fruitful NBA career spanning nearly two decades, Shaq was named to the NBA’s list of 50 greatest players of all time and inducted into NBA Hall of Fame. The four-time NBA Champion, 15-time NBA All Star, and three-time NBA Finals MVP has been named one of the most influential athletes by Forbes as well as the highest-ranked NBA athlete on Nielsen’s “State of the Media: Year in Sports” and Business Week’s “Power Sports 100.” Shaq electrifies every room with his larger-than-life personality, consistently receiving standing ovations for his motivational keynote speeches.

Off the court, Shaq has established himself as a powerful media personality and businessman. Ranked among ‘‘The 100 Most Creative People in Business’’ by Fast Company magazine, Shaq currently manages a diverse business portfolio and serves as an analyst on TNT’s Emmy-award winning show, Inside the NBA. In addition to being an early investor in companies such as Google, Shaq has managed an internationally beloved personal brand, which has included television shows, a shoe line and social media/tech products. Shaq has been invited to speak to hosts from all industries, including Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corporation, Deutsche Bank AG, World Leaders Group, and more.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

WHOOPI GOLDBERG

  • EGOT Award-Winning Actress and Comedian

Legendary artist and creator Whoopi Goldberg is one of an elite handful of entertainers and the first Black woman to achieve the EGOT status by winning an Academy Award, an Emmy Award, a Grammy Award, and a Tony Award. She has also won the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. She is also a prolific producer, and successful entrepreneur, and she is recognized worldwide for her humanitarian endeavors. Goldberg is a New York Times bestselling author of numerous books for children and adults, including The Sugar Plum Ballerinas series, Whoopi’s Big Book of Manners, and retrospective memoirs reflecting on her illustrious life and career. She is the moderator of ABC’s Emmy Award-winning The View.

Beyond her remarkable film, theater, and television career, Goldberg 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, Goldberg is a Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations. Her engaging stage presence, inspiring story, and signature wit have been sought out by 92Y, Kean University, DragCon NYC, Goodwin College, and more.

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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.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

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. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JOHN BOEHNER

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

Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner has spent his political career working towards a smaller, less costly, and more accountable federal government. He took the gavel as Speaker of the House following a historic election in which Congressional Republicans, under Speaker Boehner’s leadership, picked up 63 seats in the U.S. House. Speaker Boehner represented the Eighth Congressional District of Ohio in the U.S. House for over two decades, serving as Chairman of the House Committee on Education & the Workforce, House Minority Leader, and House Majority Leader during his tenure. Boehner led the government through many pivotal historical moments, giving him a holistic view of politics, leadership, and decision-making.

For insight into what is happening behind closed doors in the current political landscape, turn to Speaker Boehner's firsthand perspective. His book, On the House: A Washington Memoir, recalls Boehner’s five years as Speaker of the House. Hosts such as Stanford University, Edison Electric Institute, the National Restaurant Association Public Affairs Conference, BMO Financial Group have sought his expert remarks.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

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 amplifying 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 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

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ROBERT GIBBS

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

Top political advisor, communications expert, and trusted commentator Robert Gibbs offers audiences a unique perspective on today’s political, business, and media environment. A long-time senior advisor to President Barack Obama, Gibbs served as the White House Press Secretary from 2009-2011. After nearly a decade in Washington, he became Executive Vice President and Global Chief Communications Office of McDonald’s (2015-19). Following his departure, he became Senior Counsel at Bully Pulpit Interactive, where he focuses on executive communications, building social impact plans, and corporations’ responses to crises. 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.

With decades of communications experience at the highest levels, Gibbs brings a unique perspective to sought-after commentary and speaking engagements. He is a regular contributor for MSNBC and NBC News, as well as a co-host for the U.S. political podcast Hacks on Tap, alongside David Axelrod and Mike Murphy. Gibbs is uniquely positioned to lead brands, campaigns, and causes through times of immense change and strengthen reputations in a world which is constantly demanding more.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JULIÁN CASTRO

  • Political Analyst, NBC News and MSNBC

Politician, author, and analyst 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. Castro serves as CEO of the Latino Community Foundation, the nation’s largest Latino-serving foundation. 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.

His memoir, An Unlikely Journey: Waking Up from My American Dream, is a candid account of race and poverty in America. His views on equality, housing, and the future of America have been sought by America Votes, The National Association of Colleges and Employers, New York University, and more. In sharing lessons learned from the struggles and successes of his political journey, Castro gives audiences insight into how any group can make a significant change when it comes to America's most pressing issues.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

RIZ AHMED

  • Award-Winning Actor, Writer, Producer, Director, and Musician

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” and earned inclusion in the "Variety 500."

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

DR. MAE JEMISON

  • First African American Woman in Space

American icon Dr. Mae C. Jemison broke more than the sound barrier in 1992 when she climbed aboard the space shuttle Endeavour – she became the first woman of color to travel into space. Dr. Jemison was NASA’s first Science Mission Specialist, performing experiments in material science, life science, and human adaptation to weightlessness. She now leads 100 Year Starship (100YSS), a bold, far reaching nonprofit initiative to assure the capabilities exist for human travel beyond our solar system to another star within the next 100 years. Dr. Jemison is a highly sought-after speaker on issues of health care, social responsibility, technology, education, STEM, and motivation.

Dr. Jemison is the Founder and President of The Jemison Group, Inc. (JG) – a technology consulting firm integrating critical socio-cultural issues into the design of engineering and science projects, as well as BioSentient Corporation - a medical devices and services company focused on improving health and human performance is such a company. An inductee of the National Women’s Hall of Fame and the International Space Hall of Fame, she is the author of Find Where the Wind Goes: Moments from My Life and editor of 100 Year Starship Canopus Award Anthology. Dr. Jemison is in demand with groups including DePaul University, MKTG, Girl Scouts of the USA, Qatar Foundation, among many others.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

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.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

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. Burns is the author of Where You Are Is Not Who You Are: A Memoir, which received a rave review by the New York Times.

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 is also Co-Founder of Integrum Holdings, a private equity firm. Burns is 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

  • Fmr. President & CEO of PayPal (2015-2023)

Visionary former CEO of PayPal and tech leadership expert Dan Schulman blends profit with purpose and focuses on improving the financial health of people, families, and businesses around the world. Frequently recognized by Fortune as one of the “Top 20 Businesspersons of the Year,” Dan encourages his audiences to embrace stakeholder capitalism, diversity, inclusion, and more, while prioritizing responsible and world class business practices. Prior to his role at PayPal, he served as Group President at American Express, President of the Prepaid Group at Spring Nextel Corporation following its acquisition of Virgin Mobile USA, Inc., where he led the company as its founding CEO for eight years, and President and CEO of Priceline Group, Inc. Dan is currently on the Board of Directors for both Verizon and Cisco. Dan has lead global brands through major periods of transition, consistently delivery results and building a reputation as a difference-maker. With his extensive experience in payments, e-commerce, and mobile technology, Dan is uniquely positioned to speak to the challenges and opportunities facing companies today.

Dan is consistently featured on “Best CEO” lists, including being named one of Glassdoor’s “Top 50 CEOs” and Fast Company’s “Top 100 Most Creative People.” Dan was also named one of Fortune’s “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders,” heralded for his willingness to step up and make the world better, inspiring others to do the same. Under his leadership, PayPal was named one of the top companies on JUST Capital and Forbes’ JUST 100 list, featuring “companies doing right by America.” PayPal was named to Morning Consult’s “Most Trusted Brands” list and has also been recognized as a Fortune Change the World company for its work to tackle the biggest challenges facing society today. In sought-after talks, Dan empowers audiences with his insights about the future of money, values-driven business, reimagining how merchants can continually strengthen their businesses, and innovative leadership.

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

LORI GREINER

  • Shark on ABC’s 'Shark Tank'

Heralded as a legendary entrepreneur and inventor, Lori Greiner started with one idea and turned it into a multi-million-dollar international brand. Recognized as one of the most prolific inventors of retail products of our time, Lori has created and marketed over 1,000 products, holds 120 U.S. and international patents, and has a 90% success rate for new items launched. Lori is known for her impeccable negotiating skills and uncanny ability to know, identify, and launch emerging brands.

Lori is a leading Shark on ABC’s four-time Emmy-winning entrepreneurial business show, Shark Tank, where she invests in companies and helps turn peoples’ dreams into a reality. Lori has brought her engaging expertise on innovation, growth, and the world of business to groups including Verizon, Coldwell Banker, PayPal, IBM, Adobe, Chase, and many more.

At the heart of Lori’s success is the winning combination of her talent, hard work, and perseverance. A strong role model and true inspiration to many, she was honored with the Sherry Lansing "Woman of the Year" Award and by the Paley Center as an Important Woman in Television, listed as one of Success Magazine’s "Top 25 Personal and Professional Development Influencers to Follow," ranked by Business Insider Magazine as one of the "Top 30 Best Women Early-Stage Investors of 2023," and voted as a fan favorite on Shark Tank. Lori is a committed philanthropist and author of the international bestseller Invent It, Sell It, Bank It!. A force to be reckoned with in the business world and beyond, Lori delivers empowering insights and buzz-worthy takeaways, emboldening her audience to thrive in work and in life.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

SERENA WILLIAMS

  • 23-time Grand Slam Champion, Entrepreneur, and Founder of Serena Ventures

As the world knows, Serena Williams is more than a record-smashing, boundary-breaking tennis champion. Serena has overcome insurmountable odds to win a staggering 23 career Grand Slams. Her remarkable tennis achievements, combined with her off-court success in business and fashion make her one of the most recognizable icons in the world and a powerful voice for women and mothers. Serena’s lifelong passion for design led her to fashion school, which she attended in between winning Grand Slams. In 2018, she launched her clothing line, S by Serena, designed to empower people to look and feel their absolute best. Focused on investing in companies that embrace diverse leadership and opportunity, Serena is effecting change in the financial investments sector with her venture capital firm, Serena Ventures, taking 14 startups to unicorn status. Serena has also flexed her star power in the media and entertainment worlds with roles in movies, series, music videos, and more. Her award-winning docuseries, Being Serena, continues to inspire people around the world. Her many philanthropic and world-changing endeavors, including the BirthFUND health initiative, prove Serena’s ability achieve anything she sets her mind to.

Serena’s strategic thinking, champion mindset, and transformative perseverance are palpable, lighting up the room. Representing a small portion of her accolades, Serena is the winner of the NAACP Image Award, the People’s Choice Game Changer Award, Associated Press’s Female Athlete of the Decade, and the Independent’s Woman of the Decade. She has also been named to TIME’s “Most Influential Women of the Past Century” list as well as Forbes’ “100 Most Powerful Women in the World” and “America’s Richest Self-Made Women.” Serena has inspired audiences live at LinkedIn, Adobe, Salesforce, and more

HWA EXCLUSIVE

VENUS WILLIAMS

  • Legendary Tennis Champion: 7-Time Grand Slam Singles Champion, 5-Time Wimbledon Champion, 4-Time Olympic Gold Medalist

Legendary tennis champion, New York Times bestselling author, and entrepreneur Venus Williams has made a lasting impact on and off the court with her entrepreneurship, advocacy, and fight for equality. Venus has won 7 Grand Slam titles, 5 Wimbledon championships, and 4 Olympic gold medals, and was formerly ranked No. 1 in the world. One of the most accomplished and inspiring women in the history of sports, she has been a steadfast advocate for equal pay, women’s empowerment, and social justice. Venus is also the New York Times bestselling author of Come to Win. Venus shares her insights in motivational speaking events for groups including Capital One, Ernst & Young, Infor, Gannett, and many more.

Heralded for her innovative business acumen, Venus is the Founder of V Starr, a full-service commercial and residential design firm. She has expanded her portfolio with the launch of her plant-based protein company Happy Viking. Venus recently served as the Executive Producer on the Academy Award-winning Warner Bros. biopic King Richard – which told the story of her father’s impact on her childhood and career as she became a tennis icon and changed the sport for generations to come. Venus has been honored with Variety’s “Power of Women” Award, as Glamour Magazine’s “Woman of the Year,” CARE Impact Award for Gender Equality, ESPN’s “WTA Player of the Year,” and one of Forbes’ “Celebrity 100.”

Venus consistently receives glowing reviews for her events, such as: “Venus was absolutely incredible. Everyone is still talking about her fireside chat. She was so gracious with her time and brought such amazing energy to the event.” (eXp World Holdings)

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, and a co-founder of Climate TRACE.

Gore is the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers An Inconvenient Truth and The Assault on Reason, the NYT bestsellers Earth in the Balance, Our Choice: A Plan To Solve the Climate Crisis, The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change, and most recently, The New York Times bestseller An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power. He is the subject of the documentary An Inconvenient Truth, which won two Oscars in 2006 - and a second documentary in 2017, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power. In 2007, Gore was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, along with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, for “informing the world of the dangers posed by climate change.”

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)

Across four decades of public life, American statesman Dick Cheney has served at the highest levels of the U.S. 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.

Cheney has been recognized by many as the most powerful and consequential vice president in American history, remaining steadfast to the ideals that define him and true to his principles. He continues to shape the future of the energy industry in profound ways as a board member of WellAware, a leading industrial Internet of Things Company that offers data analytics solutions for the oilfield industry. Cheney is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of several books, including his memoir In My Time, Heart: An American Medical Odyssey, and Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America, which he co-authored with his daughter, Congresswoman Liz Cheney. In his writing as well as in virtual speaking engagements, Vice President Cheney shares his enduring political vision with courage and without compromise.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

BOZOMA SAINT JOHN

  • Trailblazing Brand Marketing Executive

A trailblazing and genuine change-agent, Bozoma “Boz” Saint John is a Hall of Fame Inducted Marketing Executive, author, and entrepreneur who is worthy of the Harvard Business School case study written about her career, titled “Leading with Authenticity and Urgency.” Few people have the depth and breadth of experience that Boz has. Couple that with her remarkable success at Netflix, 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. On February 21, 2023, Viking Books published her memoir, The Urgent Life.

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, the American Advertising Federation Hall of Achievement and American Marketing Association Hall of Fame. 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’s "Most Influential CMOs," Fast Company’s and Ad Age’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

MARCUS BUCKINGHAM

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

Marcus Buckingham is a global researcher and New York Times bestselling author focused on unlocking strengths, increasing performance, and pioneering the future of how people work. He is the author of two of the best-selling business books of all time, First, Break All the Rules, and Now, Discover Your Strengths, and his tenth book, Love + Work (Harvard Business Review Press) is a WSJ bestseller and has been heralded by Forbes as one of the ten must-reads for career and leadership. Marcus’ 2019 Harvard Business Review cover article, "The Feedback Fallacy," was selected by HBR as one of the most influential articles of the last 100 years, and Marcus’ strengths assessments have been taken by over 10 million people worldwide.

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

  • #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of 'Love Warrior' and 'Untamed'

Author, activist, and philanthropist Glennon Doyle was anointed the “patron saint of female empowerment” by People Magazine. She is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller UNTAMED, a Reese’s Book Club selection which has sold over 3M copies. She is also the author of GET UNTAMED: THE JOURNAL; the #1 New York Times bestseller LOVE WARRIOR, an Oprah’s Book Club selection; and CARRY ON, WARRIOR.

Glennon currently hosts the WE CAN DO HARD THINGS podcast, which debuted at #1 on Apple’s podcast charts and was named the #1 New Podcast of 2021 on Apple Podcasts. She is the founder and president of Together Rising, an all-women-led nonprofit organization that has revolutionized grassroots philanthropy – raising over $50 million for women, families, and children in crisis. She brings her unmatchable energy, insightful analysis, and creative spirit audiences love to every live discussion.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

PETE DAVIDSON

  • Famed Comedian and Actor

Stand-up comedian, actor and writer Pete Davidson recently completed his seventh season as a cast member on Saturday Night Live.

Davidson, 27, is the first SNL cast member to be born in the 1990s. Davidson shot his first one-hour stand-up special for Comedy Central in 2016 and was named one of Forbes’ 2016 “30 Under 30.” In 2020, he released the stand-up special, “Pete Davidson: Alive From New York,” on Netflix.

Davidson co-wrote, executive produced and starred in the critically acclaimed film The King of Staten Island, released in 2020. He has also starred in the independent film Big Time Adolescence, Netflix’s Mötley Crüe biopic The Dirt, Netflix’s Set It Up and John Turturro’s The Jesus Rolls. He was most recently on screen in The Suicide Squad.

Davidson’s upcoming film projects include Meet Cute, I Slept With Joey Ramone, Worst Man and Bodies, Bodies, Bodies.

Davidson is from Staten Island, N.Y., and his birthday is Nov. 16.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

STEVE FORBES

  • Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, 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

Iconic campaign strategist Karl Rove is one of the most sought-after political pundits of our time, widely respected for his robust knowledge of major political issues. Rove served as Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush overseeing the Offices of Political Affairs, Public Liaison, Intergovernmental Relations, Strategic Initiatives and as Deputy Chief, the White House Policy process. Before the White House, he ran Rove + Co., a public affairs firm that consulted on over 75 GOP campaigns for Senator, Governor, Congress, and statewide office. Rove writes a weekly op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, appears frequently on Fox News, and is the author of the New York Times bestseller Courage and Consequence and The Triumph of William McKinley. Conservative editor and columnist Fred Barnes called him “the greatest political mind of his and probably of any generation.”

From major international conferences and association meetings to college campuses and corporate events, Rove's shrewd analysis resonates with audiences. Diverse organizations including the National Association of Chain Drug StoresSinai Health SystemCignaYahoo!University of North Carolina-Wilmington, and more have sought out Rove as a speaker. Sponsors hosting Rove have reported his remarks "were extremely insightful and very helpful to our industry leaders"(Edison Electric Institute) and "provocative, lively and thoughtful" (Nomura) with audiences" often erupting in applause" (Wabash College) and for presentations praised as "one of the highest-rated" (The TriZetto Group). 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MICHAEL STRAHAN

  • Pro Football Hall of Famer, Broadcaster, & Entrepreneur

Two-time Emmy winner, Super Bowl Champion, and Peabody Award-winning journalist Michael Strahan is a business mogul with an ever-expanding portfolio. After a spectacular NFL career that earned him a spot in the Hall of Fame, Strahan joined the ranks of top sports broadcasters and co-hosted the hit talk show LIVE with Kelly and Michael and headlined FOX's Thursday Night Football Pregame Show. He currently co-hosts ABC’s Good Morning America, serves as an analyst for FOX NFL Sunday, in addition to hosting ABC’s game show favorite $100,000 Pyramid. Strahan’s New York Times bestselling book, Wake Up Happy: The Dream Big, Win Big Guide to Transforming Your Life, encapsulates the uplifting and inspiring energy he brings to his sought-after keynotes and conversations, for memorable events with audiences of all kinds.

Strahan is the Co-Founder of SMAC Entertainment, and the MICHAEL STRAHAN lifestyle brand encompassing clothing, lifestyle, skincare, and an NFL licensed apparel line. He made history as the first American News Anchor to go to space, participating in the Blue Origin spacecraft launch. Strahan is a committed philanthropist, donating his hands and heart to numerous charities including the USO, HELP USA, and Merging Vets and Players. Heralded for his highly sought-after perspective, Strahan talks about his storied career, how to overcome self-doubt to pursue your passion, and ‘Strahan’s Rules’ – a mix of mental discipline, positive thinking, and a sense of play – making a major impact with individuals and organizations.

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 12M 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

BEN SHERWOOD

  • CEO, Daily Beast & Founder and CEO, MOJO

CEO of the Daily Beast and New York Times bestselling author Ben Sherwood offers game-changing insights on bold leadership in times of disruption. Most recently, he was the founder and CEO of MOJO, a venture-backed tech and media platform, which quickly won the Webby Award for best sports app on the internet, was named one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company and recognized as one of the best employers in sports by Front Office Sports. In April 2024, IAC chairman Barry Diller announced a strategic partnership with Sherwood, naming him publisher and CEO of The Daily Beast, the digital news platform, and a significant shareholder in the company. Previously, Sherwood was co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of the Disney ABC Television Group. There, he oversaw the company’s global television business with 12,000 employees, $12.5B in revenue and 25,000 hours of original programming per year. Before that, Sherwood served as president of ABC News, leading the organization to #1 in the ratings, every major award in broadcast journalism, record profitability, and groundbreaking strategic partnerships with Univision and Yahoo! A compelling keynote speaker, Sherwood regularly receives rave reviews such as: “Ben's message is deep, highly relevant, and of great intrinsic value. He hit the ball deep into the seats.” (The Masters Forum)

Sought after for his masterful storytelling, Sherwood shares the secrets to unleashing creativity and innovation, and leading through disruption. Sherman has also exec produced Good Morning America, senior produced NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, and wrote a few bestselling books, including Charlie St. Cloud (which was made into a Universal feature film), The Man Who Ate the 747 (in development as a Warner Brothers Discovery feature film), and The Survivors Club: The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your Life, a New York Times nonfiction bestseller. Consistently ranked in The Hollywood Reporter’s annual list of “Most Powerful People in Entertainment,” Sherwood provides unparalleled insight into leadership, storytelling, and business.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

RONAN FARROW

  • Pulitzer Prize-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

LAWRENCE SUMMERS

  • Economic & Financial Thought Leader

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 National Economic Council, Dr. Summers was 71st Secretary of the Treasury during the Clinton Administration, President of Harvard University, and Vice President of Development Economics 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

TYLER PERRY

  • Famed Actor, Producer, Writer, and Director

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 EXCLUSIVE

AMY SCHUMER

  • Emmy Award-Winning Comedian, Actor, Writer, Producer, and Director

Amy Schumer is an Emmy-winning and Golden Globe-nominated standup comedian, actress, writer, producer and director. She is the creator, star, writer and executive producer of the award winning Inside Amy Schumer, the popular Comedy Central television series, which premiered in April 2013 to the network’s highest season premiere ratings of that year.  Inside Amy Schumer 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 CO-EXCLUSIVE

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER

  • Governor of California (2003-2011)

California’s 38th Governor, Hollywood icon, and philanthropist Arnold Schwarzenegger is known globally for his impact in the worlds of sports, entertainment, environmentalism, and philanthropy. He continues to inspire global audiences as the #1 New York Times bestselling author of two books reflecting on his success: Be Useful: Seven Tools For Life and Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story. Gov. Schwarzenegger’s iconic life story, impeccable presentation style, and insightful takeaways leave audiences buzzing for weeks. The Association of Energy Engineers called him “an excellent speaker with an excellent message.”

Gov. Schwarzenegger champions a wide range of philanthropic causes. He advances solution-oriented policy at the USC Schwarzenegger Institute and environmental innovation at The Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative. His perspective on global issues has been sought by hosts such as the Cardiovascular Research Foundation, the Association of Energy Engineers, and the Zero Emission Conference.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

STEVEN VAN ZANDT

  • Musician, Songwriter, Music and TV Producer, and Actor

Musician, producer, actor, activist, and historian Steven Van Zandt is internationally recognized as one of the world’s foremost authorities on rock and roll. After creating the “Jersey Shore” sound with the Asbury Jukes, he became a founding member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. He is the founder of Renegade Nation, Renegade TV, and Wicked Cool Records, and launched the internationally syndicated radio show Little Steven’s Underground Garage and its “country cousin” Outlaw Country. As an actor, Van Zandt co-starred in The Sopranos – the single most critically acclaimed TV drama in history. Van Zandt has been called “the ultimate rock and roll rebel” (Real Time with Bill Maher), “the coolest DJ in the country” (MTV), and “the planet’s most charismatic, dedicated, and visible crusader scrapping to preserve the dirty purity of Rock ‘n Roll” (BruceSpringsteen.net).

Van Zandt has organized and performed for political causes for four decades. He created the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation to support music education and help inspire kids to stay in school. Van Zandt became the first Ambassador for the Ronald McDonald House Charity, and has received countless awards and honors, including the We are Family Foundation’s Humanitarian Award for his continued fight against racism. An epic presence of insightful commentary and contagious humor, Van Zandt says:  I do believe Rock and Roll can change the world.  It’s about bands, and that for me suggests brotherhood, family, friendship, and community.”

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.

In 2021, Alex joined the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx ownership group. In addition to his ownership role, Rodriguez serves as a strategic advisor to the Professional Fighters League (PFL) and is an investor in Blue Crow Sports. 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, multimedia 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 co-hosted the podcast The Corp with Barstool Sports’ Dan Katz, interviewing CEOs, entrepreneurs, and sports legends. Committed to creating opportunities for young people to succeed, Alex serves on the Board of the Boys and Girls Club of America and is in the National Alumni Hall of Fame, and the Boards of Trustees of the University of Miami. His gifts to the University of Miami and Florida International University have provided scholarships to dozens of students.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

LINDSEY VONN

  • One of the Most Successful Skiers of All Time

Olympic gold medalist and one of the most successful skiers of all time Lindsey Vonn also a New York Times bestselling author, sports broadcaster, and mental health advocate. Following a stellar career as an alpine skier, Vonn pivoted to lend her knowledge of the sport to NBC’s coverage of the Beijing Olympics, appearing on the Today Show, in the studio, and as an alpine analyst sharing her many insights. She is the New York Times bestselling author of several books, including Strong is the New Beautiful and her memoir, Rise: My Story. An elite athlete, Vonn is a clear example of how leadership and determination lead to winning results. She is the Founder of the Lindsey Vonn Foundation, an organization established to empower young girls, and launched "Lindsey Vonn's Virtual Career Day" which brings together young scholarship winners from the Lindsey Vonn Foundation with an expert in their intended field. Vonn speaks authentically about her career and her challenges, sharing insights and takeaways about resilience, risk-taking, and overcoming adversity that empower audiences of all kinds.

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, actor, and comedian.

In 2018, he traveled the United States with 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.” Starting March 2022, he’ll be touring with his newest hour John Mulaney: From Scratch.

Solidifying himself as a fan favorite, John Mulaney has been invited to host  Saturday Night Live  five 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. John will star in the new reboot of Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers on Disney Plus this Spring opposite Andy Samberg.

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 laureate Richard H. Thaler is a preeminent behavioral economist studying decision-making in the intersection of economics, finance, and psychology. Thaler co-authored global bestseller Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness and authored Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics alongside numerous articles in prominent academic journals: The American Economics Review, The Journal of Finance, The Journal of Political Economy, and more. He is a regular contributor to the New York Times Economic View column. Thaler was honored with the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his outstanding contributions to behavioral economics.

Thaler is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences. He is a Founding Principal at Fuller and Thaler Asset Management. He was an informal advisor to the coalition government led by David Cameron, the Obama administration, several professional sports teams, and the Alliance for Decision Education. He has been invited to speak to the London School of Economics, Talks at Google, the Aspen Institute, and more.

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 - nonprofit for women's empowerment

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. 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. 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.

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 futurist and ground-breaking tech entrepreneur Jimmy Wales is one of the most sought after visionaries in business and technology. Wales is the Founder of Wikipedia, the 5th most-popular website in the world, which strive to create free access for all to the sum of human knowledge. The stunning feat of democratization of information celebrated it’s 20th anniversary, having become a cultural phenomenon and remaining a leader in the fight against the proliferation of false information online. The tech giant creator is also the Founder of WT.Social, a collaboratively editable social networking platform, which aims to change the way we digest news. Driven by his passion for innovation, disruption, and the endless possibilities in the future of tech, Wales is a compelling and motivational keynote speaker for audiences of all kinds.

Named one of TIME’s “100 Most Influential People, Wales has also been heralded by the World Economic Forum as one of the top 250 leaders across the globe for his accomplishments, his commitment to the society, and his potential to shape the future of the world. Audiences praise Wales for his optimism for the future as well as his masterful ability to speak on complex issues ranging from AI, trends in new media, disruption, and resiliency. He consistently receives rave reviews for his in-demand events, such as: "We were all so thrilled with Jimmy. He was so open and dedicated to share with us, McCann people, media, students and the keynote audience such inspiring stories about him, Wikipedia and basically about such a wide array of interconnected subjects. We were all inspired in such a fantastic way by his presence here." (McCann/Thiess)

HWA EXCLUSIVE

AUSTIN CHANNING BROWN

  • Leading and Inspired Voice on Racial Justice

New York Times bestselling author, media producer, and sought-after speaker Austin Channing Brown is a leading and inspired voice on racial justice in America. Austin is known for her New York Times bestseller I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, which was a Reese’s Book Club pick, and her adaptation with new stories for young readers, I’m Still Here: Loving Myself in a World Not Made for Me. I’m Still Here shot to the top 20 of Amazon’s bestsellers list, has been featured in all major publications, and received acclaim from Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and more. Austin’s workshops and talks are incisive, fun, disarming, and above all, transformative. She’s been sought-after by groups including Wells Fargo, Elon University, the Coalition of Black Social Workers, and many more.

Austin is also the Founder and CEO of Herself Media, and creates content that centers the experiences of Black women, dismantling the foundations of white supremacy. She is also the Executive Producer and Host of The Next Question – a web series that imagines how expansive racial justice can be. Her nationally-celebrated first season of TNQ featured MacArthur Genius Nikole Hannah-Jones, NYT bestselling authors Brené Brown, and Jasmine Guillory. In addition, Austin is a co-host of the Full Reset podcast. 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.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

AYỌ TOMETI

  • Human Rights Leader and Co-Founder, #BlackLivesMatter

Global icon and historic human rights leader Ayọ (f.k.a. Opal) Tometi is one of the most influential human rights leaders of our time. For years, the award-winning advocate, strategist, and writer has used her voice to ensure that race, immigration, and gender justice remain at the forefront of global conversations. Tometi served as the Executive Director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration for a decade, and co-founded the Black Lives Matter digital platform and chapter-based network, for which she and her fellow co-founders received numerous accolades, including a nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize. She is the Founder of Diaspora Rising, a new media and advocacy hub strengthening the bonds amongst members of the global Black family, and serves on the board of Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity and the International Living Future Institute. She is a highly sought-after speaker for her advocacy and thought leadership, and her keynotes have had a resounding impact at venues like the Atlantic Ideas Summit, Harvard University, the Aspen Institute’s Ideas Summit, Yale University, the United Nations, and more than 100 stages internationally

Tometi has been honored with countless awards for her groundbreaking work, including a Nobel Peace Prize nomination, International Peace Honors, the Heirs of Afrika Social Justice Award, the Amplify Africa Leadership and Policy Award, the Global Citizen Prize, and the Coretta Scott King Center Legacy Award, among many others. She was named one of TIME’s “100 Most Influential People," appeared on the “Most Influential People” lists for Forbes, Marie Claire, Glamour, and Cosmopolitan, and was named one of the most influential women of the century by USA Today and TIME. Tometi holds an Honorary PhD and was honored by the City University of New York with a scholarship in her name to support immigrant students pursuing law degrees. In addition to illuminating keynotes and conversations about social justice, racial bias in tech, and values-driven leadership, Tometi is also in demand for her insights about wellness and support along the childbearing continuum, social change & sustainability, and the future of tech

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. As 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. He held the position of Chair of the Senate Finance Committee for nearly a decade. 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. Baucus’s insights on all topics politics, policy, and trade are at the cutting edge of international understandings.

In-demand for his views on politics and industry, Baucus serves on the board of Ingram Micro and previously served on the board of advisors to the Alibaba Group and External Advisory Board to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. 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. His influential voice has been sought by hosts such as Princeton University, AMG National Trust Bank, the Retail Industry Leaders Association, and more.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

SUNNY HOSTIN

  • 3x Emmy Award-Winning Legal Journalist

Sunny Hostin is a three-time Emmy Award-winning legal journalist, two-time New York Times bestselling author, and co-host of The View. She is a sought-after keynote speaker who earns rave reviews for her events. Hostin’s debut novel Summer on the Bluffs, first in her "Summer" trilogy, skyrocketed to #11 on the New York Times Bestseller List and is being adapted as the first major project for Sunny Hostin Productions alongside Octavia Spencer's Orit Entertainment. She recently released the second book in her acclaimed ‘Summer’ series, Summer on Sag Harbor, an instant New York Times bestseller. In the fall of 2020, Hostin released her memoir, I Am These Truths: A Memoir of Identity, Justice, and Living Between Worlds, with HarperOne. 

Hostin has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes Woman, Essence, The CUT, Latina, and Ebony, amongst others. A sought-after public speaker, she has spoken at and moderated panels for the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, Corporate Counsel Women of Color, the National Bar Association, and more. Hostin served as a witness at the Federal Judiciary’s Congressional Hearing for the Public’s Right of Access to the Courts, and was she was part of the groundbreaking ABC primetime newscast, “Soul of a Nation,” the first broadcast network newsmagazine aiming to put Black life in America front and center. An inescapable voice from the top echelons of news and entertainment, Sunny continues to use her platform to advocate for and give a voice to the marginalized.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL

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

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'

CBS Sunday Morning’s Jane Pauley is one of broadcasting’s most respected journalists and hosts. Prior to anchoring on CBS, Pauley spent over a decade on NBC's Today and co-hosted Dateline NBC for over a decade. Pauley is the recipient of multiple Emmys, the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism, the Edward R. Murrow Award for outstanding achievement, and the Gracie Allen Award from the Foundation of American Women in Radio & Television. Pauley is a member of the Broadcast and Cable Hall of Fame. She is the author of two New York Times bestsellers: a memoir, Skywriting: A Life Out of the Blue and Your Life Calling: Reimagining the Rest of Your Life. A familiar face on television, Pauley’s celebrity fills the room with optimism, and audiences often ask her to return, citing their audiences’ warm reception.

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 also a highly regarded advocate for mental health, children’s health, and education issues. Pauley has shared her inspiring message with hosts including the American Academy of Physician Assistants, National Association of Community Health Centers, California State Association of Counties, and more.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

CHARLES BLOW

  • Op-Ed Columnist, The New York Times & MSNBC Analyst

Columnist, New York Times bestselling author, and MSNBC Analyst Charles Blow fearlessly tackles today’s most pressing issues with depth, nuance, and tremendous insight. Now an Op-Ed columnist at The New York Times, Blow previously served as the paper’s Graphics Director, leading The Times to significant awards. He has also worked as the Art Director of National Geographic Magazine and for The Detroit News. Blow is the New York Times bestselling author of Fire Shut Up in My Bones, which won a Lambda Literary Award, the Sperber Prize, and appeared on numerous “best of” lists. A memoir, the book was called “searing and unforgettable” by People Magazine and was adapted into a critically-acclaimed opera with a groundbreaking run at The Metropolitan Opera – the first performance of an opera there by a Black composer. His second book, The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto, draws on both his personal experience and observations of society to call for an end to systemic racism. Blow is a prolific and insightful commentator on politics, public opinion, and social justice, often challenging those in power with clarity and candor.

Heralded for his forward-thinking coverage of American politics and society, as well as his skill in graphic design to create powerful narratives with compelling visuals, Blow is also an in-demand speaker and gifted moderator. He has appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, SalonTV, CBS News, and regularly as an analyst on MSNBC, and has been featured in The Washington Post, The Ringer, Oprah Daily, and more about his highly acclaimed work. An advocate for social justice and racial equity, Blow speaks about income inequality, xenophobia, and mental health, generating impactful conversations that resonate with audiences of all kinds.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

SEKOU KAALUND

  • U.S. Bank Executive Vice President and Head of Branch and Small Business Banking

U.S. Bank Executive Vice President and Head of Branch and Small Business banking, Sekou Kaalund has two decades of Wall Street experience spanning leadership in institutional and retail businesses, making him a highly regarded authority on strategic leadership and targeted, sustainable impact. A former leader at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as well as Citi, Kaalund has established key connections across client segments and industries, and is a highly sought-after speaker for his insights on strategizing growth, developing talent, and forming inclusive teams that have a major impact on organizations of all kinds. Prior to joining U.S. Bank, he spent the last 15 years at JPMorgan Chase in a variety of leadership roles across institutional and retail businesses, most recently serving as Head of Consumer banking for the Northeast division. While managing complex firmwide relationships, he launched 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, which led to a historic five-year firm-wide $30B commitment to advance racial equity. He has offered riveting keynotes at the Milken Global Conference, National Urban League, the Whitney M. Young Jr. Memorial Conference, and many more, and has led engaging conversations at Chase Talks with Kevin Hart, Grant Hill, Dominque Wilkins, among many others.

Kaalund’s contributions have received numerous accolades including being named on Ebony’s “Power 100” list as a “Titan of Industry,” the SAID Institute’s Mark of Excellence award, World of Money’s Wall Street Legacy Award, and being named one of Face2Face Africa’s “30 Black Stars.” He has been featured in Forbes, Black Enterprise, Essence, and on the BBC, NBC, and CNBC. Kaalund has been honored by the All Stars Project for leadership and community impact, the Council of Urban Professionals, the Harlem YMCA, and the Boys and Girls Club of American inducted him into the Hall of Fame in 2011. He serves on several boards, and his leadership initiatives include the tech partnership “Advancing Black Entrepreneurs” StartupBus, a hackathon on wheels.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

GLORIA STEINEM

  • Iconic Visionary of the Women's Movement

Writer, political activist, and feminist organizer Gloria Steinem is an iconic visionary of the women’s movement. She founded New York and Ms. magazines, and is the New York Times bestselling author of The Truth Will Set You Free, But First It Will Piss You Off!, Revolution From Within, Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, and My Life On the Road, which was named one of the “best books of the year” by both O: The Oprah Magazine and Harper’s Bazaar and became the basis for the biopic The Glorias, directed by Julie Taymor and starring Julianne Moore. One of the most visible symbols of the movement, Steinem continues to be an ever-present and sought-after speaker on all fronts of social activism.

Steinem is the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, as well as the Freedom Award from the National Civil Rights Museum. For her writing, Steinem has received the Lifetime Achievement in Journalism Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Society of Writers Award from the United Nations, among many others. Steinem co-founded the National Women’s Political Caucus, the Ms. Foundation for Women, the Free to Be Foundation, the Women’s Media Center, Equality Now, Donor Direct Action, and Direct Impact Africa. She produced Viceland TV’s WOMAN, a series exploring human rights and violence against women around the world. As an in-demand speaker, Steinem consistently receives glowing reviews such as: "Gloria was absolutely amazing. It was like an out of body experience to hear from her. Everyone was blown away." (The Robert Toigo Foundation)

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ASHLEY JUDD

  • Award-Winning Actress

Actor, activist, and New York Times bestselling author Ashley Judd is heralded for her unforgettable performances and tireless advocacy work. From starring roles in box office hits and award-winning independent films, Judd’s films tell very personal stories that tap into larger issues, and she brings this gift for storytelling to all her speaking engagements. A voice for the often voiceless, she shines an illuminating light on the vulnerable and the at-risk. Judd has traveled the world with her international public health work, from maternal health to child survival, human rights to disease prevention and treatment. She has been working with NGO’s, grass roots organizations, governments, and supranational bodies since 2004, and detailed her experience in her New York Times bestselling book, All That Is Bitter and Sweet. For her sought-after speaking engagements, Judd regularly receives glowing praise such as: “Ashley Judd walked onto the Ford Hall Forum stage and hit it straight out of the park from her first word to her last. She is not only incredibly intelligent and a top-notch presenter, but also thoroughly knowledgeable and committed... It was clear that the audience found Judd completely captivating and a true inspiration.” (Ford Hall)

Judd was named one TIME’s “Persons of the Year” for her role as a silence-breaker and change-maker of the #MeToo movement, shifting the culture and conversation around sexual abuse and harassment. She is a sought after public speaker and frequent OpEd author on topics as diverse as conflict mineral mineral mining and child marriage. She serves as the Global Goodwill Ambassador for UNFPA, the Global Ambassador for Population Services International, and is Chairperson of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project: Curbing Abuse, Expanding Freedom. She has received the Muhammad Ali Kentucky Humanitarian Award and her alma mater, the University of Kentucky, established the Ashley T. Judd Distinguished Gradate Fellowship in the Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women. Judd illuminates topics of women’s rights, mental health, the environment, and more with her indelible storytelling and global experience, and hosts rave about her impact: "Ms. Judd was the perfect choice for the closing keynote. She had obviously done her homework on the ATHENA leadership principles because she connected her remarks directly to them. She was intelligent, thought provoking, humorous, sincere, warm and extremely engaging. Conference attendees raved about her and she and her staff were delightful to work with. I would highly recommend her as a speaker." (Güd Marketing | Marketing That Matters)

Please visit ashleyjudd.com to learn more about Judd's latest projects and advocacy work.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY

  • Academy Award-Winning Actor

Academy Award-winning actor, New York Times bestselling author, and philanthropist Matthew McConaughey is a force of nature both onscreen and in business. He has appeared in over 40 feature films that have grossed over $1B. McConaughey’s first book, Greenlights, became an instant #1 New York Times bestseller and has sold over 3M copies worldwide. His second book, a children’ book titled Just Because, also debuted as an instant #1 New York Times bestseller. In 2019, McConaughey became a professor of practice at the University of Texas at Austin, as well as Minister of Culture/M.O.C. for the University of Texas and the City of Austin. McConaughey is co-owner of The Austin FC Soccer Club, co-creator of his favorite bourbon, Wild Turkey Longbranch, and co-founder of tequila brand Pantalones. McConaughey is heralded for his constant career reinvention, inspiring audiences globally to chase their dreams.

An outspoken advocate for public education, McConaughey founded the just keep livin’ Foundation to impart students with the tools to lead active lives and make healthy choices for a better future through after school fitness programs. McConaughey has spoken on empowerment, education, and achievement to AMC, Credit Suisse, the Texas Apartment Association, and many more. In engagements equally empowering and entertaining, McConaughey shares lessons from his life and career, the impact of his philanthropic efforts, and the importance of following passion.

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RICKI LAKE

  • Actor, Producer, and Documentarian

Emmy Award-winning pop culture icon Ricki Lake has built an award-winning acting and producing career based on her graciously candid sensibility and authentic, relatable nature. After debuting as the original Tracy Turnblad in John Water’s Hairspray, Lake has starred in 50+ television and film roles, earning an Independent Spirit Award Nomination for Best Female Lead. Lake became the youngest talk show host in history with the launch of Ricki Lake, an unprecedented success that changed talk television forever and garnered a Daytime Emmy Award. Lake’s award-winning documentaries, The Business of Being Born and Weed the People, uncovered hidden truths of American pediatric care at the Tribeca Film Festival. Lake’s strength is undoubtedly her ability to share the truth through her unique but familiar lens.

Lake’s memoir, Never Say Never: Finding a Life That Fits, vulnerably recalls the ups and downs of her experience in the spotlight to remind audiences that life always hands you the unexpected. With her signature informative yet conversational delivery, Lake educates audiences on how to make informed choices when it comes to their physical and mental health, inspiring any group to let go of their fears to find happiness within themselves.

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KEVIN HASSETT

  • Managing Director at the Milken Institute, and the Brent R. Nicklas Distinguished Fellow in Economics at the Hoover institution. Stanford University.

29th Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) Dr. Kevin Hassett is among the world’s leading economists. Prior to becoming Chairman of the CEA, Hassett was an economist at the American Enterprise Institute, serving as a Director of Research. Dr. Hassett was a senior economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and an associate professor of economics and finance at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business of Columbia University. He has also served as a visiting professor at New York University’s Law School, a consultant to the U.S. Treasury Department, and an advisor to political campaigns. Sought out by numerous presidential candidates, Dr. Hassett served as an economic adviser to the presidential campaigns of George W. Bush (2004) and John McCain (2000, 2008).

With his finger on the pulse of today’s markets, Dr. Hassett currently serves on One River Digital Asset Management's Academic and Regulatory Advisory Council, Managing Director at the Milken Institute, and the Brent R. Nicklas Distinguished Fellow in Economics at the Hoover Instituion of Stanford University. Dr. Hassett remains a foremost voice in economic forecasting, advising major institutions and news outlets on policy, trends, and best practices.

While at the White House, Dr. 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, even running televised White House press briefings. Dr. Hassett has spoken to hosts such as TC Energy Corporation, the National Association of Realtors, Young America’s Foundation, and more.

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ELIZABETH NYAMAYARO

  • Humanitarian and Voice for Global Social Change

Elizabeth Nyamayaro is an award-winning humanitarian, author, and former United Nations Senior Advisor on gender equality. Born in Zimbabwe, Elizabeth has worked at the forefront of global development for over two decades improving the lives of underserved populations, and has been instrumental in fighting global inequalities, advancing social justice, and challenging the status quo to accelerate women’s rights around the world – through her leadership roles at the World Bank, World Health Organization, UNAIDS, UN Women and the United Nations World Food Programme. Elizabeth is the mastermind behind HeForShe, a United Nations global solidarity movement for gender equality that took the world by storm, generating more than 1.2B conversations on social media and galvanizing men in every single country in the world in just five days. With her TED Talk garnering more than 1M views in its first weeks alone, Elizabeth is a prominent thought-leader and has engaged at global forums such as World Economic Forum in Davos, Cannes Film Festival, Skoll World Forum, Harvard, Oxford, the British Parliament, among others.

Named as Apolitico’s "100 Most Influential People in Gender Policy" in 2018 & 2019, Elizabeth has been touted by The New York Times as “one of only two women transforming Davos.” She has been featured in Vogue, Fast Company, Wired, Fortune, Elle, BBC, and CNN. She has also served as a Glass Lions jury at Cannes Lions and has received the PR Council Trailblazer Award for Social Impact and the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Global Women’s Rights Award. A Political Scientist by training, Elizabeth holds a Masters of Science in Politics from the London School of Economics & Political Science and leadership education from the Harvard Business School. Elizabeth wrote a memoir about her life and experiences, I Am A Girl From Africa.

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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.

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ELLIE KEMPER

  • Emmy Award-Nominated Actress 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.

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VANESSA BAYER

  • Emmy-Nominated Comedian and Actor

Emmy Award-nominated actor, writer, comedian, podcaster, and author Vanessa Bayer is known for her seven seasons on Saturday Night Live, which garnered her an Emmy nomination and an American Comedy Award. Other notable projects include NBC’s Will and Grace, FOX’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine, ViacomCBS’s Drunk History, HBO’s Crashing, and ABC’s Modern Family and Single Parents, and films include Trainwreck, DC League of Super Pets, and Ibiza, among many others. Bayer also co-hosts the interview podcast How Did We Get Weird? with her brother, and is the co-creator and star of Showtime’s I Love That For You, a comedy series inspired by her own story of overcoming childhood leukemia. One of Hollywood’s funniest actors working today, Bayer brings comedy and commentary to your next event and makes an impact for audiences of all kinds.

Bayer’s children’s book How Do You Care for a Very Sick Bear? teaches children and adults how to support friends through long-term illnesses, inspired by her own battle with leukemia. For her advocacy raising awareness, she was honored with The Gilda Award from Gilda’s Club. Bayer is the Co-Creator, Executive Producer, and star of Showtime’s new series I Love That For You, which is inspired by her own story of overcoming childhood leukemia. Bayer shares with humor and candor insights from her rising stardom, her journey overcoming adversity, and how she cultivated resilience through comedy and storytelling in memorable keynotes and conversations.

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ALEX MOFFAT

  • Actor, Comedian, and Writer

Actor, comedian, and writer Alex Moffat recently wrapped a six-season run on Saturday Night Live as a main cast member. He is best known for his impersonations of Joe Biden, Eric Trump, Mark Zuckerberg, Anderson Cooper, Joe Scarborough amongst others, as well as his prolific original recurring Weekend Update character ‘Guy Who Just Bought a Boat’. Alex has appeared in the indie film Susie Searches, which recently appeared at TIFF, as well as Holidate for Netflix, the live action hybrid feature Clifford for Paramount, Someone Great for Netflix and the indie Opening Act. On the television side Alex will appear in Bill Lawrence’s Bad Monkey for Apple, and can also be seen in Showtime’s Billions. Alex has lent his voice to Disney's sequel Wreck-it Ralph 2 as well as the upcoming Daria re-boot for Paramount.

Alex creates personalized, hilarious performances for any audience looking for an upbeat and lighthearted event. Moffat has been a hit with trade associations, corporate meetings, and college groups, adding levity to every program. Spending the earlier years of his career in Chicago, he was a regular performer at iO and The Annoyance Theatre as well as an official acro-dunker for the renowned Chicago Bulls. He played in the Celebrity All-Star game in February 2020. Both in character and as himself, he receives raves from in-person and virtual audiences, and is a gifted host, moderator, and emcee who leaves a lasting impression on any audience.

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W. KAMAU BELL

  • Sociopolitical Comedian, Producer, and Documentarian

Sociopolitical comedian, Emmy- and Peabody-winning producer, and New York Times bestselling author W. Kamau Bell is a revered cultural commentator, using hilarity and profound insight to illuminate today’s biggest issues – and where we can go from here. He is the host and executive producer of the Emmy Award-winning CNN docuseries United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell, in which he explores communities across America to understand the unique challenges they face. Kamau is known for his Netflix stand-up comedy special Private School Negro, his one-man show The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour, and his FX & FXX comedy series Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell. His first book, 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, is a humorous, well-informed take on the world today from “the most promising new talent in political comedy in many years” (The New York Times). Kamau is the co-author of the New York Times bestseller Do the Work!: An Anti-Racist Activity Book, with Kate Schatz. In sought-after talks, Kamau leverages humor as a tool for transformative conversations.

Kamau serves on the advisory boards of Right To Be (formerly Hollaback!), Donors Choose, and is the ACLU Celebrity Ambassador for Racial Justice. He’s been nominated for multiple NAACP Image Awards, a GLAAD award, and has been featured on Conde Nast’s “Daring 25” list. He 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 the director of the critically acclaimed documentary Cultureshock: Chris Rock’s Bring the Pain, and is the director and producer of the four-time Emmy-nominated docuseries We Need to Talk About Cosby. Kamau tackles some of the nation's most longstanding complex issues in accessible and empowering talks for audiences of all kinds.

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CHARLES DUHIGG

  • New York Times Bestselling Author, 'The Power of Habit', 'Smarter Faster Better', and 'Supercommunicators'

Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit has spent three years on the New York Times Bestseller list. His new book, Supercommunicators: The Power of Conversation and Hidden Language of Connection, delivers a simple but powerful lesson: With the right tools, we can connect with anyone. Duhigg’s work explores why – and how – people and companies develop habits (and how to change them), and how we can communicate during some the most important, and most difficult, conversations in life.

In his two books, as well as Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business (2016) Duhigg explains that managing how you think—rather than what you think—can transform your life. Duhigg's journalistic accomplishments, including a Pulitzer Prize, have made him an in-demand speaker for organizations from the UCLA School of Management to Google and Microsoft to Fortune 500 companies and the National Association of Science Teachers. His presentations are filled with stories, case studies and actionable advice about how to communicate with anyone – and become the best versions of ourselves. He current writes for The New York Times Magazine and The New Yorker, and previously hosted the How To! podcast for Slate Magazine. He has received the Scripps Howard National Journalism Award, numerous other honors, and was a 2020-2021 Business News Visionary Award recipient

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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.

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TIMOTHY SNYDER

  • #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of 'On Tyranny' and 'Our Malady'

Yale University historian of Nazism and communism Timothy Snyder was described by the New York Times as a "public intellectual unafraid to make bold connections between the past and present." His book On Tyranny was #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List more than two years after its publication, thanks to Snyder’s unique ability to distill practical guidance for action from the darkest chapters of history. It has been used around the world in defense of democracy.  

His newest book Our Malady is a short, urgent examination of healthcare as a human right which begins from Snyder's recent and nearly fatal illness. From his hospital bed, he rethinks the connections between the health we lack and the freedom we need. In a time of authoritarianism and pandemic, the timeliness of this book cannot be overstated. Both a cri de coeur and a data-driven argument, it shows the way towards an America that is both healthy and free.   

Snyder is also well known internationally for the prize-winning Bloodlands, which explains the most murderous events of the time of Hitler and Stalin in Europe. In his book Black EarthSnyder explains the Jewish Holocaust in ways that help us to better understand the basic predicaments of our own time. In The Road to UnfreedomSnyder charts the path from democracy to tyranny (and back). All five of these books were or are New York Times bestsellers.

A masterful presenter, Snyder is sought out by groups around the world to understand the direct line between big ideas of the past and our lives today.

 

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TOM BOSSERT

  • Former Homeland Security & Counterterrorism Advisor

Former Homeland Security Advisor to two presidents, Tom Bossert has been a leading voice on U.S. cybersecurity operations and policy for over a decade. During his time in the Trump Administration, Bossert was the Chief Advisor on global health security, cybersecurity, homeland security, and counterterrorism. In his 2017 talk at the Aspen Security Conference titled "The Next Pandemic," he offered a prescient warning to the world about the coronavirus, urging the administration and the global health community to invest in coordinated pandemic response. Prior to his role in the Trump Administration, Bossert served as Deputy Homeland Security Advisor under President George W. Bush and worked as a lawyer and risk management consultant in private practice. Bossert is now the president of Trinity Cyber, a fast growing, disruptive cybersecurity company, and sought after by businesses and global leaders alike for his insider's perspective on politics – both on domestic issues and America's place in the world – and the ways businesses can guard against foreign influence in their own networks.

Bossert is a National Security Analyst to ABC News, and his analysis has made headlines in virtually every major media outlet, including The Washington Post, Axios, and The New York Times, among others. He is a Senior Fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy at the U.S. Atlantic Council, and was named one of The Washingtonian’s “500 Most Influential People” in D.C. Bossert has been an invaluable counselor to the likes of Disney Chairman Bob Iger, dozens of Fortune 500 companies, several of the nation’s largest university systems, and countless government entities and officials. Audiences are delighted by Bossert’s refreshing candor, and he is an engaging, well-armed speaker who leaves audiences with balanced and detailed understanding of what's ahead in politics, national security, and cybersecurity.

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ANDREW YOUNG

  • Civil Rights Activist & Former Executive Director, Southern Christian Leadership Conference

Ambassador, Congressman, Mayor, and Civil Rights icon Andrew J. Young has been serving and shaping our country for almost 70 years. Ambassador Young became active in the Civil Rights movement as leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to teach non-violent organizing strategies. Considered the diplomat among Dr. King’s community, he was a key strategist and negotiator in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Now a Patriarch in the Civil Rights movement, audiences look to Ambassador Young as a powerful voice honoring the legacy of Dr. King’s work and the future of human rights.

Ambassador Young became the first African American representative from the Deep South to serve in Congress since Reconstruction, and was appointed to serve as the first African American U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. He served as Mayor of Atlanta, worked with GoodWorks International to facilitate sustainable economic development in the Caribbean and Africa, and produced and hosted the Emmy Award-nominated docu-series Andrew Young Presents, exploring contemporary issues. He is the author of several books, including An Easy Burden: The Civil Rights Movement and the Transformation of America, which is being updated and re-released in a special edition commemorating his 90th birthday.

The veteran civil rights leader received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and France’s Legion d’Honneur, each representing the highest civilian honor for that nation, and was awarded the NAACP Springarn Medal, an Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award, and his portrait is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. The Andrew J. Young Foundation, Inc. supports and promotes education, health, leadership, and human rights in the U.S., Africa, and the Caribbean, building on his legacy and developing new generations of innovative leaders to tackle this era’s global challenges. Ambassador Young has been a powerful and active voice in the movement for Civil Rights for more than half a century, honoring the past and shaping the future, and shares a message of hope and humanity that uplifts and inspires audiences of all kinds.

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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. 

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KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON

  • U.S. Senator (R-TX) (1993-2013)

For more than four decades, Kay Bailey Hutchison has leveraged her expertise in the public and private sectors. She served in the U.S. Senate for twenty years representing the state of Texas. As a member of Senate leadership, she was elected Vice-Chairman of the Republic Conference and later Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, the fourth-highest ranking Republican Senator. Then in 2017, she became the permanent Representative of the U.S. to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, where she held the alliance together and strategized the U.S. working relationships with Russia, China, and the rest of the world. Highly regarded for her commitment to bipartisan solutions, Ambassador Hutchison offers an insider’s perspective and practical, non-partisan insights to issues central to the national economy, homeland defense, and foreign affairs in her engaging talks.

Kay Bailey Hutchison was named one of the world’s 100 most powerful women by Forbes. She served two terms as Chairman of the Board of Visitors of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and previously worked as a prominent attorney at Bracewell, LLP, an established international law firm in Dallas, Texas. She is a Senior Adviser to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a bipartisan, nonprofit policy research organization dedicated to advancing practical ideas to address the world’s greatest challenges, and is the namesake for the KBH Center for Energy, Law and Business at the University of Texas. Ambassador Hutchison is the New York Times bestselling author of three books, including Unflinching Courage: Pioneering Women Who Shaped TexasLeading Ladies: American Trailblazers, and American Heroines: The Spirited Women Who Shaped Our Country. With her breadth of experience, she is a masterful, knowledgeable speaker on national security, foreign policy and America's agenda on the world stage.

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JOY-ANN REID

  • Award-Winning Journalist

Award-winning political analyst, New York Times bestselling author, and MSNBC national correspondent Joy-Ann Reid is the renowned Host of MSNBC’s The ReidOut. Reid made history with her namesake show as the first Black woman to host a primetime cable news program. Prior to The ReidOut, she hosted the hit weekend morning news show AM Joy. Reid is the author of Fracture: Barack Obama, the Clintons, and the Racial Divide, We Are the Change We Seek: The Speeches of Barack Obama, which she co-edited, and the New York Times bestseller The Man Who Sold America: Trump and the Unraveling of the American Story. She also hosts two podcasts Reid This, Reid That, with Emmy-winning journalist Jacque Reid, and a books podcast What to Reid. MSNBC’s new special, The Culture Is, features Reid as co-host, moderator, and executive producer for the first episode, The Culture Is: Black Women. A sought-after keynote speaker, Reid is celebrated for her no-nonsense commentary and insights, taking audiences beyond the headlines in impactful engagements.

Reid has been featured in Washington Post, Forbes, The New York Times, Vogue, Black Enterprise, Fast Company, Ms., among many others, and her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Miami Herald, New York Magazine, and The Daily Beast. She was a 2022 NAACP Image Award winner for The ReidOut, 2003 Knight Center for Advanced Journalism fellow, and has received awards from the Women’s Media Center, the National Action Network, the National Association of Black Journalists, and been nominated for an Emmy, a GLAAD Media Award, and two prior NAACP Image Awards. Reid has taught at Syracuse University and is a Hearst Visiting Professor at Howard University, teaching a course on the impact of race and gender on political coverage. Drawing on her decades-long experience in politics and passion for addressing the intersections of race, justice, and culture, Reid offers in-demand analysis on today’s most important issues.

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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.  

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CLARENCE PAGE

  • Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Clarence Page is one of the most highly recognized and regarded syndicated columnists in the country. He is a columnist syndicated nationally by Tribune Media Services and a member of the Chicago Tribune 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. His book Showing My Color: Impolite Essays on Race and Identity, forever shifted conversations around race, gender, and ethnic identity from the civil rights reforms of the mid-1960s to the mid-1990s. In his speeches, Page decodes top political issues with clarity, balance, and humor.

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. Page has spoken to the University of Chicago, the National Press Foundation, and the Anti-Defamation League.

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DEVAL PATRICK

  • Former 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. The Governor will join the Harvard Kennedy School as a Professor of Public Leadership, the Roy E. Larsen Senior Lecturer in Public Policy and Management, and Co-Director of the Center for Public Leadership.

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STEVEN LEVITT

  • Bestselling Author, Freakonomics Series

New York Times bestselling Freakonomics co-author and University of Chicago scholar Steven Levitt is a brilliant but uncomplicated man who uses simple questions to reach startling conclusions. The Wall Street Journal has said “If Indiana Jones were an economist, he'd be Steven Levitt.”

Levitt works with businesses to apply his Freakonomics approach (combining data, economic theory, and unorthodox thinking) to the corporate world. He was the recipient of the American Economic Association’s prestigious John Bates Clark Medal, given to the country's best economist under 40. Levitt has been invited to speak to hosts including Microsoft, BMO Capital Markets, The Growth Faculty, and more.

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STEPHEN DUBNER

  • Bestselling & Award-Winning Author, 'Freakonomics' Series

Award-winning author, journalist, and media personality Stephen J. Dubner is best-known as co-author of the New York Times bestselling Freakonomics series, 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 to similar acclaim, and a documentary film version of Freakonomics was chosen as the closing film of the Tribeca Film Festival. Dubner is currently the host of the Freakonomics Radio podcast, which gets 5M downloads a month.

Dubner has appeared widely on television, including as a regular contributor to ABC News and as host of the NFL Network's Football Freakonomics, which was nominated for an Emmy. His journalism has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, TIME, and elsewhere, and has been anthologized in The Best American Sports Writing, The Best American Crime Writing, and others. He has been invited to speak to organizations including American Airlines, Xerox, Michigan State University, and more.

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JIM MESSINA

  • CEO, The Messina Group

Renowned Democratic strategist and international consultant Jim Messina is widely regarded as one of the world’s most successful political advisors. Messina is the mastermind behind former-President Obama and then-Vice President Biden’s 2012 re-election campaign, which Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt called “the best-run campaign ever.” The “Campaign Strategist of the Year” merged technology and politics and established the modern presidential campaign. While serving as the Obama-Biden administration’s Deputy Chief of Staff, he earned the nickname “The Fixer,” building bipartisan support for the historic Affordable Care Act, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and the landmark repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” For over two decades, Messina served as Chief of Staff for various Senate and House offices, developing strong relationship on both sides of the aisle. 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. Messina has upended the way that cutting-edge organizations think about strategy, and he delivers tangible takeaways with substance and some much-needed humor

Messina is an in-demand voice at the crucial intersection of politics, business, and technology. He is a fixture on news outlets such as MSNBC, CNN, FOX News, Bloomberg, BBC, and more, and serves on the boards of Blockchain.com, Fortera, Vectra.ai, LanzaTech, the United States Soccer Foundation, and the Montana Land Reliance. 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. Among the most sought-after legislative D.C. insiders, Messina provides illuminating, actionable insights on our political and business landscape.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JENNIFER PALMIERI

  • Former White House Communications Director and Strategist

Renowned communications expert, political strategist, and writer Jennifer Palmieri has been on the frontlines of national politics for more than two decades. Author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Dear Madam President, Palmieri served as White House Communications Director for President Obama and head of Communications for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. With her unparalleled level of knowledge and experience in the West Wing, she is sought-after for her shrewd insights about crisis management, voter mindset, and the media environment impacting current events.

One of the most accomplished communications advisors in politics today, Palmieri was the co-host of Showtime’s Emmy-nominated political docu-series The Circus, pulling back the curtain with insightful analysis and a unique perspective on the role gender plays in electoral politics and the media. She is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and hosted the podcast Just Something About Her. 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. In moderated conversations and engaging point-counterpoint debates, Palmieri has been in demand for events with groups like Starbucks, Google Zeitgeist in London, the Center for American Progress, the Bloomberg MAKERS Women’s History Month event, and more.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

FELIPE CALDERON

  • President of Mexico (2006-2012)

Former President of Mexico Felipe Calderón is a globally recognized leader in climate action and sustainability transformation. Establishing economic reform as a top priority of his administration, President Calderón’s policies catapulted Mexico into a powerful player in the global economy. Since leaving his post as President, Calderón has focused his leadership and attention on the economic benefits of acting on climate change. In 2022, he was named President of the Environment and Sustainability Commission for the International Automobile Federation. President Calderón was named "Statesman of the Year" by the World Economic Forum, a “Top 100 Influential People in the World” by TIME Magazine, and "Champion of the Earth" by the United Nations. President Calderón has been honored with the Teddy Roosevelt Award for the Environment, the GLOBE Award from the Global Legislators Organization for a Balanced Environment, and the International Star of Energy Efficiency award. President Calderón is a foremost voice in environmentalism and an outspoken proponent of sustainable investment.

Calderón provides actionable steps for both the private and public sector to advance sustainability practices, build consensus, and support business growth. He has hosted and chaired the G-20 Summit of Leaders as well as chaired the UN Conference on Climate Change COP 16, marking a new era of cooperation in this field. President Calderón has provided his insights to hosts such as the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt, SkyBridge Capital’s SALT Conference, Colgate University, Accenture, and more.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

OLIVIER BLANCHARD

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

Economist, author, and academic Olivier Blanchard is one of the most influential voices in global markets. He first taught at Harvard University, then chaired MIT’s economics department. From 2008 to 2015, he served as economic counsellor and director of the research department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) where he worked with a wide range of nations and international organizations. Blanchard’s worldwide scope of experience has given him complete insight into the world’s economy, which he shares in a digestible, informative manner.

Blanchard has been at the forefront of global economic thought for over three decades. He is not only a world leader but also a macroeconomist working on a wide range of issues pertinent to today’s news cycles. He is the author of many books and articles, including both undergraduate and graduate-level textbooks in macroeconomics. Blanchard’s depth of experience speaking on complex economic issues can connect to anyone in the classroom or the boardroom.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

WAYNE GRETZKY

  • National Hockey Legend

Hockey legend, beloved sportscaster, and entrepreneur Wayne Gretzky is widely considered to be the greatest hockey player of all time. Known as “The Great One,” Gretzky dominated on the ice for two decades unlike any player in history. After winning four Stanley Cup Championships, three Canada Cup tournament titles, and countless personal accolades, the NHL bestowed on the Hockey Hall of Famer the unique distinction of the retirement of his jersey number by all member clubs – “No. 99” will never be worn by another player. Gretzky was Head Coach and Executive Vice President of the Phoenix Coyotes, and was named Vice Chairman of the Edmonton Oilers from 2016-2021, in addition to serving in various leadership roles for Team Canada, guiding the Olympic Hockey Team to a gold medal win. 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. His invaluable lessons in cultivating an athlete’s mindset and playing to your strengths resonate with audiences of all kinds.

Gretzky is the lead studio analyst for TNT’s hockey broadcasts, and the author of 99: Stories of the Game, an Amazon Editor’s Pick for Best Biographies & Memoirs. He is a serial entrepreneur, with a restaurant, winery, a new apparel line Greatness Wins, and a major partnership with EBay as the featured athlete in their first collection of NFTs.  In addition, The Great One teaches a MasterClass on the athlete’s mindset, inspiring audiences to aim for greatness in their own lives. A dedicated philanthropist, the hockey star created The Wayne Gretzky Foundation, serves as the 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. He is also a participant in “Hands That Shape Humanity,” a project for the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MARIA SHARAPOVA

  • International Tennis Icon

Powerhouse Maria Sharapova is known not only as an international tennis star, but also as an inspirational leader and successful entrepreneur. Sharapova became a professional tennis player at age 14. She went on to win five Grand Slam titles (the first, Wimbledon, at age 17), became the 7th female player to complete the career Grand Slam, and rank #1 in the world on five separate occasions. Sharapova chronicles much of her tennis career in her New York Times best-seller, Unstoppable: My Life so Far. In her live engagements, Sharapova gives insight into the upbringing, mindset, and tools that made her amazing success possible.

Outside of tennis, Sharapova is an active founder, CEO, and business investor. Sharapova paved the way for athlete founders, creating and scaling her own premium candy line, Sugarpova. She is widely respected for her business acumen currently serving on the boards of Moncler and Wolf & Shepherd, a successful early investor in companies like Bala Bangles and Supergoop!, and was a guest judge on Shark Tank. Sharapova has also served as an investor and advisor to Bala as well as a board member of Moncler and Wolf & Shepherd. Now, Sharapova is using her experience on-and-off the court to inspire and empower audiences to achieve elite performance in all aspects of their lives, particularly women in business.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

KAREN G. MILLS

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

Small business expert, author, and venture capitalist Karen G. Mills is a leading authority on U.S. competitiveness, entrepreneurship, and innovation. Mills is a Senior Fellow at Harvard Business School, served in President Barack Obama’s Cabinet as the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) from 2009 until 2013, and was a member of the President’s National Economic Council. During her tenure at the SBA, Mills took steps that led to record-breaking years for lending and investments in growth capital. Additionally, her efforts helped small businesses create regional economic clusters, gain access to early-stage capital, boost exports, and tap into government and commercial supply chains.

Mills is the author of Fintech, Small Business & The American Dream: How Technology is Transforming Lending and Shaping a New Era of Business Opportunity (second edition to be released in 2024), as well as numerous other publications on fintech, innovation policy, and the supply chain economy. She is a venture capitalist and the President of MMP Group, Vice Chair of Envoy, and a Director of several Churchill Capital entities. Mills is a trusted voice on how new technologies are revolutionizing how small businesses can leverage growth and economic opportunity, and how institutions large and small can be a catalyst 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

JOSEPH LUBIN

  • Founder and CEO, ConsenSys - a blockchain venture studio

Blockchain founder, CEO, and former VP of Technology at Goldman Sachs Joseph Lubin is the co-founder of blockchain computing platform Ethereum and founder and CEO of blockchain venture studio ConsenSys. ConsenSys is one of the largest and fastest-growing companies in the blockchain technology space, building developer tools, decentralized applications, and solutions for enterprises and governments that harness the power of Ethereum. Named to CoinDesk’s “Most Influential in Blockchain,” Lubin’s compelling keynotes reveal the transformative power of blockchain technology and his vision for a decentralized future.

Lubin focuses on the intersection of cryptography, engineering, and finance. He graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and worked in the Princeton Robotics Lab. He held positions as Director of the New York office of Blacksmith Software Consulting, and VP of Technology in Private Wealth Management at Goldman Sachs. Sought-out to speak at events ranging from The World Economic Forum to SXSW, Lubin is equal parts informative and inspiring, shedding 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

PHIL LIBIN

  • Digital Entrepreneur & Venture Capital Investor

Digital entrepreneur and venture capital investor Phil Libin is an expert in using technology to enhance humanity, productivity, and business on a global scale. A serial tech entrepreneur, 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. In addition, Phil recently launched mmhmm – a video presentation app that makes you more engaging on video calls and recordings. Sought-after as a leader on innovation, Libin provides audiences with an engaging look at what it takes to reinvent productivity at global scale.

Libin offers audiences an engaging look and insider perspective on new digital technologies and how to take advantage of automation and AI tools to take performance and productivity to the next level. He is also a sought-after visionary who helps people change the world through entrepreneurship and invention. When Phil speaks, he consistently receives rave reviews: Phil commands the room and it’s clear he knows what he is talking about” (APEC 020 Summit) and “We are very much satisfied with the work and the speeches of Phil Libin. Especially the fireside chat was very inspiring for the audience.” (Swiss Economic Forum)

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

MORGAN DEBAUN

  • Founder & CEO, Blavity Inc.

Morgan DeBaun, a visionary leader in media and technology, serves as the Founder and CEO of Blavity Inc. Since its inception in 2014, Morgan has steered the company to become a global corporation serving multicultural consumers. Blavity Inc. is renowned for its diverse brands including AfroTech, Travel Noire, and Shadow and Act.

Recognized for her dedication to inclusive advertising and tech innovation, Morgan has been honored with several prestigious awards, such as the American Advertising Hall of Fame, Inc.’s Female Founders, and Forbes' "30 Under 30." Some of her recent clients include Nike, Microsoft, American Express, Capital One and Newell Brands. Her commitment is further exemplified through her influential role as an angel investor and a board advisor to American Airlines, Pepsico and the Black Economic Alliance. 

A proud alumna of Washington University in St. Louis, Morgan is an advocate for small business owners and workplace equity. She frequently speaks on global platforms, sharing her insights and inspiring change. Beyond her executive role, Morgan nurtures future leaders as a podcast host and advisor, focusing on elevating entrepreneurs.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

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, King is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award, and France's Légion d'honneur. King moves audiences with empowering lessons on leadership, inclusivity, equality, and finding your purpose.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

CARLI LLOYD

  • Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist and Two-Time World Cup Champion

Two-time Olympic gold medalist, two-time World Cup champion, and New York Times bestselling author Carli Lloyd is an iconic American soccer star heralded for her contribution to U.S. and world soccer history. Lloyd is the two-time recipient of the highest, most prestigious award in soccer: FIFA World Player of the Year. She played for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team for 17 years (2005-2021). Lloyd is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and a bronze medalist. She is the only American player to score in four different Olympics and holds the record for All-time leading scorer in USWNT Olympic history with 10 goals. She also competed in four Women’s World Cup tournaments and is a two-time World Cup Champion. She became the first player in FIFA Women’s World Cup to score a hat trick in a World Cup final. She was awarded the Golden Ball (MVP) and Silver Boot at the 2015 World Cup. Carli has played in more World Cup (25) and Olympic matches (22) than any other USWNT player. She has scored 134 goals across in 316 games, ranking 3rd of all-time for men and women internationally. Carli currently runs her own CL10 Soccer Clinics. She is also a minority owner in her prior NWSL club, Gotham FC, making a splash in investing, entrepreneurship, and team ownership. Her own grit was proved yet again while winning FOX’s Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test, proving toughness is a mindset. Lloyd’s career has been marked by consistent production over the course of her career, her extreme dedication to the game, and her relentless pursuit of self-improvement.

Carli is a role model who empowers and inspires others to be “Better Every Day” and to never give up on achieving their goals. The New York Times 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. She has spoken to audiences at Golden Sachs, Bank of America, Cornell University, Microsoft, Intuit, and more.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

CAROLINE RANDALL WILLIAMS

  • Award-Winning Poet and Author

Award-winning poet, author, performance artist, and scholar Caroline Randall Williams is a change-maker and a catalyst. She rose to the international stage with her powerful New York Times piece You Want a Confederate Monument? My Body Is a Confederate Monument, a reckoning in the movement to dismantle systemic racism. A multi-genre writer, Caroline co-authored the NAACP Image Award-winning cookbook Soul Food Love with her mother, as well as The Diary of B.B. Bright, Possible Prince, which won the Harlem Book Fair’s Phyllis Wheatley Prize. Her debut collection of poetry, Lucy Negro, Redux, has been turned into a critically-acclaimed ballet by the Nashville Ballet, and she is currently working on her first non-fiction book, under the working title Body Politik, which will examine the stories written on and by the body, through the lens of her lived experience. Caroline will host Disney+’s Hungry for Answers, a new docuseries and revelatory cooking show focused on Black food history in America produced by Viola Davis. A highly sought-after speaker, Caroline speaks to the places where art, business, and scholarship intersect, moving people closer to their best lives and corporations closer to their ideal identities.

Caroline has been recognized by Southern Living as “One of 50 People Changing the South,” and she was named to The Root’s list of “The Most Influential African Americans in 2020.” She is the Writer in Residence in Vanderbilt University’s Medicine, Health, and Society Department, where she has been a Cave Canem Fellow and a Global Voices Fellow. Caroline has appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Dr. Oz, among many others, and her writing has been featured in The Iowa Review, The Massachusetts Review, Essence, The New York Times, and more. Her recipes can also be found in the feature cookbook for Cherry Bombe, as well as Southern Living Magazine. Caroline regularly receives rave reviews of her speaking engagements, such as: “After you hear Caroline your life will never be the same! And if it is the same… you weren’t listening!” (Tennessee Film, Entertainment and Music Commission)

HWA EXCLUSIVE

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 Majesty’s work in Jordan and the Arab world has focused on national and regional human security in the areas of education, conservation, sustainable development, human rights, and cross-cultural understanding. Overall, her peace-building work has focused on the Middle East, the Balkans, Central and Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Her Majesty received the United Nations Environment Program Global 500 Award for her activism in environmental protection, promoting awareness and initiating community action for the preservation of Jordan’s natural heritage. Her Majesty has worked with the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Seeds of Peace, Council of Women World Leaders, and Women Waging Peace and as a member of the Pew Global Attitudes Survey International Advisory Board.

Her Majesty authored Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life, a New York Times #1 bestseller published in 17 languages. In recognition of her efforts to advance sustainable development, democracy, and peace, the Queen has been awarded numerous awards and honorary doctorates in international relations, law, and humane letters. World Awards Media and countless other hosts have commended her speaking style as “eloquent, graceful, and warm.”

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JEAN-CLAUDE TRICHET

  • President of the French Academy of Moral and Political Sciences (2023)

President of the French Academy of Moral and Political Sciences (2023), former President of the European Central Bank (2003-11), and Chairman of the Bank of France (1993-2003) Jean-Claude Trichet is regarded as one of the key architects of Europe's financial stability. 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. A leader who played a pivotal role in shaping Europe's economic policies, Trichet is now Chairman of the Group of 30 (G30), European Chairman of the Trilateral Commission, and Chairman of the Board at Brugel. Jean-Claude Trichet, a renowned expert in central banking, empowers organizations with the knowledge and foresight required for success in today's competitive markets.

Trichet has been named the Financial Time's “Person of the Year” and “Fifty Faces that Shaped the Decade,” as well as listed on International Economy's “Policy Maker of the Year,” Newsweek's “World’s Most Powerful” and TIME's “Most Influential People in the World.” A trailblazer in economic governance, Trichet has been invited to speak at the World 50, Deloitte, Hong Kong’s Trade Development Council, and many more.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

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.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

WOLF BLITZER

  • Emmy Award-Winning Journalist

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.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

RICK SANTORUM

  • U.S. Senator (R-PA) (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.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

BRET STEPHENS

  • Op-Ed Columnist, The New York Times

U.S. foreign policy expert and highly awarded columnist Bret Stephens is renowned for his “incisive columns on American foreign policy and domestic politics, often enlivened by a contrarian twist.” Bret is an op-ed columnist for the New York Times after a long career with The Wall Street Journal, where he served as deputy editorial page editor and wrote the “Global View” foreign affairs column – for which he was awarded the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary. He is the author of America in Retreat: The New Isolationism and Coming Global Disorder and is currently working on a book about the future of the free world. Audiences value Bret’s timely insights and “breath of fresh air” delivery, and he has been in-demand with groups including the American Technion Society, the Chief Executives Organization, the Jewish Federations of Northeastern New York and Chicago, Community Advocates, Inc., and many more.

In addition to his work at The Times, Bret serves as Editor-in-Chief of Sapir – a Jewish quarterly published by the Maimonides Fund which offers ideas for a thriving Jewish future. Previously, he was Editor-in-Chief of The Jerusalem Post. Bret is the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions, including three honorary doctorates and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. In 2022, the government of Russia banned him for life from visiting that country. He sits on numerous academic advisory boards and was a co-Founder of the Renew Democracy Initiative – an organization dedicated to advancing democratic principles throughout the world. Bret consistently receives rave reviews for speaking engagements, such as: “Bret was TERRIFIC last night. We had a large crowd, his talk was superb, and he was a pleasure to deal with. It couldn't have gone more smoothly. You have a lot of happy customers in LA.” (Community Advocates, Inc.)

HWA EXCLUSIVE

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.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

GENO AURIEMMA

  • Legendary Head Coach, University of Connecticut Women's Basketball

Legendary Head Coach Geno Auriemma has redefined the meaning of success in his 34 years at the University of Connecticut. During his illustrious tenure, Auriemma transformed the women’s basketball program into the gold standard – both on and off the court. Under his guidance, the Huskies went from one winning season to 11 national titles, 20 Final Fours, have had six perfect seasons, and won 51 Conference titles. He also served as the head coach o the U.S. National Team, which won gold at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and the 2016 Games in Rio. In his empowering remarks he shares lessons from on and off the court on teamwork, perseverance, finding motivation, and overcoming obstacles that resonate with any organization.

An inductee to both the Basketball Hall of Fame and Women Basketball Hall of Fame, and a recipient of numerous awards including 27 National Coach of the Year honors, Auriemma has set the bar not only in coaching – but also in team building, motivation, and a tested brand of everyday leadership that creates winning organizations. He shares his insights in a highly-rated MasterClass on 'Leading Winning Teams' as well as in sought-after speaking engagements, delivering motivational insights on building sustainable success.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JANE LUTE

  • Cybersecurity & Homeland Security Expert

Former Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Jane Lute has dedicated her career to preventing terrorism, enhancing global stability and security, and helping those in crisis. Lute is a member of the CIS Board of Directors. She also serves as Strategic Director for SICPA North America, a company that provides best-in-class solutions to protect the integrity and value of products, processes, and documents, including most of the world’s banknotes. Ms. Lute also serves as Special Advisor to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, where she has held several positions in peacekeeping and peacebuilding. Lute has contributed significantly to cybersecurity culture around the globe, and her deep understanding of national security, international relations, and organizational leadership can provide unique perspectives on global and domestic issues.

Lute has served on several international commissions focused on cybersecurity and the future of the Internet. She currently serves on the boards of Union Pacific Railroad, Marsh McLennan, and Royal Dutch Shell. Lute’s insights into cybersecurity challenges and solutions are highly valuable in today’s digital age, where cyber threats are a major concern for both businesses and governments.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

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. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

CASEY NEISTAT

  • YouTube Personality, Filmmaker, and Digital Creator

YouTube star, digital creator, filmmaker sensation, and multi-media leader Casey Neistat has redefined brand content on the internet, setting a new standard for the way brands interact with digital creators. He has worked with major brands including J. Crew, Mercedes-Benz, Samsung, and Nike, and pioneered the ‘daily vlog’ format in the early days of YouTube. Neistat, who got his start working as a dishwasher, is a self-taught filmmaker who attained commercial success with HBO’s The Neistat Brothers and the indie film Daddy Long Legs. Boasting over 14M subscribers, he has parlayed his success as a digital creator into advertising, tech, and startup ventures. He created a video-sharing app called Beme, which was acquired by CNN for $25M, and pivoted to launch 368, a collaboration workspace. Heralded for his motto, “Do What You Can’t,” Neistat empowers audiences to think outside the box and redefine their creative potential.

Neistat was named one of Fortunes’ “Creator 25,” a list honoring those charting unique territory in the world of social media, and was a Fellow of the prestigious New Frontier Artist Residency program at MIT. He has launched a filmmaking masterclass with online course platform Monthly, and his documentary Under the Influence premiered at SXSW to critical acclaim. Neistat is an investor in Angel City FC as well as the bitcoin-rewards startup Lolli, and is an advisor for Ponto, which provides financial infrastructure for Web3. 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.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

LIZA DONNELLY

  • Award-Winning Cartoonist, The New Yorker

Award-winning author, writer, and cartoonist Liza Donnelly uses her creativity to draw (literally) connections between global events, feminism, and what’s funny. An innovator of digital visual journalism, Liza has live-drawn events including the Oscars, the Olympics, presidential debates, and White House Press Conferences. By disrupting how we make sense of everything from global politics to pop culture to gender equity, from history to the present, Liza invites audiences to shift their perspective, think differently, and innovate better.

Liza is known for her viral TED Talk “Drawing on humor for change,” which has been translated into 40 languages. She has written 18 books for adults and children, and is a contributor to The New York Times, Washington Post, Forbes, Medium, CNN, and CBS News. Liza’s most recent book, Very Funny Ladies: The New Yorker’s Women Cartoonists, is being developed into a documentary about women cartoonists globally. She teaches a virtual class with the 92Y on the history of the famous and beloved cartoons in The New Yorker and writes a wildly popular Substack newsletter “Seeing Things,” with an ever-growing readership. Liza’s unique and interactive programs enhance events, empower teams, and inspire innovation.

 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

LISA LING

  • Emmy Award-Winning Journalist

Emmy Award-winning journalist and bestselling author Lisa Ling has spent more than two decades focused on groundbreaking storytelling. Lisa is a contributor for CBS and previously served as the host and executive producer of the acclaimed series This is Life on CNN and Take Out on Max. Throughout her career, Lisa has reported from dozens of countries around the world, covering issues and highlighting voices that are too often ignored. For her sought-after events, Lisa consistently receives rave reviews: "Lisa was absolutely outstanding! She was so interesting and provided such great commentary on our questions. Feedback from our attendees was outstanding and we had great engagement with 15+ questions from the audience. Definitely one of our favorite speakers for this series!" (SAP NS2)

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, which she penned with her sister Laura. She is an advisory board member for Fostering Media Connections, The Amani Project, and a Baby2Baby angel. Lisa has spoken for groups including American Express, the AARP Purpose Prize, Capital One, the Dallas Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Independent Schools, and American Express, who said: “We had a great event with Lisa. She has such amazing energy and opened up in a very real and personal way. The feedback we received from colleagues was exceptional.”

HWA EXCLUSIVE

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.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ANN CURRY

  • Emmy Award-Winning Journalist

Seven-time Emmy-winning journalist Ann Curry is a cornerstone of U.S. news and journalism. Her reporting is raw, bold, and deeply personal, fueled by human connections. She has appeared before the camera on some of America’s largest networks, including NBC News, PBS, TNT, and more. Her TED talks have been viewed around the world. Curry brings the same deep meaning, message, and sharp intellect to her speaking events as she does her iconic interviews.

Curry is recognized not only as a journalist but also as a humanitarian. Her work has garnered honors such as the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for Global Citizenship, the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Medal of Valor, the NAACP's Excellence in Reporting Award, the Centre for Responsible Leadership's Truth in Media Award, the Edward R. Murrow Lifetime Achievement in Journalism Award, and more. Hosts such as Colgate University, the Holocaust Memorial Center, the National Court Reporters Association and more have been captivated by her memorable stories.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

KEVIN WARSH

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

Monetary policy expert and economist Kevin Warsh’s insights are sought by financial authorities globally. Governor Warsh served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (2006-2011). He was named the Federal Reserve's representative to the Group of Twenty (G-20), where he became Administrative Governor, managing and overseeing the Board's operations, personnel, and financial performance. Prior to his appointment to the Board, Warsh served as Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Executive Secretary of the White House National Economic Council (2002-2006). Previously, Warsh was a member of the Mergers & Acquisitions department at Morgan Stanley & Co. in New York, serving as Vice President and Executive Director. Warsh’s experiences across the private and public sectors give him a holistic understanding of global markets. As a speaker, Warsh draws on his decades of experience across financial institutions to advise organizations on the impact of ongoing fiscal policy rollouts.

Warsh currently sits on several boards and is a member of the Group of Thirty (G30). He is also a Shepard Family Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Economics at the Hoover Institution and lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Warsh’s deep expertise in the inner workings of major global financial institutions fuels his independent research in the field of economics. Central banks often seek his advice. Recently, British Parliament has adopted Warsh’s independent report to the Bank of England proposing reforms to the conduct of monetary policy in the United Kingdom. His authoritative and enlightening presentations on both domestic and international economic issues help audiences and corporations understand the impact of U.S. and foreign monetary policy.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

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. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

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.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ALEXA VON TOBEL

  • Serial Entrepreneur and Venture Capitalist

Renowned serial entrepreneur, CEO and founder, New York Times bestselling author, and podcast host Alexa von Tobel, CFP leads conversations that resonate with the full entrepreneur experience – everything from nuts-and-bolts operations to the craft of company-building. Alexa is the Founder and Managing Partner of Inspired Capital – a $500M+ venture firm focused on the entrepreneurs of the future. Prior to Inspired Capital, she founded LearnVest with the goal of helping people make progress on their money. After raising nearly $75M 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, and later assumed the role of Chief Innovation Officer, through which she oversaw the venture arm. She is the New York Times bestselling author of Financially Fearless and Financially Forward, and hosts the weekly podcast Inc. Founders Project with Alexa von Tobel, which features conversations with the best founders across the country. In sought-after talks, Alexa shares accessible and actionable insights about personal finance, entrepreneurial strategy, leading-edge industries, and more.

Alexa has appeared on the cover of Forbes, been interviewed on NPR’s How I Built This, and has 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 served as 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", IncMagazine's "30 Under 30,” and was named World Economic Forum's Young Global Leader. From her expertise in navigating a recession while staying connected to customers, to leveraging investor strategy in the fintech and Web3 arenas, Alexa’s high-impact talks will resonate with audiences of all kinds.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ERICA KESWIN

  • Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, 'Bring Your Human to Work', 'Rituals Roadmap', and 'The Retention Revolution'

Bestselling author and workplace strategist Erica Keswin has spent the past twenty years working 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 became a Wall Street Journal bestseller in its first week, serving as a powerful guide to a workplace revolution that honors relationships and puts people first. Her book Rituals Roadmap: The Human Way to Transform Everyday Routines into Workplace Magic is a #2 Wall Street Journal bestseller and an indispensable guide to taking your employee engagement to the next level. The Retention Revolution: 7 Surprising (and Very Human!) Ways to Keep Employees Connected to Your Company is a game-changing playbook filled with accessible and actionable case studies and research that will prove how transforming old ideas into new beginnings is good for people, great for business, and just might change the world. 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.

Keswin and her work have been featured in Harvard Business ReviewForbesHuffington PostO Magazine, Better Homes and GardensMogul, and Conscious Company, among others. She is also the Founder of the Spaghetti Project, a platform devoted to sharing the science and stories of relationships at work. Leaving audiences deeply informed and engaged, Keswin 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.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

J. CRAIG VENTER

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

Craig Venter, Ph.D. is regarded as one of the leading scientists of the 21st century for his numerous, invaluable contributions to genomic research. He decoded the genome of the first free-living organism, a bacterium, as well as fruit fly, mouse, rat, and human genomes, published in Science. Dr. Venter is Founder, Chairman, and CEO of the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), a not-for-profit dedicated to genomic research and the exploration of social and ethical issues in genomics. He is also a co-founder of Viridos, Inc. and Human Longevity, Inc. Dr. Venter currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Board at Bluestar Genomics, a company leading the development of non-invasive early cancer detection. With a keen focus on the intersection of technology and biology, Venter's talks provide a glimpse into the future of healthcare and the possibilities of genetic-driven solutions.

Dr. Venter is also the recipient of numerous honorary degrees, public honors, and scientific awards, including the United States National Medal of Science, the Gairdner Foundation International Award, the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize, and the King Faisal International Award for Science. Dr. Venter is a member of numerous prestigious scientific organizations including the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Society for Microbiology. His insights have been sought by hosts including Princeton University, PepsiCo, the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, and more.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MATTHEW WALKER

  • Founder and Director, UC Berkeley's Center for Human Sleep Science

Preeminent neuroscientist and psychologist Dr. Matthew Walker is a celebrated sleep expert. A Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at UC Berkeley, Dr. Walker is also the founder and director of the school's Center for Human Sleep Science. Dr. Walker’s New York Times bestseller, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams, was hailed as an "important and fascinating book" by Bill Gates. Dr. Walker has received numerous funding awards from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health and is a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2020, Dr. Walker was awarded the Carl Sagan Prize for Science Achievements. At the intersection of science and industry, Dr. Walker has served as scientific counsel for numerous technology companies, including Google, Hello, and Fitbit. Dr. Walker translates his work for any industry and audience, offering his insights to business leaders, technology firms, and medical and healthcare professionals.

Dr. Walker 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 has shed light on his groundbreaking research everywhere from Google to TED, where his talk "Sleep is Your Superpower" has 20M+ views. Dr. Walker has spoken about sleep to hosts such as the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, TED, Google Zeitgeist, and many more.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

DAVID KESSLER

  • Chief Empathy Officer, Empathy

Bestselling author David Kessler is the world’s foremost expert on grief and loss. He is the author of six books, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief, inspired by the sudden death of his twenty-one-year-old son. Kessler is the Chief Empathy Officer of Empathy, an HR product companies offer to employees who are facing loss and grief. He is also the founder of www.grief.com. Kessler facilitates talks, workshops, and retreats for those experiencing grief.

For most of his life, Kessler has taught physicians, nurses, counselors, police, and first responders about the end of life, trauma, and grief. Kessler’s volunteer work includes serving as an LAPD Specialist Reserve for traumatic events and working with the Red Cross’s disaster services team. Kessler’s perspectives on grief have been sought by hosts including Coca Cola Company, California State University, Family & Children's Service, and more.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

BILL FRIST

  • Chairman of the Global Board, The Nature Conservancy

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 Chairman of the Global Board of The Nature Conservancy, the nation's largest conservation organization. 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, as well as a founding partner of Frist Cressey Ventures. He is also the host of healthcare podcast A Second Opinion: Rethinking American Health (over 200 weekly episodes).

Senator Frist has also been a leader in community health, having founded NashvilleHealth, a collective impact organization that is creatively collaborating with business, academic, faith-based, and non-profit leaders to improve the health and well-being of all Nashvillians. As the Chair of the Global Board of The Nature Conservancy, he is also committed to preserving the health of our planet, recognizing that population health is empirically linked to healthy ecosystems.

Senator Frist has been at the forefront of many debates and government initiatives that have shaped a myriad of policies over the years, including the 2003 legislation that created the Medicare prescription drug plan and Medicare Advantage, as well as PEPFAR, the largest commitment by any nation to address a single disease in history, saving 21 million lives from HIV/AIDS. He brings an experienced voice to the current issues of health reform, education, government policy, climate change, 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

  • Holder of 13 Global Titles, 10 U.S. Championships, 11 Olympic Medals, and a World Record

Athlete icon, entrepreneur, and advocate Allyson Felix 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 thirty-one global medals at the Olympics and World Championships. Felix has redefined athletics as she continues to cement her iconic status on and off the track. She is an investor in multiple companies, serves as an advisor to a female-led and focused venture fund, and is the Founder of her own shoe company for women, Saysh. Sought after for her empowering insights about striving for greatness in business and in life, Felix has captivated audiences across industries.

Felix has been featured in major publications including Forbes, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, Glamour, Essence, Self, O Magazine, Sports Illustrated, and Elle. She is passionate about her community and serves on the Board of Directors for &Mother, Right to Play, and others, and through partnerships with Voice in Sport, the Women’s Sports Foundation, and more. Felix has received numerous accolades for her athletics and her advocacy, including being named to TIME’s “100 Most Influential People of the Year” in both 2020 and 2021 as well as the Sports Illustrated ‘Unrelenting List’. In demand with groups such as Trellance, Princeton University, Paypal, and World 50, Inc., to name a few, Felix consistently receives rave reviews for her speaking engagements: “The event with Allyson Felix was a great success! She presented such a genuine, focused, inspirational story that displayed her journey of ups and downs; her great lessons and appreciation of what teamwork can bring. A true champion.” (ATG Global Entertainment)

HWA EXCLUSIVE

STEPHEN A. SMITH

  • Famed Sports TV Personality and Journalist

Legendary sportscaster, veteran journalist, actor, author, and podcaster Stephen A. Smith offers powerful and humorous lessons from the world of sports – and beyond – on overcoming adversity, leadership, building a personal brand, and ethics. After getting his start in journalism working for the New York Daily News and the Philadelphia Inquirer, Smith transitioned to TV and landed at ESPN in 2003. Known for his memorable catchphrases and thought-provoking analysis, Smith is a host on ESPN’s First Take, an NBA analyst and insider on SportsCenter, and hosts his own weekly NBA show, SportsCenter with Stephen A. Smith. Smith released his bestselling memoir, Straight Shooter: A Memoir of Second Chances and First Takes, on January 17th, 2023. As he does in sought-after events, Smith shares his personal journey to becoming a giant of sports media, the adversities he has overcome, and how sports became his salvation.

Smith is set to host a new podcast, Know Mercy, with Cadence13/Audacy and featuring a range of notable guests and thought leaders. The fan-favorite commentator and ‘The Face of ESPN’ will offer his candid perspective on politics, entertainment, social issues, criminal justice, business, and of course, sports. He is a proud HBCU graduate, a brand ambassador for HBCU Week, and his Mr. SAS Productions is in development for Black Excellence, a documentary series examining the legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Revered for speaking his truth and engaging audiences, Smith consistently receives rave reviews for his events, such as: ”Amazing! They loved him. He was the ultimate professional and inspiring at the same time. I’ve booked a lot of speakers, and I’d book him again and again. He knocked it out the park.” (Chrysler Minority Association)

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MARA BROCK AKIL

  • Trailblazing Screenwriter and Producer, 'Girlfriends' and 'The Game'

Groundbreaking Hollywood visionary and power player Mara Brock Akil is the writer and producer of nearly 400 episodes of television, truly leaving her mark on the industry. A trailblazer in many ways, Akil created the seminal television series Girlfriends-- a witty, intelligent and honest exploration of the many facets of black womanhood. Additionally, Akil developed the spin-off series The Game, which became the most-watched scripted-series premiere ever on ad-supported cable. The series continued on for a total of 9 seasons, earning praise throughout its run for its verisimilitude and, during the reality television boom, as one of the few shows on television that felt truly specific to its moment. Akil is also the creative force behind BET’s Being Mary Jane, which further cemented her ability to tell powerful and engaging stories that speak to women through honest, true-to-life reflections, The CW’s Black Lightning, and OWN’s Love Is___. Now, she is co-executive producing Netflix's adaptation of Ibram X Kendi's three anti-racism books, which will be a mix of a documentary and scripted features. 

A regular on the Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment Power100, Akil is a leader in her field. She's been honored with the prestigious Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award; the American Black Film Festival's Industry Visionary Award, Essence magazine’s Visionary Award; named to Variety and The Hollywood Reporter’s Showrunner Power Lists; and been inducted into Northwestern’s Medill Hall of Achievement.  

As a passionate, dynamic, and empowering speaker, Akil has been sought-out to speak at Google, George Washington University, The Wing, and more. Akil shares remarks on self-growth and love, finding the power to be bold, loving life at every age, and breaking barriers in all facets of life. 

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

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. She was inducted into the PR Hall of Fame for her work as worldwide vice chair of BCW Global. Hughes has also served as counselor to President George W. Bush and Under Secretary of the State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. As counselor to the President, she managed the White House Offices of Communications, Media Affairs, Speechwriting, and Press Secretary. As Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, she oversaw three bureaus at the Department of State: Educational and Cultural Affairs, Public Affairs, and International Information Programs, and participated in foreign policy development at the State Department. Hughes’ diverse expertise at the highest levels of communication across the public and private sectors imbues her with a compelling ability to tailor presentations to provide a directed expert perspective

Hughes has spoken at Boston College, Merril Lynch, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the American Hotel and Lodging Association, and many more. The Union League Club of Chicago, yet another happy host, said, “It was obvious from her remarks that she had given a great deal of thought to her address, and she touched upon all the right notes... A big home run!”

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MICHAEL NUTTER

  • 98th Mayor of Philadelphia - stewarded the city to an A credit rating for the first time in decades

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; Former President of Malawi (2012-2014)

An entrepreneur, activist, politician, and philanthropist, President & Dr. Joyce Banda is the former president of Malawi, the country's first female president and Africa's second. Dr. Banda was instrumental in the formation of the African Federation of Women Entrepreneurs (AFWE), currently running in 41 countries in Africa; the Council for the Economic Empowerment of Women in Africa (CEEWA); and the American & African Business Women’s Alliance (AABWA), of which she served as first President. 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. Dr. Banda is also a member of the United Nation's Council of Women World Leaders and was recently named Honorary Chairperson of The Women Empowerment & Development Society in Asia-Africa. Continuing her tireless work encouraging women to enter political office and championing the rights of women and the disenfranchised, Dr. Banda speaks globally on topics of women’s empowerment, globalization, and policy.

Dr. Banda has been named one of both Africa and the world’s most powerful women by Forbes. Dr. Banda has championed women’s rights in Malawi and beyond, co-authoring the book From Day One: Why Supporting Girls Aged 0 to 10 Is Critical to Change Africa's Path. As a speaker, Dr. Banda adds a wealth of leadership experience and inspirational insights, motivating and empowering your audience to make a change in the world.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MATTHEW BERRY

  • Emmy Award-Winning Senior Fantasy Sports Analyst

Emmy Award-winning sports analyst and New York Times bestselling author Matthew Berry is universally regarded as “the face of fantasy football.” Berry, also known as ‘The Talented Mr. Roto’, is a fantasy football commentator and analyst for NBC across all platforms, including appearances on Football Night in America, Sunday Night Football Final, a daily audio and video podcast, and a weekly fantasy football show. Previously, Berry was the Senior Fantasy Sports Analyst for ESPN, where he hosted the award-winning Fantasy Football Show with Matthew Berry on ESPN+ and was the most-read weekly columnist on ESPN.com during football season. He won an Emmy for his work on ESPN2’s Fantasy Football Now, and is the author of the New York Times bestseller Fantasy Life, which spent many months on the list. His multi-award-winning podcast Fantasy Focus: Football regularly ranks in the top ten in the sports category. Berry brings his candid and entertaining perspective to memorable events for audiences of all kinds.

Berry was named Marketer of the Year by the Academy of Marketing Science (2013) for his leading role in fueling the national growth of fantasy football. He has also been named one of USA Today’s “NFL’s 100 Most Important People”, Sports Illustrated’s “Top 100 to Follow on Twitter,” and Mashable’s “32 Must Follow Accounts for NFL Fans,” boasting over 1.5M highly engaged social media followers. Berry was named FSTA “Analyst of the Year” by his peers (2017) and is one of only four people to be named to the Hall of Fame for both the Fantasy Sports Trade Association and the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.

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'

Captain Richard Phillips became the center of an extraordinary international drama when he was captured by Somali pirates who hijacked his ship, the first hijacking of a U.S. ship in more than 200 years.  Amid the standoff, he offered himself as a hostage. Captain Phillips authored A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea detailing his experience. This dramatic story was also transformed into an Academy-Award and Golden-Globe nominated film, Captain Phillips. President Barak Obama said, "I share the country's admiration for the bravery of Captain Phillips and his selfless concern for his crew. His courage is a model for all Americans."

Recognized as a national hero, Phillips now gives inspiring speeches on stepping up, finding courage within yourself, and putting your community first. He has been invited to share his message with hosts including General Mills, Constellation Brans, Houston Methodist Hospital, and more.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

R. GLENN HUBBARD

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

Former Dean of Columbia Business School Dr. R. Glenn Hubbard specializes in public economics, managerial information, and incentive problems in corporate finance, and financial markets and institutions. He has written over 100 articles and books on corporate finance, investment decisions, banking, energy economics, and public policy, including two textbooks. Dr. Hubbard has applied his research interests in business (as a corporate director consultant on taxation and corporate finance), in government (as a former Chair of the U.S. Council of Economic Advisers and the OECD Economic Policy Committee, as well as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department and as a consultant to the Federal Reserve Board, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and many government agencies) and in academia (in faculty collaboration or visiting appointments at Columbia, University of Chicago and Harvard). He is co-chair of the Committee on Capital Markets and Regulation and past chair of the Economic Club of New York and the Study Group on Corporate Boards.

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 that have made him a familiar face on political and economic television news programs.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ALAN DERSHOWITZ

  • Renowned Defense Attorney

Civil liberties lawyer, law professor, and bestselling author Alan Dershowitz has been called one of the “most distinguished defenders of individual rights, “the best-known criminal lawyer in the world, and “the top lawyer of last resort. 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 10K students. Dershowitz continues to represent numerous defendants and takes half of his cases pro bono. In his speeches, he challenges audiences with thought-provoking perspectives on today’s foremost social, legal, and ethical issues.

Dershowitz is a vocal defender of civil liberties and the constitution. He is the author of many fiction and non-fiction books, including seven bestsellers. Dershowitz’s widely circulated column for The Hill, as well as his frequent appearances on major news outlets including the New York Times, Forbes, FOX News, and CNN, reflect his position as a leading voice on civil liberties and make him an in-demand speaker. His voice has been sought by Purdue University, Elon University, the Center of the American Experiment, the Institute for Policy Innovation, and Jewish Federations around the world, among countless others.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MOIRA FORBES

  • President and Publisher, ForbesWoman

As the Executive Vice President of Forbes, Moira Forbes has played a key role in the company's transformation into a digital-first global media company and a preeminent destination for today's business leaders. She’s been at the forefront of driving innovation and shaping the future of the brand, and she also represents the fourth generation of the Forbes family. Through her dedicated column, live events, and video series, Moira spotlights the world's most dynamic leaders and is a prominent advocate for gender equality. Moira’s work has fostered a culture of innovation at the global publication, shaping the future of media and business.

Notably, Moira has been instrumental in shaping Forbes’ editorial focus on the many paths to becoming a successful leader as a prominent advocate for gender equality in the corporate world. She is the Founder, President, and Publisher of ForbesWomen, now the world’s largest media platform dedicated to women in business and leadership. Moira also oversees Forbes’ annual list of the World’s Most Powerful Women, the definitive ranking of female influence on the global stage, in addition to the annual Power Women’s Summit which she launched in 2013. Moira has shared her insights on leadership at prestigious industry gatherings, including the World Economic Forum, Cannes Lion, SXSW Conference, Massachusetts Conference for Women, and EY Entrepreneur of Year. She is also a regular media and television commentator on the state of women's leadership worldwide.

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ALEX GUARNASCHELLI

  • Acclaimed Chef and Recipe Developer

Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli is a world-renowned chef and one of Food Network’s top stars. Guarnaschelli first appeared on the network in 2006 and has since been part of hundreds of episodes of programming on the network, including as a judge on Chopped, co-host of The Kitchen, host of Supermarket Stakeout, and star of Alex vs America. As a competitor, she beat nine rival chefs to win The Next Iron Chef: Redemption, joining the ranks of Kitchen Stadium Iron Chefs. She also hosts the award-winning digital series, Fix Me a Plate, and is the author of the cookbooks Old-School Comfort Food: The Way I Learned to Cook (2013), The Home Cook: Recipes to Know by Heart (2017), and most recently Cook with Me: 150 Recipes for the Home Cook (2020)

Guarnaschelli attended La Varenne Culinary School in Burgundy, France and began her international culinary journey training in Paris and New York with some of the world’s most acclaimed chefs including Guy Savoy and Daniel Boulud. In 2003, Guarnaschelli was given the opportunity to expand her repertoire and become the executive chef at Butter in New York City, where she has since created her own eclectic American and green-market inspired menu. In sought-after keynotes and live demonstrations, Guarnaschelli provides lessons from a life steeped in culinary education and adventure, her own travels, and experiences as a mother and in world-renowned kitchens.

Guarnaschelli is regularty a guest on national television shows such as Today, Good Morning America and Live with Kelly & Ryan and has also been featured in The Wall Street JournalThe New York Times and Food & Wine. A popular mainstay on social media and Head of Twitter’s Food Council, Guarnaschelli also premiered her one-woman live comedy show Busting My Chops at Caroline’s on Broadway. A passionate and dynamic speaker, Guarnaschelli enjoys serving as an emcee and provides engaging cooking demonstrations to the delight of audiences.

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MARCUS SAMUELSSON

  • James Beard Award-Winning Chef and Restaurateur

Acclaimed chef, restaurateur, New York Times bestselling author, and beloved TV host Marcus Samuelsson inspires audiences with his powerful storytelling and engaging cooking demos. Samuelsson is the chef behind many renowned restaurants worldwide, including Red Rooster Harlem, Red Rooster Shoreditch, and Marcus B&P. He was the youngest person ever to receive a three-star review from The New York Times, and has won multiple James Beard Foundation Awards including “Best Chef: New York City.” Samuelsson is also the author of multiple books including the New York Times bestselling memoir Yes, Chef – which The New York Times called “one of the great culinary stories of our time,” Make It Messy, The Red Rooster Cookbook, and his latest groundbreaking cookbook The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food. Through his insightful conversations and thoroughly delightful live demos, Samuelsson offers uplifting, entertaining, and though-provoking experiences that resonate with audiences of all kinds.

Samuelsson was crowned champion of the TV shows Top Chef Masters and Chopped All-Stars, and served as a mentor on ABC’s The Taste. His PBS series No Passport Required celebrates the wide-ranging diversity of immigrant traditions and cuisine woven into American food and culture. A committed philanthropist, he co-produces the annual week-long festival Harlem EatUp!, which celebrates the food, art, and culture of Harlem. Samuelsson serves as a UNICEF Ambassador, a member of the U.S. State Department’s Chef Corps, and as the co-chairman for the organization Careers Through Culinary Arts Program. He was selected as a guest chef at the White House under the Obama Administration, where he planned and executed the administration’s first state dinner honoring Prime Minister Singh of India. For his sought-after programs, Samuelsson receives consistent rave reviews: ”Wow! You were utterly amazing. Added such depth and perspective. We can't thank you enough! Hope you'll join another at some point in the future” (Crain’s New York Business) and ”Marcus was thoughtful, personable, and left us wanting more!” (Kraft Heinz Company)

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GUY FIERI

  • Award-Winning Chef and Restaurateur

Chef, restaurateur, and Emmy Award-winning television host Guy Fieri is one of the world’s most recognizable, influential culinary stars. Fieri began his culinary career selling soft pretzels from a three-wheeled bicycle and washing dishes in local restaurants in his early teens. In 2006, Guy won the television competition Next Food Network Star and has been a nonstop presence on the network ever since. With a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, he is best known as the “Mayor of Flavortown” and face of Food Network favorites Diners, Drive Ins & Dives, Guy’s Grocery Games, and Tournament of Champions. His thriving brand empire has grown to include over 80 restaurants worldwide, a 175-location food delivery service, and a diverse portfolio of brands. Fieri’s cultural and culinary preeminence brings a unique star power fueled by his electric personality to all of his endeavors.

Fieri’s enthusiasm for food is matched only by his passion for helping others. He founded the Guy Fieri Foundation to support culinary education as well as provide financial resources to aspiring chefs and feeds frontline workers, first responders, and military personnel. He has been invited by Morgan Stanley, the Foodservice Equipment Distributor’s Association, and more to speak on his many personal and business endeavors. Fieri’s events ignite and inspire any audience with his infectious energy and passion.

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DAVID CHANG

  • Award-Winning Chef, Restaurateur, and Founder of Momofuku

Momofuku and Majordomo Media founder David Chang has been named one of “the most influential people of the 21st century” by Esquire, received 6 James Beard Awards, was recognized as GQ’s Man of the Year, and is a TIME 100 honoree. He is the creator of Ugly Delicious on Netflix and Secret Chef on Hulu, as well as a culinary contributor to Amazon’s Thursday Night Football. He is the host of The Dave Chang Show and Recipe Club podcasts. His cookbooks Momofuku and Cooking At Home as well as his memoir Eat A Peach are all New York Times bestsellers.

Chang is an engaging speaker known for his insightful discussions about entrepreneurship, food sustainability, and kitchen innovation. Chang’s straightforward and often humorous delivery makes his presentations both informative and entertaining.

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ADAM SAVAGE

  • Hollywood Special Effects Designer

Beloved science communicator Adam Savage has spent most of his life gathering skills to build his dreams into reality. Over his career, his work has appeared onscreen to the delight of millions. While best known as a co-host of the Discovery Channel’s flagship show, MythBusters, Savage has worked on a number of iconic titles behind the scenes. His fabrications appear in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, The Matrix Reloaded, and more. Savage currently hosts Tested, a YouTube channel exploring the intersection of science, pop culture, and emerging technology.

Savage is a natural fit to engage audiences in explorations of creativity, imagination, and science. In his New York Times bestseller, Every Tool’s a Hammer: Life Is What You Make It, Savage shares his golden rules of creativity, problem solving, and much more. He sits on the boards of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and the Center for Policing Equity and is an advisor to the California Academy of Sciences. From finding what inspires you to following through on making an idea a reality, Savage encourages audiences to push the boundaries of what's possible. Speaking to audiences around the world, Savage challenges and inspires people to turn curiosity into creation.

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ROBIN ARZÓN

  • Vice President of Fitness Programming & Head Instructor, Peloton

Robin Arzón is Vice President of Fitness Programming and Head Instructor at Peloton. She believes that sweat transforms lives, and her story is living proof. Formerly a corporate lawyer, Arzón left behind a successful law career to embark on new adventures in the health and wellness space and has since reinvented herself into a 27x marathon and ultra-marathon runner, MasterClass instructor, GMA contributor, highly-sought after keynote speaker, Editor-in-Chief of The Pivot by Robin, 2x New York Times bestselling author, and author of Welcome, Hustler: An Empowerment Journalpublished in September of this year. Most recently, Robin founded Swagger Society, a lifestyle membership club for those looking to architect their next level and develop a relentless growth mindset. 

Organizations such as American Family Insurance, KPMG, Google, BetterUp, Wells Fargo, Cisco, and Salesforce have sought out Robin’s voice to inspire, motivate, and transform. In 2020, she was named one of the most influential people on Fortune "40 Under 40" list. Audiences leave Robin’s engagements feeling energized and ready to conquer their goals.

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DAPPER DAN

  • Legendary 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 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.

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DR. DAVID KATZ

  • Founding Director, Yale Prevention Research Center

Weight management expert Dr. David L. Katz, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P.M., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.L.M., is a specialist in Internal Medicine, Preventive Medicine/Public Health, and Lifestyle Medicine, with expertise in nutrition. For two decades, he was the founding director of Yale University’s Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center. He is also a past president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, founder of the non-profit True Health Initiative, and Founder and CEO of Diet ID, Inc. Dr. Katz has been honored with numerous awards for teaching, writing, and contributions to public health, including a James Beard Foundation Award nominee in health journalism, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Doctors’ World Gala and three honorary doctorates.

Recognized globally as a topical expert, Dr. Katz is frequently invited to speak on longevity and wellness. He holds multiple US patents; has over 200 peer-reviewed publications; and has authored/co-authored 19 books to date including multiple editions of leading textbooks in nutrition, preventive medicine, and epidemiology. Dr. Katz has been invited to speak to prestigious hosts including the MIT Colloquium, Yale School of Management, Merrill Lynch, the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, and more.

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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

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JUDITH JAMISON

  • Legendary Dancer and Choreographer

American dancer, choreographer, and artistic director Judith Jamison is one of the most impactful figures shaping the world of performing arts today. A former dancer of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, one of the most respected dance companies in the world, Ms. Jamison quickly distinguished herself onstage as the most stellar female performer in modern dance. During the 1970s and 80s, she appeared as a guest artist with ballet companies all over the world, starred in the hit Broadway musical Sophisticated Ladies, and formed her own company, The Jamison Project. She returned as Artistic Director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, chosen by and succeeding Alvin Ailey himself. In the subsequent two decades, she further solidified the company’s place in the upper echelons of performance institutions, leading two historic engagements in South Africa and a 50-city global tour to celebrate the Company’s 50th anniversary. Ms. Jamison is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, among them a prime-time Emmy Award, an American Choreography Award, the Kennedy Center Honor, a National Medal of Arts, a “Bessie” Award, the Phoenix Award, and the Handel Medallion. She was also listed in “TIME 100: The World’s Most Influential People” and honored by First Lady Michelle Obama at the first White House Dance Series event. Ms. Jamison was the 50th inductee into the Hall of Fame at the National Museum of Dance. Audiences respond to her passionate, electric remarks and carry with them the truth of their own potential.

Ms. Jamison’s autobiography, Dancing Spirit, was edited by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Ms. Jamison continues to dedicate herself to asserting the prominence of the arts in our culture, and she remains committed to promoting the significance of the Ailey legacy – using dance as a medium for honoring the past, celebrating the present and fearlessly reaching into the future. Ms. Jamison has been invited to speak at World 50, The Wall Street Journal, TIME Magazine, Bucknell University, and many more.

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MARGARET I. CUOMO

  • Board-Certified Radiologist

Dr. Margaret I. Cuomo is a foremost leader in the fight against cancer. She is a board-certified radiologist, teaching professional, and national advocate for the prevention of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. 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. 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 lifestyle decisions not only promote general health and well-being but can also be used to treat and prevent a wide range of diseases.

A fearless advocate for the health of all people worldwide, Dr. Cuomo also addresses the power and necessity of STEM education and provides people with the tools and inspiration needed to transform their lives. She has spoken to the Houston City Council, Newark Academy, St. Vincent Hospitals, and many more.

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KURT ANDERSEN

  • Peabody Award-Winning Host, Public Radio's 'Studio 360'

Radio host and writer Kurt Andersen is a brilliant analyst and synthesizer of historical and cultural trends. He hosted the Peabody Award-winning public radio show and podcast Studio 360 and co-produced the podcast Nixon at War. He is the author of New York Times bestsellers Evil Geniuses, and Fantasyland, as well as four novels. Andersen co-created the streaming series COMMAND Z, and has previously written for TV, film, and stage. He’s a regular contributor to the New York Times and The Atlantic, as well as a former New Yorker columnist, TIME critic and columnist, and New York editor-in-chief.

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. He has spoken to Sotheby’s, Boston College, The New Museum, the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, and many more.

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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.

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DESIREE ROGERS

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

Former White House Social Secretary and business executive 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, the first black female CEO of a Fortune 500 Company, 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 Chicago Ideas, TED, the Society for Human Resource Management, and more, Rogers has the unique ability to connect with her audience, energize and inspire teams, and illuminate new strategic pathways and operational approaches.

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STEVEN ROBERTS

  • Renowned Journalist & 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. 

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CODY KEENAN

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

Cody Keenan wrote alongside President Barack Obama for 14 years, rising from a campaign intern in Chicago and deputy pirate to become Obama’s chief speechwriter at the White House and his post-presidential collaborator. He’s been named the “Springsteen” of the Obama White House, even though he can’t play an instrument, and Obama calls him “Hemingway” for reasons that have little to do with his talent or seasonal beard (ask him sometime). Even British GQ once named Cody one of the “35 Coolest Men under 38 (and a Half),” ahead of Ryan Gosling, but behind Tom Hardy. 

Together, Keenan and Obama crafted some of the most unforgettable speeches of our time. From Tucson to Newtown to Charleston, Cody helped Obama fill his role as Consoler-in-Chief. From a sermon in Selma to Obama’s Farewell Address, the two redefined the essence of the American creed and charted an inspiring, optimistic course for a new generation’s active citizenship. Their collaborations have been compared to the work of Abraham Lincoln, described as “the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech for the 21st century,” and categorized even by prominent Republicans as “speeches every child should read in school.” 

A sought-after expert on politics, messaging, and current affairs, Cody is now a partner at leading speechwriting firm Fenway Strategies and teaches a popular course on political speechwriting to undergraduates at his alma mater Northwestern University. His first book, GRACE: President Obama and Ten Days in the Battle for America, became an instant New York Times Bestseller.

Cody’s commencement addresses at NYU in 2015 and Northwestern in 2018 were highlighted as some of the year’s best, and in 2020, Northwestern’s graduating class of seniors chose him over all other professors to deliver their “Last Lecture.” He has appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Morning Joe, The Today Show, Showtime’s The Circus, and often live in studio after State of the Union Addresses, and he continues to be a sought-after speaker for events with audiences of all kinds.

With his humor, unparalleled insight, and aversion to cynicism, Cody regularly receives rave reviews from his hosts, like this one from Hilton Hotels: “Cody stole the show at our global corporate affairs gathering. He brought his warmth, richness of experience, and incredible sense of humor together to give us the guidance we needed to cultivate authentic storytelling at Hilton. I was not surprised to see that he rated the top speaker in our program.”

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ELLIOTT ABRAMS

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

U.S. foreign policy expert and White House insider Elliott Abrams holds unique insight into the impact of American foreign policy decisions on both organizations and individuals. Abrams has served in major foreign policy positions for three Republican U.S. Presidents: George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and Donald Trump. He has 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). He was also nominated to Biden’s Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. Abrams’ deep experience in policymaking equips him to discuss the potential impacts of upcoming policy and elections 

Abrams is a currently Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C. He is also Chairman of the Vandenberg Coalition, Chairman of the Tikvah Fund, and a board member of the Jewish People Policy Institute and the Israel Democracy Institute. He has also served as a member of the Board of the National Endowment for Democracy (2011-2023) and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council (2009-2016). Abrams has been sought out as a speaker by Housatonic Partners, countless Jewish Federations, and many secular organizations. Abrams is well-respected for his nuanced discussions of the most pressing geopolitical issues on the minds of individuals today.   

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DAVID MAKOVSKY

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

Washington Insider, author, U.S.-Middle East policy expert David Makovsky is one of America’s leading commentators with deep knowledge about this region developed over decades. He delivers informative presentations on topics concerning today’s news, scholarship, and geopolitics in the Mideast. 

Makovsky is currently a distinguished fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy and Director of the Koret Project on Arab-Israel Relations. Makovsky previously served as a senior advisor to the U.S. Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations in the Office of Secretary of State. He is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations, as well as the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He brings his experience as a senior adviser as well as his keen analysis of the current situation to accessible, engaging conversations about the past, present, and future of U.S. policy in the Middle East and the Arab-Israeli peace process, shedding light on challenges and opportunities.

Makovsky is a sought-after commentator. He has spoken about Israel and the Mideast across over 175 American campus visits. Many have seen him on the PBS Newshour for decades. He is often quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and other leading publications. His op-ed commentary has appeared in those and other key media outlets. A veteran journalist, Makovsky previously served as the Executive Editor of the Jerusalem Post. He was also the diplomatic correspondent for Ha’aretz, as well as contributing editor to U.S. News and World Report. He was awarded the National Press Club’s Edwin M. Hood Award for Diplomatic Correspondence.

Makovsky’s experience speaking nationally on the hardest topics of today positions him to thoughtfully address any audience. The Wilsher Boulevard Temple says, “David was dynamite! His energy, his intelligence and his humor all fill the room as he covers the tough subjects of the Middle East peace process… He responded thoughtfully and warmly to challenging questions.”

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DANIEL GORDIS

  • Senior Vice President and Koret Distinguished Fellow, Shalem Center

Award-winning author Daniel Gordis is a revered scholar and commentator on matters pertaining to Israel. Gordis is the author of twelve books, including Israel: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn – which received the 2016 National Jewish Book Award as “Book of the Year.” Of his book We Stand Divided, Ambassador Michael Oren wrote, “Impassioned, brilliant, and riveting… the essential book for understanding American Jewish-Israel relations.” Gordis’ newest book, Impossible Takes Longer: 75 Years After Its Creation, Has Israel Fulfilled its Founders’ Dreams? is due out in April of 2023. In his writing as he does in his talks, Gordis offers a balanced perspective and a deft and multifaceted assessment of Israel. Leonard Fein has written that Gordis is “perhaps the single most popular speaker on Israel to American Jewish audiences.”

Alan Dershowitz has called Gordis “one of Israel’s most thoughtful observers,” and his writing has appeared in The New York TimesThe New Republic, New York Times MagazineAzure, Commentary, and Foreign Affairs, while his books have received numerous awards. Gordis is a sought-after speaker who consistently receives rave reviews for his speaking engagements, such as: "Dr. Gordis was over the top fabulous. Warm, friendly, and brilliant. Roundtable, cocktail receptions, and program… he nailed every tier of our event. Articulate, knowledgeable and passionate. You could hear a pin drop during his keynote address. Our audience was completely engaged." (Tampa Jewish Federation)

 

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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.

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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. 

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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, 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

DAN GILLERMAN

  • Chairman of Blackstone Israel

Ambassador Dan Gillerman is Chairman of Blackstone Israel, Senior Advisor to the Blackstone Group, and a Member of Blackstone’s International Advisory Board. He is the Chairman and CEO of Gillerman Global, a Global Strategic Consulting firm. He served as Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations from 2003-2008 and was elected Vice President of the General Assembly in 2005.

 

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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

  • Emmy Award-Winning TV Host and Comedian

Emmy-winning TV host, comedian, physician, and cancer survivor Matt Iseman is beloved for his energetic, charismatic style and empowering message of overcoming obstacles. When Matt quit medicine to pursue stand-up comedy, his dad – a world-renowned physician – gave him the advice that still guides him today: “Life is short, do what makes you happy.” Renowned as the host of the four-time Emmy-nominated American Ninja Warrior, Matt combines his winning sense of humor, unique experience, and perspective as a doctor-turned-comic to deliver high-impact events. He shared his medical expertise and health and wellness insights on Hallmark’s Home & Family, won an Emmy for his hosting on Style’s Clean House, has hosted numerous live specials including The Macy’s 4th of July Special for NBC and Evel Live for History Channel and can be seen frequently as the in-house game show host for The Kelly Clarkson Show. Matt talks ninjas, tells jokes around the world and, in general, proves laughter is the best medicine.

Matt shares his inspiring story of battling Renal Cell Carcinoma and has become a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society. His ongoing battle with Rheumatoid Arthritis transformed him into a strong supporter of the Arthritis Foundation – for his work over the past decade and a half, Matt was named the 2018 “Arthritis Warrior of the Year.” Matt also supports the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and serves as an Ambassador for the Armed Services Arts Partnership. Sought after for events of all kinds, he is an in-demand speaker for both medical and business events including Texas Children’s Cancer Center, Feather River Hospital, Edwards Lifesciences, and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, who raved: “Matt was fantastic! The audience really enjoyed his talk and he created the type of buzz we were looking for! He was also a pleasure to work with very energetic, kind, personable, and relatable. He hit all of the emotions, which was great!” His dynamic remarks cover everything from battling cancer, to overcoming obstacles, to the paramount importance of following your dreams.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

LAURA BLUMENFELD

  • Prize-Winning Middle East Correspondent

Bestselling author, prize-winning journalist, and researcher Laura Blumenfeld has dedicated her life to analyzing conflict in the Middle East.

Blumenfeld previously served in the U.S. State Department as senior policy advisor for the Middle East Peace Process. She spent two decades as a reporter for the Washington Post covering the Middle East, national security, and presidential politics. She has also been a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund and a public policy fellow at the Wilson Center, where she worked on the project of “U.S. Responsibility to Lead.” Blumenfeld’s memoir, Revenge: a Story of Hope, recounts her global travels in search of the terrorist who shot her father in cold blood. She is currently a Middle East analyst at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Blumenfeld has written on peace in the Middle East for The New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, and more. Her perspectives on politics and conflict in the region have been sought by AIPAC and AJC, alongside JCCs and Jewish Federations across the country.  

HWA EXCLUSIVE

DANIEL KURTZER

  • Critical Voice on the Middle East, Israel & Egypt

Public policy and diplomacy expert Daniel Kurtzer is a uniquely qualified speaker on the Middle East, offering a distinct perspective on geopolitics formed through firsthand experience. In over three decades in the U.S. Foreign Service, Ambassador Kurtzer served as the United States Ambassador to Israel (2001-2005) and as the United States Ambassador to Egypt (1997-2001). 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. Ambassador Kurtzer’s hands-on experience with diplomacy and clear, engaging breakdown of the major regional issues leads to informative talks with practical takeaways.

Ambassador Kurtzer currently teaches diplomacy and conflict resolution at Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs. He is also 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. Ambassador Kurtzer’s well-researched opinions, history-first understandings, and experience speaking on the Middle East ensure a nuanced conversation that leaves audiences feeling more connected to the issues of discussion.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

DAN GOLDIN

  • NASA'S Longest-Tenured Administrator (1992-2001)

During his tenure as NASA’s longest-serving Administrator, The Honorable Dan S. Goldin transformed America’s aeronautics and space program. He is credited with the re-emergence of NASA after the Cold War. Despite lower budgets, his “faster, better, cheaper” approach enabled the Agency to deliver programs of high value to the American public without sacrificing safety. Prior to his tenure at NASA, Mr. Goldin served as a leading national security executive, producing systems of high national priority As the founder of Cold Canyon, an innovation advisory company, and as a senior advisor to Cerberus Capital Management, his career spans space exploration and science, aeronautics, air traffic management, national security systems, semiconductors, advanced sensors, hypersonic, communications, and artificial intelligence. With his accumulated experience, Mr. Goldin is a highly sought-after leader in advancing American technologies and businesses. Mr. Goldin has recently spoken at SXSW, the Space Symposium, Purdue University, the International Aviation Women’s Association, and many more.

Mr. Goldin is a Member of the National Academy of Engineering, and the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy. He is a Fellow of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics and the American Astronautical Society, and an Honorary Board Member of the Explorers Club.  Mr. Goldin has received the Goddard Memorial Trophy, the premier award from the National Space Club and Foundation, and the General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Space Foundation. Mr. Goldin holds 18 Honorary Doctorates from the world’s great universities. As a deep tech champion, Mr. Goldin brings firsthand expertise to the stage, empowering audiences to navigate and harness cutting-edge technologies for transformative business growth and innovation

HWA EXCLUSIVE

KARDEA BROWN

  • Chef and TV Personality

Celebrated chef, author, and beloved TV personality Kardea Brown is a contemporary Southern cook who shares mouthwatering recipes and insights about cooking, culture, and coming together. She is the host of Food Network’s Delicious Miss Brown, her eponymous show, as well as Cupcake Championship and The Great Soul Food Cook-Off. Brown is of Gullah/Geechee descent, a term used to describe a distinct group of African Americans living in the coastal areas of South Carolina and Georgia who have managed to preserve much of their West African language, culture, and cuisine. Brown is the creator of the pop-up restaurant and social destination New Gullah Supper Club, where the menu pays homage to the dishes her grandmother and mother passed down to her.

Brown has appeared on Beat Bobby Flay, Chopped Junior, Cooks vs. Cons, Family Food Showdown, and Farmhouse Rules. She has released her first cookbook, The Way Home: A Celebration of Sea Islands Food and Family with over 100 Recipes, which is already the #1 New Release in Amazon’s ‘African Cooking, Food and Wine’ category and #1 in the ‘Soul Food Cooking, Food and Wine’ category. Brown’s engaging and interactive events are sought-after for memorable programming for audiences of all kinds.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ALTON BROWN

  • Cook, Author, and Filmmaker

Peabody Award-winning cook, bestselling author, filmmaker, and TV personality Alton Brown is the beloved host of culinary classic shows like Iron Chef America and Cutthroat Kitchen. He created, wrote, and hosted Good Eats as a leader of the first Food Network generation, revolutionizing culinary programming. The king of culinary competitions will return to Netflix’s reboot Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend. Brown is known for numerous bestselling cookbooks, including I’m Just Here for the Food, Alton Brown: EveryDayCook, as well as his Good Eats series – the fourth installment Good Eats: The Final Years became an instant New York Times bestseller. A consummate showman, Brown has created elaborate cooking and musical variety shows like The Edible Inevitable Tour, Eat Your Science, and most recently Beyond the Eats, playing sold-out tours nationwide. Inspired by both the science and the heart of good cooking, Brown’s programs are informative, endlessly entertaining, and customized to make a major impact with audiences of all kinds.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

NATE BOYER

  • Former Active-Duty Green Beret

Former Green Beret, NFL player, and filmmaker Nate Boyer is what many would deem a renaissance man – he shares his motivational message with groups including Microsoft, Budweiser, USAA, General Mills, and more.

The Army Green Beret – who was deployed to both Iraq & Afghanistan over his ten-year military career – is also a philanthropist and humanitarian. Despite never playing a down of organized football prior to his time in the Special Forces, Nate played for the University of Texas Longhorns and became the oldest rookie in NFL history at 34 while playing for the Seattle Seahawks. As a member of the military veteran and athlete communities, he saw an opportunity to tackle their transition struggles together through Merging Vets & Players (MVP) – a charity he co-founded with Jay Glazer. Nate is sought-after by Veteran groups, athletic organizations, as well as business looking for a message of inspiration and motivation.

Nate is also an actor, writer, director, producer, and TV host. He co-created, executive produced, and hosted the NFL Network series Indivisible with Nate Boyer, discussing issues relevant to local communities and how football unites us all to solve these problems. Nate’s new film MVP is his directorial debut and tells a real-life story about the struggles of veterans and athletes who found purpose and renewed life together. Boyer’s belief that “Anything is Possible” has served him well throughout his life and students, veterans, businesspersons, athletes, and people from all walks of like can take something away from his unique story.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

KATY BOHINC

  • Poet & Artist

Artist, founder, and mathematician Katy Bohinc is an award-winning data scientist and visionary polymath Fortune 500 marketer. Bohinc began her career as a data scientist for leading marketing agencies, operationalizing big data adoption. Her work garnered Assembly Media (now Assembly Global) Ad Age’s Agency of the Year award. She has published three books of poetry, along with two edited volumes. Bohinc served as Director of Tender Buttons Press (2013-2020). Her latest endeavor as founder & CEO of The Ratio – an AI startup which applies data science to the ancient traditions of astrology – marks her as a leading creative and scientific mind.

Bohinc is a captivating, visionary speaker, bringing her highly acclaimed poet's voice to a powerful and unique weaving of cultural, technological, and marketing insights. Her voice draws from her incredibly diverse background across data science and AI, literature and the arts, world history, and marketing. She has spoken on the intersections of arts, science, and futurism at MoMa Ps1, LACMA, Princeton University, Cambridge University, Ezra Pound’s Castle, and hundreds more. Bohinc's insightful ability to connect seemingly disparate intellectual disciplines into a case study of the human experience opens audiences' minds to new avenues of creativity. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

EITAN BERNATH

  • Chef, Author, and Entrepreneur

Culinary personality, entrepreneur, and Gen Z social media influencer Eitan Bernath is best known for his viral cooking videos on social media showcasing his captivating presentation style. The multifaceted entertainer debuted on the first ever kid’s episode of the Food Network’s Chopped and has since amassed 6M+ followers across his social media empire. Bernath is also the Principal Culinary Contributor for The Drew Barrymore Show on CBS as the first TikTok star to expand into a recurring role on daytime television. His popular debut cookbook, Eitan Eats The World: New Comfort Classics to Cook Right Now, built on his work as a contributor to The Washington Post, Food & Wine, Saveur, and Delish. Eitan helps audiences of all kinds lean into what makes them unique, identify their passion, and leave them with the tools and inspiration to pursue their goals.  

A pioneer in digital media and content development, Eitan Bernath is the CEO of Eitan Productions, the eponymous entertainment studio overseeing his media ventures. Heralded as a master of quick-cut content, he has been profiled by nearly every prominent media outlet in the country including Vanity Fair, Forbes, and more. His brand partners include Walmart, PayPal, Whole Foods Market, DoorDash, Spotify, TikTok, and KitchenAid. With his entertaining delivery across platforms, Bernath can connect to any audience that likes to eat. Tastewise's CMO, Jacques Botbol, described his keynote speech at the Tastewise Generative AI Food Pioneer’s Summit as “a masterpiece of adaptability, charisma, and professionalism that left an indelible mark.”

HWA EXCLUSIVE

AMANDA KNOX

  • Exoneree & Innocence Network Advocate

Exoneree, journalist, and New York Times bestselling author Amanda Knox spent four years in an Italian prison and eight years on trial for a murder she didn’t commit. The scandal made headlines for nearly a decade, as Amanda – dubbed “Foxy Knoxy” – was exploited by the media and judged by the masses on a global scale. Though she was exonerated by Italy’s highest court, she was sentenced to life by the court of public opinion, forever branded as a killer despite her innocence. Since her exoneration, Amanda has fought to reclaim her identity and to find meaning in those stolen years and unjust incarceration, all while advocating for a more just legal system and a more ethical media.

Thoughtful, passionate, and revelatory, Amanda Knox has captivated audiences across the country and abroad, sharing the wisdom she learned the hard way about how to find resilience in the face of tremendous adversity. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir Waiting to Be Heard, and co-host – with her husband Christopher Robinson – of the podcast Labyrinths, which delves into stories of getting lost and found again through compassionate interviews, philosophical rants, and playful debate with fascinating people. Amanda sits on the board of the Frederick Douglass Project for Justice, serves as an Innocence Network Ambassador, and is an advocate for criminal justice reform and media ethics.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

DR. BECKY KENNEDY

  • Named “The Millennial Parenting Whisperer” by TIME

Clinical psychologist, bestselling author, and mom of three Dr. Becky Kennedy was named “The Millennial Parenting Whisperer” by TIME Magazine. Dr. Becky is known for rethinking the way we raise our childrenchildren - and increasingly, she’s speaking about how her clinically informed insights can be brilliantly applied in the workplace. As founder and CEO of Good Inside, a parenting and relationship-focused content and community company, she specializes in thinking deeply about how we see and solve everyday challenges. The #1 New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of Good Inside: A Guide to Becoming the Parent You Want to Be. Her relationship-focused content encourages communication, clarity, and confidence that can help all leaders form connections and grow. Dr. Becky's goal is to help audiences access clarity and confidence, replace judgment with curiosity, and form connections with others without losing connection to themselves.

Dr. Becky’s groundbreaking TED Talk on the power of repair redefined parenthood for a generation. She hosts Good Inside with Dr. Becky, an instant #1 podcast with 28M+ downloads, has amassed nearly 3M followers on Instagram, shares parenting thoughts in her free weekly newsletter, Good Insider, and published a Potty Learning Handbook. Dr. Becky offers invaluable advice and practical strategies to nurture emotional resilience and foster harmony.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

STEVE AOKI

  • Two-Time Grammy-Nominated, Internationally Renowned DJ and Producer

Grammy-nominated music producer, artist, fashion designer, entrepreneur, and NFT visionary Steve Aoki brings a sense of community to all his work – offering shared space and connection. His new album, HiROQUEST: Genesis, is an epic, multi-genre collection of songs with a world-building story that extends beyond the music itself to a new collectible trading card game Aoki co-created with MetaZoo Games in 2021. Aoki boasts 17.2M monthly listeners on Spotify, with a 77M average monthly reach across all his platforms. In sought-after talks and moderated conversations, Aoki shares his insights about entrepreneurship, music, and technology – inspiring his audiences to embrace new frontiers and invest in community.

In 2022, Aoki launched A0K1VERSE, an NFT metaverse membership community, powered by the Passport, that welcomes his fans to both virtual and real-world experiences. For Aoki, it’s essential to remain forward-thinking as he continues to grow his brand. Steve is the subject of the Netflix documentary I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, which focuses on the driving force behind his career: his ambitious father, Benihana founder and perennial daredevil Rocky Aoki. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed memoir BLUE: The Color of Noise and the founder of THE AOKI FOUNDATION, which supports organizations in the brain science and research areas with a focus on regenerative medicine and brain preservation. In every space he enters, Aoki offers a community for those who need it most.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MIKE MURPHY

  • Famed Conservative Political Media Consultant

Famed conservative political media consultant Mike Murphy is a widely quoted pundit, longtime Senior Analyst for NBC News and MSNBC, and co-host of the popular Hacks on Tap podcast. One of the Republican party’s most successful consultants, he has served as a top campaign advisor to John McCain, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, Arnold Schwarzenegger, along with dozens of other GOP Senators, Governors, and Members of Congress. Murphy has spoken for groups including the Council of State Restaurant Associations, Simpson College, Friess Associates of Delaware, the California Chamber of Commerce, America’s Health Insurance Plans Association, Goldman Sachs, NY Life, and John Hancock, among many others.

Murphy advises several Fortune 500 corporations, as well as Hedge Funds and Trade Associations. He has written columns and op-ed pieces for TIMEThe Washington PostThe New York Times, and the Bulwark, and the LA Times. He is currently co-director the University of Southern California’s Center for the Political Future and served as a longtime senior fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, focusing on the intersection of domestic politics and national security decision making.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

DEMI-LEIGH TEBOW

  • Miss Universe and Miss South Africa

Entrepreneur, influencer, model, and philanthropist Demi-Leigh Tebow utilizes her platforms as Miss South Africa and Miss Universe to educate and inspire on a global scale. While traveling the world and representing South Africa on an international stage, she witnessed the universal need for every individual to be heard, loved, and valued. Always a community-minded leader, Tebow aims to leverage her platform to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. After surviving an attempted carjacking, she founded the #Unbreakable Campaign to educate, uplift, and empower women by equipping them with the skills and knowledge to be able to handle dangerous situations. Tebow shares her passion for living a values-driven life, her purpose inspired by her faith in God, and her insights about making an impact in sought-after keynotes and conversations.

Demi-Leigh lends her philanthropic vision to the Tim Tebow Foundation, working to raise awareness for the fight against human trafficking, providing support to children with medical needs, among other impactful mission work. Demi currently serves on the board for several organizations worldwide focused on supporting survivors of human trafficking and empowering them to find lasting independence. She is also an entrepreneur with a passion for supporting businesses that have ethical practices and use their platforms for impact. Tebow offers practical takeaways for those entering the entrepreneurial space, navigating their current careers, and audiences of all kinds looking to combine their business ventures with moral excellence.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

DR. RAE WYNN-GRANT

  • Renowned Wildlife Ecologist, Conservationist, and Storyteller

Renowned wildlife ecologist, equity and justice advocate, and storyteller Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant is a trail-blazing conservationist whose insights about STEM, equity, and the power of nature inspire audiences of all kinds. As an active scientist, Dr. Wynn-Grant researches how human activity influences the behavior of wild animals, spending long periods in the wilderness tracking and observing black and grizzly bears in the Western U.S. and African lions in rural Kenya and Tanzania. Her wildlife exploration and media work has taken her to six of seven continents and over 25 countries. A native Californian, Dr. Wynn-Grant attributes her interest in wildlife and conservation from the nature shows she watched on television as a child, and today she uses media to increase representation of Black scientists and explorers. Dr. Wynn-Grant is the Host of a new NBC series, Wild Kingdom - a new version of the iconic wildlife show premiering Fall 2023.

Dr. Wynn-Grant envisions a near-future where the outdoors is a safe, equitably accessible, and positively transformative space for all people, and she shares her passionate insights in riveting keynotes and conversations. Dr. Wynn-Grant is a faculty member at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at University of California at Santa Barbara, serves on the Golden Gate regional board of NatureBridge, and is a National Geographic Explorer. Her PBS podcast, Going Wild with Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant, takes listeners deep into the heart of the world’s most remote jungles, savannas, tundras, mountains, and deserts with her as she studies wild animals in their natural habitats. A phenomenal leader in her field and a compelling speaker, Dr. Wynn-Grant uses the power of storytelling to make science accessible, emphasizing the importance of creating equitable opportunities for young people to experience nature first-hand.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

FAWN WEAVER

  • Serial Entrepreneur

Serial entrepreneur, New York Times bestselling author, and groundbreaking business mogul Fawn Weaver is an expert in crafting compelling stories; as a writer, powerhouse investor, and values-driven leader. Weaver leverages 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur, from founding and serving as CEO of Grant Sidney, Inc., a privately held investment company, to launching the fastest-growing whiskey brand in U.S. history, Uncle Nearest, Inc. The brand boasts significant accolades as the most awarded American whiskey, including bourbon, of 2019, 2020, and 2021, sweeping 16 of the top 18 award competitions in the world. Weaver also built the $50M Uncle Nearest Venture Fund, investing in minority founded, owned, and led brands with the greatest potential to grow into legacy brands. A multi-hyphenate and popular TED speaker, Weaver is a highly sought-after voice in conversations about accelerating growth without sacrificing values, inclusive organizational strategy, and leadership, making an impact with audiences of all kinds.

The first Black American woman to build a $1B+ company from the ground up (founded, majority-owned and led) who is not a celebrity, Weaver has been featured in The New York TimesBloomberg, The Washington Post, CNBCFast CompanyOprah MagazineLos Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, and more, and she has appeared on FOX Business, the TODAY Show, CBS This Morning, Good Morning America, among countless others. She is a regular contributor to Inc. Magazine, and her revelatory segment on NPR’s How I Built This with Guy Raz had the internet abuzz for weeks. A committed philanthropist, Weaver is the Founder of the Nearest Green Foundation, which offers full scholarships to every descendent of Nathan ‘Nearest’ Green, the world’s first known African American master distiller. She is certified as a Corporate Director by Harvard Business School and sits on the Endeavor Group Holdings board of directors, where she also serves on its audit committee. In riveting conversations, Weaver offers key insights and impactful takeaways about cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset and what it takes to succeed across industries in business and in life.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

RAHUL JANDIAL

  • Dream Specialist, Neuroscientist & Brain Surgeon

Dual-trained brain surgeon and neuroscientist Rahul Jandial, MD, PhD, is a Sunday Times bestselling author with books translated into over ten languages. Jandial undertakes complex cancer operations and oversees groundbreaking science at the Jandial Lab in Los Angeles. He is also the Founder of International Neurosurgical Children's Association, where he leads teams to teach and perform pediatric brain surgery in charity hospitals throughout Central and South America, and Eastern Europe. Jandial’s first book, Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon, became a Sunday Times Bestseller. His next book, This Is Why You Dream, will be published in 25 countries and in 20 translations. 

Jandial is a long-term contributor at KTLA-TV in Los Angeles and for the TODAY Show in Australia. He hosted Brain Surgery Live on Nat Geo with Bryant Gumbel for international broadcast and was on FOX’s primetime non-scripted Superhuman as a panelist. Jandial has been called "world's most dashing neurosurgeon" (Variety), “the real Dr. McDreamy” (ABC News), and VICE refers to him as the 100 percent emoji-human version. He has been featured in The Times of LondonThe TelegraphCosmopolitanMr. Porter, and GQ, and is an expert for Guardian Masterclasses. Jandial is a compelling speaker who combines masterful storytelling and relatable neuroscience on topics including trauma, resilience, brain training for peak performance, awe, creativity, and more.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MERRYL TENGESDAL

  • First and Only African American Woman USAF U-2 Pilot

Groundbreaking aviator, author, and retired Colonel Merryl Tengesdal made history as the first and only African American woman USAF U-2 Pilot. For over two decades, Tengesdal served as a Naval Aviator and Air Force Combat Pilot, deploying worldwide in support of combat and military operations and piloting the “Dragon Lady” high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft. She has extensive command and senior leadership experience, most recently serving as the Director of Inspections for the Air Force Inspector General overseeing a program for 860K Airmen, and was the first woman selected to be Commander of Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, Detachment 2, overseeing a multi-billion-dollar testing program. Tengesdal’s remarkable journey is chronicled in her memoir, Shatter the Sky: What going to the stratosphere taught me about self-worth, sacrifice, and discipline, and her riveting storytelling leaves audiences feeling motivated, inspired, and ready to reach new heights.

Tengesdal starred on CBS’ Tough as Nails, promoting increased minority involvement in the Trades. She has also appeared as a commentator on PBS’ UNLADYLIKE2020: The Bessie Coleman Story, as a technical consultant on Bridge of Spies, and as a featured contributor for Smithsonian Channel’s Air Warrior. Tengesdal was inducted into the 2019 Gathering of Eagles Foundation as an aviation pioneer and is a dedicated advocate for increasing women and children of color in STEM. In sought-after events with groups like Lockheed Martin, Women Impacting Storebrand Excellence, the Transportation Leadership Forum, and more, Tengesdal 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.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

DAMBISA MOYO

  • Global Economist

Harvard- and Oxford-educated economist Dr. Dambisa Moyo is a member of the United Kingdom’s House of Lords sitting as Baroness Moyo of Knightsbridge. Dr. Moyo is respected for her unique perspectives, her balance of contrarian thinking with measured judgment, and her ability to turn economic insight into investible ideas. She has written 5 New York Times bestselling business books and is currently a principal of Versaca Investments. Dr. Moyo sits on the boards of Barclays Bank, Barrick Gold, Chevron, and Seagate Technologies, having earned a strong reputation as a top-tier opinion former and trusted advisor on Macroeconomics, Geopolitics, Technology, and Millennial themes.

Dr. Moyo was named to the list of TIMES’s 100 Most Influential people in the world; writes for the Financial Times, WSJ, Barron's, and Harvard Business Review. Dr. Moyo is a pre-eminent thinker whose insights empower key decision-makers in strategic investment and public policy.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

CARL NASSIB

  • Former NFL Player & Captain of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Former NFL player, tech founder, and philanthropist Carl Nassib is an inspirational activist for the LGBTQ community and a powerful advocate for financial literacy. Nassib is a seven-year NFL veteran and former captain of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. When he was at Pennsylvania State, Nassib went from being a Walk-On to earning unanimous All-American honors. In 2021, Nassib announced publicly that he is gay – distinguishing him as the first openly gay active player in the NFL’s 103-year history. His announcement included a $100K donation to The Trevor Project, an organization dedicated to crises intervention and suicide prevention among LGBTQ youth. Nassib’s historic coming out story directly confronts one of the last bastions of entrenched homophobia – men’s professional sports. Through his advocacy and in sought-after events as a motivational keynote speaker he has made an impact with audiences worldwide.

In addition to his remarkable journey on the football field, Nassib is a tech founder and a committed philanthropist. He is the Founder and CEO of the Rayze app, which enables users to give back to causes they are passionate about – connecting nonprofits to the next generation of philanthropists. He is also an advocate for financial literacy, pushing for more access to financial education and resources for professional and college athletes. Nassib has spoken for groups including the Smithsonian, Villanova, and the Plan Sponsor Council of America, who raved: ”We were thrilled to have Carl Nassib speak at our national conference. His dedication to serving others is a testament to the power of volunteerism and we believe that his message really resonated with our audience.”

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ALAN YANG

  • Emmy Award-Winning Writer and Executive Producer

Emmy Award-winning writer, director, and producer Alan Yang is a groundbreaking comedian as well as advocate for AAPI and immigrant communities. Shortly after college, where he wrote for Harvard's comedic magazine The Lampoon, he moved to LA to pursue a career as a writer. Some of his earliest jobs were writing on the late-night show Last Call with Carson Daly and the television series South Park. Those jobs eventually led to a position as staff writer on the hit series Parks and Recreation, where he met his Master of None co-creator, Aziz Ansari. Now a seasoned writer and producer who is responsible for series like Amazon Prime's Forever and Apple TV's Little America and Netflix's Free Food for Millionaires, Yang is fast becoming a household name. Yang is the writer and director of his feature film, Tigertail, loosely based on his family's immigration story from Taiwan. Yang is a powerful storyteller, usually finding the funniest way possible to connect to the heart of a narrative.

Today, Yang uses the tools of his trade to advocate for Asian Americans and immigrant communities. Audiences describe Yang as open and funny, honest, sincere, and upbeat. His past hosts include Proctor & Gamble, Latham & Watkins, and many more.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

PEPPER TEIGEN

  • Chef and Recipe Developer

TV Personality and New York Times bestselling cookbook author Pepper Teigen has become America’s most well-known Thai mom and Yai (grandma). Lovingly known as “Pepper Thai” for her love of spicy chiles, she is the host of the Food Network and Discovery Plus show, Getting Spicy with Pepper Teigen. Her passion for food goes back to her childhood growing up in the small town of Isaan in Thailand, where her first job was cooking and selling coconut pancakes to commuters each day before school. When Pepper married Chrissy’s dad, she moved to America and helped him operate a bar he owned in Washington, where she cooked food with Thai flavors for the bar patrons. She became an expert at improvising with American ingredients when Thai ones, like green papaya and Thai basil, were hard to find. She not only kept her love of Thai food and traditions alive — even in the small towns where she lived in Idaho, Utah and Washington — but also used food to introduce her daughters, Chrissy and Tina, to her Thai culture.

Pepper is widely featured on Chrissy’s Instagram and on the Cravings’ website, where she shares her cooking tips and Thai recipes as part of her popular “Pepper’s Corner” video series. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Pepper Thai Cookbook. Teigen’s interactive cooking demonstrations make for memorable events that appeal to audiences of all kinds. Attendees cook along with Pepper as she shares her journey and recipes with wit and wisdom.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

NATHANIEL RU

  • Co-Founder and Co-CEO, sweetgreen

Nathaniel Ru is Co-Founder & Chief Brand Officer of sweetgreen, a company with a mission to connect people to the future of real food.  Nathaniel and his co-founders launched sweetgreen in 2007, opening their first location in Washington, D.C., just three months out of college. Together, they are dedicated to creating intimacy at scale with a focus on a transparent supply chain, a foundation of technology and investment in local communities. Today sweetgreen has grown to over 90 locations with over 4,000 team members nationally.

Nathaniel has been recognized as a key innovator in food and business, named to Forbes “Next 50 CMO’s,” Ad Age ’s “40 under 40,” Fast Company ’s “Most Creative People in Business”, and Forbes’ “30 Under 30”. 

Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Nathaniel graduated from Georgetown University, where he met fellow sweetgreen co-founders, Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman. 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ASH PEREZ

  • Creator, Writer, Director, and Producer

Creator, writer, director, and producer Ash Perez is a viral content creator working across mediums to tell powerful stories. He is currently developing their original series, The Youngest One, with Lionsgate and ABC. Ash was a Co-Producer on ABC’s Home Economics, a Story Editor on Freeform’s Good Trouble, and a creator for Buzzfeed. He also served as a Senior Producer on the Biden/Harris campaign, where they co-directed and co-produced “Michelle Obama’s Closing Argument.”

A queer first-generation American himself, Ash is focused on telling underrepresented stories in every genre. His passion lies in comedy, romance, and YA. Ash’s humorous and poignant memoir Read This for Inspiration: Simple Sparks to Ignite Your Life highlights their perspective that wisdom and motivation can be found everywhere. In uplifting events, Ash shares insights about storytelling that resonate with audiences of all kinds.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ERIC NAM

  • Korean American Pop Superstar

Korean American singer-songwriter, TV host, and entrepreneur Eric Nam is one of the most popular and recognizable celebrities in Asia, whose music and advocacy is having a global impact. In an interview for GQ, Nam was described as having “amassed one of the most varied and entrepreneurial legacies to come out of the K-Pop scene.” After growing up in Atlanta, Georgia, and deferring a job offer from Deloitte Consulting, Nam was invited to audition for Korea’s version of American Idol, which launched his meteoric rise as a TV host and pop icon. He was named one of GQ Korea’s “Men of the Year,” one of Forbes’ “30 Under 30 Asia,” and YouTube’s Global Trending “Artist On the Rise,” eventually co-founding and serving as Creative Director for DIVE Studios (DS) – a K-pop focused media company with multiple award-winning podcasts. With the help of his brothers, Nam launched Mindset, a mental health and wellness platform with a library of authentic and intimate video and audio collections from world-renowned celebrities. For his mental health advocacy, Nam received the Time100 Impact Award. Passionate about social impact, diverse representation, and mental health advocacy, Nam has been sought-after to speak for groups like the White House, Milken Institute, JED Foundation, UNESCO, Cornell University, The Korea Society, and NYU, among others.

Nam has been featured in Forbes, Vulture, NPR’s Bullseye with Jesse Thorn, TIME, and many more, and was awarded the Embrace Unity Award by the Council of Korean Americans. He wrote a powerful op-ed for TIME, raising awareness about anti-Asian violence and inspiring change. Nam hosted the DS podcast Daebak Show, celebrating spectacular music, media, and people. Eric's first independent album There And Back Again, which debuted at #3 and #7 on the US and UK Spotify Charts and peaked at #22 Album Sold on Billboard Charts, is inspiring the next generation of change-makers. In 2022, Eric played 60 shows in 54 cities in Europe, North America, Asia, and Oceania with over 85,000 hard ticket sales. In 2023, his second independent album House on a Hill was released to critical acclaim, celbrated with an 80+ city World Tour. Nam debuted as an actor in the psychological thriller, Transplant (2023) further expanding his illustrious career. With authenticity and insight, Nam sparks thought-provoking conversations on important contemporary issues that make an impact with audiences of all kinds.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JEANNIE MAI

  • Emmy Award-Winning TV Personality and Documentarian

Emmy-Award winning host Jeannie Mai can be seen each weekday on the nationally syndicated talk show The Real. In 2018, Mai and her fellow The Real co-hosts received a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host. The show, which is in its seventh season, has received multiple Daytime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Talk Series, and received an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Talk Series. Jeannie serves as a sideline correspondent for ABC’s extreme mini-golf competition series Holey Moley and recently competed on season 29 of the hit series Dancing with the Stars. This May, Mai was honored for her activism work in the AAPI community as a part of the A100 list, which highlights the most influential Asians within their respective industries.

A former professional makeup artist and celebrity stylist, Mai is a style expert and producer. Mai launched her web series titled Hello Hunnay, which takes fans on her journey through fashion, fitness, finances and relationships. The digital series releases weekly on Kin, Facebook and YouTube with over 650K subscribers and continues to grow weekly. Mai also hosts the podcast Listen Hunnay, where she interviews everyone from sex therapists to divorce lawyers and morticians to crime scene investigators in an effort to understand the journeys of the heart of the human being behind the career.

Jeannie Mai is Chief Brand Officer of Owl's Brew, an alcoholic tea beverage available in Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Target and more. In late 2021, Mai will debut her own clothing line with a major national retail chain. 

Deeply committed to charities that advance women’s interests, Mai serves as a board member for various organizations, including Dress for Success and Same Sky, which builds the business potential for women. As a first-generation daughter of immigrant Vietnamese and Chinese parents, Mai strives to give back to her homeland by frequently traveling to Asia to volunteer her time with inspiring organizations dedicated to helping those who are less fortunate. For the last several years, she has served as an advocate to fight human trafficking and has been an ambassador for the Pacific Links Foundation, Step Up, Nightlight International, Not For Sale and Heartbeat Vietnam.  In 2017, Mai executive produced Stopping Traffic: The Movement to End Sex Trafficking, a documentary that investigates the international crisis of human sex trafficking from a deeply personal point of view. She is currently working on the follow up, Stopping Traffic 2: Surviving Sex Trafficking, due out in 2022.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MJ ACOSTA-RUIZ

  • Emmy Award-Winning Sportscaster

Emmy Award-winning journalist and trailblazing sportscaster MJ Acosta-Ruiz is an acclaimed host and feature correspondent for the NFL Network. Acosta-Ruiz is the first ever Afro-Latina and woman of color to host a show at the NFL Network, Total Access, and as she is fully bilingual in English and Spanish, contributes across multiple platforms for NFL Mexico and NFL Español. She has covered sports, entertainment, and breaking news for over a decade, while advocating for representation and equality. Acosta-Ruiz recently co-hosted NBC Sports’ On Her Turf podcast, which highlights amazing women and allies who motivate people to be the best versions of themselves, and co-hosts NFL Network's El Huddle podcast - which celebrates Latino influence in the NFL. In her reporting, moderating, and as a keynote speaker, she shares her insights on overcoming obstacles, embracing your authentic self as part of the path to success, and amplifying the voices of marginalized communities to create a more just world.

In addition to her work as an award-winning journalist, Acosta-Ruiz works as an advocate for women’s empowerment and representation and equity for marginalized communities. She works closely with A Seat at the Table, a mentorship community for young women interested in careers in sports. Acosta-Ruiz is a sought-after speaker, sharing her inspirational journey and takeaways about strategizing for success, embracing what makes you different, and breaking barriers in her empowering talks

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JAY CASPIAN KANG

  • Writer-at-Large, The New York Times Magazine and Staff Writer, The New Yorker

Author, cultural critic, New Yorker staff writer, and writer-at-large at The New York Times Magazine Jay Caspian Kang writes and speaks about race, identity, economics, the history of immigration, and more. He was a founding editor at Grantland and an Emmy-nominated correspondent on VICE at HBO. Kang is the author of The Loneliest Americans, which was named one of the best books of the year by NPR, Mother Jones, and TIME, which called it “provocative and sweeping.” It was also named an Editor’s Choice book by The New York Times Book Review, which raved that Kang’s “exploration of class and identity among Asian Americans will be talked about for years to come.”

Kang’s writing has been featured in numerous publications and outlets including This American LifeThe New Yorker, and The Nation, among others. He is a co-host of the beloved eclectic podcast Time to Say Goodbye, which Slate called one of the Best Chat Podcasts of 2022. A substantive speaker and insightful moderator, Kang speaks on topics as varied as city planning, the history of immigration in the U.S., education policy and Affirmative Action, and more for hosts including the Korean American Spine Surgical Society, the Collegiate School, and Ohio State University.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

RYAN BERGARA

  • Actor & Media Entrepreneur

Actor and media entrepreneur Ryan Bergara is a self-described “ghost hunter,” known for creating beloved viral content across platforms for years. Bergara is the co-Founder of Watcher Entertainment, a digital media studio that creates television-caliber, unscripted series that aim to bring joy, inspire curiosity, and genuinely connect with our audience. Bergara hosts shows such as Ghost Files, Mystery Files, Puppet History, and Are You Scared. He is the creator and host of the BuzzFeed Unsolved franchise – which has amassed over 998M views and 187M hours (over 2,140 decades) watched. Bergara leverages a wealth of experience at every level in the media industry to share insights on creativity, creating viral content, and how to connect with your ideal audience.

Bergara is a sought-after speaker for groups including University of Pittsburgh, Chapman University, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, University of California – San Diego, University of California – Riverside, University of California – Irvine, and more. Bergara brings star power and entertaining insights to any audience.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

SERENA POON

  • Certified Nutritionist and Celebrity Chef

Serena Poon, CN, CHC, CHN is a globally recognized longevity expert and entrepreneur who has run successful businesses for over two decades in the wellness and longevity spaces. She is the CEO of Serena Loves LLC, a lifestyle brand and wellness product company, founder of Just Add Water®, a line of super nutrient foods and supplements, and President and co-founder of Fully Aligned Co. LLC, a company focused on services and consumer products in the longevity space.

Serena is known for her method of Culinary Alchemy®, a combination of education, integrative nutrition and healing energy. In 2022, she co-founded Fully Aligned Co, LLC with Dr. David Sinclair, a conscious company backed by research, with the intentions of “Bridging the Science and Soul of Well-being™." She sits on the advisory boards of EdenRoc Sciences, Delavie Sciences, and Ziva Health and has been featured in Forbes, Vogue, Elle, The Wall Street Journal, TODAY, The New York Times, Health Magazine, The Doctors, and NBC and is a regular health and wellness contributor on KTLA News.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

NAOMI OSAKA

  • Tennis Champion - ranked No. 1 in the world

Tennis icon, founder and serial entrepreneur, and philanthropist Naomi Osaka has transformed the world of sports with her outspoken advocacy for racial justice and player wellbeing. Ranked No. 1 in the world, the four-time Grand Slam Singles Champion made history as the first Japanese tennis player to win a Grand Slam and the first Asian player to hold a top ranking. The proud daughter of a Haitian father and Japanese mother, Naomi has used her platform to bring attention to racial inequality and police brutality, and sparked a global conversation about mental health awareness.

Naomi is the Founder of KINLÒ, a functional skincare solution for melanated skin and underserved communities, the co-founder of sports representation company Evolve and media company Hana Kuma, and has equity in more than a dozen brand partners, including Hyperice, Sweetgreen, and the crypto exchange FTX, in addition to being an early investor and advisory board member for Tom Brady’s NFT platform Autograph. Renowned for her advocacy for mental health, Naomi has partnered with Modern Health, a mental health resources company, as the company’s chief community health advocate. Her decision to take a break from tennis sparked an international conversation about the wellbeing of athletes, and of women of color in the workplace, and she became the leader of a movement for greater mental health care and awareness that continues to make an impact today.

Naomi has written powerful pieces for The New York Times, TIME, Esquire, and been profiled in countless publications, including Vogue, which heralded her as “the people’s champion.” She has been named to the TIME 100 three years in a row – in his profile for her, Russell Wilson wrote: “But sometimes, someone’s sphere of influence is so great, they can change a culture, change a society, change a whole world. Naomi Osaka has the power to do that.” She has been named a Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year, received the Laureus Breakthrough of the Year Award as well as the Laureus Sportswoman of the Year Award, and was chosen as the AP Female Athlete of the Year, among numerous honors.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

LAURA LING

  • Emmy Award-Winning Journalist

Emmy Award-winning journalist, documentarian, and author Laura Ling has dedicated her intrepid career to reporting from dozens of countries on the most critical issues facing the world today. As Head of Programming for Hearst Television’s Streaming Video Services, Ling oversees content development and strategy for Hearst’s new OTT platform Very Local. While Director of Development for Discovery Digital Networks, Ling produced and created original web series that received hundreds of millions of views. A consummate host and moderator, Ling helms the web series Going Off the Grid, Rituals with Laura Ling, the mini-documentary series The Power of Kindness, and her podcast Everyday Bravery, eloquently blending her principles of gratitude and perseverance. In 2009 while reporting on the trafficking of women, Ling was arrested and held captive in North Korea. She recounts her experience in a memoir written with her sister Lisa, Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home. Ling captivates audiences with anecdotes from her storied career and powerful lessons learned with a global perspective.

Ling has received many accolades for her work, including an Emmy Award and the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award for her work as a correspondent for SoCal Connected and a Gracie Award. Under her leadership as Vice President of the journalism department, Current TV’s Vanguard received the prestigious Alfred I. DuPont Award and several Emmy nominations. Her work has appeared on ABC's Nightline, NBC, and PBS, and she has written editorials for the Los Angeles Times and CNN.com.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

PITBULL

  • Grammy Award-Winning Artist

Grammy Award-winning independent international superstar, education advocate, and entrepreneur Armando Christian Pérez Pitbull is a sought-after motivational speaker who invites disruption on a global scale. With billions of audio streams and videos views, plus hundreds of gold and platinum certifications, Pitbull has one of the most impressive careers in music history. Pitbull returned to the road in 2022 with the sold out North American Can’t Stop Us Now Tour along with his SiriusXM Globalization DJs packing amphitheaters and arenas coast-to-coast. From his danceable hit songs to his philanthropic actions, Armando shares a message of hope, hard work, and positivity that resonates worldwide.

Beyond music, Armando has leveraged his business acumen through a diverse portfolio of investments and partnerships. He is co-owner of the NASCAR racing team Trackhouse and has successfully developed other ventures including his own record label Mr. 305, Inc. and Voli 305 Vodka. Armando successfully established Sports Leadership Arts and Management (SLAM!) – tuition-free public charter schools across the country, recognized as one of the top school networks in the world. His next long-awaited Spanglish album, Trackhouse, releases Fall 2023 and Pitbull will join Enrique Iglesias and Ricky Martin on The Trilogy Tour. He has performed for millions worldwide, and even joined forces with the #1 life and business strategist, Tony Robbins, for a global motivational speaking tour. Sharing his uplifting journey to success, Pitbull emphasizes the power of learning from your mistakes – “must-takes,” as he calls them – and embracing a growth mindset to achieve your dreams.

Pitbull melds practical knowledge with personal experiences, ensuring that his talks are not just informative but also deeply resonant and inspirational. His multifaceted career and endeavors reflect a man who is not just an artist, but a leader, entrepreneur, educator, and philanthropist, making him an enriching speaker for a multitude of audiences and events.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MEEK MILL

  • Grammy Award-Nominated Recording Artist, Entrepreneur, and Criminal Justice Reform Advocate

Grammy-nominated recording artist, entrepreneur, and criminal justice reform advocate Robert “Meek Mill” Williams evolved from Philadelphia’s hottest underground rappers to one of the world’s preeminent musical artists. Meek has released a slew of smash studio albums and singles, including his last studio album, Championships, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s “Top 200 Albums” chart, marking his second chart-topper following his 2015 album, Dreams Worth More Than Money. Meek also serves as the President of Dream Chasers, his exclusive record label that is part of a joint venture with Roc Nation. Additionally, Mill is a co-owner of sports apparel retailer Lids, the largest retail seller of hats and licensed sports product in North America.

Meek is a powerful advocate known for his work in criminal justice, after being entrapped in the criminal justice system and shuffled through the prison system over technical probation violations – all despite never committing a crime as a probationer and a wrongful arrest. Meek maintained his innocence on all but one charge, but because of his arresting officer’s testimony (who has since been discredited) Meek was sentenced to 11-23 months in prison with probation that had been unreasonably extended for over a decade. His last incarceration in 2017 spurred the international #FreeMeekMill movement, which ultimately resulted in his release on bail in April 2018 and eventually led to his original conviction being overturned. Meek is the Co-Founder and Co-Chair of REFORM Alliance - an organization transforming probation and parole by changing laws, systems and culture to create real pathways to work and wellbeing. Through it all, Meek has since used his public platform to generate awareness around the problems within the criminal justice system and highlight how they disproportionately affect multicultural communities.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JESSICA WILLIS FISHER

  • Country and Americana Music Singer-Songwriter

Country and Americana music singer/songwriter, performing artist, and author Jessica Willis Fisher believes that sharing our stories with one another will change the world. Jessica grew up as the eldest daughter in a highly controlled and religious household and was the front woman in her celebrated family band, The Willis Clan, until her departure in 2016 at the age of 23. After six years of dedicated recovery, she is sharing the remarkable account of a life reclaimed from the toxic shame of abuse and harrowing trauma.

Jessica’s debut solo album, Brand New Day, was released in 2022 and Jessica uses it to reclaim her voice and her sound. Her unflinching memoir, Unspeakable: Surviving My Childhood and Finding My Voice, was also released in 2022 and is a #1 bestseller in its category on Amazon. A passionate advocate for survivors, Jessica now speaks and sings with a courageous and unique power, creating space to speak the unspeakable.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

WALKER HAYES

  • Grammy Award-Nominated Country Recording Artist

Chart-topping country singer-songwriter Walker Hayes has broken into the mainstream with his authentic sound and his honesty about overcoming the obstacles he’s faced. He is known for his albums Reason to Rhyme, Boom, and his latest release Country Stuff the Album featuring his smash hit multi-platinum song ‘Fancy Like’. The song went viral on TikTok and connected with audiences across genres, spending over six months at the #1 spot on the Billboard Country Songs Chart and hitting the top five on Billboard’s Hot 100 Songs, earning Hayes his first Grammy nomination. The Washington Post profiled in the groundbreaking recording artist in a piece titled, ‘Walker Hayes isn’t afraid to sing about struggling, and it’s making him a success,” writing, “Hayes has broken into the mainstreaming by sounding different.”

Hayes has performed on Good Morning America, CBS Sunday Morning, Late Night with Seth Meyers, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and The TODAY Show, among others. His newest release, ‘AA’, features his trademark unapologetic honesty as well as stories from his own life. Hayes is an impactful speaker and performer, sharing his journey through addiction and recovery. He inspires audiences to face challenges head on and never give up on their dreams.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ALLISON MOORER

  • Singer-Songwriter and Producer

Critically acclaimed singer-songwriter, producer, and author Allison Moorer is a powerful storyteller known for her memoir Blood as well as I Dream He Talks to Me: A Memoir of Learning How to Listen. Through music and memoir, Moorer shares meditations of redemption, acceptance, and the power of healing through art. She has received numerous nominations, for an Academy Award for “Best Original Song,” a Grammy, an Americana Music Association Award, and from the Academy of Country Music Awards. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, American Songwriter, Guernica, No Depression, Literary Hub, and The Bitter Southerner, and she received the Hall-Waters Prize for Excellence in Southern Writing in 2020. A highly regarded memoirist, Moorer speaks with vulnerability and authority about how we can face life’s hardships and take ownership over our own stories, in keynotes and conversations that are riveting for audiences of all kinds.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

TRISHA YEARWOOD

  • Award-Winning Recording Artist

Award-winning country music star, actor, TV personality, chef, New York Times bestselling author, and entrepreneur Trisha Yearwood has been entertaining and inspiring audiences for decades. Yearwood made history as the first female country artist to have a debut single, ‘She’s In Love With The Boy’, reach #1 on music charts. She has been awarded numerous Grammy, CMA, and ACM Awards for countless multi-platinum albums, and continues to release new music that extends the legacy of her powerhouse voice to a new generation of fans. In addition to being a music icon, Yearwood hosts the Emmy Award-winning Food Network show Trisha’s Southern Kitchen as well as her Facebook Live pre-show T’s Coffee Talk. She has written three New York Times bestselling cookbooks, including Trisha’s Table, and launched a lifestyle brand as well as Trisha Yearwood’s Pet Collection, collaborating with Williams Sonoma on signature lines. Yearwood shares incomparable insights from her personal journey as a music icon, beloved chef, and entrepreneur with an open-heart, giving memorable keynotes and moderating meaningful conversations that are impactful for audiences of all kinds.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

TENILLE TOWNES

  • Award-Winning Country Music Singer-Songwriter

Award-winning country music singer-songwriter Tenille Townes transports audiences through her inspiring storytelling and music. Through musical performances like her TED Talk How the Light Gets In, Tenille speaks about the power of creativity in making meaning out of life’s greatest challenges and building your dreams from the ground up. Her albums Living Room Worktapes and The Lemonade Stand received fan and industry praise, with her breakout single ‘Somebody’s Daughter’ earning her four awards at the Canadian Country Music Association Awards, including Female Artist of the Year. Driven by her childhood dream to reach others through music, Tenille founded Big Hearts for Big Kids Foundation, which has raised over $2M in the past decade for youth in need. Tenille forges a deep connection with audiences and ensures memorable events through her conversations and performances.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MARTINA MCBRIDE

  • Award-Winning Country Singer-Songwriter

Multiple Grammy® nominee Martina McBride has sold over 23 million albums to date, which includes 20 Top 10 singles and six #1 hits.

Martina McBride has earned more than 15 major music awards, including four wins for Female Vocalist of the Year from the Country Music Association and won three Academy of Country Music for Top Female Vocalist. Martina has been awarded 14 Gold Records. Nine Platinum honors, three Double Platinum Records, and two Triple Platinum Awards. Martina was awarded the Covenant House Beacon of Hope Award and Music Business Association’s prestigious 2015 Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Award for her philanthropic efforts on behalf of domestic violence. Most recently, Martina was honored with the Cliffie Stone Icon Award at the ACM Honors event for her impactful contributions to country music. 

Martina has released two cookbooks – the first, Around the Table, a full-color illustrated collection of her favorite recipes, hosting tips, practical menu planning advice, and themed décor inspiration. She released her second book, Martina’s Kitchen Mix: My Recipe Playlist for Real Life, in October 2018. She stars in her show Martina's Table on the Food Network, where she shows viewers how to create can-do recipes for entertaining family, friends, and making memories. 

When Martina isn’t in the studio, she focuses her time on charitable causes dear to her heart. Through her Team Music Is Love charity initiative, Martina partners with non-profit causes to help many of the towns she's performing in. Martina also invites fans to join her team in making the world a better place through the power of music. Since 2011, Team Music Is Love has been responsible for many successful fundraising and volunteer projects helping causes such as hunger relief, cancer research, combating domestic violence and helping children in need.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

CHASE BRYANT

  • Country Singer-Songwriter

Country singer-songwriter and mental health advocate Chase Bryant shares his powerful journey surviving mental health crisis and suicide through stories and songs. Bryant grew up dreaming of a life in music, and by age 21 was known for multiple Top 10 singles and tours with Brantley Gilbert and Tim McGraw. But when he achieved early fame, he also struggled with anxiety and depression. He hit rock bottom in a gas station parking lot, and attempted suicide – but after pulling the trigger, he found he was miraculously still alive. Bryant began the long road to recovery from his mental health crisis, eventually writing his extraordinary album Upbringing, which received wide acclaim and was featured on NPR, in People, Taste of Country, and others.

In his songs and impactful speaking engagements, Bryant shares his inspiring message with audiences of all kinds: “they’re not alone in this fight, that somebody’s out there listening and has their back.” Through facing his demons head on, learning to be comfortable in his own skin, making peace with being alone, learning to be okay with not being okay all the time, Bryant has found strength and resilience. He regularly receives rave reviews for his authentic and uplifting speaking engagements, such as: “Everything went great! They loved him and he was so nice and gracious and inspiring. The kids at the Center loved him too.” (Clarity Child Guidance Center's Annual Summit)

HWA EXCLUSIVE

GRANGER SMITH

  • Award-Winning Country Music Singer-Songwriter

Award-winning country music singer-songwriter, author, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Granger Smith has always had the power of music in his hands. A proud Texan, American, father, husband, and Christian, Smith has produced countless hit records and is also the co-author of the bestseller If You’re City, If You’re Country, under the name Earl Dibbles Jr. – his comic alter-ego. Alongside his brothers, Smith founded Yee Yee Apparel – a Texas-based, patriotic, outdoor apparel company. Fans gain insight into his family and country life through the mega-popular YouTube channel The Smiths, as well as Granger’s channel – which features impactful sermons about his journey through grief and the role of Faith in his life. He’s the host of the Granger Smith Podcast, a weekly advice show praised for his captivating storytelling, positive outlook on life, and the profound connection he makes with his audiences

In 2019, while Smith was at work on his 10th studio album, tragedy struck – he and his wife Amber lost their 3-year-old son River in a drowning accident. After several months of mourning, he started to find healing through his music, and realized it could have the same impact for others going through grief as well. Through his music, beloved podcast, and speaking engagements, Granger inspires hope – showing people the way out of a tough spot and offering the connection that they are not alone.

Smith’s new book, Like a River: Finding the Faith and Strength to Move Forward after Loss and Heartache, will be published August 1st, 2023 and focuses on his family’s journey of grief after the loss of River, and lessons learned along the way.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

FOLAKE OLOWOFOYEKU

  • Actress Known for CBS' '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

KEVIN BACON

  • Acclaimed Actor, Director, and Producer

Legendary actor and philanthropist Kevin Bacon is a ubiquitous figure in contemporary film culture. His varied and critically acclaimed acting work has garnered a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actor’s Guild Award, and a nomination for a Primetime Emmy. Also a respected film and television director, Bacon’s directorial projects have earned three Golden Globe award nominations. He currently tours with The Bacon Brothers, a mixed-genre band comprised of Bacon and his brother Michael.

Leveraging the pop culture phenomenon ‘Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon’ for good, Bacon launched his foundation SixDegrees.org, which provides essential resources for communities in need. On his podcast, Six Degrees with Kevin Bacon, Bacon brings on celebrity guests to discuss their favorite changemakers, charities, and initiatives. Bacon’s gift for creating connections and spurring innovative conversations makes each event feel personal, guaranteeing a lasting impact with your audience.

Bacon’s iconic voice has been sought by hosts such as Ceridian, the North American Veterinary Meeting & Expo, Virgin Pulse, and more.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JANA KRAMER

  • Actress and ACM Award-Winning Country Singer

Actress, entrepreneur, and New York Times bestselling author Jana Kramer is beloved by her fans for her honest vulnerability. She is best known for her TV appearances in One Tree Hill, Friday Night Lights, 90210, and Entourage. Kramer regularly stars in films such as 20th Century Fox’s Heart of the Country, Hallmark Channel's Love at First Bark, and Lifetime’s Christmas in Mississippi. A multi-hyphenate creative, Kramer’s musical career took off with her eponymous debut album, Jana Kramer. Seven of her singles charted on Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay. She won the Academy of Country Music’s “New Female Vocalist of the Year” award for her work.

In 2019, Kramer launched her award-winning iHeartRadio podcast, Whine Down with Jana Kramer, where she shares advice on love, life, and more. Audiences connect with the candid but uplifting transparency she carries through her work. Authenticity, vulnerability, and care are all central to her New York Times bestseller, The Good Fight: Wanting to Leave Choosing to Stay, and the Powerful Practice for Loving Faithfully and latest book, The Next Chapter: Making Peace with Hard Memories, Finding Hope All Around Me, and Clearing Space for Good Things to Come. Drawing on her personal relationships and experiences, Kramer provides spiritual guidance and practical advice to audiences worldwide.

Kramer’s wonderful stage presence, authenticity, and ability to connect with the crowd leaves audiences dazzled at every engagement.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ANDY GRAMMER

  • Multi-Platinum Singer-Songwriter

Multiplatinum recording artist and Emmy-winner Andy Grammer has brought inspiration and a deep sense of empathy to people across the world for over a decade. A former street performer, Andy shot to fame with pop hits like the quadruple platinum ‘Honey, I’m Good’, and platinum singles ‘Keep Your Head Up’, ‘Fine By Me’, gold single ‘I Found You’, and many more. Recognized as the #1 streaming artist in the world in the category of Happy/Pop, Andy takes audiences on an inspirational journey of music that nourishes the soul, heartwarming personal stories, and an authentic conversation about mental health and finding your true self for an unforgettable event.

Andy has earned a Sports Emmy for “Outstanding Music Direction” and a Clio Award for his song ‘Don’t Give Up On Me’, which was featured in ESPN’s Annual V Week for Cancer Reach. His music has been featured on TV and in films like Five Feet Apart. Andy has electrified TV audiences with performances on The TODAY Show, Jimmy Kimmel LIVE!, Good Morning America, American Idol, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and The Late Late Show with James Corden, in addition to appearing as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars. Through interactive musical events, keynotes, and as a consummate host, Andy makes an impact with his empowering message of grounded optimism and finding your true self.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

RICK SPRINGFIELD

  • Iconic Grammy-Winning Singer and Songwriter

Over the past four decades, Rick Springfield has worn many hats as an entertainer and performer. The creator of some of the finest power-pop of the ’80s, he’s a Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, and musician who has sold 25 million albums and scored 17 U.S. Top 40 hits, including “Jessie’s Girl”, “Don’t Talk to Strangers”, “An Affair of the Heart”, “I've Done Everything for You”, “Love Somebody”, and “Human Touch”. He’s an accomplished actor who has starred opposite Meryl Streep in the feature film, Ricki and the Flash, gave a chameleonic performance as the creepy Dr. Pitlor in HBO’s prestige drama True Detective, earned great reviews for his portrayal of Lucifer on the CW hit, Supernatural, and most recently played Pastor Charles on American Horror Story: Cult. In 2014, Springfield was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, located around the corner from the first apartment he lived in when he first arrived in the U.S. from Australia in 1971.

Rick’s latest album The Snake King finds Rick travelling down a dusty dirt road to explore the blues side of his rock ‘n roll and marks a definite departure from the power pop he has been known for.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ROBERT RODRIGUEZ

  • Screenwriter, Filmmaker, and Producer

Robert Rodriguez is a film director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer, editor and musician.

While a student at the University of Texas at Austin in 1991, Robert Rodriguez wrote the script to his first feature film, El Mariachi, which went on to win the coveted Audience Award at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival, and became the lowest budget movie ever released by a major studio. Rodriguez wrote about these experiences in Rebel Without a Crew, a perennial guide for the independent filmmaker.

Rodriguez went on to write, produce, direct and edit a series of successful films including Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn, The Faculty, the Spy Kids franchise, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Frank Miller’s Sin City, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3D, Grindhouse, Machete and Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For, and embarked on a collaboration with iconic film director James Cameron on the film adaptation of Alita: Battle Angel which Cameron is producing alongside Rodriguez directing.

In 2000, Rodriguez founded Troublemaker Studios, an Austin, Texas based production facility of which he is co-owner and president. The studio includes a world-renowned visual effects house, music and publishing arms and has played a primary role in making Austin a vibrant filmmaking hub.

In 2017, Rodriguez, alongside his sons Racer and Rebel, formed Double R Productions, a development and production company with capabilities to produce media projects across film, television, gaming, and interactive platforms. In addition to Red 11, Double R produced a state of the art VR live-action short called the The Limit as well as as a new feature film, We Can Be Heroes, in partnership with Netflix. We Can Be Heroes has become one of Netflix’s most popular films of all time.

He recently directed the Lady Gaga/Ariana Grande video "Rain on Me," and an episode of The Mandalorian which led to him currently producing the new Star Wars series The Book of Boba Fett.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

KEVIN GRIFFIN

  • Singer, Songwriter, and Producer Known as the Frontman for Better Than Ezra

Hit songwriter, Better Than Ezra front man, bestselling author, and philanthropist Kevin Griffin has produced, written, and co-written albums and songs that have sold over 30M copies and songs that have been streamed over a billion times. Griffin has produced and written songs performed and recorded by artists such as Taylor Swift, Train, Dierks Bentley, Barenaked Ladies, and James Blunt among others. He is the founder of the Better Than Ezra Foundation, which has raised more than $4M for charities, many of which are devoted to children and the arts around New Orleans and the gulf coast. Griffin is the author of The Greatest Song: Spark Creativity, Ignite Your Career, and Transform Your Life, a bestselling, creative nonfiction book with lessons for every profession and industry. Griffin has also served as adjunct professor and writer-in-residence at NYU’s Clive Davis School of Recorded Music.

In addition to songwriting and performing, Griffin is involved in artist management, publishing, and lectures on the subject of keeping a creative and competitive edge to groups and companies such as Live Nation, Disney, Nike, WPO, and Salesforce. He is a founder and partner along with Justin Timberlake in Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival, which is a two-day event located in Franklin, TN. After its inaugural year, Rolling Stone commented that Pilgrimage had “an A-list lineup (arguably the best curated of the year)” and “established itself as a festival to watch.” An in-demand and entertaining keynote speaker, Griffin has spoken for groups including NovationWhichWichGoogle, and Young Presidents’ Organization on topics of investing in your potential, sparking creativity, and leadership.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

AKALA

  • BAFTA and MOBO Award-Winning Hip-Hop Artist and Social Entrepreneur

BAFTA and MOBO award-winning hip-hop artist, bestselling author, and social entrepreneur Akala is the co-founder of The Hip-hop Shakespeare Company. Akala is the author of the Sunday Times bestseller, Natives: Race & Class in the Ruins of Empire, which was shortlisted for the James Tait Black Prize, The Jhalak Prize, The Bread and Roses Award, and long-listed for the Orwell Prize for Political Writing, which has sold over 450K copies worldwide. Immovable Limited, a creative publishing hub co-founded by Akala and his manager Chanelle Newman, produced The Ruins of Empires for BBC Two and Akala’s Odyssey for BBC Four. Akala has gained a reputation as one of the most dynamic and articulate talents in the UK and internationally.

With an extensive global touring history, Akala has appeared at numerous festivals both in the UK and internationally, and has led innovative projects in the arts, education and music across South East Asia, Africa, India, Australia and New Zealand. Akala has also appeared on NPR, PBS, MTV, BET, Channel 4, ITV, Sky Arts, and the BBC promoting his music, poetry and speaking on wide-ranging subjects from music, race, youth engagement, British/African-Caribbean culture and the arts. His writing has been featured in The Guardian, Huffington Post, GQ, and The Independent, to name a few. Akala has been awarded honorary Doctorates by Oxford Brookes University, the University of Brighton, and Brunel University and has been consistently included on the annual Powerlist of the 100 most influential Black British people in the UK. Akala has been sought-after for keynotes at Oxford Union, Google Zeitgest, Spotify, and a TEDx Talk, which has garnered over 1.6M views.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

ALANIS MORISSETTE

  • Award-Winning Musician and Singer-Songwriter

Award-winning musician, singer-songwriter, actor, and activist Alanis Morissette is an enduringly popular artist whose celebrated body of work stems from a fierce commitment to authenticity. Her breakthrough album Jagged Little Pill – which earned four Grammys and sold more than 30M records – spawned a worldwide fanbase and became a hit Broadway musical, earning fifteen Tony Award nominations. As an actor, Alanis’s film and TV projects include Dogma, Sylvia, De-Lovely, Sex and the City, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Weeds, among others. On stage, she has starred in The Vagina Monologues and The Exonerated.

Beyond the entertainment world, Alanis is an avid supporter of mental health, women’s empowerment, as well as spiritual and physical wellness. She supports numerous causes that focus on empowerment, art, and environmental causes, and touches on these important issues in her insightful events. Alanis is the recipient of the Global Tolerance Award from the United Nations and Rock the Vote’s Patrick Lippert Award for her dedication to making the world safer for young people. Her uplifting keynotes have connected with audiences at events including the Wisdom 2.0 Festival, UCLA, The Embodiment Conference, and the Engendering Love Summit, where the host raved, “It was a delightful conversation, and I got tons of good feedback how much people appreciated it and Alanis’s insights. Please pass my deep heart felt gratitude to Alanis.”

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MELISSA VILLASEÑOR

  • Comedian, Actor, and Writer

Comedian, actor, and musician Melissa Villaseñor makes a major impact on audiences with her uncanny impressions, personal stories, and hilarious insights. Best known for her groundbreaking work as the first-ever Latina cast member on Saturday Night Live, she got her start blowing audiences away with her expertise in comedic impressions as a semifinalist on America’s Got Talent. Villaseñor has since appeared on Comedians in Cars Drinking Coffee, Barry, and Crashing, and voiced characters for Toy Story 4 and Wreck It Ralph 2. She tours nationally, headlining clubs and theaters, and recently appeared on Netflix’s The Standups. The star is an exemplary storyteller, and she uses her comedic gifts to imitate celebrities and create characters, captivating crowds and leaving them doubled over with laughter in keynotes tailored to each audience.

Villaseñor has appeared on NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the PBS series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr., and hosts the podcast Laughing with Myself, on which she “discusses silly things and maybe sings and definitely does all the voices to make herself laugh alone.” She released her pop album Dreamer in 2019, and her upcoming workbook Whoops ... I’m Awesome, filled with personal stories, activities, prompts, and original art to help you embrace your most awesome self.  With her multifaceted talents and immense charisma, Villasenor is sure to make your next event a memorable one.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JULIANNE HOUGH

  • Emmy Award-Winning Dancer and Choreographer

Award-winning performer, recording artist, and entrepreneur Julianne Hough is an energetic force who shares her message of self-acceptance, creativity, and wellness in empowering engagements. A true triple threat, Hough is known worldwide for her dancing, acting, and music, and became a household name as a two-time professional champion on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. After multiple wins, she went on to judge the series, and won an Emmy for her original choreography. She is the founder of KINRGY, an accessible and fun movement experience based in her belief that movement creates energetic health. Hough and KINRGY were a vital part of Oprah’s 2020 Vision Tour. She is fulfilling a childhood dream with her Broadway debut in the critically acclaimed POTUS. With each of her endeavors, Hough expands her portfolio and her impact with audiences of all kinds.

A serial entrepreneur, Hough has collaborated on a shoe line with Vince Camuto, a capsule collection with MPG Activewear, released a series of dance-based fitness DVDs, and is the Co-Founder of Fresh Vine Wine. She is known for films including Safe Haven, Paradise, Rock of Ages, the remake of Footloose, and more, and starred as Sandy in FOX’s Grease Live! Her self-titled debut album hit #1 on the Billboard Country charts and earned her two Academy of Music Country Awards for “Top New Female Vocalist” and “Top New Artist.” Hough has also released the powerful self-love anthem “Transform” and The Julianne Hough Holiday Collection. From holistic movement and healing, to achieving next-level dreams, to engaging with compassion, Hough shares her warmth and uplifting insights in memorable events.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JANELLE MONÁE

  • Award-Winning Musician and Actor

Multi-talented and award-winning musician, actor, activist, fashion icon, and bestselling author Janelle Monáe is a uniquely original artist whose work examines questions of identity, power, and belonging. Following her critically acclaimed album Dirty Computer, Monáe recently released her album, The Age of Pleasure. They serve as a co-chair to Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote, and has established their own initiative, Fem the Future, which aims to create opportunities for not just fellow creatives but society. Monáe is known for starring roles in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Hidden Figures, Homecoming, Antebellum, and the Best Picture Oscar-winner Moonlight, to name a few. Heralded for their artistry and activism, Monáe is a vocal advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and social movements toward justice and the end of systemic prejudice and racism. Their debut book, the Afrofuturist story collection The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories from Dirty Computer, became an instant New York Times bestseller and captures Monáe’s mesmerizing gift of storytelling and boundless creative voice.

Monáe has received countless Grammy nominations, and has won an MTV Video Music Award, the Critics Choice's SeeHer Award, the ASCAP Vanguard Award, Billboard’s Women in Music Rising Star Award as well as the Trailblazer of the Year Award, and a Hugo Award nomination for the short film for her album Dirty Computer. She has been recognized as the Trevor Project’s Suicide Prevention Advocate of the Year. She has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Amanpour, Washington Post Live, and many more. A global icon, Monáe is sought after for captivating and profound conversations about artistry, activism philosophy, challenging the status quo, and the future.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JESSIE JAMES DECKER

  • Singer-Songwriter and TV Personality with Over 7M Social Media Followers

Country music singer-songwriter, style entrepreneur, and TV personality Jessie James Decker is a New York Times bestselling author with over 7M social media followers. Signed to Warner Music Nashville, Jessie’s passion for music has made the multi-talented artist one of music’s true breakout firebrands. The singer’s authentic style immediately captivated listeners everywhere on her 2009 self-titled debut. She continued to keep it real with her second studio album, 2017’s Southern Girl City Lights, which debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. Jessie is a four-time host of Dick Clark’s Rockin New Year’s Eve, Presenter at the American Music Awards 2022, and beloved contestant on Dancing with the Stars

Decker is the Founder and Designer of Kittenish – a playful fashion line inspired by her personal style. Decker and her brand were profiled in Forbes, which raved: “country star Jessie James Decker was born to hustle.” The multi-hyphenate is also a multi-time New York Times bestselling author. Decker’s first book, Just Jessie, is her guide to love, life, family, and food. In Just Feed Me, Jessie shares her favorite recipes of her family – her husband, retired NFL player Eric Decker, their three children, and now a fourth one on the way. Jessie’s newest cookbook Just Eat is set to release Fall of 2023. An unstoppable force of talent and energy, Decker’s fans love to connect with Jessie through her brands, music, and in unforgettable events.

 

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JOHN RICH

  • Multi-Platinum Singer-Songwriter and Producer for Big & Rich

John Rich is an American dream chaser. Armed with confidence, ambition and determination, John Rich is a multi-platinum hit generator, lifestyle-brand entrepreneur, and host of The Pursuit! with John Rich on Fox Business Network. John speaks with authority on entrepreneurism, the music industry, politics, current events, and the importance of family and God.

Whether through a raucous party anthem or a sober reflection on hard times in the heartland, Rich’s ability to capture the American zeitgeist in song has made him one of the most successful and prolific entertainers in the music business today. John is a 3 time consecutive ASCAP Songwriter of the Year winner and has penned over 2,000 songs in his career. In 2011, Rich impressed Donald Trump and American TV audiences with his business acumen and leadership skills, winning NBC’s The Celebrity Apprentice and raising $1.5 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Rich is the founder of a national lifestyle brand called "Redneck Riviera" which celebrates 'Work hard, play hard' Americans. The brand boasts a successful national whiskey, Redneck Riviera Whiskey, a beef jerky line and a full-blown honky-tonk on the famed Lower Broadway in Nashville, Tennessee, with several more set to open across the US. The Redneck Riviera brand supports Folds of Honor and has now funded over 100 college scholarships for kids who have lost a parent in combat.

In addition to hosting his own show, Rich makes regular appearances on such top-rated shows such as the Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox News Channel’s The Five, Hannity, Fox and Friends and many more.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

CAM

  • Award-Winning Singer-Songwriter

Cam writes music to tell the truth, especially truths that help women understand themselves. The GRAMMY®-nominated artist has released music that is brazen, bold and transcends genre boundaries as seen through songs like the viral fame of “Diane” and the breakthrough debut of her double-platinum hit, “Burning House.” “Burning House” garnered Cam multiple award nods and to date, is the most-downloaded song by a female country artist since 2015. Along with joining international superstar Sam Smith on the North American leg of his “Thrill of It All Tour” this Summer, Cam has shared the stage with artists like Harry Styles, Tim McGraw & Faith Hill, George Strait, Alicia Keys, Eric Church, Smokey Robinson and others.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

SARA EVANS

  • Multi-Platinum Country Recording Artist

Multi-platinum entertainer Sara Evans is at the top of her game. As one of the top five most-played female artist on country radio in the last two decades, she has five No. 1 singles including “No Place That Far,” “Suds In The Bucket, “A Real Fine Place To Start,” “Born to Fly,” and “A Little Bit Stronger,” which spent 2 weeks in the top spot and was certified platinum by the R.I.A.A. She has garnered such honors as ACM's Female Vocalist of the Year, CMA's Video of the Year, named one of People Magazine's ""50 Most Beautiful People,"" and the first country star to compete in ABC's Dancing with the Stars.

Sara continues to forge a bold, creative path with the launch of her label Born to Fly Records, and as the bestselling author of her memoir Born to Fly, as well as a series of entertaining novels.  Those who know Sara as a storyteller through music connect with her personal and humorous stories in Born to Fly, in which she tells the narrative about her life and how faith and music brought her through some of her darkest hours.

Sara has been honored for her philanthropic work and was presented the NAB Education Foundation’s Service To America Leadership Award. A Red Cross ambassador, Sara received the national Crystal Cross award for her work with the disaster-relief organization.

Sara is praised for her humorous, real and inspiring talks in which she reminds us of the important things that matter: faith, love and family.

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

JOHN LEGEND

  • EGOT Winner: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony

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. 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

MARGARET CHO

  • Critically Acclaimed Actress, Comedian, and Musician

Beginning with her early days as an up and coming stand-up comedian in San Francisco, Margaret Cho has always been the Agent Provocateur of entertainment. Never one to shy away from any topic, there is literally nothing off limits when it comes sharing her views on family, gay rights, politics, sexuality, bullying and oh-so-much more. Margaret’s socially aware, no-holds-barred type of comedy has made her both a thought leader and a tolerant teacher for those with open minds and open hearts.  An accomplished performer in all formats, Margaret has conquered the worlds of film, television, books, music and theatre. Having been nominated for five Grammy Awards and one Emmy, her comedy tours are a constant sell-out both here and abroad. 

Equally as important to her as her work in entertainment is the causes she is passionate about. Margaret has been widely recognized for her work in the non-profit sector, lending her name, time, and tireless work ethic to several charities, especially those involving gay rights and anti-bullying campaigns. In every segment of her life, Margaret is honest, adoring, passionate, uproarious, and always entertaining. Margaret Cho is at her very best.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

JOHN MCENROE

  • Tennis Legend, Musician, and 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

ROB LOWE

  • Hollywood Icon, Actor, Producer, and Director

Hollywood icon, New York Times bestselling author, podcaster, and philanthropist Rob Lowe is a passionate advocate for resilience in the face of adversity and leverages his platform to make an impact on the world. Known for his decades-long career in film, television, and theater, Lowe has been nominated for numerous Emmy, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild Awards, winning two. Notable roles include St. Elmo’s Fire, About Last Night, The Outsiders, The West Wing, and Parks and Recreation, as well as directing The Bad Seed and serving as executive producer for Holiday in the Wild and 911 Lonestar. He shares his complicated path to stardom in two New York Times bestselling memoirs, Stories I Only Tell My Friends and Love Life. He has taken his first memoir and made it into a touring show called Stories I Only Tell My Friends: Live! which has received rave reviews throughout the country and sold out in London. With his signature wry humor, candor, and moving personal anecdotes, Lowe is an in-demand speaker about his work in the fight against cancer, his journey to three decades of sobriety, and for his insights about overcoming obstacles, developing resilience, and finding joy.

Lowe hosts Literally! With Rob Lowe, irreverent yet thoughtful conversations with leaders in the world of business and entertainment like Oprah, Chris Pratt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Aniston, Magic Johnson, and others. He is a gifted host, moderator, and keynote speaker, and regularly receives rave reviews such as: ”Everyone was THRILLED! Rob was warm, funny, gracious and a pleasure to work with. Thanks for making this so memorable.” (Memorial Sloan Kettering)

HWA EXCLUSIVE

LINDSEY STIRLING

  • Award-Winning Violinist, Composer, and Dancer

Lindsey Stirling is one of the biggest artist development breakthrough stories in recent years. An acclaimed violinist from Gilbert, Ariz., Lindsey has entered a futuristic world of electronic big beats and animation using her classical violin training to leap through the music industry with almost 13 Million YouTube subscribers, 3 Billion+ views on her YouTube channel, 2 Billboard Music Awards, Billboard chart-topping hits and albums, as well as sold out tours worldwide. She’s created a new music world where modern classical meets the infectious energy of dance and electronica. Lindsey Stirling embodies the true spirit of today’s independent recording artist whose symbiotic relationship with her fans has led to a worldwide audience filled with positivity. By using her own story to show young adults that confidence in the very thing that makes you unique is the key to success, she continues to be a light in today’s entertainment scene and brings her own brand of ‘Magic’ to the many lives she has touched.

Since the release of her 2012 self-titled debut, the electronic music impresario, violinist, dancer, and artist quietly and humbly became one of the 21st century’s most innovative stars by clinging to her groundbreaking vision of cinematic violin-driven electronic music. She has continued to build an impressive fan base that stretches across all demographics forging her own path for future young artists to emulate. 

Lindsey’s musical talent and success on YouTube also launched a successful career into television. Driven by a strong international fan base, Lindsey was runner-up on Season 25 of ABC’s hit show Dancing with the Stars with her partner Mark Ballas and did a stint on NBC’s America’s Got Talent as well.

Her highly anticipated fifth-studio album, Artemis, released in 2019 to critical acclaim and debuted at #1 on the Dance/Electronic Album Chart. In the wake of the cancellation of her 2020 tours due to COVID-19, Lindsey funded and directed a virtual livestream concert that received over 100,00 unique viewers. She started the 2021 year with the release of “Lose You Now”, a single featuring Artist/Producer Mako that reflects on loss. 

A motivational speaker in her spare time, recently through various podcasts and live audio chats, Stirling uses her own story to show that you’ve got to have confidence in the very thing that makes you unique – then wait for the world to catch up.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

REBA MCENTIRE

  • Iconic Country Music Star

The “Queen of Country Music,” Reba McEntire, is a true multi-media mogul. From the top of the Country charts to the Broadway stage, she has repeatedly demonstrated her ability to inhabit any endeavor with the authority and passion that has made her a household name from stage to screen.

Recognized as a powerhouse vocalist whose talent transcends musical boundaries, Reba has scored 35 No. 1 singles and sold more than 56M albums worldwide to be deemed one of the most successful recording artists in history. The Country Music Hall of Fame, Grand Ole Opry and Hollywood Bowl member has also won 16 ACM Awards, 15 American Music Awards, 9 People’s Choice Awards and 6 CMA Awards. Reba is also an acclaimed actress with 11 movie credits to her name, who has also been a leading lady on Broadway in Irving Berlin’s Annie Get Your Gun, a judge on The Voice, and eponymous star of the six-season television sitcom Reba. She was also the first female and musician to portray KFC’s iconic founder Colonel Harland Sanders.  Reba’s phenomenal career has been characterized by her sharp business sense, indelible wit, and commitment to excellence – the same values she brings to inspirational speaking engagements.

With faith and family as Reba’s foundation, her legacy extends beyond the stage. Her leadership and philanthropic endeavors have been recognized with the Andrea Bocelli Foundation Humanitarian Award, the Leadership Music Dale Franklin Award, the Minnie Pearl Humanitarian Award, the Music Biz Chairman’s Award, the National Artistic Achievement Award from the U.S. Congress and induction into the Horatio Alger Association. Reba was also named Billboard magazine’s first-ever Woman of the Year. Reba’s impact can be felt worldwide, and audiences everywhere look to the country superstar not only as a musical genius, but also philanthropist, entrepreneur, and aspirational icon.  

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. 

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SHARON MALONE

  • Board Certified Obstetrician & Gynecologist

Women’s health expert Dr. Sharon Malone has been active in advocating for reproductive rights, reducing teen pregnancy, and eliminating health care disparities. She is the Chief Medical Advisor at Alloy Women’s Health, a telehealth company focusing on women over 40. Before joining Alloy, Dr. Malone was a partner at one of the oldest and most successful OB/GYN medical practices in Washington, D.C. She is board-certified by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and certified by the North American Menopause Society as a Certified National Menopause Practitioner. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Grown Woman Talk, called a “must-read” by Michelle Obama. Dr. Malone’s speeches are informed by her extensive clinical experience, advocacy work, and commitment to improving health outcomes for all women.

Dr. Malone believes that all women should be able to make decisions regarding their health and quality of life based on facts – not fear. Dr. Malone serves on the D.C. Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy Board and the regional panel for the White House Fellows Program selection. She was appointed to the selection committee for the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction awarded by the University of Alabama School of Law. In addition, Dr. Malone has consistently been voted one of Washingtonian Magazine’s “Best Doctors.” Dr. Malone’s compassionate approach to patient education and care allows her to make any audience feel welcome, comfortable, and informed.

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KUMAIL NANJIANI

  • Critically Acclaimed Actor, Comedian, and Writer

Academy Award and Emmy-nominated writer and critically acclaimed actor and comedian Kumail Nanjiani is an incredible storyteller, prolific creative, and inspiring speaker. While he can still be seen regularly doing stand-up shows around some of LA’s greatest comedy theaters, Nanjiani was recently featured in Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, Migration, the Disney+ Star Wars prequel Obi-Wan, Marvel film The Eternals, and The Big Sick, which Kumail and his wife Emily V. Gordon received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Nanjiani rose to fame when he starred as ‘Dinesh’ in the Emmy Award-winning HBO comedy series Silicon Valley. Additional television credits include Bless the Harts, The Twilight Zone, The Meltdown, Portlandia, Franklin & Bash, The X-Files, and Community Nanjiani and his wife Emily V. Gordon currently serve as executive producers on the Apple TV+ series Little America, which received nominations at the Independent Spirit Awards and BAFTA TV Awards. The Big Sick was chosen as one of AFI’s “Top Ten Films of the Year.” In engaging moderated conversations, Nanjiani shares humorous and empowering insights about his experiences in Hollywood, the creative process, and more, making an impact with audiences of all kinds.

Nanjiani was named one of TIME’s “100 Most Influential People.” For his profile, Judd Apatow wrote: “Kumail is one of our most hilarious, unique stand-up comedians (…) We’re lucky to have Kumail. We need a thousand more.” Alongside his wife, he co-hosted the widely acclaimed podcast Staying In with Emily and Kumail, which GQ described as “consistently endearing, actually useful, and often hilarious,” and which ranked among several Top 10 Podcasts lists and received a People’s Choice Award nomination. Nanjiani is a gifted speaker who brings levity and insight to moderated conversations that make a memorable impact on audiences of all kinds.

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ROHINI KOSOGLU

  • Former Deputy Assistant to President Biden & Domestic Policy Advisor to Vice President Harris

Nationally-recognized policy expert and leader Rohini Kosoglu has been at the forefront of driving transformative change and shaping critical policy discourse in the areas of technology, social, and economic policy. Kosoglu is a Venture Partner at Fusion Fund – focused on early-stage technology and health care investments. Kosoglu has served the last two decades as a senior White House official, chief of staff in the United States Senate, and organizational leader on multiple presidential campaigns. As the first South Asian American woman to hold the roles of both Domestic Policy Advisor to the Vice President and Chief of Staff in the U.S. Senate, Kosoglu promoted domestic policies to lift up the middle class, invest in American innovation, and strengthen our nation’s democracy. Vice President Harris praised Kosoglu as “a brilliant and trusted leader” who “brought vision, strategic judgement, and a depth of experience as our Administration has addressed some of the most urgent challenges facing our nation.”

Kosoglu is also a Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI) and Director of Innovation Policy at the Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign. Her career in Congress included over a decade of leadership positions designing policy initiatives, leading negotiations on bipartisan laws around social and economic policy, technology, and health care. Kosoglu offers unique insight on the perspectives driving politics and policy today, and reveals how the potential outcomes will effect individuals and industries.

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DAVID NIHILL

  • Award-Winning Comedian

Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, David Nihill is the author of the bestselling book Do You Talk Funny? and the Founder of FunnyBizz Conference. His work has been featured in Inc.LifehackerThe Huffington PostFast CompanyEntrepreneurForbes, NPR, The Wall Street JournalThe Irish Times, Amazon Prime Video, Dry Bar Comedy, TED, and the Irish Independent. A sought-after international business speaker, David also performs standup comedy where his videos have received over 300M views and amassed a social following of over 1.5M people.

“One of the best speaking coaches out there” according to Forbes, David’s program with over 34,000 students has also been featured by Prezi as one of the best training courses for presenters. His book remains one of the highest rated in the world on the (usually not so wildly exciting) topic of public speaking, and his content has been read by over one million people. David was the winner of the prestigious San Francisco International Comedy Competition and runner up in NPR’s the Moth’s largest US story telling competition. As a lecturer, he has taught at Stanford Graduate Business School, University of Oxford, UC Berkeley, and University College Dublin.

Generali Worldwide raved, “For impact, content and valuable takeaways David’s presentation to our Sales team was exceptional – a highly energized, engaging and yes funny (very, very funny) session. In fact, feedback from the team was that his presentation was the best they have had in thirteen years of the conference.”

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RANDY RAINBOW

  • Four-Time Emmy & Grammy-Nominated Comedian & Entertainer

Renowned comedian, satirist, New York Times bestselling author, and multi-hyphenate creative Randy Rainbow is a viral sensation who dispenses musical comedy salve for a divided nation (Washington Post). A four-time Emmy and Grammy-nominated comedian, producer, actor, singer, writer, satirist, and host, Randy is known for his popular web series, The Randy Rainbow Show. Touring the U.S. with his sold-out solo musical comedy concerts, the influencer and Internet sensation's viral comedy videos have received hundreds of millions of views across all social media and digital platforms. His debut memoir Playing with Myself became an instant New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestseller.

Rainbow's musical parodies and political spoofs have garnered him worldwide acclaim. As an actor, Rainbow has appeared as a featured guest star in the FX comedy/drama series Better Things, and on the New York stage as a lead in the Encores! series revival of Call Me Madam at New York City Center. His EP Hey Gurl, It’s Christmas! debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Comedy chart and #1 on the iTunes Holiday chart. His first full-length studio album, A Little Brains, A Little Talent, also debuted at #1 and earned Rainbow his first Grammy nomination for Best Comedy Album.

Rainbow’s fresh take on politics and current events has led to interviews and profiles by The Washington Post, CBS Sunday Morning, Jimmy Kimmel LiveThe Hollywood Reporter, CNN, NPR, ABC News, OUT, People, and Entertainment Weekly. Through his engaging, hilarious, and uplifting comedy, music, and moderated conversations, Rainbow leaves a lasting impression on every audience.

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PHIL HANLEY

  • Stand-Up Comedian, Writer, and Actor

Standup comedian, writer, and actor Phil Hanley grew up with undiagnosed dyslexia, and comedy became his saving grace for coping with this learning disorder. Over the years, Phil learned how to harness his Dyslexia and ADHD to his creative advantage, particularly when it comes to masterful crowd work – as demonstrated in numerous social media clips that have gone viral. As a result, Phil has become a key spokesperson on the subject of Dyslexia, teaming up with organizations such as Eye To Eye, Dyslexia Canada, and Choose Your Own ADDventure. He shares his experience and insights in hilarious events featuring standup comedy and moderated conversation.

Phil is a staple of the NYC comedy scene and a regular at the Comedy Cellar. A favorite on the late-night TV circuit, he has appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy FallonLate Night with Seth MeyersThe Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and Comedy Central’s John Oliver's New York Stand-Up Show. He has appeared in the films I Feel Pretty, Sundowners, and Comedy Central’s sketch series Inside Amy Schumer. Phil’s cult favorite comedy album Please Don’t Chit Chat While I’m Pursuing My Dream was released in 2018, and you can see his 2022 standup special Ooh La La on his YouTube channel. Phil is currently writing a memoir, Spellbound, for Henry Holt (Macmillan) which will be published in 2024.

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CHRIS REDD

  • Emmy Award-Winning Comedian

Emmy Award-winning comedian, writer, rapper, and actor Chris Redd performs across the country and internationally doing standup and touring with The Second City Touring Company. Redd is a former repertory player on NBC’s Saturday Night Live, and most recently appeared on NBC’s Kenan and on Peacock’s Bust Down. He received the Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for the SNL song “Come Back, Barack.” Previously he was a performer at Chicago’s Second City and iO Chicago. Redd was featured as a 2016 Standup New Face at Just for Laughs in Montreal, and has been in demand for events with groups like Global Citizen Festival.

Redd released his debut stand-up album in 2019, But Here We Are. He has starred in films across genres including Scare Me, Vampires vs. the BronxDeep MurderThe House, A Futile and Stupid Gesture, and Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. Redd starred opposite Kathy Bates in the Netflix original comedy series Disjointed and was featured in the series Wet Hot American Summer, NBC’s Will & Grace, Netflix’s Love, TV Land’s Teachers, Comedy Central’s Detroiters, and Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents. He has also loaned his voice to many projects including Netflix’s Big Mouth, Audible’s 64th Man and Disney’s Star vs. the Forces of Evil. In addition to his award-winning and memorable work on screen, Redd is active in charity work – he works with Poverty Alleviation Charities in Chicago and their Letters to Santa program – and is a sought-after speaker at fundraising events for his programs that combine hilarious and tailored standup sets and insightful moderated conversations.

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ALEX EDELMAN

  • Award-Winning Comedian and Writer

Award-winning comedian and writer Alex Edelman creates critically and commercially acclaimed work informed by his Orthodox Jewish upbringing. Known for his solo shows, Edelman has created award-winning and sell-out hits in London’s West End, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and off-Broadway in New York City. His first solo show, Millennial, won the Edinburgh Comedy Award for “Best Newcomer,” and his subsequent pieces Everything Handed To You and Just For Us have been performed internationally. Edelman is in demand for his commentary and comedy, sharing hilarious and poignant insights centered on his Jewish identity, Generation Y cohort, and politics. His album Until Now was named “One of the Year’s Best” by NPR’s Bullseye.

Also known for his TV writing, Edelman was the Head Writer and Executive Producer of Saturday Night Seder, a star-studded special which raised more than $3.5M for the CDC Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. He is the creator of BBC Radio 4’s Peer Group, a stand-up comedy show, a founder of Jerusalem’s Off the Wall Comedy Club, and has appeared on Conan numerous times. His writing is featured in The Atlantic and The Believer. His most recent Broadway show, Just for Us, has cemented his reputation as a writer and performer of impressive ambition and technical skill, earning a nomination for a Barry Award for “Best Show” at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and a Herald Angel Award and nomination for “Best Show” at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. HBO will premiere JUST FOR US as a special in 2024. 

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TIM ALLEN

  • Famed Actor and Comedian

Tim Allen is the star of the hit sitcom Last Man Standing which was revived by the FOX network for its 7th season after airing for six seasons on ABC. The 8th season of the series premiered in January 2020.

Allen reprised his role as Buzz Lightyear in Disney’s Toy Story 4, with Tom Hanks, Keanu Reeves, Tony Hale, Annie Potts, Christina Hendricks, and Keegan-Michael Key. The film opened #1 at the box office on June 21, 2019. In 2017, he starred in the Netflix dark comedy El Camino Christmas with Vincent D’Onofrio, Luke Grimes and Dax Shepard.

Allen continues to perform stand-up shows to sold-out crowds across the country. He honed his talents as a stand-up comic throughout the eighties, providing the perfect lead-in to his highly successful ABC television series Home Improvement where he garnered a Golden Globe Award, an Emmy nomination, and was honored with the People’s Choice Award for “Favorite Male Performer in a Television Series” for an unprecedented eight years in a row.

During Home Improvement’s run at the top of the prime-time charts, Tim revisited his comedy roots with a successful national concert tour. He also found time to pen his first book about the male perspective, Don’t Stand Too Close to a Naked Man, topping the New York Times Bestseller List. This was followed by his second bestseller I’m Not Really Here focusing on midlife, family and quantum physics.

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CHELSEA PERETTI

  • Comedian, Actress, and Writer

Chelsea Peretti starred as ‘Gina Linetti’ on the hit FOX comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine opposite Andy Samberg and Terry Crews. Most recently, she can be seen in the romantic drama The Photograph directed by Stella Meghie and featuring Issa Rae and LeKeith Stanfield.  Chelsea can next be seen in the Red Hour comedy feature Friendsgiving opposite Malin Akerman and Kat Dennings as well as in Andrea Dorfman’s feature comedy Spinster. Her film credits also include New Line feature Game Night opposite Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdam and Universal’s Popstar.

Chelsea can be heard on hit animated series such as Big Mouth, The Simpsons, Crank Yankers, and American Dad. She has appeared in HBO's farewell season of Girls, Fox's New Girl, and Comedy Central's Kroll Show, Drunk History, Another Period and Sarah Silverman Program. Chelsea has written for Parks and Recreation, Saturday Night Live, Sarah Silverman Program, Portlandia and Kroll SHow.

Her hour stand-up special One of the Greats has a large following on Netflix, and her half hour Comedy Central Presents aired in 2011. One of Variety’s Top 10 Comics to Watch, Comedy Central’s HOTLIST comedians, and Vanity Fair’s 2013 Comedy Issue comedians, Chelsea was also named one of TIME Magazine’s 140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2013.

Her weekly call-in podcast Call Chelsea Peretti debuted at number 1 on iTunes comedy podcasts. Original comedic web projects include the highly-trafficked website BlackPeopleLoveUs.com, the New York City Rejection Line, and her “Making Friends” and “All My Exes” web series. She is actively followed on Twitter as @chelseaperetti and instagram as: chelsanity.

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PUNKIE JOHNSON

  • Comedian, Actor, and Writer

Comedian, writer, and actor Punkie Johnson is known for her hilarious work as a cast member on Saturday Night Live. When Johnson joined SNL in its 45th season, she made history as the first out Black lesbian cast member and became a featured player the following season. Her credits include Netflix’s Space Force, HBO’s A Black Lady Sketch Show, CBS’ Ghosts, Bill Burr Presents: The Ringers, and the upcoming feature film Bottoms. Punkie also stars in HBO Max’s Love Life and was called “a particular stand out” by TIME Magazine. She has also served as a writer & consultant for Peacock’s Queer as Folk reboot. Punkie’s comedy is direct and honest, and she pulls from her personal life to get big laughs.

Punkie was a New Face at the Just for Laughs Festival in 2019 and is a proud paid regular at the World Famous Comedy Store in Hollywood. After starting there as a server, she worked her way up to getting picked for open mic nights, eventually landing a spot on stage. She is currently working on her own podcast, Swamp Education, offering unsolicited opinions about life and relationships. For virtual and in-person events, Punkie balances insights with laugh-inducing moderated conversations for a memorable event.

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TOM SEGURA

  • Comedian, Writer, and 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.

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CRAIG FERGUSON

  • Emmy Award-Winning Comedian Actor, Writer and Producer

Craig Ferguson is an Emmy Award-winning actor, writer and comedian with a diverse career that encompasses film, television and the stage. Ferguson is the author of three books, most recently Riding the Elephant: A Memoir of Altercations, Humiliations, Hallucinations, and Observations.

As the host of Celebrity Name Game, Ferguson was awarded the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Game Show Host two years in a row and was nominated for a third. Ferguson recently concluded his wildly popular daily SiriusXM program “The Craig Ferguson Show.” In 2014, Ferguson concluded his ten-year run as the host of CBS’ The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, which had set all-time viewer records and earned him a Primetime Emmy nomination and the 2009 Peabody Award for Excellence in Broadcasting for his interview with Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Ferguson has written the feature films The Big Tease and Saving Grace. In 2003, he made his directorial debut with I'll Be There, which he also wrote and starred in. I'll Be There went on to receive the Audience Award for Best Film at the Aspen, Dallas, and Valencia film festivals. Craig was also named "best new director" at the Napa Valley Film Festival. Ferguson’s other film credits include, Niagra Motel, Lenny the Wonder Dog, Prendimi l’anima, Life Without Dick, Chain of Fools and Born Romantic. In 2011, Ferguson portrayed ‘Owl’ in the Disney classic Winnie the Pooh, and in 2012 he portrayed ‘Lord Macintosh’ in Disney’s animated feature Brave. He has appeared as ‘Gobber’ in the animated feature series How to Train Your Dragon

Ferguson has achieved notable success on the North American comedy circuit and has performed to sold-out theaters all across the country, including Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall. He has five widely acclaimed stand-up comedy specials: “A Wee Bit O’ Revolution"; “Does This Need to Be Said”; “I’m Here to Help”, which earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Comedy Album; “Just Being Honest”, which earned him a second Grammy nomination for Best Comedy Album; and “Tickle Fight”.

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NICK KROLL

  • Comedian, Actor, Writer, and Producer

Nick Kroll has established himself as one of today’s most sought-after creators, writers, producers, and actors in film and television. Nick co-created, writes, produces, and performs over 30 voices on the Emmy-Nominated Netflix animated series Big Mouth, which is based on his childhood. Nick's voice can also be heard on Human Resources which he co-created, writes and executive produces with the Big Mouth team. Nick’s newest project, History of the World Part II, the sequel to Mel Brooks classic 1981 film, that he stars in, produces and wrote will be on Hulu at the top of 2023.

Some of Nick’s most recent work is in New Line’s Don't Worry Darling, opposite Harry Styles and Florence Pugh for critically acclaimed director Olivia Wilde as well as his Netflix comedy special Little Big Boy now streaming on Netflix.

Nick recently wrapped up his stand-up comedy tour, Nick Kroll: Middle-Aged Boy, which played to sold-out theaters across the US, the UK, and Australia.

In 2017, Nick made his Broadway debut in Oh, Hello on Broadway which ran for 138 performances and received rave reviews. He starred as “Gil Faizon” opposite John Mulaney as “George St. Geegland,” the story of two elderly men from the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The show was filmed for a Netflix Original Comedy Special which is currently available for streaming. Kroll and Mulaney released the first season of their podcast, Oh, Hello: The P’dcast, in Spring 2020.

Kroll’s previous credits include Jeff Nichol’s critically acclaimed Loving, Operation Finale, Uncle Drew, Olympic Dreams alongside real-life Olympian, Alexi Pappa, Ross Katz’ Adult Beginners, for which Nick also served as a producer, Sophie Goodhart’s My Blind Brother, John Hamburg’s I Love You, Man, Shawn Levy’s Date Night, Nicholas Stollers’ Get Him to the Greek, Jay Roach’s Dinner With Schmucks, and Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups. Some of Nick’s animated performance work includes Seth Rogen’s Sausage Party, MGM’s The Addams Family (“Uncle Fester” in 1 and 2), Illumination’s Sing (“Gunter”) and Secret Lives of Pets.

Nick was the creative Executive Producer on his sketch show, the Kroll Show, which ran for three seasons on Comedy Central. Kroll also starred as “Ruxin” in the hit FX show The League for a total of seven seasons.

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DEAN OBEIDALLAH

  • Host of the National Radio Program, 'The Dean Obeidallah Show'

Dean Obeidallah is a lawyer turned writer, national radio host, award-winning comedian and activist countering bigotry and misconceptions about Muslims and race in America. Obeidallah uses comedy, personal anecdotes, and myth-busting to share his experience of growing up as a ‘white person’, with all the benefits of white privilege, until 9/11 – when he lost his privilege and became an activist against Islamophobia. He is the co-creator of the annual New York Arab American Comedy Festival, as well as Stand Up for Peace, an event that brings Jews and Muslims together to laugh. Obeidallah also co-directed and co-produced the comedy documentary The Muslims are Coming! to combat anti-Muslim bigotry. He hosts the national radio program ‘The Dean Obeidallah Show’ for SiriusXM, and is a weekly contributor to MSNBC.com, CNN.com, and The Daily Beast, as well as the host of Salon.com’s Salon Talks, an interview show highlighting his unique perspective on politics and pop culture.

Obeidallah has appeared on MSNBC’s The Reid Out, as well as other MSNBC programs, ABC’s Good Morning America and The View, and numerous programs on CNN. His funny and informative standup has been featured on Comedy Central’s Axis of Evil, Comics Unleashed, and The Nightly Show. Obeidallah is both funny and informative, revealing our biases by being the living manifestation of the concept that in America, “race is a social construct.

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BEN SCHWARTZ

  • Emmy Award-Winning Actor, Comedian, and Writer

Schwartz can be seen alongside Thomas Middleditch in their Netflix specials, Middleditch & Schwartz. The specials are based on their completely improvised two person show that they took on tour through early 2020. During this tour, the two played Carnegie Hall, Chicago Theatre and sold out theaters all across the country. 

Additionally, Schwartz will be seen starring in Netflix’s Space Force, the comedy series that follows the people tasked with creating Space Force, a new branch of the U.S. military. He also stars in the Disney+ original film Flora and Ulysses and lends his voice to the Paramount Animation and WWE-produced animated film, RUMBLE starring Will Arnett, Terry Crews and Tony Danza set to release in 2021.

Most recently, Schwartz voiced the title character in Jeff Fowler’s highly successful live action/animation hybrid film Sonic The Hedgehog, based on the classic Sega video game. Paramount released the film on February 14, 2020 and it has since become the highest domestic grossing video game adaptation of all-time with $146 million and a worldwide gross of $306.7 million.

On the TV side, Schwartz starred opposite Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell in Showtime's House Of Lies and notably guest starred as “Jean-Ralphio” on NBC's Parks and Recreation opposite Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman. He also played series regular “Bill Hoyt” on J.J. Abrams' one-hour NBC spy drama Undercovers. In the animated world, Schwartz voices "Dewey" in Disney Channel's Ducktales reboot, returning for Season 3, "Leonardo" in Rise Of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and voiced the lead role of “Randy Cunningham” on Disney XD's Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja.

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MIKEY DAY

  • Actor, Comedian, and Writer

Actor, comedian, and writer Mikey Day is a cast member on Saturday Night Live and Host of Netflix’s hit baking contest series Is It Cake? Day joined SNL as a writer for the 2013-14 season, and went on to become a beloved cast member, gaining immediate recognition for his wildly popular “Haunted Elevator (Ft. David S. Pumpkins)” sketch with Tom Hanks. He has created impressions of Donald Trump Jr., Merrick Garland, and more, in addition to writing headline-making skits for the iconic show. Day brings comedy and star power to engaging events, earning rave reviews from hosts: “Mikey was great — and we really enjoyed having him with us! He was a complete professional to work with, had a great on-stage chat with us, and we were excited that he decided to also join us at our Speaker Dinner and our Attendee Party! He really went above and beyond.” (Product Collective)

Day’s credits include head writer on Cartoon Network’s Incredible Crew, co-head writer and cast member on NBC’s Maya & Marty, and co-writer for the comedy Brother Nature. Alongside SNL writer Streeter Seidell, Day wrote Home Sweet Home Alone, and the duo is currently writing the Disney reboots of Inspector Gadget and Space Camp, as well as The Rugrats Movie for Nickelodeon/Paramount. Day’s film credits include Brittany Runs a Marathon, Little – opposite Issa Rae, Adam Sandler’s Hubie Halloween, and Black Adam starring The Rock.  He is currently filming the Jerry Seinfeld film Unfrosted for Netflix.

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COLIN QUINN

  • Comedian, Actor, and Writer

Comedian, actor, and author Colin Quinn is one of the most beloved voices in comedy, offering commentary on society as a whole and how to communicate across divisions. Quinn is known for MTV’s Remote Control, his tenure as a cast member on Saturday Night Live, and hosting Comedy Central’s late-night panel show Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn. He has been lauded for his comedic one-man shows, including Irish WakeUnconstitutional, and Colin Quinn: Long Story Short, which garnered a Drama Desk Award nomination, and Red State Blue State, which played to rave reviews and was aired on CNN as the network’s first comedy special. Quinn’s solo performances have been filmed as comedy specials for HBO and Netflix, exploring his life growing up in New York City and contemporary politics from both sides of the political spectrum. His latest book Overstated: A Coast-to-Coast Roast of the 50 States questions the state of the union with a blend of practicality and optimism. Quinn shares his nuanced point of view on the chronic tendencies and imperfections of human behaviors, society, and cultures with comedic precision that both the high and low brow can relate to.

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CRISTELA ALONZO

  • Comedian, Actress, Writer, and Star of CBS's 'She Gets It From Me'

Comedian, actress, writer, and producer Cristela Alonzo made history as the first Latina woman to create, write, and star in a network TV show, Cristela. She developed a comedy special for Netflix Lower Classy and served as a fan-favorite guest host on ABC’s The View. Alonzo uses humor to shine a light on bigger issues, and makes us laugh while she opens our eyes. Her comedic point of view was honed through her experiences growing up as a first-generation Mexican-American, and she is a masterful storyteller, as evidenced in her bestselling memoir full of humor and heart, Music to My Years: A Mixtape-Memoir of Growing Up and Standing Up. Alonzo mixes sketch comedy and social commentary in her podcast To Be Continued, and her stories range from the ridiculous to the sobering and have also been shared in interviews on NPR , the Chicago Tribune and It's Been A Minute With Sam Sanders. Cristela is a dedicated advocate for a variety of philanthropies focused on immigration, citizenship, economic opportunity. As she says: I am a first-generation American born to an undocumented mother that taught me to love this country. I believe it is my duty to give back and fight so that everyone can get the same thing my family got: a chance.”

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CRAIG ROBINSON

  • Famed Actor, Comedian, and Musician

Famed actor, comedian, musician, and Hollywood producer Craig Robinson is known for fan-favorite roles on some of the most beloved TV comedies. Before he decided to pursue a career in comedy full-time, Robinson was a K-8 teacher in the Chicago Public School System. While earning his master’s in education from St. Xavier University, Craig fell in love with acting and comedy, and joined the prestigious Second City Theatre. He is best known for his portrayal of Darryl Philbin on The Office, Doug “The Pontiac Bandit” Judy on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and for starring in his very own sitcom, Mr. Robinson on NBC. Robinson hosted the reality show The Masked Dancer from 2020-21, and currently is the star and Executive Producer of the Peacock series Killing It. With his unlimited wit and sense of comedy, Robinson engages audiences with programs including a live musical show, moderated conversation, and can also host unforgettable events.

Robinson first made his mark in the comedy circuit at the 1998 Montreal “Just For Laughs” Festival, and now headlines venues and festivals across the country. He does both solo acts as well as full-band sets with his band, The Nasty Delicious, bringing musical hilarity to every event. He has starred in such movies as Knocked Up, This Is The End, Hot Tub Time Machine, Dolemite Is My Name!, Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon, and voicing characters in Shrek Forever After and The Bad Guys, among many others, and earned a nomination for an Independent Spirit Award for his performance in Morris from America.

HWA EXCLUSIVE

MICHELLE WOLF

  • Comedian, Writer, Actor, and Producer

Michelle Wolf has quickly become one of the most influential voices in the comedy landscape with the Village Voice calling her “the voice comedy needs right now” and The Daily Beast declaring, “Michelle Wolf is the future of stand-up comedy.” Most recently, Wolf released her second hour-long stand-up special Michelle Wolf: Joke Show on Netflix. Previously, she made international headlines as the much buzzed-about headliner of the 2018 White House Correspondents Dinner.

In 2017, Wolf debuted her first hour-long stand-up special, Michelle Wolf: Nice Lady, on HBO. The well-reviewed special tackled a wide range of topics from her surprising thoughts on feminism, the environment and why Hilary Clinton could not be a “nice lady,” and more of life’s everyday absurdities. She received a Primetime Emmy nomination for "Outstanding Writing For A Variety Special." 

Wolf created and served as the executive producer, writer, and host of the critically-acclaimed variety sketch series The Break with Michelle Wolf on Netflix. Prior to The Break, Wolf was an on-air contributor and writer for Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and a writing supervisor and performer on Late Night with Seth Meyers, where she also made her late-night television debut in July 2014. Wolf also wrote on the 88th Academy Awards hosted by Chris Rock.

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NICOLE BYER

  • Actor, Comedian, and Writer

Comedian, actor, TV host, and award-winning podcaster Nicole Byer is one of the most versatile and recognizable voices in comedy today. An early standout on MTV’s Girl Code, Byer is known for Lady DynamiteBrooklyn 99The UnicornBlack Lady Sketch ShowBojack Horseman, Tuca & Bertie, and 30 Rock. She produced and starred in the MTV/Facebook Watch series Loosely Exactly Nicole, co-created the Above Average web series Pursuit of Sexiness with Sasheer Zamata, and is the author of #VERYFAT #VERYBRAVE. Byer hosts Netflix’s Nailed It!, which earned her back-to-back Emmy nominations – she made history as the first Black woman to be nominated in the “Outstanding Host” category – and co-hosts TBS’ Wipeout alongside John Cena. The multi-hyphenate creative, whom Variety called “a star of uncommon charisma,” is one of the most sought-after performers in the industry and makes an impact with audiences of all kinds.

Byer has been featured in The Hollywood Reporter, Paste Magazine, Variety, NPR, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post and more, and has appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel Live, The View, Peace of Mind with Taraji, among others. She is the award-winning host of multiple podcasts: Why Won’t You Date Me?, Best Friends, Newcomers, and 90 Day Bae, and is the two-time consecutive winner of the iHeartRadio Podcast Award for “Best Female Host.” Following her critically acclaimed first hour-long comedy special on Netflix, Nicole Byer: BBW (Big Beautiful Weirdo), Byer stars in Peacock’s The Grand Crew, as well as Netflix’s highly anticipated animated comedy series Bad Crimes. In addition to bringing star power and levity to any event, Byer shares insights about her career journey, how she balances her countless projects, and connects with audiences for a memorable event.

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KEVIN JAMES

  • Beloved Emmy-Nominated Stand-up Comedian

Beloved comedian and actor Kevin James began his career as a stand-up on the Long Island comedy scene. After being discovered at the 1996 Montreal Comedy Festival, he signed a network development deal to create his own sitcom, The King of Queens. The King of Queens ran for nine seasons on CBS with James starring and executive producing, garnering an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. James made his feature film debut in Columbia Pictures’ Hitch starring opposite Will Smith, and starred alongside Adam Sandler in Pixels, Grown Ups I & II, and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. James has since produced, co-written, and starred in hit comedies Paul Blart: Mall Cop I & II, Zookeeper, and Here Comes the Boom. He starred in and produced Netflix’s Home Team as well as the HBO Sports Special Making the Cut: The Road to Pebble Beach; a documentary about the Pebble Beach Pro Am Golf Tournament nominated for a Sports Emmy.

James’ comedy specials, Sweat the Small Stuff, Never Don’t Give Up, and Irregardless, continue to delight fans globally. Sweat the Small Stuff landed James on Comedy Central’s list of the “100 Greatest Standup Comedians.” He has been honored with nominations for three Teen Choice Award nominations, a Primetime Emmy Award, and a People’s Choice Award.

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WANDA SYKES

  • Award-Winning Comedian, Actor, Writer, and Producer

Wanda Sykes has been called "one of the funniest stand-up comics" by her peers and ranks among Entertainment Weekly's "25 Funniest People in America." Her smart-witted, award-winning work has broken barriers and sent her career across platforms. 

Wanda joined forces with veteran producer Page Hurwitz to form Push It Productions, a production company dedicated to creating quality, comedy-based programming for network and cable television outlets. The company's diverse slate of projects includes sketch comedy, concerts, reality talk/variety, and competition formats. 

Known for her performances in HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and ABC's "black-ish," Sykes is a pioneering comic. She was the first African-American woman to perform at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, as well as the first to conceive and star in her own prime-time sitcom, "Wanda at Large."  

Her first book titled Yeah, I Said It, is a hilarious collection of essays touching on life, family and current events.

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MIKE BIRBIGLIA

  • Comedian, Actor, and Writer

Mike Birbiglia is a comedian, storyteller, director, and actor who has performed in front of audiences worldwide, from the Sydney Opera House to Carnegie Hall to Broadway. His five solo shows Sleepwalk With Me, My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend, Thank God For Jokes, and The New One enjoyed successful runs on and off Broadway. My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend won the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Solo Show and The New One received the Drama Desk Award as well as the Outer Critics Circle award for outstanding solo performance.

Birbiglia is also a filmmaker who wrote, directed and starred in the films Sleepwalk with Me and Don’t Think Twice. As an actor, Birbiglia has appeared in the films Trainwreck, The Fault in Our Stars, Popstar, A Man Called Otto starring Tom Hanks, Taylor Swift’s music video for Anti-Hero, as well as TV roles in Orange Is the New Black and Billions. He is the host of the podcast Mike Birbiglia's Working It Out and just finished a sold out 85 performance Broadway run of his new show The Old Man and the Pool at the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center. 

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MARTIN SHORT

  • Celebrated Comedian, Actor, and Writer

Martin Short is a beloved Canadian-American actor, comedian, singer, and writer. Short has won fans and accolades in television, film, and theater since his breakout season on Saturday Night Live. Initially a professional stage actor, Short first appeared in a Toronto production of Godspell. He then joined The Second City improv company, making his Emmy-winning television debut on the Second City Television Network before joining Saturday Night Live as up-and-coming talent. Short made his film debut in Three Amigos!, a success followed with roles in globally-renowned films such as Clifford, Madagascar 3, Frankenweenie, and the Father of the Bride series, among others. Short has won a Tony award, Theatre World Award, and Outer Critics Circle Award for his work on Broadway in shows such as Little Me, The Goodbye Girl, and Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me.

Short’s Netflix special with Steve Martin, An Evening You Will Forget For The Rest Of Your Life, received 4 Emmy nominations. Their tours, Now You See Them, Soon You Won’t, and The Funniest Show in Town at the Moment, were smashing successes reflecting Short’s ability to connect with audiences worldwide. Martin and Short also star together in Hulu’s must-watch comedy series, Only Murders in the Building.

Short has been awarded the Order of Canada, a star on the Canadian Walk of Fame, and a Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award from the Governor-General of Canada. Short’s memoir, I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend, was a New York Times bestseller. A legendary performer with decades of blockbuster projects under his belt, Short speaks to a life of perseverance, dedication, and humor.

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JEFF BENEDICT

  • Expert on Leadership and the Mindset of a Champion

New York Times bestselling author, producer, and commentator Jeff Benedict is a sports journalist and expert on leadership and the mindset of a champion, whose storytelling power has captivated audiences across mediums. Jeff has written seventeen 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 of 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. His latest book is the instant New York Times bestseller LeBron, the definitive biography of basketball superstar LeBron James.

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NIMESH PATEL

  • Emmy-Nominated Comedian & Writer

Emmy-nominated late-night writer and Netflix featured comedian Nimesh Patel has risen the ranks to some of comedy’s biggest stages due to his unassailable joke writing, prolific output, and innovative marketing. He has self-produced three specials, amassing millions of views on YouTube alone: Lucky Lefty, Thank You China, and Jokes to Get You Through Quarantine. Named as one of Variety’s prestigious “10 Comics to Watch” of 2023 and hailed by Vulture as “a Comedian You Should and Will Know,” Patel has charted a path from sold-out comedy clubs to major theaters with the business acumen imbued by his degree from the NYU Stern School of Business. A fast-rising star who can create a bespoke set tailored to audiences in a variety of industries from FinTech to Healthcare to charity, Patel infuses his events with a perfect blend of laughter and thought-provoking conversation, fostering engagement and leaving a lasting impression on attendees.

Patel’s first writing job came after Chris Rock saw him perform standup and hired him directly to write for The Academy Awards as well as tour with him. Since then, Patel has written for Saturday Night Live with Vanity Fair hailing him as the show’s “most intriguing new hire,” A Little Late with Lilly Singh, The White House Correspondents Dinner, and was a producer for Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. He is a favorite on the late-night circuit with multiple appearances on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers. Patel brings his charm, wit, and expertise to events of any size, tuning his talking points to each audience.

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AZIZ ANSARI

  • Golden Globe Award-Winning Actor

Aziz Ansari is an award-winning actor, director, writer and comedian. He co-created, writes, directs, and stars in the Netflix original series Master of None for which he has won two Emmy’s for Outstanding Comedy Writing, a Golden Globe for Best Actor, as well as Emmy and DGA Award nominations for his directing. The series also received the Peabody and AFI Awards for both seasons. In 2019, he released his 5th standup for Netflix entitled Right Now directed by Spike Jonze to critical acclaim and a Grammy nomination.

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JENNA ELFMAN

  • Famed Golden Globe-Winning Actress

Famed Golden Globe-winning actress, podcaster, and philanthropist Jenna Elfman is perhaps best known for her roles on Fear the Walking Dead and Dharma & Greg. Elfman also starred in ABC’s Imaginary Mary and made critically-acclaimed guest appearances on Shameless and Damages. Her film credits include Barry, Friends with Benefits, Keeping the Faith, and the cult classic Can’t Hardly Wait, among others. Elfman brings Hollywood star power to events with groups such as Habitat for Humanity, Association for Better Living and Education, the United Nations, and numerous panels focused on women breaking barriers, career longevity as a woman, inspiration, and more.

Jenna, who is a mother of two, co-hosts a hit comedy podcast with her husband Bodhi, Kicking and Screaming. Jenna and Bodhi discuss marriage, life, and annoyance (not necessarily in that order) and offer an authentic and entertaining glimpse into their lives and work. With her signature and beloved humor, insight, and compassion, Elfman shares her one-of-a-kind perspective in events that resonate with audiences of all kinds.

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AMANDA KLOOTS

  • Co-Host, 'The Talk' on CBS

Amanda Kloots is a television host, bestselling author, Broadway actress, award-winning fitness entrepreneur, and most recently a finalist on the 30th Season of Dancing with the Stars. Amanda can currently be seen as a co-host of The Talk, CBS’ Daytime Emmy Award-winning talk show highlighting current events, pop culture, family, celebrity and trending topics of the day. In the Summer of 2021, Amanda released her memoir, the New York Times bestseller Live Your Life: My Story of Loving and Losing Nick Cordero that was co-authored with her sister Anna Kloots.

A former Broadway dancer and Radio City Rockette, Kloots performed on a variety of stage, film and TV productions for over 17 years. Her love of dance and fitness led her to work and lead classes at one of New York’s premiere fitness studios. Kloots developed the jump rope method after years of trying different ways to stay in great shape. In 2016, Kloots decided to focus full time on her AK! Fitness brand – her signature classes feature jump ropes and dance mixed with cross training to create a unique full body workout. In addition to the AK! Fitness brand, Kloots and her sister, Anna Kloots, launched the apparel company Hooray For.

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QUIARA ALEGRÍA HUDES

  • Pulitzer Prize-Winning Playwright

Pulitzer-winning playwright, author and Tony-winning musician Quiara Alegría Hudes offers audiences the opportunity to hear untold stories. Her memoir, My Broken Language, is a lyrical exploration of coming of age against the backdrop of a Philadelphia barrio, with her sprawling Puerto Rican family as a collective muse. Hudes won the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for her play Water by the Spoonful. She wrote the script for Tony Award-winning In the Heights, a Broadway play adapted into a major motion picture, in collaboration with Lin Manuel Miranda. The accompanying book, In the Heights: Finding Home, is a New York Times bestseller. Hudes’ screenplay for Netflix, Vivo, is her animation debut. As an essayist, she has written for The Nation, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and more. She is one of the most innovative artists of this generation, expanding the boundaries of storytelling.

Hudes’ material impact as an activist is as strong as her cultural influence as a writer. Hudes and her cousin founded Emancipated Stories, a nonprofit helping people behind bars share one page of their life story with the world. Hudes’ accolades include the USA Artists Fellowship, the Lucille Lortel Award, the HOLA Award, and more. Her work uplifting marginalized communities, sharing often untold stories, and creating brilliant art captivates audiences worldwide. Hudes has been invited to speak for centers of creative innovation such as Vanderbilt University, Americans for the Arts, Google, and more.

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CHERYL BURKE

  • Professional Championship Dancer

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. 

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EMMA GREDE

  • CEO and Co-Founder of Good American

Self-made mogul, CEO, and Founder Emma Grede is a groundbreaking and globally successful executive known for building incredible teams and beloved brands. Emma is the CEO and co-Founder of Good American, the first fully inclusive fashion brand that celebrates all dimensions of female power. She launched Good American alongside Khloé Kardashian and they engineered the largest denim launch in history. Their brand is now an iconic inclusive fashion line, and has expanded to ready-to-wear, swim, shoes, and activewear. Emma is also a founding partner of SKIMS, a solutions-oriented brand creating the next generation of underwear, loungewear, and shapewear, and co-Founder of Safely, the plant-powered cleaning brand delivering chemical-free cleaning products to the masses. Emma’s passion for bettering the world through socially responsible and conversation-advancing decisions is consistently reflected in the culture of her teams and the businesses she builds, and she shares her actionable insights in sought-after keynotes and conversations.

Emma is a recurring Shark on ABC’s critically acclaimed Shark Tank, making history as the first Black woman to serve as an investor on the show. She joins the upcoming season of the BBC's Dragons' Den, set to air in 2024. As an activist as well as an investor, Emma has used her wealth of experience to identify and invest in groundbreaking entrepreneurs and start-ups rooted in inclusivity, diversity, and sustainability. She was named one of “America’s Richest Self-Made Women” (2022 & 2023) and “America’s Richest Self-Made Women Under 40” by Forbes, and sits on the Glamour Women of the Year Advisory board. Emma serves as Chairwoman of the Fifteen Percent Pledge and also as a board member of Baby2Baby. As an immersive leader, she continues to advocate for inclusive representation across industries, while finding opportunities to foster real change. Emma’s leadership perspective is in-demand at notable events such as Forbes Women’s Power Summit, Hubspot INBOUND, MediaSlopes, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Summit, Stanford Black Leadership Conference, among others.

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ANDREW ZIMMERN

  • Emmy & 4x James Beard Award-Winning Chef and Cultural Anthropologist

Emmy and four-time James Beard Award winner Andrew Zimmern is a TV/Media personality, chef, writer, and passionate global citizen. As the creator, executive producer and host of the Bizarre Foods franchise, Andrew Zimmern’s Driven by FoodWhat’s Eating America, Emmy-nominated Family Dinner, Wild Game Kitchen and the Emmy-winning The Zimmern List, he has devoted his life to exploring and promoting cultural acceptance, tolerance and understanding through food. You can also find him judging Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend on Netflix, The Silos Baking Competition on HBO Max and mentoring young chefs on Food Network’s All Star Academy. Later this year, he will premiere Andrew Zimmern’s Field to Fire. He has written four books, including the Ippy Gold Medal award-winning AZ and the Lost City of Ophir.

Zimmern is the founder and CEO of Intuitive Content, an award-winning production company that has been named a Realscreen, and Passport Hospitality, a restaurant and food service development company. As a philanthropist, Zimmern is an ambassador for the International Rescue Committee, the United Nations World Food Program, The Nature Conservancy, and sits on the board of several prominent foundations including EXPLR Media and The Giving Kitchen. Zimmern uses his platform to fight against global hunger, food waste, and for sustainable systems to help our planet survive and flourish. He is the co-founder of the Independent Restaurant Association and the Coalition for Sustainable Aquaculture and the Independent Restaurant Coalition. He is a special advisor to the Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream.

Zimmern has spoken at Google, The Near Future Conference, SXSW, the TIME 100, The Welcome Conference, and many more on the intersections of food, culture, and the future. As one of AdWeek’s “50 Most Influential Voices in Food,” and one of Fast Company’s “Top 30,” Zimmern is well positioned to analyze trends, educate audiences, and tell fascinating stories about his personal journey of resilience, and how food connects to the global community.

He is highly sought after for his unique and entertaining approaches to both lighthearted and serious topics. 

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MELISSA KING

  • Winner and Fan-Favorite, 'Top Chef: All Stars'

Trailblazing chef, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Melissa King is a proud Chinese American and queer chef who is also a creative entrepreneur outside of the kitchen. King (she/they) is the winner of Bravo’s Top Chef All-Stars: Los Angeles (Season 17) and the winner of All-Star’s Fan Favorite. With more challenge wins than any other competitor in the history of Top Chef, King has gone on to serve as a culinary judge on the series as well as The Food Network’s The Julia Child Challenge. Known for her technical precision and ability to blend modern California cuisine with Asian flavors, King has helmed several Michelin starred kitchens in San Francisco and has cooked for notable figures such as Oprah Winfrey and Al Gore, and curated the menu for the 2022 Met Gala alongside Anna Wintour. Called on as a creative consultant for companies around the world, Chef King is a sought-after motivational speaker supporting women’s empowerment, sustainability, food education, and entrepreneurship

King has been recognized as “one of the best female chefs in San Francisco,” and was named FSR Magazine’s “40 Under 40: Rising Star.” They launched a company focused on partnerships and culinary experiences, as well as a brand of small-batched sauces called King Sauce, an apparel line, and virtual cooking classes. Chef King is passionate about cultural inclusivity, media representation, environmental sustainability, and social justice – working with groups such as Stop AAPI Hate, The Trevor Project, and World Central Kitchen, among others. She is the face of IBM Research’s “5 in 5” series, focused on five innovations that will change our lives within five years. King is a featured chef in the Williams-Sonoma’s Chefs’ Collective. They have performed at food & music festivals from Coachella, Outsidelands, BottleRock, and more, and spoken for groups including Google, Facebook, Chase, and Capital One.

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