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.
CALL TO INQUIRE
Success Story: Indra Nooyi captivated audiences at PCMA Convening Leaders, beaming in as a hologram
Business powerhouse and former CEO and Chairman of PepsiCo, INDRA NOOYI was a tremendous success as keynote speaker at the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Convening Leaders conference. Nooyi ignited the audience with her experience as a pioneering female business leader and insights on how focusing on family will unleash the economy’s full potential in her keynote, “Leading Through Tremendous Growth, Disruption, and Change.” The globally renowned corporate innovator was in attendance as a hologram – beamed live from a state-of-the-art studio for a completely unique and memorable audience experience. “‘I just watched Indra Nooyi deliver a captivating performance […] At times, I found my eyes full of tears as she spoke about anchoring your change strategy based on megatrends, balance of time, motherhood, and leading others. Running to download her new book.’ … ‘Really interesting & just as impactful with the conversation of being there in person.” (Crowd Comments from PCMA on social media)
Speaker Spotlight: Al Gore is a gifted orator and vital leader on climate change, tech innovation, and sustainable investing
Former Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate AL GORE is at the epicenter of the global conversation surrounding sustainability and solving the climate crisis. An environmental, business, and tech visionary recognized as one of the world’s leading voices for climate action, Vice President Gore offers a unique perspective on national and international issues, including the threats of climate change and the future of tech. Gore is at the forefront of sustainable investing, making headlines for calling “sustainability history’s biggest investment opportunity” and providing eye-opening and actionable insights on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Investing in powerful keynotes and interviews at the World Economic Forum, The Milken Institute, and more, with a powerful message that resonates with live and virtual audiences: "We found Al Gore to be intellectually impressive, extremely knowledgeable, and highly entertaining. The most commonly used description of his speech was 'inspirational.'" (Merrion-Capital)
LaTosha Brown is a national treasure, tailoring memorable messages of hope and shared humanity
When LATOSHA BROWN stopped by the Harry Walker Agency for a virtual visit, we were simply blown away by her high-energy message of hope and shared humanity. Ms. Brown is an award-winning organizer, political strategist, and consultant with over two decades of experience working in the non-profit and philanthropy sectors, and is perhaps best known for co-founding the Black Voters Matter Fund. As she says, Ms. Brown has the “unmitigated gall to believe humanity can be better,” drawing on her experience as an organizer and Black feminist thought leader to invite us to close our eyes and envision the future, and specifically the democracy, that we deserve. A gifted and one-of-a-kind orator, Ms. Brown thoughtfully tailors each event, working with clients to understand what their unique audiences need to ensure the biggest impact possible. Our team described the resounding message of connection as “spirit-lifting” and “amazing!”
Baseball star and business mogul Alex Rodriguez is building an empire
Known for his unparalleled accomplishments on the baseball field, mogul ALEX RODRIGUEZ brings the same tenacity, vision, and unrivaled focus to building his business empire. He looks for long-term opportunities to provide financial capital, work alongside founders and leadership, and amplify the growth of each company. In a recent no-holds-barred profile for Bloomberg Wealth, Rodriguez revealed that he draws inspiration from fresh opportunities, seeing a clean slate and the chance to exceed all expectations. He is a highly sought-after speaker, tailoring his tremendous business expertise for each audience and receiving rave reviews: “Powerful, poignant, persuasive… To say impressed in an understatement. Your expressive and raw discussion turned heads and changed mindsets. A remarkable feat… The surprise and delight of your talk had everyone on the edge of their seats. The question and answer session in particular where many of your themes and advice organically came forth proved to be invaluable.” (Intuit)
Scottie Pippen talks perseverance, team dynamics, and tells his truth in New York Times bestselling new memoir Unguarded
Scottie Pippen is one of basketball’s most talented, versatile, and successful players, and now on the 30th anniversary of the Bulls’ first championship, Pippen is finally giving millions of adoring fans what they crave – his story, in an unflinching new memoir Unguarded, which rocketed to the top of the New York Times bestseller list. Pippen offers a fascinating look at an iconic time in sports history, and offers transparent takes on some of the biggest names in basketball – Michael Jordan, Phil Jackson, Dennis Rodman – sharing with riveted audiences what it takes to make a basketball dynasty. He opens up about the challenges of being an unsung hero for his team, reveals never-before-told stories about some of the most famous games in league history, and claims his place as a legend. Audiences are always thrilled to talk with Pippen about his blockbuster career, insider perspectives on some of basketball’s iconic figures and compelling moments, and what he’s learned from a life above the rim.
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.
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON
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.
PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON
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.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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 Maddy, Fatherhood 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.
Steve Martin is one of the most well-known and pervasive talents in entertainment. His work has earned him an Academy Award®, five Grammy® awards, an Emmy®, the Mark Twain Award, and the Kennedy Center Honor.
Martin began his career on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1967-1969), for which he earned his first Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy, Variety or Music in 1969. In the mid-1970s, Martin shone as a stand-up on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and NBC’s Saturday Night Live. Martin’s films are widely popular successes and are the kind of movies that are viewed again and again: The Jerk (1979), Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987), Roxanne (1987), Parenthood (1989), L.A. Story (1991), Father of the Bride (1991), and Bowfinger (1999).
As an author, Martin’s work includes the novel An Object of Beauty, the play Picasso at the Lapin Agile, a collection of comic pieces, Pure Drivel, a bestselling novella, Shopgirl, and his memoir Born Standing Up. His writing often appears in The New Yorker.
Steve Martin is also an accomplished Grammy Award-winning, boundary-pushing bluegrass banjoist and composer. In 2013, Steve Martin released his third full-length album called Love Has Come For You, a unique collaboration with songwriter Edie Brickell. Love Has Come For You, won a Grammy ® for “Best American Roots Song” for the title track and inspired their new musical Bright Star, which was first staged at San Diego's Old Globe Theater in 2014 and opened at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. on December 17, 2015, followed by a Broadway premiere in 2016.
Martin and Brickell’s second album together So Familiar was released on Rounder Records in October. The album features 12 remarkable new songs that bring the acclaimed duo’s musical collaboration into fresh creative territory.
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.
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.
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.
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.
SYMONE SANDERS TOWNSEND
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.
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."
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.
Peggy Noonan is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the Wall Street Journal and bestselling author of nine books on American politics, history, and culture. Her Wall Street Journal column, Declarations, has run each week since 2000, garnering millions of readers. In 2017 when she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary, the prize committee cited her, "For rising to the moment with beautifully rendered columns that connected readers to the shared virtues of Americans during one of the nation's most divisive political campaigns." Forbes Magazine has also hailed her column as “principled, perceptive, persuasive, and patriotic.”
A current political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC, Noonan also served as a Special Assistant and speechwriter to President Ronald Reagan. In the Reagan White House, she worked alongside the President on speeches that span the 40th anniversary of D-Day, the Challenger disaster, and his Farewell Address.
Peggy Noonan provides unique and thoughtful analysis of our nation and its leaders. Her speeches are filled with humorous anecdotes and political insight, making them as entertaining as they are thought-provoking.
The co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, founder of “Know Your Value,” and New York Times bestselling author, Mika Brzezinski is a celebrated, go-to voice on current events, world affairs, and women's empowerment.
Mika's “Know Your Value” is a nationwide movement in partnership with NBCUniversal to support an empowered and inclusive community that helps all women recognize, and be recognized for, their worth in business and in life. Mika is the author of seven bestselling books which serve as essential and inspiring guidebooks for empowering women, offering encouragement and practical advice on claiming and communicating their worth.
A former anchor of CBS Evening News Weekend Edition and CBS News correspondent who frequently contributed to CBS Sunday Morning and 60 Minutes, Mika has covered some of the most pivotal moments of the 21st century, from the September 11 attacks to multiple presidential elections.
Mika offers empowering insights into women's equality and work-life balance as well as a dynamic perspective on the current political and media landscape.
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.
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.”
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.
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)
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.
Few individuals ever become iconic enough to be known by one name – Shaq. A cultural icon, Shaquille O’Neal is best known for an NBA career spanning nearly two decades and earning him the sport’s highest honors including membership in the NBA Hall of Fame. He electrifies the room with his larger-than-life personality and audiences always give him standing ovations for his motivational keynote speeches. When Shaq is at your event, every seat is filled and your event gets a lot of buzz.
Whoopi Goldberg is one of a very elite group of artists who have won the Grammy, the Academy Award, the Golden Globe, the Emmy, and the Tony. She is equally well-known for her humanitarian efforts on behalf of children, the homeless, human rights, education, substance abuse, and the battle against AIDS. Among her many charitable activities, Whoopi is a Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations.
Beyond her remarkable film, theater, and television career, Whoopi is the author of several children’s books, as well as a New York Times bestseller.
SIR TIM BERNERS-LEE
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.
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.
A former small businessman, John Boehner served as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives for nearly five years during which he led the drive for a smaller, less costly, and more accountable federal government. Speaker Boehner focused on removing government barriers to private-sector job creation and economic growth, cutting government spending, reforming Congress, and rebuilding the bonds of trust between the American people and their representatives in Washington.
His new book On The House: A Washington Memoir released in the Spring of 2021.
JIM YONG KIM
12th President of the World Bank Group Jim Yong Kim is a global visionary devoted to improving the lives of people in developing countries and championing the cause of global health. Renowned for his pioneering approaches to tackling global health issues, education, and economic development at the World Bank, Kim re-defined the institution's work to amplify the voices of the world's poor, vowing to end extreme poverty by 2030.
Before his time at the World Bank, Kim served as President of Dartmouth College – becoming the first Asian-American president of an Ivy League institution – and as Executive Director and co-founder of the internationally renowned non-profit medical organization Partners In Health (PIH). At PIH, Kim helped launch a movement that changed global health forever, tackling some of the world's most difficult health problems, and proving experts wrong in what medical treatments and results are possible in communities of extreme poverty. Kim's work at PIH has now been replicated in more than 40 countries and is chronicled in the award-winning documentary Bending the Arc and bestselling book Mountains Beyond Mountains. Kim also served as Chief of the Department of Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the World Health Organization's HIV/AIDS department. At WHO Kim led the groundbreaking "3 by 5" initiative, the first-ever global goal for AIDS treatment.
Sought-out to speak everywhere from TED to the World Economic Forum, Kim's ideas and efforts have changed the way the world thinks about global development. A physician and anthropologist, he is the recipient of a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship and has been recognized as one of America's "25 Best Leaders" by U.S. News & World Report, named to TIME's "100 Most Influential People in the World," and listed to Forbes' "World's Most Powerful People." Kim inspires people to change the world and provides eye-opening and empowering insights on just how we can do it.
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.
Julián Castro has distinguished himself as a strong leader and successful public servant for nearly two decades. A former Democratic candidate for President, Castro served as the 16th Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama from 2014 to 2017, and as mayor of San Antonio from 2009 to 2014. Today, Castro serves on the board of directors of the LBJ Foundation and is a political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC.
As mayor, Castro brought a strong focus to expanding educational achievement and making America’s seventh largest city a leader in the 21st century global economy. Under Castro’s leadership, San Antonio implemented Pre-K4SA, a high quality early childhood learning initiative that has earned praise as one of America’s strongest public pre-kindergarten programs. During his tenure, San Antonio ranked first on the Milken Institute’s Best Performing Cities List, received an A+ grade for doing business by Forbes, and was the only Top 10 city at the time to achieve a Triple A bond rating with each of the three major ratings agencies. A native Texan, Castro made history in 2012 when he became the first Latino to deliver the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention.
His memoir, An Unlikely Journey: Waking Up from My American Dream, is a candid account of race and poverty in America. Born to unmarried parents in a poverty-stricken neighborhood of a struggling city, Castro details his unlikely journey to becoming an emerging national icon.
From education to technology to safe and affordable housing, Castro has been at the forefront of some of the most innovative partnerships, programs and achievements in the public sector. In sharing lessons learned from the struggles and successes of his political journey, he gives audiences insight into how any group can make a significant change when it comes to America's most pressing issues. He empowers groups to engage and take action, even when things seem at their most bleak. Castro’s own personal story is proof that the American Dream still lives, and in his inspiring talks, he shares actionable items people can accomplish in their day-to-day lives to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to fulfill their potential.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Visionary tech CEO of PayPal and 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 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 has been 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.
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."
Lori started with one idea and turned it into a multi-million dollar international brand. She is well known as a self-made inventor, entrepreneur who created and marketed over 1,000 products, holds 120 US and international patents and has a 90% success rate for new items launched. She is recognized as one of the most prolific inventors of retail products of our time.
She’s a leading Shark on ABC’s 4x Emmy Award-winning entrepreneurial business show, Shark Tank, where she invests in companies and helps turn people’s dreams into a reality. Several of her investments are the highest success stories on Shark Tank to date, having the top 10 out of the top 20.
She’s well known for her impeccable negotiating skills and uncanny ability to know, identify and launch emerging brands.
At the heart of Lori’s own success is a combination of talent, hard work and perseverance. She is a strong role model for women of all ages and was honored with the Sherry Lansing 'Woman of the Year' Award and by the Paley Center as an Important Woman in Television.
Lori's international bestseller Invent It, Sell It, Bank It! is a step-by-step guide on how to turn an idea into a million-dollar reality.
Serena Williams 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.
In March of 2022, Serena Ventures launched its inaugural $111M venture capital fund and currently maintains a portfolio of over 60 companies with a focus on diverse leadership. Williams’ fashion brand, S BY SERENA, celebrates body positivity and female empowerment. Her brand partnerships include Nike, Lincoln, Cash App, Just Egg, Gatorade, Michelob Ultra, Audemars Piguet, and Gucci.
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, and the fashion-forward activewear brand EleVen by Venus Williams. 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)
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.
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.
David Rowan explains compellingly how emerging technologies will impact business — and how leaders should prepare now. As founding Editor-in-Chief of WIRED magazine’s UK edition, David came to know the founders of WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Google, Didi, Spotify, Xiaomi, Nest, Twitter, and countless other ambitious startups from Tel Aviv to Shenzhen. He has since invested in more than 80 early-stage tech companies, including three that became billion-dollar “unicorns,” and built a health-tech and climate-tech fund, and he’s an adviser to Lakestar, one of Europe’s largest venture-capital funds. His bestselling book Non-Bullshit Innovation: Radical Ideas from the World’s Smartest Minds (Penguin, 2019) has been translated to Japanese, Korean, Russian and Ukrainian. The book, a 20-country quest for bold corporate innovation in the face of technology-led disruption, sets out 17 proven strategies for future-proofing a successful business — from “Turn products into services” to “Empower your team” and “Become a platform.”
David has been a technology columnist for The Times, GQ, Condé Nast Traveller and The Sunday Times, and founded the VOYAGERS not-for-profit community of 400 innovators working to solve health and climate problems. He has received repeat requests to keynote for clients such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Google, KPMG, McKinsey, Chanel, and Unilever, and has moderated events for the World Economic Forum and the UK and French governments. And he is still searching for the future.
David will customize a talk for your meeting. His recent themes include:
• How to build a radical culture of innovation
• How emerging technologies will transform your industry
• What AI, data analytics and blockchain mean for business leaders
• How to optimize customer engagement
• What talent wants in the new world of work
• Why purpose plus profit is the new business mantra
BOZOMA SAINT JOHN
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.
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.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI & JOE SCARBOROUGH
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.
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.
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.
Author, Activist, Founder of Together Rising, and Host of the We Can Do Hard Things Podcast
Glennon Doyle is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller UNTAMED, a Reese’s Book Club selection, which has sold over two million copies. She is also the author of GET UNTAMED: The Journal; the #1 New York Times bestseller LOVE WARRIOR, an Oprah’s Book Club selection; and CARRY ON, WARRIOR.
Glennon hosts the WE CAN DO HARD THINGS Podcast, which debuted at #1 in May 2021 and was named the #1 New Podcast of 2021 on Apple Podcasts.
An activist and “patron saint of female empowerment” (People), Glennon is the founder and president of Together Rising, an all-women-led nonprofit organization that has revolutionized grassroots philanthropy – raising over $40 million for women, families, and children in crisis.
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.
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.
Karl Rove, an iconic political strategist and one of the most sought-after political pundits of our time, is best known for his provocative and robust knowledge of major political issues. Rove served as Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush. Before the White House, he ran Rove + Co. a Texas based public affairs firm that consulted on over 75 GOP campaigns for Senator, Governor, Congress and statewide offices in 24 states. Rove writes a weekly op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, appears frequently on the Fox News Channel, and is the author of the New York Times bestseller Courage and Consequence. His latest book is The Triumph of William McKinley.
Rove was described by author and columnist Michael Barone as “…unique…no Presidential appointee has ever had such a strong influence on politics and policy, and none is likely to do so again anytime soon.” Washington Post Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter David Broder wrote that Rove was a master political strategist whose “game has always been long term… and he plays it with an intensity and attention to detail that few can match.” Conservative editor and columnist Fred Barnes, called him “the greatest political mind of his generation and probably of any generation… He knows history, understands the moods of the public and is a visionary on matters of public policy.”
From major international conferences to college campuses and intimate corporate events, Karl Rove's shrewd analysis helps him resonate with audiences. Sponsors hosting Rove have reported his remarks "were extremely insightful and very helpful to our industry leaders" (Edison Electric Institute); "stimulating and valuable" (The Fraser Institute); and "provocative, lively and thoughtful" (Nomura); with audiences "often erupting in applause" (Wabash College) and his presentations consistently praised as "one of the highest-rated" (The TriZetto Group).
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 headlining 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 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.
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.
Top media executive, New York Times bestselling author, and innovative tech entrepreneur Ben Sherwood offers game-changing insights on bold leadership in times of disruption. An award-winning journalist, Sherwood previously served as President of ABC News, as well as Co-Chairman of Disney Media Networks, and President of Disney|ABC Television Group. He is the author of multiple bestselling books, including the New York Times bestseller The Survivors Club, which explores the secrets and science of the world’s greatest survivors. Sought after for his masterful storytelling, Sherwood shares the secrets to unleashing creativity and innovation, and leading through disruption.
Consistently ranked in The Hollywood Reporter’s annual list of “Most Powerful People in Entertainment,” he is also the Founder and CEO of MOJO, a sports tech and media company on a mission to make youth sports fun, easy and accessible for everyone. Leveraging his experience managing a 12B business with Disney|ABC, Sherwood has pivoted to scale his startup within a year to high-profile partnerships with the NBA, MLB, NFL FLAG, and FC Barcelona, winning the 2021 Webby Award for “Best Sports App on the Internet” and recognition from Front Office Sports as one of the 30 Best Employers in the global sports industry. 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)
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".
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.
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.
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.
The world first knew Arnold Schwarzenegger as a famous bodybuilder and a Hollywood action hero, and now as California's 38th Governor, an environmental crusader, a successful businessman, and a generous philanthropist.
STEVEN VAN ZANDT
Musician, Performer, Songwriter, Arranger, Music Producer, Music Supervisor, TV Producer, Actor, Director, Broadway Producer, TV and Film Composer, and Live Event Producer, International DJ, Activist, Historian, Teacher, member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and recognized internationally as one of the world’s foremost authorities on both Contemporary and Traditional Rock and Roll.
“He’s not the only one, nor the oldest, nor the richest. But Little Stevie Van Zandt might currently be the planet’s most charismatic, dedicated and visible crusader scrapping to preserve the dirty purity of Rock ‘n Roll.” - BruceSpringsteen.net
“I know it sounds a bit silly but I do believe Rock and Roll can change the world. It’s about bands, and that for me suggests brotherhood, family, friendship, and community” - Stevie Van Zandt
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nobel Prize-Winner Richard H. Thaler studies behavioral economics and finance as well as the psychology of decision-making which lies in the gap between economics and psychology. He investigates the implications of relaxing the standard economic assumption that everyone in the economy is rational and selfish, instead entertaining the possibility that some of the agents in the economy are sometimes human.
Thaler is the co-author (with Cass R. Sunstein) of the global best seller Nudge (2008) in which the concepts of behavioral economics are used to tackle many of society’s major problems. In 2015 he published Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics. He has also published numerous articles in prominent journals such as the American Economics Review, the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Political Economy, and is a regular contributor to the New York Times Economic View column. In 2018, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
Thaler is a Founding Principal at Fuller and Thaler Asset Management where they manage about $10 billion in U.S. equities. He was an informal advisor to the coalition government led by David Cameron, the Obama administration, several professional sports teams, and the Alliance for Decision Education.
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.
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.
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)
AUSTIN CHANNING BROWN
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.
Ayọ (fka Opal) Tometi is one of the most influential human rights leaders of the century according to TIME magazine. As one of the three women co-founders of Black Lives Matter digital platform and chapter-based network, her name is etched in history. Hailed as a feminist freedom fighter, Ayọ is respected for her track record of uniting communities, and for her thought leadership on race, immigration, and gender. In 2019 she completed nearly a decade of service as the Executive Director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), the first immigrant rights organization for people of African descent in the United States. Ayọ is a trusted advisor and serves on the board of Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity and the International Living Futures Institute. She has graced the cover of magazines because of her achievements and received numerous recognitions including an honorary PhD, being named most influential women of the century by USA Today, TIME Magazine, and Most Influential People by Forbes, Marie Claire, Glamour and Cosmopolitan magazines. Ayọ was also honored by the City University of New York (CUNY) with a scholarship in her name to support immigrant students pursuing law degrees. In 2019 she also received the Coretta Scott King Center Award and Douglass 200 Award, and is currently featured in a video installation at the Smithsonian’s National Museum for African History and Culture for her contributions in thought-leadership for the betterment of the diaspora. As the daughter of Nigerian immigrants, Ayọ has set her movement sights on an even bigger struggle: uplifting Black lives worldwide. In 2020 she founded Diaspora Rising, a new media and advocacy hub dedicated to strengthening the bonds amongst members of the global Black family. Additionally, she's focused on other social enterprises. With nearly two decades as a human rights champion, she still feels her work has only just begun.
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.
Former United States Senator and Ambassador to China, Max Baucus is a leading voice on business, public policy, and international affairs. In his years as an elected official and diplomat, Baucus was engaged in the most consequential issues of the past half-century, and continues to provide counsel as co-founder of the Baucus Group.
Montana's longest-serving senator Baucus established himself as one of the Senate’s most productive and least partisan members, building a record of accomplishment on a broad range of policy issues both domestic and foreign. As Chair of the Senate Finance Committee for seven years, Baucus served as the principal author and advocate for the Affordable Care Act, and led the passage and enactment of Free Trade Agreements with 11 countries and worked to increase U.S. exports by knocking down trade barriers. He was also deeply involved in orchestrating congressional approval of permanent normal trade relations with China in 2000 and in facilitating China’s entrance into the World Trade Organization in 2001, and is credited with holding China accountable on issues of intellectual property, human rights and currency.
In-demand by numerous private companies and public organizations, Baucus currently serves on the board of directors of Ingram Micro and previously served on the board of advisors to Alibaba Group until May of 2019, and the External Advisory Board to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency until July of 2019. He now devotes much of his time to the Max S. Baucus Institute at the University of Montana, founded to give young adults opportunities in politics, government, and overseas studies.
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. 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.
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.
A familiar face on television, one of broadcasting’s most respected journalists and host of CBS Sunday Morning, Jane Pauley is praised by audiences for her relatable and personal inspirational message. She advocates for people 50+ starting different careers, making a difference and pursuing their dreams. She is a also a highly regarded advocate for mental health, children’s health, and education issues. Jane Pauley's celebrity fills the room with optimism, and audiences often bring her back more than once, citing the warm reception she received by the audience.
Prior to anchoring on CBS, Pauley had a 13-year career on NBC's Today program and was also a co-host of Dateline NBC for 12 years.
Columnist, New York Times bestselling author, and CNN commentator 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 a commentator on CNN, 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.
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.
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)
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)
Academy Award-Winning Actor Matthew McConaughey's impressive career has spanned 40 feature films that have grossed over $1 billion dollars. A Texas native heralded for his constant career reinvention, McConaughey is a dedicated philanthropist whose just keep livin' Foundation empowers high school students to lead active lives and make healthy choices for a better future.
A force of nature both onscreen and in business, McConaughey serves as creative director for Wild Turkey, is part owner of Austin FC, and serves as the Minister of Culture/M.O.C for the University of Texas sports arena and Austin FC MLS Soccer Club.
In his New York Times #1 bestselling book, Greenlights, McConaughey writes what he calls a love letter to life. Greenlights takes readers on a journey of lessons he grappled with throughout his life reminding us to connect with grace, truth, and the beauty of being alive.
In engagements that are equal parts empowering and entertaining, McConaughey shares lessons from his life and career, the impact of his philanthropic efforts, and the importance of chasing your passion.
Pop culture icon Ricki Lake has built an award-winning acting and producing career on her graciously candid sensibility and her authentic, relatable nature. A storyteller, talk show host, documentarian, and passionate activist, Lake has worked hard to make this world a better place through the use of her voice and platform. Lake’s legacy is undoubtedly her ability to share the truth on a wide variety of subjects through her unique lens.
Rising to fame at 18 years of age as the original Tracy Turnblad, in John Water’s Hairspray, she went to on make more than 20 films including Cry-baby, Serial Mom, and Mrs. Winterbourne among others. Ricki then went on to become the youngest talk show host in history at the age of 24. Her show was the voice of the younger generation and the success of her show was unprecedented and changed the genre of talk television forever.
Lake’s award-winning documentary The Business of Being Born has become a national platform and tool for childbirth education in schools and hospitals, and is hailed as the “must see” film among mothers to be. In addition to other successful film projects, Lake also executive produced documentary film Weed the People, which examines the use of cannabis as medicine for children with pediatric cancer and its status as a Schedule I prohibited drug in the United States.
The author of Never Say Never: Finding a Life That Fits, Lake speaks to worldwide audiences, offering actionable advice for those struggling in their own skin. In empowering, impassioned conversations, Lake shares her journey from troubled childhood to weathering near-bankruptcy, an extremely difficult divorce, and the suicide of a deep love to ultimately finding success and happiness. In recalling the ups and downs of her experience, she reminds audiences that life always hands you the unexpected, so you should never say never. With her signature informative yet conversational delivery, Lake educates people on how to make informed choices when it comes to their health and inspires any group to let go of their own fears to find happiness within themselves.
Dr. Kevin Hassett is among the world's leading economists, and served as the 29th Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers from 2017 through 2019. He was recently called back to the White House to serve as a special economic advisor to President Trump to manage data-driven decisions in response to the Coronavirus economic fallout.
While working in the Trump White House, Hassett was a key force driving internal and external debate on virtually every economic topic, from taxes and trade, to substance abuse and deregulation. While at the White House, Hassett was the top public spokesperson for the White House on economic policy and the state of economy, appearing regularly on Fox, Fox Business, CNBC, MSNBC, Bloomberg, CNN, and more. Hassett was even drawn upon at times to run the televised White House press briefings.
Sought-out by numerous presidential candidates, Hassett served as John McCain's chief economic adviser in the 2000 presidential primaries and an economic adviser to the campaigns of George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election and McCain in the presidential election of 2008.
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.
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.
Robin Sharma is one of the world's premier speakers on Leadership and Personal Mastery, named one of the World's Top Leadership Gurus. As a presenter, Sharma has the rare ability to electrify an audience yet deliver uncommonly original and useful insights that lead to individuals doing their best work, teams providing superb results and organizations becoming unbeatable.
For nearly 20 years, many of the most well-known organizations on the planet, ranging from Nike, GE, Microsoft, FedEx, PwC, HP and Oracle to NASA, Yale University and YPO have chosen Robin Sharma for their most important events, when nothing less than a world-class speaker will do.
Sharma's books such as The Leader Who Had No Title have topped bestseller lists internationally and his social media posts reach over six hundred million people a year, making him a true global phenomenon for helping people do brilliant work, thrive amid change and realize their highest leadership capacities within the organization so that personal responsibility, productivity, ingenuity and mastery soars.
Sharma has been ranked as one of the Top 5 Leadership Gurus in the World in an independent survey of over 22,000 businesspeople and appears on platforms with other luminaries such as Richard Branson, Bill Clinton, Jack Welch and Shaquille O'Neill.
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.
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.
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.
W. KAMAU BELL
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.
Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit has spent three years on the New York Times Bestseller list. Soon, his new book, Supercommunicators: The Power of Conversation and Hidden Language of Connection will appear on bookshelves. 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.
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.
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 Earth, Snyder explains the Jewish Holocaust in ways that help us to better understand the basic predicaments of our own time. In The Road to Unfreedom, Snyder 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.
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.
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.
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.
Foreign Policy Magazine named Henry Kissinger one of the "Top 100 Global Thinkers" for a "half-century ruling the U.S. foreign policy community." World-renowned for his unparalleled skills in the art of diplomacy, Dr. Kissinger is one of the shrewdest, best-informed and most articulate figures ever to occupy a position in Washington. A vital presence in international and national politics, Dr. Kissinger understands firsthand the delicate balance of world power and America’s influence.
KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON
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 Texas, Leading 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.
Award-winning political analyst, New York Times bestselling author, and MSNBC national correspondent Joy 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.
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.
Senator for 24 years and Democratic candidate for Vice President in 2000, Senator Lieberman is a voice of bipartisan reason in hyper-partisan times. Widely respected by Democrats and Republicans alike, he is known as a thoughtful, principled, and effective leader, advocating for centrist policies to break partisan gridlock. Throughout his service as Connecticut’s Independent representative from 1988-2012, Senator Lieberman established himself as a national leader – working across party lines to find common ground, building bridges, and facilitating mutually beneficial strategic agreements. He is a straight talker with a sense of humor, and an expert on topics ranging from the economy to international relations, national security, cybersecurity, and environmental protection.
After serving four terms in the U.S. Senate, Senator Lieberman has amassed impressive credentials in business and law. He went on to lead Kasowitz, Benson & Torres’ Government Affairs and Strategic Counsel Practice Group, providing strategic counsel to individuals, firms, non-profits and trade associations at the intersection of law, business and public policy. In sought-after and engaging talks, Senator Lieberman is uniquely positioned to shed light on what’s ahead for Washington as well as the challenges and opportunities of partisan politics. He regularly receives rave reviews, such as: “The program was marvelous. It was truly a pleasure. His remarks were poignant and extremely well-received,” (Anti-Defamation League) and “Everything with Senator Lieberman was fantastic. He was brilliant onstage and truly delightful to work with. Everyone at Stephens was thrilled and really enjoyed having him." (Stephens Inc.)
Pulitzer Prize winner Clarence Page is one of the most nationally recognized and highly regarded syndicated columnists in the country. A member of the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board, Page is also a regular contributor of essays to The News Hour with Jim Lehrer and has been a regular on The McLaughlin Group, The Chris Matthews Show, Nightline and Lead Story news panel programs.
A go-to voice on American culture and politics thanks to his sharp, thoughtful and moving analysis, Page has received lifetime achievement awards from the Chicago Headline Club, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the National Association of Black Journalists. In his speeches, he decodes top political issues with clarity, balance and humor.
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.
Co-author of the New York Times bestselling Freakonomics series, and 2003 recipient of the American Economic Association’s prestigious John Bates Clark Medal, given to the country's best economist under 40, Steven D. Levitt works with businesses to apply his Freakonomics approach (combining data, economic theory, and unorthodox thinking) to the corporate world.
Stephen J. Dubner is an award-winning author, journalist, and radio and TV personality. He is best-known as co-author of the New York Times bestselling Freakonomics series. They have sold more than 7 million copies in more than 40 countries. Dubner is also the host of the Freakonomics Radio podcast, which gets 5 million downloads a month, and he maintains the popular Freakonomics blog, which has been called “the most readable economics blog in the universe.”
Freakonomics, published in 2005, was an instant international bestseller and cultural phenomenon. Hailed by critics and readers alike, it still appears regularly on The New York Times bestseller list. SuperFreakonomics followed in 2009, to similar acclaim, and in 2010 a documentary film version of Freakonomics was chosen as the closing film of the Tribeca Film Festival.
The most recent successes in the series include Think Like A Freak (2014), which became an instant New York Times bestseller, and When to Rob a Bank (2015), which is a collection of the best Freakonomics.com blog posts.
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.
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 and She Proclaims: Our Declaration of Independence from a Man’s World, 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 is 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.
Felipe Calderón is the 56th President of Mexico. Establishing economic reform as a top priority of his administration, Calderón implemented policies that catapulted Mexico into a powerful player in the global economy. Since leaving his post as President, he has focused his leadership and attention on the economic benefits of acting on climate change, and has positioned himself as a leading voice on this global issue. In 2022, he was named President of the Environment and Sustainability Commission for the International Automobile Federation. President Calderón has hosted and chaired the G-20 Summit of Leaders, the most important forum of heads of state and government. He also chaired the UN Conference on Climate Change COP 16, which marked a new era of cooperation in this field. He was named "Statesman of the Year" by the World Economic Forum and "Champion of the Earth" by the United Nations, and received the Teddy Roosevelt Award for the Environment, the GLOBE Award from the Global Legislators Organization for a Balanced Environment, the International Star of Energy Efficiency award, and TIME magazine has designated him as one of their top 100 influential people in the world.
Olivier Blanchard is a renowned international economist and former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund. Since October 2015, he is the Fred Bergsten Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, in Washington. He is also the Robert M. Solow Professor of Economics emeritus at MIT.
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.
Troy Aikman is one of the most recognizable and accomplished personalities in sports and beyond, as a Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback, Emmy nominated broadcaster, philanthropist, and serial entrepreneur. Aikman is the new voice of ESPN's Monday Night Football alongside Joe Buck. Together with Buck, Aikman is part of the second-longest broadcast tandem in NFL history — his voice has become synonymous with the game. Aikman harnesses his tenacity, drive, and likeability from the field and brings it to every project and partnership off the field.
An empowering and insightful speaker, Aikman engages audiences with conversations about how to identify (and maximize) the individual assets of members on any team, how to use unexpected change and setbacks to grow, what he learned from the struggles and triumphs of his football career, and more.
Maria Sharapova is a world-class tennis champion and entrepreneur. Her passion for craftsmanship and detail is reflected in everything she does — both on and off the tennis court.
After moving to the United States from Russia at age six to pursue her tennis career, Maria turned professional at age 14. She won Wimbledon at age 17 - the first of her five career Grand Slam titles - and has been ranked #1 in the world by the WTA on five separate occasions. Maria was also the 7th female player in the open era to complete the career Grand Slam and the first female athlete to serve as the Olympic flag bearer for the Russian delegation. Maria chronicles much of her tennis career in her New York Times best-seller, Unstoppable: My Life so Far.
Outside of tennis, Maria Sharapova is an active founder, CEO and business investor. She founded her premium candy line, Sugarpova, and has artfully designed and scaled all aspects of the company. She oversees the day-to-day decision-making and growth of the business — from creative branding and packaging to product R&D and retail expansion. Maria is also passionate about supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs — investing in several companies and participating in mentorship programs for women in business.
A curious person by nature, Maria is always seeking opportunities to learn and grow from others. She has taken courses at Harvard Business School and is collaborating with architect Dan Meis on a new concept for boutique wellness centers. Maria brings a creative and hands-on approach to all of her projects, spanning tennis, business, design and more.
In her passionate remarks, Sharapova addresses everything from business advice and how to perform like a champion to women's empowerment and her own inspirational life story.
KAREN G. MILLS
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.
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.
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.
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).
Phil is a co-founder and the CEO of All Turtles, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) startup studio. He is also the co-founder and former CEO of the global productivity tool Evernote, which created an epic transformation in workflow and has redefined the way individuals and teams work today. A sought-after leader on innovation, Libin provides audiences with an engaging look at what it takes to reinvent productivity at global scale. His investment focus is generally on using technology to enhance humanity, productivity, and business globally.
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.
Morgan DeBaun is a serial entrepreneur and corporate advisor. As the Founder & CEO of Blavity Inc., the leading digital media company for Black culture and millennials, Morgan has grown the company into a market leader for Black media, reaching over 100 million readers per month through a growing brand portfolio which includes: Blavity News, 21Ninety, AfroTech, Travel Noire, Shadow & Act, and Lunchtable. Under DeBaun’s leadership, Blavity has launched several leading consumer summits, including Summit 21 for Black women creators, and AfroTech, the largest tech conference for Black innovators and founders.
DeBaun acts as an advisor to influential global brands and companies including Disney, American Airlines, CES, Pantora Bridal and Rosen Skincare. She is also an angel investor in Golde, a consumer brand present in over 200 stores, and Public, which has a $1B+ valuation.
DeBaun is a recipient of Ad Color’s Innovative Award, has been recognized by Forbes in the “30 Under 30” and America’s Top 50 Women in Tech lists, and was named as one of the 100 Most Influential African Americans by The Root.
BILLIE JEAN KING
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.
Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist and Two-Time World Cup Champion Carli Lloyd is a former soccer legend who played for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team for 17 years (2005-2021). Carli was awarded the most prestigious and highest award in soccer: FIFA World Player of the Year (2015 and 2016); only one other American player has received the award twice.
She was best known for her clutch performances in the biggest moments, but it was Lloyd’s consistent production over the course of her career, her extreme dedication to the game and her relentless pursuit of self-improvement that perhaps best exemplifies her contribution to U.S. and world soccer history.
Carli is a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist (2008 and 2012) and a Bronze Medalist (2020). She holds the unique distinction of scoring in every Olympic medal match, including the 2008 gold medal match against Brazil, a brace in the 2012 gold medal game against Japan, and a brace in the 2020 Bronze medal game against Australia. Carli holds the record for All-time leading scorer in USWNT Olympic history with 10 goals. She is the only American player to score in four different Olympics (2008, 2012, 2016, 2020).
She also competed in four Women’s World Cup tournaments (2007, 2011, 2015, and 2019), and is a two-time World Cup Champion (2015 and 2019). She became the first player in FIFA Women’s World Cup to Score a Hat Trick in a World Cup Final (2015). She was awarded the Golden Ball (MVP) and Silver boot at the 2015 World Cup. Carli played in more World Cup (25) and Olympic matches (22) than any other USWNT player. She scored 134 goals, in 316 Caps (games played), which ranks 3rd All-time on the international stage for men and women.
Carli is a role model who empowers and inspires others to be Better Every Day and to never give up on achieving their goals. Carli also runs her own CL10 Soccer Clinics for ages 8-18 years of age for both boys and girls. The bestselling author of When Nobody Was Watching, Carli empowers audiences to find their own success with lessons from both in and beyond the world of sports.
CAROLINE RANDALL WILLIAMS
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)
HER MAJESTY QUEEN NOOR
Her Majesty Queen Noor is an international public servant and advocate for cross-cultural understanding and conflict prevention and recovery issues such as refugees, missing persons, poverty, climate change and disarmament. Her peace-building work has focused on the Middle East, the Balkans, Central and Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa.
Former President of the European Central Bank (2003-11) and Chairman of the Bank of France (1993-2003) Jean-Claude Trichet is a global authority on financial markets and the economy. While at the helm of the European Central Bank, Trichet oversaw the Eurozone's handling of the Great Recession and European Debt Crisis in the aftermath of the 2008 financial collapse. Currently the Chairperson of the Board at Bruegel-- a leading European think tank focused on economic policy-- Chairman of the Group of Thirty, and European Chairman of the Trilateral Commission, Trichet offers razor shop analysis on risks and opportunities facing the global economy.
Trichet has been named to the Financial Time's “Person of the Year” and “Fifty Faces that Shaped the Decade,” as well as listed on International Economy magazine's “Policy Maker of the Year,” Newsweek's “World’s Most Powerful” and TIME's “Most Influential People in the World.”
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.
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.
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.
Bret Stephens is a U.S. foreign policy expert and highly-awarded columnist for "his incisive columns on American foreign policy and domestic politics, often enlivened by a contrarian twist." Audiences value Mr. Stephens' timely insights and also his "breath of fresh air" delivery.
Bret Stephens is an op-ed columnist for the New York Times. He previously spent 16 years at the Wall Street Journal, most notably writing "Global View," the foreign-affairs column, for which he was awarded the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary.
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.
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.
Jane Holl Lute has dedicated her career to preventing terrorism, enhancing global stabilty and security, and helping those in crisis. It says something about the times in which we live that Ms. Lute now focuses on cyberterrorism, the source of today's most menacing threats to nations, businesses and individuals. Audiences praise Ms. Lute for grounding her remarks about cybersecurity in her roots as a United Nations Peace builder and Assistant Secretary-General of the U.N. responsible for comprehensive on-the-ground support for humanitarian operations in crises. She has also served as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security where she was responsible for the day-to-day management of the Department's efforts to prevent terrorism and enhance security, secure and manage the nation's borders, administer and enforce U.S. immigration laws, strengthen national resilience in the face of disasters, and ensure the nation's cybersecurity.
Ms. Lute is currently strategic director for SICPA SecurInk, a privately held Swiss company that provides security solutions to protect the integrity of most of the world’s banknotes. Ms. Lute serves as director on the board of Union Pacific Railroad, Marsh McLennan Corporation, and Shell plc. Previously, Ms. Lute served as Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Internet Security, an operating not-for-profit organization and home of the U.S. Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) providing cybersecurity services for U.S. state, local, tribal and territorial governments.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
What is the Ann Curry difference? She is more than a highly esteemed, award-winning journalist; Ann brings stories to life. Her reporting is raw, bold, and deeply personal, because she knows how to connect with each person she interviews. Her passion to share someone else’s truth so that she can better inform the world comes from a deep understanding of the importance of service. It continues to be the driving force of her work on and off camera or stage, garnering honors such as multiple National News Emmys, 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.
Audiences praise her for her “…genuine interest, insights, compassion for others, passion for your work, and obvious intellect and talents ... Your message was inspirational.” (Welcome House of Northern Kentucky, Inc.) Her celebrity status in the “Who’s Who” of the journalism world is a wonderful vehicle bringing her to events around the world, but at the end of the day, Ann is a person who will connect with every member of an audience and share a message that will leave each person forever changed.
Kevin Warsh is a monetary policy expert and economist who served the United States in the Federal Reserve and the White House, and whose insights are sought by Central Banks around the world. Most notably, he was hired by the Bank of England, where he issued an independent report proposing reforms in the conduct of monetary policy in the United Kingdom. Parliament recently adopted the report’s recommendations.
Kevin Warsh serves as the Shepard Family Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Economics at the Hoover Institution and lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He advises several private and public companies, including service on the board of directors of UPS. Warsh is also a member of the Group of Thirty (G30). He played a significant role in stabilizing the economy during the U.S. financial crisis. His authoritative and enlightening presentations on both domestic and international economic issues are helping audiences and corporations understand how U.S. and foreign monetary policy impacts large and small businesses, as well as individuals. Warsh is particularly well-positioned to explain the risks and rewards of Brexit, as well as economic strategy under this U.S. administration.
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.
AUTHORS OF FREAKONOMICS
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.
ALEXA VON TOBEL
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", Inc. Magazine'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.
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. 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.
Erica's newest book, The Retention Revolution: 7 Surprising (and Very Human!) Ways to Keep Employees Connected to Your Company, which is due out September 23, 2023, 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.
Keswin and her work have been featured in Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Huffington Post, O Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, Mogul, 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.
J. CRAIG VENTER
Few speakers are able to answer, "What is the meaning of life?" more than just rhetorically, but J. Craig Venter helps his audiences understand the meaning at its scientific essence. He is regarded as one of the leading scientists of the 21st century for his numerous, invaluable contributions to genomic research and the study of life, and through his studies he has become a teacher and policy advisor on health, longevity and the environment. He is co-founder of Human Longevity Inc. and a scientist of human existence—from sequencing the human genome to actually creating synthetic life.
A Sleep Scientist at Google, Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at UC Berkeley, founder and director of the school's Center for Human Sleep Science, and now bringing his science directly to the public as host of The Matt Walker Podcast, Dr. Matthew Walker is a celebrated sleep expert. The author of the New York Times bestseller Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams, hailed as an "important and fascinating book" by Bill Gates, Dr. Walker explains how we can harness sleep to dramatic effects including: to improve learning, mood and energy levels; regulate hormones; prevent cancer, Alzheimer’s, obesity, and diabetes; slow the effects of aging; increase longevity; enhance the education and lifespan of our children; and boost the efficiency, success, and productivity of our businesses. Previously, Dr. Walker was a Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and served as Chief Scientist and scientific counsel for numerous technology companies, including Hello and Fitbit.
Dedicated to the communication of science, Dr. Walker has shed light on his groundbreaking research everywhere from Google to TED, where his talk "Sleep is your superpower" has over 3 million views. He discusses the impact of sleep on human health and disease in a way that is digestible for any audience and provides tangible takeaways on wellness and peak performance. Dr. Walker translates his work for any industry and audience, and also offers workshops of various kinds to business leaders, technology firms, and medical and healthcare professionals.
David Kessler is the world’s foremost expert on grief and loss. His experience with thousands of people on the edge of life and death has taught him the secrets to living a happy and fulfilled life, even after life’s tragedies. He is the author of six books, including the new bestselling book, Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief. His books and work have received praise by so many, including Saint (Mother) Teresa.
David’s personal experience as a child witnessing a mass shooting while his mother was dying in a hospital helped him begin his journey. For most of his life, David has taught physicians, nurses, counselors, police, and first responders about the end of life, trauma, and grief. He facilitates talks, workshops and retreats for those experiencing grief. However, despite his vast knowledge on grief, his life was turned upside down by the sudden death of his twenty-one-year-old son. It inspired him to write his newest book, Finding Meaning
David’s volunteer work includes being an LAPD Specialist Reserve for traumatic events as well as having served on the Red Cross’s disaster services team. He is the founder of www.grief.com which has over five million visits yearly from 167 countries.
Margaret Trudeau is celebrated for her role as a respected mental-health issues advocate and proponent of living a vibrant, joyful life especially as we age. From becoming the Canadian prime minister’s wife at a young age, to the loss of both her son and her former husband, to living with bi-polar disorder, Margaret shares her personal stories to remind others of the importance of nurturing the body, mind, and spirit.
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.
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)
STEPHEN A. SMITH
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)
MARA BROCK AKIL
Groundbreaking Hollywood visionary and power player Mara Brock Akil has written and produced 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; 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.
A passionate, dynamic, and empowering speaker Akil has been sought-out to speak everywhere from Google to The Wing. She 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.
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.
A New York Times bestselling author, peace activist, and former CIA Clandestine Service Officer Amaryllis Fox has stopped at nothing to improve the world we live in.
From interviewing Suu Kyi for the BBC while working with the Burmese democracy movement – which briefly landed her in prison – to spending time in Dili, East Timor, working to settle IDPs in the world’s newest country, Fox has spent years doing hands-on work to drastically enhance global communities. As a political and terrorism analyst for South East Asia, and then a Clandestine Service officer overseas, Fox was deployed as a spy under non-official cover--the most difficult and coveted job in the field. Her intensive training included everything from how to get out of flexicuffs while locked in the trunk of a car, to how to withstand torture, to the best ways to commit suicide in case of captivity. Her remarkable experiences spending a decade hunting the world’s most dangerous terrorists in sixteen counties-- all while getting married and giving birth to her daughter-- are chronicled in her New York Times bestselling memoir Life Undercover: Coming of Age in the CIA.
The book has been translated into 23 languages and was chosen by Time Magazine, the Washington Post, the New York Times and People Magazine as a notable book of the year. It is being adapted into a television series by Apple, featuring Brie Larson. She is the host of Netflix's hit documentary series The Business of Drugs, which ranked #1 in the United States on Netflix the week of its release. Her viral video about listening to our enemies has been viewed over 130 million times worldwide. Previously, she hosted History Channel’s American Ripper and starred in Freak Power, a feature film about Hunter S. Thompson's campaign for Sheriff of Aspen in 1970. Amaryllis has offered guest commentary on global events everywhere from FOX News to BBC.
Sought-out to speak at TED, Fox's remarks are equal parts informative and inspiring. She brings the conflict resolution, communication, and teambuilding techniques and strategies she learned during a career in counterterrorism to audiences worldwide, and shares invaluable insights on human nature and how to apply these findings to daily life, vastly enriching our relationships and unlocking the power to communicate, collaborate, and together achieve common goals.
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. Hughes has also served as counselor to President George W. Bush and Under Secretary of the State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. For her work in Washington D.C., Hughes has been described as "the most powerful woman ever to serve in the White House" (Dallas Morning News) and "the most powerful public diplomacy czar in decades" (The Boston Globe).
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.
An entrepreneur, activist, politician and a philanthropist, Dr. Joyce Banda is the former president of Malawi, making her the country's first female president and Africa's second. Voted as Africa's most powerful woman by Forbes magazine and voted as one of the most powerful women in the world, she is a champion for the rights of women, children, the disabled and other marginalized groups. Continuing her tireless work encouraging women to enter political office and championing the rights of women and the disenfranchised, Dr. Banda has taken on a Distinguished Visiting Fellowship at the Center for Global Development, jointly with the Woodrow Wilson Center, where she brings her invaluable experiences as a leader in African politics. She is also a member of the United Nation's Council of Women World Leaders, and was recently named Honorary Chairperson of The Women Empowerment & Development Society in Asia-Africa.
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.
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.
R. GLENN HUBBARD
An economic advisor to Presidents, a well-respected Professor, leading Republican economist R. Glenn Hubbard has been the architect of policies that affect millions. Event planners invite Hubbard to speak at their events not only to offer their audiences shrewd economic commentary but also to ensure their program maintains the gravitas they've worked so hard to cultivate. Hubbard is that rare economic policy speaker who entertains as he delivers a complex message clearly and concisely - the same skills which have made him a familiar face on political and economic television news programs.
While we all aspire to live bravely in the face of life's significant challenges, few of us are tested to live bravely before the guns of hostile Somali pirates who threaten our leadership and authority, our lives, and the lives of our colleagues. Before Somali pirates hijacked his cargo ship and held him captive for five days, making him the center of a riveting international drama which played out live on television, Captain Richard Phillips was as normal as each of us doing our best at work and home. Audiences connect with Captain Phillips on a personal level, become friends with him by the evening's end, and leave lifted by his inspirational message.
Professor Alan M. Dershowitz is a Brooklyn native who has been called “the nation’s most peripatetic civil liberties lawyer” and one of its “most distinguished defenders of individual rights,” “the best-known criminal lawyer in the world,” “the top lawyer of last resort.” He has been named America’s most “public Jewish Defender,” -- “the Jewish state’s lead attorney in the court of public opinion.” He is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School. Dershowitz, a graduate of Brooklyn College and Yale Law School, joined the Harvard Law School faculty at age 25 – the youngest in the school’s history -- and became an Emeritus professor after 50 years of teaching and 10,000 students.
In his speeches he continues to challenge audiences with his thought-provoking perspectives on today’s foremost social, legal, and ethical issues.
As the Executive Vice President of Forbes Media, Moira Forbes is responsible for driving new business initiatives across the company’s diverse media platforms, and branding Forbes events worldwide. She is also the President and Publisher of ForbesWomen, a multi-media platform dedicated to successful women in business and leadership. Apart from hosting "Success with Moira Forbes," a video series on the Forbes Video Network featuring candid, one-on-one interviews with today’s top women leaders and "The Takeaway with Moira Forbes," a video series on Forbes where Moira interviews bold leaders weekly, she also writes a dedicated leadership column for Forbes.com profiling today’s most dynamic business leaders. In 2013, Moira launched the annual Forbes Women’s Summit in New York City, which brings together 250 female leaders to discuss and solve the world’s most intractable issues.
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 Journal, The 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.
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)
Chef, restaurateur, and Emmy Award-winning television host Guy Fieri is one of the world’s most recognizable and influential culinary stars. With a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, he is best known as the Mayor of Flavortown and the face of Food Network favorites Diners, Drive Ins & Dives, Guy’s Grocery Games, and Tournament of Champions. His thriving business empire has grown to include over 80 restaurants worldwide and a 175-location food delivery service, Flavortown Kitchen, Hunt & Ryde vineyard, Santo tequila, and an upcoming cigar brand.
Guy began his culinary career selling soft pretzels from a three-wheeled bicycle at the age of 10 and washing dishes in local restaurants in his early teens. By 16, he’d earned enough money to spend a year in France as part of a high school exchange program. It was there that he found a deep appreciation for international cuisine. After graduating from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, he gained industry experience as a restaurant manager before pursuing his entrepreneurial dream of opening his own restaurant. In 2006, Guy won the television competition Next Food Network Star and has been a nonstop presence on the network ever since.
Guy’s enthusiasm for food is matched only by his passion for helping others. In 2011, he started the Guy Fieri Foundation which supports culinary education for middle school and high school students, provides financial resources to aspiring chefs and feeds frontline workers, first responders and military personnel in the field. In 2021, the foundation awarded $20,000 in scholarships and served over 21,000 meals. In a true example of leadership, Guy partnered with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation during the pandemic and helped raise more than $21.5 million in aid for over 43,000 unemployed restaurant workers.
He currently lives in Northern California with his wife and two sons.
David Chang is the chef and founder of Momofuku. Called one of “the most influential people of the 21st century” by Esquire, David has appeared on numerous television shows, and was the first chef to be featured on the Emmy-award winning PBS television show, The Mind of a Chef. His cookbook Momofuku and memoir Eat A Peach are New York Times bestsellers. Along with Academy Award-winning Director Morgan Neville, David is a creative force behind Ugly Delicious, an eight-part Netflix original documentary series about foods we love and the stories that shape them. He is also the creator and host of Hulu's docu-series The Next Thing You Eat, and The Dave Chang Show podcast featuring conversations with thought-provoking guests.
One of the most beloved figures in science and technology, Adam Savage has spent most of his life gathering skills that allow him to take ideas and make them real.
In his book, Every Tool’s a Hammer: Life Is What You Make It, Adam shares his golden rules of creativity, problem solving, and much more. This inspiring read not only explores the MythBusters star’s journey through 40-plus years as a maker and creator, but offers readers profound advice on how to pursue what truly inspires them.
In speaking to audiences around the world, Adam challenges and inspires people to turn their curiosities into creations. From finding what inspires you to following through on making an idea a reality, Adam encourages you to push the boundaries of what's possible, and provides a toolbox of techniques to achieve personal and professional success.
Two-time New York Times bestselling author of Shut Up And Run and Strong Mama, Robin Arzón discovered her passion for athletics after healing from a traumatic experience through movement. She fearlessly left behind a successful law career to embark on new adventures in the health and wellness space, and has since reinvented herself into an avid ultra-marathoner and renowned fitness coach.
As Vice President of Fitness Programming and Head Instructor at Peloton, she believes that sweat transforms lives, and her story is living proof. She successfully partners with major lifestyle and fitness brands, using her powerful influence to connect directly with consumers through social media. In 2020, she was named one of the most influential people on Fortune Magazine’s "40 Under 40" list. Her life’s mission is to redefine, reform, and rethink possibility through movement.
A New York Times bestselling author and global fashion icon with a remarkable rags to riches story, Dapper Dan pioneered streetwear in the early 1980s with his eponymous store on 125th Street. Co-opting luxury branding to design original garments with high-end detail, Dapper Dan first drew powerful New York City hustlers as clientele, who flocked to him thanks to his strong street reputation as a legendary professional gambler and dandy. He then went on to outfit the world’s top entertainers and celebrities, all leading to his notoriety.
Dapper Dan’s incredible personal journey from a hungry boy with holes in his shoes, to a teen who gambled drug dealers out of their money, to a beloved legend in the worlds of Harlem, fashion, and hip hop, is chronicled in his New York Times bestseller, Dapper Dan: Made in Harlem. It’s also a story that inspires and resonates with audiences worldwide, and is now being developed into a premium drama series and a documentary series. In his empowering and riveting remarks, Dapper Dan highlights the importance of tenacity, curiosity, and determination to make ones wildest dreams a reality.
DR. DAVID KATZ
David L. Katz, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP, FACLM is a specialist in Internal Medicine, Preventive Medicine/Public Health, and Lifestyle Medicine, with particular expertise in nutrition. He earned his BA at Dartmouth College (1984); his MD at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (1988); and his MPH from the Yale University School of Public Health (1993). Katz is the founder and former director of Yale University’s Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center (1998-2019); 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. He is a Fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine; the American College of Physicians; the American College of Lifestyle Medicine; and Morse College, Yale University.
The recipient of numerous awards for teaching, writing, and contributions to public health, Katz was a 2019 James Beard Foundation Award nominee in health journalism, is a 2023 recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Doctors’ World Gala, and has received three honorary doctorates. 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.
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.
Judith Jamison - American dancer, Choreographer and Artistic Director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater - is a legendary icon in the world of the performing arts. Ms. Jamison, who as a dancer with the troupe, became the most stellar of modern dance's female performers and was appointed Artistic Director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in December 1989 at the request of her mentor, Alvin Ailey, who personally chose her to succeed him. Ms. Jamison has shared her talent and artistic oversight at one of the most respected dance companies in the world for more than 50 years. Audiences respond to her passionate and electric remarks, and carry with them the truth of their own potential.
MARGARET I. CUOMO
Margaret I. Cuomo, M.D. is a board certified radiologist, teaching professional, and national advocate for the prevention of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. A trusted expert on health and wellness who empowers people to make lifestyle decisions to tangibly improve their health, Dr. Cuomo explores the ways in which food, exercise, sleep and stress management and more can reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease and how lifestyle modification—altering long-term habits— not only promote general health and well-being, but can be used to treat and prevent a wide range of diseases. Some of Dr. Cuomo’s other areas of expertise include: preventive medicine, public policy as it relates to health and wellness, toxic chemical reform, and the ways in which government, the medical community, the media, academia and more should partner in order to effect change in the "war on cancer."
Her book, A World Without Cancer: The Making of a New World and the Real Promise of Prevention, presents a provocative and surprising look into the ways that profit, personalities, and politics obstruct real progress in the war on cancer. This groundbreaking book, based on her own first-hand experience with cancer patients, has been described as “urgent and powerful,” “an eye-opening look at the way we fight cancer,” and a “call for bold leadership to transform our system from treatment to prevention.”
A fearless advocate for the health of all people worldwide, Cuomo also addresses the power and necessity of STEM education and provides people with the tools and inspiration needed to transform their lives.
Kurt Andersen–a brilliant analyst and synthesizer of historical and cultural trends, bestselling novelist, groundbreaking media entrepreneur, and host of public radio’s Studio 360– takes a smart and refreshingly hopeful approach to our culture and politics. A bestelling author of many social and political commentaries, most recently, Evil Geniuses: How Big Money Took Over America, Andersen provides audiences with a fascinating examination of America’s culture that brilliantly displays how we’ve gotten to where we are today, and where we are going.
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.
An influential business leader, Desiree Rogers has helped major organizations reinvent business models and reach new and more diverse audiences with tangible results. The first black CEO and Co-Owner of Black Opal Beauty and Fashion Fair Cosmetics, and a former CEO of Johnson Publishing Company, Rogers is heralded for her uncanny business acumen and innovative approach to marketing and brand development. Beyond her experience in the private sector, Rogers was appointed by President Obama as White House Social Secretary, re-positioning the White House as the “People’s House” and implementing innovative events.
Named to the "50 Most Influential People in the Multicultural Market" by WWD, "Top 25 Women to Watch" by Crain's Chicago Business, and "Top 50 Most Powerful African American Business Women" by Black Enterprise, Rogers offers insights on everything from how to make marketing work in a digital and global age, to how to talk about race and foster a positive, inclusive work environment. Sought-out to speak at TED, Rogers has the unique ability to connect with her audience, energize and inspire teams, and illuminate new strategic pathways and operational approaches.
"If you are afraid, there is no way to be open. Reach beyond, take a chance, be respectful, and always think of what you can do for others." - Desirée Rogers, TEDx Speech, 2016
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.
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.
Renowned speechwriter and messaging expert Cody Keenan rose from a campaign intern in Chicago to become Chief Speechwriter at the White House and Barack Obama’s post-presidential collaborator. Together, Keenan and Obama's efforts resulted in some of the most unforgettable addresses of our time. From commencement addresses to Selma to Obama’s Farewell Address, they redefined the essence of the American creed and charted an inspiring, optimistic course for a new generation’s active citizenship. Their collaborations have been compared to the works of Abraham Lincoln, described by CNN 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.” Keenan continues to serve as Obama’s collaborator and post-presidential speechwriter. He is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir Grace: President Obama and Ten Days in the Battle for America.
A sought-after expert on politics and current affairs, Keenan is now a partner at the leading speechwriting firm Fenway Strategies, and teaches a popular course on political speechwriting to undergraduates at his alma mater Northwestern University. He was described by NBC News as the ‘Springsteen’ of Obama’s White House, and included on British GQ’s list of the “35 Coolest Men Under 38 (And a Half).” He’s appeared in the History Channel’s nine-part special The Obama Years, on Showtime’s The Circus, in the Smithsonian Channel’s The Obama Years: The Power of Words, and elsewhere. Keenan’s commencement address at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service was highlighted by both The New York Times and The Washington Post as one of the year’s best, and he continues to be a sought-after motivational speaker for events with audiences of all kinds. With his humor and unparalleled insights, Kennan regularly receives rave reviews for speaking engagements, such as: “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.” (Hilton)
An expert on U.S. foreign policy around the globe and a top White House adviser on Middle Eastern issues, Elliott Abrams has served in major foreign policy positions for three Republican U.S. Presidents, George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and Donald Trump. He is a Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C.
He served as Special Assistant to the President & Senior Director for Democracy, Human Rights, and International Operations (2001–2002), Special Assistant to the President & Senior Director for Near East and North African Affairs (2002–2005), Deputy Assistant to the President & Deputy National Security Advisor for Global Democracy Strategy (2005-2009), and most recently, as the U.S. Special Representative for Iran and Venezuela at the Department of State (2020-2021).
David Makovsky is an author and an expert on U.S. policy in the Middle East. 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. He brings his experience as a senior adviser as well as his keen analysis of the current situation to accessible and engaging talks on 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. A long-time adjunct professor of Middle East Studies at Johns Hopkins University in the School of Advanced International Studies, Makovsky is also an in-demand voice for college audiences for both in-person and virtual events, including a TEDx Talk A Middle East Mount Rushmore, and hosts the Decision Points podcast, an exploration of history and contemporary policy decisions impacting Israel, the U.S., and the Middle East at large. Makovsky co-authored the book Be Strong and of Good Courage: How Israel’s Most Important Leaders Shaped Its Destiny, which Henry Kissinger called “A powerful statement on the style and principles of leadership that are critical for shaping the Middle East peace process.”
A veteran award-winning journalist, Makovsky previously served as the Executive Editor of the Jerusalem Post, and was 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, and his commentary has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, Chicago Tribune, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and National Interest. Makovsky is a sought-after commentator on Arab-Israeli affairs, and has appeared frequently for decades on PBS NewsHour, Charlie Rose, NPR, CNN, Fox, the BBC, and more. He has testified before the full U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, the full U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, and on multiple occasions before the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs Middle East Subcommittee. Makovsky is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations, as well as the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
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 Times, The New Republic, New York Times Magazine, Azure, 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)
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.
Martin Indyk has been an active participant in the dramatic Middle East peace process and plays a leading role in advising on U.S. Middle East policy and U.S.-Israel relations. Ambassador Indyk's speeches are full of vivid details of high-level negotiations in Washington and the Middle East. He provides an insider's account of the players and dynamics that shape the volatile region and impact the prospects for peace. Currently a Distinguished Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Ambassador Indyk was the last U.S. special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. He has now written a history of Henry Kissinger's role as the first U.S. Middle East peace envoy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In 1986, Laura Blumenfeld's father was shot in Jerusalem by a member of a rebel faction of the PLO responsible for attacks on several tourists in the Old City. Her father lived, but Blumenfeld's desire for revenge haunted her. Revenge: A Story of Hope is her story.
Laura Blumenfeld is a best-selling author, Middle East analyst, and a senior fellow at the The Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies at Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies. She previously served in the US State Department as senior policy advisor for the Middle East Peace Process. Blumenfeld 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. She is the author of Revenge: A Story of Hope (2002), a global study of the dynamics of revenge and an account of her search for the Palestinian terrorist who shot her father. Blumenfeld holds a bachelor's degree from Harvard University and a master's degree from Columbia University.
Having served in numerous positions of international influence, Daniel Kurtzer is a uniquely qualified speaker with a distinct perspective on the geopolitical realties and culture of one of the world's most troubled regions. During a 29-year career in the U.S. Foreign Service (including U.S. Ambassador to Israel and U.S. Ambassador to Egypt) he was instrumental in formulating and executing U.S. policy toward the Middle East peace process. After retiring from the State Department, he served as a member of Secretary of State John Kerry’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board, and as an advisor to the bipartisan Iraq Study Group.
He is the co-author of Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace: American Leadership in the Middle East; co-author of The Peace Puzzle: America’s Quest for Arab-Israeli Peace, 1989-2011; and editor of Pathways to Peace: America and the Arab-Israeli Conflict.
Many-time bestselling author, columnist, and commentator John Avlon has been called “a trusted, grounded, and welcome voice” emphasizing bipartisanship and real solutions. Avlon is a Senior Political Analyst and Anchor at CNN, known for his “Reality Check” segments across the network. He is an award-winning columnist and the author of Independent Nation, Wingnuts, Washington’s Farewell, and Lincoln & the Fight for Peace as well as co-editor of the acclaimed Deadline Artists journalism anthologies. He was the editor-in-chief and managing director of The Daily Beast between 2013 and 2018 and served as chief speechwriter for the Mayor of New York. Avlon’s essay, “The Resilient City” was selected to conclude Empire City: New York through the Centuries and won acclaim as “the single best essay written in the wake of 9/11.”
Avlon has appeared multiple times on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Real Time with Bill Maher, The Daily Show, PBS, and C-Span. He has spoken at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, the National Constitution Center, and other civic organizations around the nation. Avlon is also a co-founder of No Labels – a group of Democrats, Republicans and Independents dedicated to the politics of problem-solving and making government work again. Highly regarded for his shrewd analysis of the headlines of the day, offering historic perspective on the current political climate of the U.S., and the role of journalism in politics, Avlon offers reasoned discourse that focuses on real solutions.
Creator, writer, director, and producer Ashly Perez is a viral content creator working across mediums to tell powerful stories. They are currently developing their original series, The Youngest One, with Lionsgate and ABC. Ashly was a Co-Producer on ABC’s Home Economics, a Story Editor on Freeform’s Good Trouble, and a creator for Buzzfeed. They 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 themself, Ashly is focused on telling underrepresented stories in every genre. Their passion lies in comedy, romance, and YA. Ashly’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, Ashly shares insights about storytelling that resonate with audiences of all kinds.
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 Times, Bloomberg, The Washington Post, CNBC, Fast Company, Oprah Magazine, Los 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.
Beloved style expert, TV host, and author Stacy London is one of America’s foremost style experts and a pop culture icon. Best known as the co-host of TLC’s iconic show What Not to Wear for ten seasons, Stacy also hosted and executive produced Love, Lust, or Run. She is the New York Times bestselling author of Dress Your Best and The Truth About Style, and has served as a style correspondent for the Today Show, Access Hollywood, Rachel Ray, and The View. Throughout her career, Stacy has made her mark by raising the confidence of others through empowering and uplifting projects and speaking events.
In 2021, Stacy became the Founder and CEO of State of Menopause – a holistic product line for women which addresses the symptoms associated with menopause and perimenopause. By tackling this topic – which is wrapped in shame and stigma – Stacy is leveraging her expertise as a brand leader and continuing to help people from suffering silently, raising their confidence and self-esteem. In 2023, she sunset the company in favor of a long-term educational and advocacy platform about the culture of mid-life, aging, and menopause which she will debut in 2024. She currently advises several other brands on menopause and mid-life.
She previously hosted the mental health podcast Could Be Better, tbh, in collaboration with the Crisis Text Line and The Jed Foundation (JED). Stacy has spoken for groups including Harvard University, Meijer, Vassar College, The Global Wellness Conference, and Women in Retail Summit on the topics of style, self-esteem, and giving menopause the makeover it deserves!
Filmmaker, television writer, and producer Adriana Trigiani is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty books of fiction and nonfiction, including her latest, The Good Left Undone. Her work is published in 38 languages around the world, and her screen credits include writer/director of the major motion picture of her debut novel, Big Stone Gap, the adaptation of her novel Very Valentine, and director of Then Came You. Her novels have been chosen by Book of the Month Club, UK's Richard and Judy Book Club twice, USA Today Book Club, People’s Book of the Week seven times, Lifetime Book Club, as well as other renowned national and international book clubs. Adriana has been profiled in The New York Times, USA Today, British Vogue, Publishers Weekly, Red Magazine, Writer’s Digest, Hallmark Magazine, Italian America Magazine, among others. She was featured in The New York Times 'By the Book', regularly contributes to the Richmond Times-Dispatch op-eds, and wrote the advice columnist ('Agony Aunt') for the Irish Independent. Adriana is in-demand as a guest speaker with organizations and universities, including New York University, the Women’s Fund of East Tennessee, The New School for Social Research, the New York City Italian Welfare League, and Fordham University, to name a few.
Adriana serves as one of the first-ever authors contributing to Meta’s Bulletin column in conjunction with her international Facebook Live show, Adriana Ink, of which Adriana has hosted over 400 bestselling authors and counting with a reach of 1.4M viewers. She has appeared on The Today Show for 22 years, CBS Sunday Morning, CBS This Morning, The View, Good Morning America as a featured summer read, and regularly appears on Good Day New York, PBS and NPR, making her one of the most sought-after speakers in the world of books today. She is also a popular host and emcee for galas, fundraisers, and large venue engagements around the country, including the Audie Awards, Poets and Writers Gala, New York City ArchCare Gala, and serves as the permanent host of the Erma Bombeck Arizona Women’s Board Authors Luncheon, the Charleston Post & Courier Book and Author Luncheon, and the Library of Virginia Literary Awards. With her swath of knowledge in storytelling, filmmaking, and the Italian American experience, Adriana offers enlightening and lively presentations, discussions, and workshops that challenge audiences to lead creative and impactful lives, and she does it with comedy.
Oscar-winning filmmaker, actor, and author Sarah Polley is a storyteller focused on personal stories with powerful cultural resonance. Polley’s film Women Talking received a Best Picture nomination and won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, reverberating with critics and audiences alike as a “powerful act of non-violent protest” (Variety). Polley's previous films include Away From Her - which was nominated for two Academy Awards, Take This Waltz, and her documentary film Stories We Tell, which won Best Documentary Film awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, National Board of Review, and the New York Film Critics Circle, as well as a Writer’s Guild of America award for its screenplay. Polley executive produced and wrote the acclaimed Netflix limited series Alias, Grace, adapted from Margaret Atwood’s novel. In memorable events, Polley speaks on the creative process, the value of storytelling, confronting fear, and what it means to be the author of one’s own life.
Polley starred in a wide variety of films including The Sweet Hereafter (Best Supporting Actress award from the Boston Society of Film Critics), Go (Independent Spirit Award nomination), Dawn of the Dead, Mr. Nobody, and The Weight of Water, to name a few. Polley is the author of the New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice Run Towards the Danger: Confrontations with a Body of Memory, a well-received collection of essays detailing her relationship with her body and how her memory of past and present experiences has contributed to her evolving understanding of self. In profound and ultimately uplifting conversations, Polley inspires her audiences to harness the power of storytelling to live a fuller life.
Entertainment entrepreneur, YouTube personality, and viral storyteller Steven Lim offers uplifting and entertaining talks about following your dreams, AAPI representation, and the power of food to create world peace. Lim is a former chemical engineer who worked at Procter & Gamble and went home from work to create virally popular YouTube videos. He was tapped by Buzzfeed to join their staff, and worked his way up to become an Executive Producer. Lim is known for creating and hosting Buzzfeed’s biggest food show, Worth It – a Webby winner and three-time Streamy Winner that has racked up billions of views and reshaped food criticism.
Lim is the CEO and 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. An advocate for diverse representation in media, Lim is passionate about amplifying diverse voices and creating a space where all stories – and storytellers – matter. Sought after for uplifting and relevant conversations with groups like Georgia Tech, SMU, University of Michigan, and more, Lim’s presentations, keynotes, and moderated conversations leave audiences with a feeling of connection and hope.
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 Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers, The 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.
Artist Development & Performance Director Keanna "KJ Rose" Henson, author of The Rose Effect: Eight Steps to Delivering The Performance of Your Life, is a powerful change agent with real world experience. KJ delivers real world results. KJ worked with Clive Davis at J Records and coached Lil Nas X, the Lumineers, 24k Goldn, The Kid Laroi, Rubi Rose, Justine Skye, Polo G., and others. She also performed with P. Diddy, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, and Janet Jackson. KJ directed talent on national campaigns such as Doritos (Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus, Sam Elliot) Uber Eats (Lil Nas X & Elton John), Taco Bell (Lil Nas X) & Roblox (Lil Nas X)
KJ Rose has shared her expertise on WGN America, NBC's News Now, Bloomberg News, and NBC's California Live. Additionally, KJ contributed by coaching talent on shows that include Saturday Night Live, The Voice, The Grammy Awards, MTV Music Video Awards, BET Awards, Amazon Music Holiday Plays, American Music Awards, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. KJ currently works as an actress on TriDestined Studios & BET+ The Family Business. KJ's dedication to excellence catapulted her to influencer status and creative innovator for initiatives led by TikTok, Janie and Jack, Harlem Fashion Row, REVOLT, and BET.com.
KJ's compelling creative destiny and infectious energy lead brands such as Adidas, L'Oreal, Google, Pandora Media, Omnicom, Nickelodeon, Sony Music, Columbia Records, TriDestined Studios and Disney to deem her to be the "ultimate solution" to motivate and encourage their pool of talented employees.
Award-winning filmmaker, media founder, and author Gotham Chopra is at the forefront of the convergence of sports, science, and spirituality. As the creator and co-founder of Religion of Sports (ROS), an Emmy-winning media company based in Los Angeles, CA, Gotham has worked with some of the most elite athletes in the world including Tom Brady (Tom v Time), Kobe Bryant (Kobe Bryant’s Muse), Lebron James (Shut Up and Dribble), Stephen Curry (Stephen v The Game), Simone Biles (Simone v Herself), and many more to produce content that pushes the boundaries of non-fiction cinema and brings the mythos of sports to a broad audience outside of those that simply follow the games.
Gotham’s brand of sports storytelling leans into the essence of human potential, the dramatic peaks and valleys of competition and athletic achievement, and the heroic narratives that accompany both triumph and failure. He co-authored Walking Wisdom with his father, renowned spiritualist Deepak Chopra, and is the author of The Religion of Sports: Navigating the Trials of Life Through the Games We Love – a memoir-meets-manifesto about the overwhelming power of sports and how they provide meaning and purpose in peoples’ lives.
Chef, funny mom, and Host of Top Chef Canada Eden Grinshpan is the author of Eating Out Loud: Bold Middle Eastern Flavors for All Day Every Day. With her relatable, sincere, and humorous personality, Eden is loved for her approachable cooking and entertaining videos. While pregnant with her daughter, Eden created a viral social media trend by posing with outrageous food stacked on her baby belly. She became an advocate for women, mothers, and breastfeeding, posting multiple videos of dancing while pumping breast milk. Eden has built a strong connection with her dedicated followers through her positive, inclusive, and high-energy approach, spreading joy and laughter while showcasing delicious food and fun lifestyle content.
Eden has been featured on the Forbes' "30 Under 30" List, and has been highlighted by various media outlets, including Elle, Cosmopolitan, Cherry Bombe, parents.com, Glamour, The Daily Mail, and many others. She has cooked in restaurants across Europe, India, Southeast Asia, and Israel, and co-founded DEZ – a Middle Eastern fast-casual restaurant in the heart of NYC, inspired by her Israeli heritage. Her debut cookbook, Eating Out Loud, is an Editor’s Pick on Amazon and was named one of the best cookbooks of the year by Delish and Library Journal. Eden is currently working on her second cookbook, set to release in the Spring of 2025.
College football analyst and former NFL linebacker David Pollack is an empowering speaker on the importance of faith, family, and community in building a successful career and life. Pollack played college football for the University of Georgia, where he was a three-time All-American, and was recognized as the top college defensive player in the nation. Pollack had 36 sacks during his collegiate career, third most in NCAA history. He was a first-round pick in the 2005 NFL Draft and played professionally for the Cincinnati Bengals. After suffering a career-ending neck injury in his second season with the Bengals, Pollack transitioned to a new path as a college football analyst for ESPN. For over a decade, he has connected with sports fans through his engaging presence and passion for what he does.
Pollack launched the Pollack Family Foundation to positively impact communities by empowering families in Athens and the Greater Atlanta area. The Foundation provides not only for basic needs but also creates opportunities for the community to flourish through unique fundraising experiences and intentional acts of community service. The organization’s work reflects Pollack’s personal values, which he shares in uplifting and motivating talks: Love, Integrity, Family, and Excellence (LIFE).
Famed TV writer and producer Marta Kauffman is known for creating the hit 10-season sitcom Friends and Grace and Frankie. Marta created NBC’s long-running hit Friends with David Crane, and the iconic series earned 63 Emmy nominations, winning Outstanding Comedy Series in 2002. They were awarded the 2016 Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for lifetime achievement in television writing by the WGA West, and reruns continue to delight with Friends: The Reunion being a ratings juggernaut. Marta recently finished the Netflix comedy Grace and Frankie starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin and has spoken about creating a hit show that features octogenarian actors and combatting ageism across industries.
Marta’s other credits include Georgia, Five, Veronica's Closet, The Powers That Be, Call Me Crazy: A Five Film, and the documentary Seeing Allred. She has served on several Boards of Trustees including CalArts, Oakwood School, The Lung Cancer Foundation of America, Big Sunday, and IKAR. Marta earned the 2016 Outstanding Television Writer award at the 23rd annual Austin Film Festival & Screenwriters Conference as well as the Kieser Humanitas Award. She recently received an Honorary Doctorate from Brandeis University. Marta has spoken for groups including The New Jewish Home, BANFF, and motivational commencement keynotes for Wesleyan University and Brandeis University.
Podcaster and lifelong competitive athlete Jody Avirgan offers memorable lessons in creating team culture - drawing on what he's learned from playing with and covering top athletes - to help you achieve success as an individual, and by working together. Jody is the host of the show Good Sport from the TED Audio Collective, the Radiotopia show This Day In Esoteric Political History, and serves as story editor and executive producer for a number of projects. Previously, he ran and hosted 30 for 30 Podcasts, part of ESPN Films and was a producer at WNYC radio, working with shows including On the Media, Freakonomics, and more. Jody is the founder of Roulette Productions and developed FiveThirtyEight Podcasts, which covered politics, pop culture, and how data affects our lives.
Jody’s shows and series consistently reach large audiences, finding their way to the top of the iTunes charts and receiving critical acclaim. He is also organizer of the Pro-Democracy Podcast Coalition, a network of podcasts who have committed to sharing messages about protecting our democracy and reducing political corruption. Jody has spoken for groups including IAB Upfronts, Tedx, Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, and more.
DR. MYRON ROLLE
Neurosurgeon, bestselling author, philanthropist, and former NFL player Dr. Myron Rolle is a medical pioneer in preventing traumatic brain injury and has made profound improvements to neurosurgical care in the Caribbean. Dr. Rolle is a Rhodes Scholar and a chief neurosurgery resident and Global Neurosurgery Fellow at Harvard-Massachusetts General Hospital. He developed and published the Rolle Scoring System, a public health rating scale used to determine a developing country’s governance around helmet safety to prevent traumatic brain injury. Dr. Rolle has been recognized by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons for demonstrating the best operative technique in the reconstruction of upper extremity motor function using intercostal nerve transfers after a traumatic brachial plexus injury. Dr. Rolle is the bestselling author of The 2% Way: How a Philosophy of Small Improvements Took Me to Oxford, the NFL, and Neurosurgery, and he shares his remarkable story and life-changing philosophy in motivational events.
Dr. Rolle is the chairman of the Caribbean Neurosurgery Foundation – a not-for-profit which houses capacity-building and health system-strengthening initiatives for improved neurosurgical care in the Caribbean. His foundation has impacted over 3.5M people in the Caribbean through the upscaling of policy, service delivery, infrastructure, and workforce development. Dr. Rolle also serves as the youngest ever board director at Abiomed – a leading provider of groundbreaking medical technology that provides circulatory and oxygenation support for the most at-risk cardiac patients. Following a successful event, host Citadel raved: “Never have I received so many messages and pings about a session from such a diverse audience. Each and every one… appreciated your candor, perspective, humility and storytelling. A privilege to share a stage with you and hope we are able to partner in the future.”
DR. LISA DAMOUR
Three-time New York Times bestselling author, podcaster, and thought leader Dr. Lisa Damour is known for her critically-acclaimed books Untangled, Under Pressure, and The Emotional Lives of Teenagers. Dr. Damour is the co-host of the Ask Lisa podcast, works in collaboration with UNICEF, and is recognized as a thought leader by the American Psychological Association. Dr. Damour’s compassionate and actionable talks on adult mental health, managing anxiety and chronic stress, cultivating well-being, family life, and more have positively impacted audiences worldwide.
Dr. Damour is also a regular contributor to The New York Times and CBS News. She serves as a Senior Advisor to the Schubert Center for Child Studies at Case Western Reserve University and has written numerous academic papers, chapters, and books. She maintains a clinical practice and speaks to professional organizations and corporate groups around the world on the topics of adult well-being, stress and anxiety, and family mental health.
Critical care physician, pulmonologist, and health policy researcher Dr. Christopher Worsham is co-author of Random Acts of Medicine: The Hidden Forces That Sway Doctors, Impact Patients, and Shape Our Health. A health policy researcher at Harvard, Dr. Worsham’s work sits at the intersection of behavioral economics and medicine – using big data in clever ways to study what motivates doctors and patients to behave the way they do – and how we can use that knowledge to make healthcare better. From his vantage point caring for the hospital’s sickest patients as a practicing critical care specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Worsham draws from his own research and others to glean valuable insights from the fascinating stories hiding in our health data in a way that is entertaining and approachable.
Dr. Worsham’s work, which focuses on finding creative ways to improve public health, has been published in top medical journals such as The New England Journal of Medicine and major media outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. He is passionate about finding opportunities to create more equitable health care for everyone. Dr. Worsham has spoken for groups including the American Thoracic Society, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Ogilvy Health, the St. Louis County Library, Harvard University, and more.
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."
Founder of nft now and digital economy expert Matt Medved has worked to bridge the worlds of music, culture, and technology to uplift artistry for nearly a decade. Medved is the Co-Founder, CEO, and Editor-in-Chief of nft now – an award-winning web3 digital media platform building the future of tokenized media to combat AI disinformation and pioneer a community-centric media model. Since launching in 2021, nft now has become a leader in leveraging AI to power its content strategy, and has brought to market innovative web3 products like the Now Pass and industry-leading events like The Gateway and NFT100.
Previously, Matt served as the SVP of Content at Modern Luxury and the EiC of SPIN, where he directed the iconic music and culture title’s 2019 rebrand. Before leading SPIN, Matt founded Billboard Dance in 2015 and grew the vertical into the leading dance/electronic music publication in North America. Medved is the co-creator of nft now's NFT Marketing Bible and has helped numerous Fortune 500 brands successfully enter and navigate web3 while understanding and harnessing its benefits for business.
An early adopter of web3 and AI, Medved has spoken for groups including Harvard Business School, SXSW, NFT NYC, New York Media Festival, Syracuse University, Billboard Live Music Summit, and Institute for Public Relations. He previously conducted human rights field research and wrote $2M in funded grants to the U.S. Department of State and USAID as a consultant for conflict resolution NGO Search for Common Ground in Nigeria — where he also reached more than 6M listeners as a guest DJ at Africa’s largest radio station. Medved is a multihyphenate creative who taps into the business case for new technology in a way that is relevant, accessible, and actionable for audiences of all kinds.
ABIGAIL HING WEN
Woman-in-tech leader, New York Times bestselling author, and filmmaker Abigail Hing Wen has been called “one of the voices of her generation” by Pop Culturalist and “one of the most respected voices in fairness and AI” by Forbes. Abigail was the host of Intel’s Artificial Intelligence Podcast, featuring leading industry experts including Andrew Ng, META's Chief AI Scientist Yann LeCun, The World Bank, Google Deepmind, Genentech, and U.S. Congresswoman Kelly. In her career in tech, she has negotiated multibillion dollar deals on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley, advised members of the C-suite and government officials on AI, and worked in venture capital.
Abigail is a frequent speaker on topics of artificial intelligence, leadership, equity, representation, ethics, and creative careers, including Talks at Google, the California Commonwealth Club, recurring talks at META/Facebook AI, a virtual talk with Lea Salonga, Pinterest, Adobe, Target, Twitch, LinkedIn, the Barnes & Noble podcast, as well as Stanford, Harvard, Columbia, Dartmouth, and Berkeley among other venues.
A New York Times bestselling author, Abigail served as executive producer for the Paramount Plus film Love in Taipei, the first film adaptation of her bestselling novel series, Loveboat, Taipei. Abigail is passionate about democratizing access to and information about artificial intelligence and has written multiple books and articles on the subject.
Pioneer in nonfiction television Arthur Smith has been a hands-on, trendsetting producer in the unscripted television space, creating innovative, larger-than-life formats for two decades and counting. Since founding A. Smith & Co. in 2000, Smith has created some of the longest-running, culture-shaping unscripted series in television history. With more than 200 shows for over 50 networks, under Smith’s leadership, A. Smith & Co. essentially forged the modern food competition reality genre in the United States with the launch of FOX’s longest-running reality show Hell’s Kitchen. His flagship summer primetime show, American Ninja Warrior, now in its 15th season on NBC has garnered seven Emmy nominations. Smith is the author of REACH: Hard Lessons and Learned Truths from a Lifetime in Television, which Forbes called “an immediate must-read.” In his motivational keynotes, Smith illustrates just how far you can go when you work hard, take risks, and reach for your dreams.
Smith embarked on his career as a television producer as a 22-two-year-old wunderkind, talking his way into sports production at CBC in his native Canada. He quickly distinguished himself as a rising star at the network, where he produced three Olympic Games among countless other high-profile events. He has been honored as one of Variety’s “Titans of Unscripted TV” in 2022, inducted into the Realscreen Awards Hall of Fame in 2021, awarded Broadcasting & Cable’s “Producer of the Year” in 2020, and is the recipient of dozens of industry awards. An engaging and energizing speaker, Smith has been in-demand with groups including the U.S. Olympic Academy, Vulcan Media, Beverly Hills Rotary Club, Ryerson University, UCLA, NYU, and many others.
Former Wall Street trader-turned-expert, educator, and entrepreneur Vivian Tu is on a global mission to make the financial industry less "male, pale, and stale.” Tu is the founder and CEO of financial equity phenomenon, “Your Rich BFF” – making the rules of personal finance accessible and digestible to non-experts and marginalized communities. Tu has earned cross-platform fame and notoriety, garnering 6M followers and spots on Forbes “30 Under 30 – Social Media” and the inaugural “Top Creators” lists. Tu’s debut book, RICH AF: The Winning Money Mindset That Will Change Your Life, is the definitive book on personal finance for a new generation.
Tu is the host of her top-charting podcast Networth and Chill – a first-of-its-kind podcast offering accessible advice and lessons in finance, featuring Vivian alongside notable experts, professionals, and famous faces to break down the economics of our lives. Her affinity for turning finance into an approachable topic has transformed her into one of today’s most desirable public speakers, and she has given panels and keynote presentations at events including SXSW, Snapchat’s Financial Seminar, Forbes’ Top Creator event, BuzzFeed’s Content Creators Showcase, Glow Recipe’s Empowerment Summit, NextShark’s AAPI College Readiness Conference, and Her Campus Media’s Her Conference, to name just a few.
Nate is one of the world’s most influential designers. Since his first appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2002, his elevated yet deeply personal approach to design has cultivated a loyal following. Nate’s expertise, approachability and signature style have made him a beloved household name and a trusted authority for almost three decades.
Nate’s design philosophy has inspired popular product collections and his work has been featured in Architectural Digest, New York Times, WSJ, Harper’s Bazaar, VOGUE, and People, among many others. He is included on the ELLE DÉCOR “A-List” of the world’s top designers and the AD100 list. Audiences have followed Nate through his own TV shows, including The Nate Berkus Show, American Dream Builders on NBC, and most recently The Nate & Jeremiah Home Project on HGTV. He is the author of two New York Times bestselling books, Home Rules and The Things That Matter.
Throughout his career, Nate has used design to truly empower people to live beautifully. He is also sought after for his insights on entrepreneurship, his incredible 30-year career journey, as well as his inspirational perspectives on love, grief, and life. Berkus has engaged and uplifted audiences across the globe for groups including Soaring Spirits International, American Express and more.
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 Live, The 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.
Multi-talented comedian, writer, actor, and producer Robin Thede is a powerhouse Hollywood creative and acclaimed storyteller who uses comedy to change the world. A five-time Emmy-nominee, Thede is the Creator, Showrunner, Executive Producer, Writer, and Star of HBO’s Emmy-winning sketch comedy series, A Black Lady Sketch Show. Previously, she was the Creator, Executive Producer, Writer, and Host of The Rundown with Robin Thede on BET – where she made her mark as one of the only Black women to ever host a late-night television talk show. In profound and hilarious talks, Thede speaks to creativity and comedy, diversity and inclusion, and creating a path for your vision in any industry.
Thede holds the title to many firsts. She served as head writer and correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, becoming the first Black woman to earn the title of Head Writer in late-night television. She was also the first Black woman to be head writer for the White House Correspondents Dinner. Thede has received numerous awards and accolades, including being honored with the Innovator of the Year Award by the Culture Creators in 2022. She was named to the Variety 2022 Comedy Impact Report as well as to The Hollywood Reporter’s 2022 "Most Influential People in Comedy" list. She won a Black Reel Award in the category “Outstanding Actress, Comedy Series.” Thede currently develops projects for TV and film under her For Better or Words, Inc. banner, which has an overall deal at HBO/Max/Warner Brothers, and will star alongside Eddie Murphy and Tracee Ellis Ross in the upcoming Amazon Studios feature, Candy Cane Lane.
DR. MARK T. ESPER
Mark T. Esper, PhD has led a distinguished career as a visionary leader, innovator, reformer, and change agent with a proven record of accomplishment in a wide range of roles and organizations. He attributes his success to the importance he places on character and values, coupled with boundless energy and a can-do spirit that puts the organization and its people first, and treating everyone with dignity and respect. Dr. Esper became the 27th Secretary of Defense in July 2019 when he was confirmed in an overwhelming 90-8 vote by the U.S. Senate in rare bipartisan fashion. Esper went on to successfully lead the Defense Department through an unprecedented time in the nation’s history, while driving R&D on Artificial Intelligence, directed energy, robotics, and hypersonics, and launching the biggest initiative in decades to improve diversity and inclusion in the armed forces. Esper’s memoir A Sacred Oath is a New York Times bestseller, chronicling this turbulent and critical period of modern American history.
Dr. Esper is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Aspen Strategy Group, and the Atlantic Council, among others, and is a frequent commentator on CNN, FOX, Bloomberg, and other news outlets. He is the Distinguished Chair of the Modern War Institute at his alma mater, West Point. Secretary Esper also serves on a number of private equity and venture capital portfolio company boards and is a partner in the venture capital firm Red Cell Partners, where he also serves as the chairman of its national security practice.
Mark T. Esper offers audiences an array of insights, ideas, forecasts, and strategies based on relevant experience, fostering the success of both individuals and teams.
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.
ROCHELLE WALENSKY, MD, MPH
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. 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.
AMBASSADOR TERRY BRANSTAD
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.
Olympic gymnast, New York Times bestselling author, and entrepreneur Gabby Douglas is best known for her performance at the 2012 London Olympic Games where she became the first Black woman to win the Olympic Individual All-Around Champion. Gabby is also the first U.S. gymnast to earn gold in both the individual and team all-around competitions, earning her the first 2 of her 3 career Olympic gold medals. The star member of the “Fierce Five,” she competed on all four apparatuses during the team finals competition, where the U.S. won gold. After taking a hiatus from gymnastics, Gabby announced her return to the sport she dominated – competing for a spot on Team USA with her eyes on the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
Gabby has earned media attention and adulation beyond competition, crossing over from sports to pop culture. Her autobiography Grace, Gold, and Glory: My Leap of Faith debuted at No. 4 on the New York Times bestseller list, and her journey to Olympic gold inspired the film The Gabby Douglas Story. Gabby starred in Oxygen’s reality series Douglas Family Gold, Undercover Boss, and won The Masked Dancer in 2020. In motivational moderated conversations, Gabby shares what it takes to be an Olympian, how to take care of yourself and overcome challenges, and a message of empowerment that resonates with audiences of all kinds.
Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer, historian, and journalist Kai Bird is the co-author of American Prometheus, the exhilarating biography that inspired Christopher Nolan’s 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, which is due out Fall 2023.
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.
Media entrepreneur, mom, and bestselling author Mallika Chopra has spoken to thousands of people around the world, using storytelling, inspiration, and meditation to incorporate balance and purpose into everyday life. Mallika is the CEO of Chopra Global and was the founder of Intent and co-founder of The Chopra Well with her brother, Gotham Chopra, and her father, Deepak Chopra. She is the author of the Just Be Series - Just Breathe, Just Feel, and Just Be You - a trilogy of books for children (and the adults in their lives) to understand emotional knowing, resilience, and mindfulness. Mallika is the bestselling author of Living With Intent: My Somewhat Messy Journey to Purpose, Peace and Joy and Buddha and the Rose. In Living With Intent, Mallika shares insights from her journey as a mom and entrepreneur seeking meaning and balance.
Mallika has taught meditation to thousands of people and is currently a mindfulness consultant for the animated series Stillwater on Apple TV+. She is featured in TIME’s Special Issue on Mindfulness, and has appeared on Good Morning America, TODAY, CNN, and many other national outlets. She enjoys speaking to audiences around the world about intention, balance, and living a life of purpose, and has shared her passion at TedXSan Diego and TedXBerkeley, Ideacity, Business Innovation Factory, Wisdom 2.0, and the Parliament of World Religions. Mallika has shared ideas on balance and creativity at companies such as Aflac, Nike, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Disney, LinkedIn, and Google.
Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Avenue Capital Group Marc Lasry is a renowned financial strategist and a Co-Owner of the Milwaukee Bucks NBA franchise. Lasry founded Avenue Capital Group with his sister, Sonia Gardner, as a global alternative investment manager focused on distressed and undervalued debt and equity opportunities in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, and it has grown to one of the largest distressed debt investors globally, managing assets of approximately $11.9B. He is heralded as a pioneer in distressed investing, which has been the focus of his career, and his insights are sought-after for speaking events with Reuters Global Investment Summit, the SALT Conference, the Young President’s Organization, and more.
Lasry has a background in law, and previously worked as the Director of the private debt department at R. D. Smith, the Co-Director of the bankruptcy and corporate reorganization department of Cowen & Company, and with the Robert Bass Group, managing over $100M. He is currently a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and serves on numerous boards of advisors and directors for both for-profit and non-profit private and public companies. Lasry shares takeaways for high-level investing, the impacts of current events and policy on businesses and individuals, and strategies for carving your own path across industries to cultivate an eclectic portfolio in events that will make an impact with audiences of all kinds.
Known by her online name @CookingWithLynja, Lynn Davis is everyone’s most beloved cooking grandma on the social media app TikTok. What started as a simple quarantine pastime to help her youngest son Tim sharpen his videography skills has transformed into an explosion of popularity over the past 2 years. With a reach of over 19M across her social platforms, she resonates with the Gen Z audience by adding meme-able humor alongside her mesmerizing cooking content. Davis is passionate about making cooking more accessible, as she didn’t do much herself until recent years. Graduating with a degree in civil engineering from MIT, the beginning of her career was spent working for the federal government, helping make federal buildings accessible before earning her MBA and MPH at Columbia. She then transitioned to AT&T Labs doing systems engineering for a medical record system, which led to a 29-year career that ended with a position as a project manager for software projects. With her unique background, passion experimenting with something new, and her humor, Davis makes every speaking engagement a memorable event.
Davis partnered with fellow food creator and former MasterChef contestant Nick Digiovanni to create the world’s largest chicken nugget, which was certified by the Guinness World Records. The duo had previously broken another culinary record by making the world’s largest cake pop, which weighed in at a staggering 97 pounds. Davis and Digiovanni have continued their record-breaking journey, most recently traveling to 69 restaurants in 24 hours, crushing the previous records of 50 restaurants in one day. Thanks to her son Tim’s elite editing skills, Davis won the Streamy Award for Best Editing in 2021, and her videos have amassed over 3B views across all her platforms. Beyond her incredible skills in the kitchen (and on social media), she loves staying active - she has completed eight marathons - and has beaten throat cancer twice, most recently in 2020. In highly engaging events, Davis shares insights from her journey and makes a major impact with audiences of all kinds.
Business executive Lisa Wardell has more than 25 years of experience managing business strategy, operations, finance, and mergers and acquisitions, while driving shareholder value, stakeholder engagement, and company mission. Lisa currently serves as the Chairman of Adtalem Global Education Inc. – which aims to empower students to achieve their goals, find success, and make inspiring contributions to our global community. Lisa previously served as Adtalem’s President and CEO, then CEO & Chairman, and Executive Chairman. During her tenure as CEO, Wardell oversaw the strategic repositioning of Adtalem’s portfolio, and was the only African American woman CEO in S&P’s MidCap 400 Index. Under her leadership, gender and ethnic diversity has increased at the Adtalem board to 67%. Wardell has also led the higher education sector in implementing new standards in transparency and financial literacy, and in cultivating quality partnerships to fill critical global workforce needs. With expertise in business strategy, mission-driven growth, fostering diverse workforces, higher education, and advancing equity in healthcare, Lisa has been sought-after for her perspective by groups including Bloomberg, ASU+GSV Summit, Executives Breakfast Club, and more.
Prior to her work with Adtalem, Wardell was the Executive VP and COO for The RLJ Companies, a Principal at Katalyst Venture Partners, and a Senior Consultant for Accenture. She has also worked extensively in the media, entertainment, sports, gaming, and hotel industries, including assisting with the founding and management of Our Stories Films Studio and the now Charlotte Hornets. Lisa serves as the Vice Chair on the executive committee of The Business Council, and as Vice Chair of the Kennedy Center Corporate Fund. She also serves on the boards of American Express and GIII Apparel Group, Ltd., has served on the Adtalem board since 2008, and previously served on the Lowes Home Improvement board. A fierce advocate for diversity and inclusion and access to education at scale across diverse communities, Lisa also is a member of the board of the Economic Club of Chicago, the Executive Leadership Council, CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion, and the Fortune CEO Initiative. Lisa has been featured on CNBC and Cheddar as well as in The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Business Insider, Black Enterprise, and other publications.
Linsey Davis is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, ABC News and ABC World News Tonight Radio correspondent, and bestselling author whose timely and balanced reporting have earned her many honors including two Emmy Awards and a regional Edward R. Murrow Award. Davis is renowned for her tough but fair moderating skills in the arena of political debate, as well as insightful interviews with major influential figures, including Hillary Clinton, Mike Pence, and Dr. Anthony Fauci. She is a sought-after moderator, 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. In addition to her wave-making reporting, Davis is the bestselling author of books for children: The World is Awake, One Big Heart, Stay This Way Forever, and How High is Heaven. As a speaker and moderator, Davis’ voice is in-demand on a dynamic array of subjects and audiences are energized by her presence.
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.
On May 10, 2021, the USC Trojans announced the hire of Lindsay Gottlieb to lead the Lady Trojans Basketball program to restore the glory that once defined the program. Gottlieb’s basketball acumen, passion, and authenticity are widely recognized across the sports world and have not only greatly contributed to her success, but to her reputation as a trailblazer in the industry.
Gottlieb, who is no stranger to being a top coach in the Pac-12 conference, previously coached the Cal Bears women’s team to 7 NCAA tournaments, including a Final Four appearance in 2014. Her accomplishments and dominance in college basketball ultimately led her to become the first NCAA women’s head coach to join an NBA staff in 2019 when she was hired as an Assistant Coach by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2019. With this landmark hire, Gottlieb has continued to push boundaries and redefine what is possible for women in sports.
LINDA YVETTE CHÁVEZ
Award-winning Chingona and Xicana Hollywood creative Linda Yvette Chávez uses storytelling to create a more inclusive world. Linda has emerged in the entertainment industry as a powerful voice, bringing fearless, inclusive and impactful stories to the big and small screens. She is the co-Creator, co-Showrunner, Director, and Executive Producer of the hit Netflix series Gentefied. Gentefied’s first season was nominated for a Peabody Award, and recently received seven Imagen Foundation award nominations, including “Best Comedy Series” and Best Directing for Linda's directorial debut. Linda is adapting the New York Times bestselling book I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter into a feature film for MACRO and Anonymous Content, which will be directed by America Ferrera. Named by Glamour as one of the top Latinas changing the game for representation in television, she wrote Eva Longoria’s directorial debut, the Searchlight Pictures feature film Flamin’ Hot. In sought-after talks, Linda shares her insights from the entertainment industry, as well as impactful takeaways about creating more diverse and equitable teams, workplaces, and communities.
Linda has been highlighted by Variety as part of their Comedy Impact Report alongside comedy heavy hitters like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Dave Chapelle. She has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Wired, and AdWeek, among many others. She and her Gentefied co-Creator graced the cover of the Writers Guild of America 2020 Summer Issue of Written By Magazine, and she recently inked a multi-year overall deal with 20th Television to develop new series for Disney’s many platforms. Linda has been in demand for events with groups like AACI, Qualtrics, and United Ways of California, who raved: ”Linda was a fantastic speaker at the 2022 United Way Western Regional Conference. Through the power of her storytelling, she inspired our United Way audience with her authenticity and the need to organizationally look like the people we serve every day. We are so grateful to her.”
Model, actor, activist, and writer Lily Cole has been engaged in environmentalist work and advocacy for nearly two decades. Following a successful career in fashion – she was named by Vogue France as one of the top ten models of the 2000s – Cole began investigating supply chains and sustainable business practices, becoming a patron of the Environmental Justice Foundation and an ambassador for the World Wildlife Fund. She has founded several of her own social businesses, including the incubator Impossible.com. Cole is the author of Who Cares Wins: Reasons for Optimism in Our Changing World, which has been considered a guidebook for those looking for actionable insights and hope in the face of climate crisis. In her accompanying podcast, Who Cares Wins, Cole hosts impactful conversations about climate solutions.
Cole is an in-demand speaker for events with groups like Google, Wired, LeWeb, the Global Fashion Agenda, the Houses of Parliament, COP26, at Davos alongside the The World Economic Forum, where she has spoken multiple times for Arctic Basecamp and Goals House, and on behalf of the United Nations’ ECE Sustainability Pledge. As an actor, Cole has performed at The Globe Theatre, The Old Vic, and Trafalgar Studios, and has appeared in BBC’s The Split, and the upcoming feature film Hilma, among others. She has co-written and presented documentaries for Sky Arts and the BBC, and directed multiple short documentaries for VICE and Nowness. She holds an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Glasgow for her contribution to humanitarian and environmental causes through social businesses, and received an Honorary Award at the German Sustainability Awards for her dedication to climate and human rights activism.
Renowned head basketball coach, philanthropist, and activist LeVelle Moton is a community-focused leader and expert in developing values-based missions, strategies for meaningful teamwork, and finding your purpose. Moton graduated from North Carolina Central University as the school’s third all-time leading scorer, having earned the nickname ‘Poetry ‘n Moton’. He returned as Assistant Coach, eventually becoming the school’s Head Coach, and lead his team to 8 championship titles. He has received 11 different “Coach of the Year” awards and numerous nominations, and is highly sought-after for his insights about leadership, inspiring your team, and making a difference in your community.
Moton is the CEO and Founder of the Velle Cares Foundation, whose mission is to serve and assist community-based organizations that promote health, education, and life skills for children and family in at-risk situations. He hosts notable annual events such as the ‘Back to School Community Day Event’ and the ‘Single Mother Salute’, among others, to enrich and give back to his community. Moton presents awards of Courage, Strength, Perseverance, and a “Single Mother of the Year” award named after his mother Hattie McDougald. Moton is an in-demand speaker who shares personal stories, humor, and takeaways that make an impact on audiences of all kinds.
LEE SUNG JIN
Creator, screenwriter, producer, and showrunner Lee Sung Jin is known for the hit series Beef for Netflix and A24 starring Ali Wong and Steven Yeun, which currently sits at 99% on Rotten Tomatoes. Beef received immediate critical acclaim as a visceral dark comedy that is also profoundly contemplative about the way people relate to one another through extreme emotions and ultimately shared experiences. A brilliant creative and storyteller, Lee speaks to the creative process and celebrating authentic voices in his uplifting and insightful events.
Lee’s past credits include FX’s Dave, Amazon's Undone, HBO’s Silicon Valley, and more. On the feature side, Lee is currently writing Thunderbolts for Marvel, among other projects. Beyond his numerous successful onscreen projects, Lee is an advocate for mental health and wellbeing, spiritual and personal growth, and speaks to shared human experiences that resonate across class and culture.
LAURA LYNNE JACKSON
International speaker, teacher, and practicing psychic medium Laura Lynne Jackson is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Signs: The Secret Language of the Universe and The Light Between Us, which have been translated into more than 20 languages and are available in over 35 countries. Jackson is a Certified Research Medium with the Windbridge Institute for Applied Research in Human Potential in Arizona and member of the advisory board for the Forever Family Foundation – a group that promotes a better understanding of Afterlife Science and provides comfort and services to grieving people who have lost loved ones. She is dedicated to teaching people how to open to their own psychic and intuitive abilities to fully step into and embrace their divine energy and live their best lives.
Laura discovered her gift as a young woman, but kept her unique abilities hidden from her very normal, suburban life. By day she taught high school English and cared for her three children; at night, she would speak privately on the phone with celebrities, athletes, scientists, and CEOs, connecting them with loved ones who had passed away and conveying information with shocking accuracy and insight, building a bridge beyond the accepted bounds of human experience. Since embracing her gift, Jackson has been featured on The Today Show, Dr. Oz, Fox and Friends, Good Day New York, Telemundo, the Tokyo-based Fuji Television Network, The Huffington Post, Goop.com, Oprah.com, and various news and media throughout the United States and abroad. She has been sought after to speak for groups including the Rhine Research Center, Penguin Random House, Pinterest Annual Conference, the Rubin Museum Speakers Series, the Goop Summit, and more.
Author Laura Dave has written multiple bestselling books that capture the imaginations of readers by tapping into current events and timeless themes. Her novels have been published in twenty-three countries, and five have been optioned for film and television, boasting Hollywood’s biggest names as stars. Dave is the author of the instant New York Times #1 bestseller The Last Thing He Told Me, which was selected by Reese's Book Club and was named “Best Book of 2021” by Real Simple and Vogue. She is also the author of the critically acclaimed bestsellers Eight Hundred Grapes, The Divorce Party, The First Husband, Hello, Sunshine, London is the Best City in America, and appears consistently on “most-anticipated” and “best book” lists across mainstream publications. Dave writes and speaks with insight and candor about relationships, family, modern love, and hope, and her keynotes and conversations leave lasting impressions on audiences of all kinds.
Dave’s fiction and essays have been featured in The New York Times, The New York Observer, Redbook, Glamour, and The Huffington Post, among others. She has appeared on CBS’s The Early Show, FOX’s Fox & Friends, and NPR’s All Things Considered, and more. In 2008, Cosmopolitan named her a “Fun and Fearless Phenom of the Year.” A masterful storyteller, Dave inspires audiences to rewrite our own stories to overcome adversity, find strength, and fulfill our aspirations.
Award-winning journalist, author, and strategic advisor on geopolitics Kim Ghattas is an esteemed analyst with more than twenty years of experience covering the Middle East, international affairs, and U.S. foreign policy. Growing up in Lebanon during the civil war, Ghattas decided to become a journalist to make sense of the world and explain it to others. A renowned expert on the region, she covered the Middle East for the BBC and Financial Times, and was part of the Emmy Award-winning BBC team that covered the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah. Ghattas helped establish a news bureau in her home city of Beirut for the BBC in 2006 and ran news operations, in addition to leading her family business through Lebanon’s recent economic crisis, giving her a unique understanding of the intersections of business, crisis management, and global affairs. The former State Department correspondent is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Secretary: A Journey with Hillary Clinton from Beirut to the Heart of Power and Black Wave – a New York Times “Top 100 Notable Book” of 2020 – which has become a reference for universities and diplomats on the Saudi-Iran rivalry. Building on her first-hand knowledge of the Arab world and unique access to key players and decision makers in the region as well as the U.S., Ghattas provides incisive takeaways on international affairs, helping audiences connect the dots between global events and their impacts.
Ghattas is a contributing writer for The Atlantic and a regular commentator on CNN, NPR, among others, and is a non-resident senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She serves on the board of Trustees of the American University of Beirut, and chairs the board of directors of the organization of Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism. Ghattas is leading voice on Middle Eastern affairs, her expertise on risk and opportunities in regional and geopolitical trends is sought after by policy makers and institutions in the region and in the U.S., and as an in-demand speaker she offers impactful keynotes to audiences of all kinds.
The first woman and openly gay coach to coach in a Super Bowl, former San Francisco 49ers Offensive Assistant Coach Katie Sowers paves the way for equality in the workplace. Coach Sowers is Defensive Coordinator and Director of Operations of the Ottawa University women’s flag football program and Ottawa’s Director of Athletic Strategic Initiatives. She is the Offensive and Defensive Scheme Advisor for the Ottawa Braves, coaching them to a national championship. She also coached a year with the Kansas City Chiefs under the Bill Walsh Diversity Fellowship.
Through hard work and dedication, Katie has found success in a male-dominated industry and is creating an environment that welcomes all types of people, no matter their race, gender or sexual orientation.
In her authentic talks for groups including Mercedes, Paypal, Verizon, Advance Auto Parts, Putnam Investments, and more, Katie encourages audiences to find their “why” and become an irreplaceable asset to their team. An inspiration to anyone afraid to pursue their passions, she shows how it’s possible to break down barriers and make dreams come true.
Lena Waithe is an award-winning writer, creator, producer, actor and CEO establishing herself as a Hollywood powerhouse, who expertly taps into emerging cultural sensibilities with a sharp wit and unique perspective, challenging audiences to think outside conventional norms. Lena became the first Black woman to win the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for her work on the critically acclaimed Netflix series Master of None. She continues to grow her body of work with diversity, charisma, and comedy.
Beyond the screen, Lena’s production company Hillman Grad Productions has partnered with Indeed to launch Rising Voices, a $1.35M investment in BIPOC filmmakers to fight against the status quo by giving marginalized storytellers the opportunity to access the industry and tell their stories. A tireless advocate for representation, Lena was honored at the 2020 Essence Black Women in Hollywood event, took home a Gracie Award for her Showtime series The Chi, and was featured on the 2018 TIME 100 list in a tribute written by Vice President Kamala Harris. Lena is a sought-after leader in the entertainment industry, speaking to the endless possibilities of intentional collaboration that centers under-represented voices.
Abby Wambach is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, FIFA World Cup Champion, and six-time winner of the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year award. She was the United States’ leading scorer in the 2007 and 2011 Women’s World Cup tournaments and the 2004 and 2012 Olympics.
An activist for equality and inclusion, Abby is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller WOLFPACK: How to Come Together, Unleash Our Power, and Change the Game, based on her inspiring, viral commencement speech to Barnard College. She authored the instant NYT bestselling adaptation for young audiences, WOLFPACK for the next generation. Abby is a highly sought-after speaker for events with groups like Paypal, Dell Technologies, Equinix, Inc., Northwestern Mutual, and many more, offering motivating insights on leadership, social change, the champion’s mindset, and how to build a strong team.
Abby is the host of ABBY’S PLACES on ESPN+, in which she showcases what makes her beloved sport of soccer a worldwide sensation. She also co-hosts WE CAN DO HARD THINGS with Glennon Doyle, which debuted at #1 in May, 2021 and was named the #1 New Podcast of 2021 on Apple Podcasts.
Abby sits on the Board of Directors for the all-women-led nonprofit organization Together Rising, and is a co-founder and part-owner of Angel City FC, the first majority-female-owned soccer team in history. She consistently receives rave reviews for events, such as: “She was OUTSTANDING! The team felt so inspired and energized after her conversation. I think we could have listened to her for 5 hours.” (Momentive Inc.)
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. Monáe is known for her acclaimed albums The ArchAndroid, The Electric Lady, and Dirty Computer, as well as starring roles in 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 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 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. They will star highly-anticipated upcoming film, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. A global icon, Monáe is sought after for captivating and profound conversations about artistry, activism philosophy, challenging the status quo, and the future.
BRANDON KYLE GOODMAN
Actor, writer, and activist Brandon Kyle Goodman has emerged in the entertainment industry as a powerful force with a voice to be reckoned with. As an actor, Goodman is known for Netflix’s Feel the Beat, Amazon’s Modern Love and People Just Do Nothing, Alive in Denver, The Blackout, The Relationtrip, Hulu’s Plus One, and Blue Fox’s Papi Chulo, among others. As a writer, Goodman’s work is showcased in the acclaimed Netflix animated series Big Mouth and its spin-off series Human Resources. Goodman is also the creator, writer, and star of their solo show The Latrell Show, performed virtually in partnership with the IAMA Theatre Company. Goodman is proud to be a nonbinary, queer Black leader and a staunch advocate for Black lives, and is a sought after voice in the vital conversations shaping our world today.
Goodman continues conversations and meaningful action on behalf of Black lives through their podcasts: Black Folx, which features Black personalities of various identities, and Do the Work, discussing all things race and personal relationships. They will also co-host the upcoming podcast series accompanying HBO’s In Treatment, discussing mental health representation in communities of color. Goodman's first book You Gotta Be You explores the intersections of their race, sexuality, and gender, and was Audible's Best of the Year in Well-Being. In their writing as well as in memorable keynote speeches, Goodman shares insights on nuanced topics with humor and authenticity that will resonate with audiences of all kinds.
New York Times bestselling author, activist, educator, and consultant Kate Schatz has been talking, writing, and teaching about race, gender, social justice, and equity for many years. Her “Rad Women” books – Rad American Women A-Z, Rad Women Worldwide, and Rad American History A-Z – have sold over 300,000 copies and been translated into four languages, and her book Rid of Me: A Story is part of the cult-favorite 33 1/3 series. Schatz is the co-author of the New York Times bestseller Do the Work: An Anti-Racist Activity Book, with W. Kamau Bell, the comedian and Emmy-winning host of CNN’s United Shades of America. An accessible and engaging keynote speaker, Schatz has given talks at hundreds of events including: ComicCon, United Nation’s GirlUp! Summit, the American Library Association, Facebook, Spotify, Pixar, and more.
Schatz’s writing has been featured in Buzzfeed, LENNY, Oxford American, and the San Francisco Chronicle, and she has appeared on Conan, MSNBC, NPR, WNYC, WBUR, and Minnesota Public Radio, and on podcasts like Nerdette, Sibling Revelry, Inflection Point, and Politically Reactive. She co-led Solidarity Sundays, a nationwide network of 200+ feminist activist groups aimed at empowering women to become effective political activists. In all she does, Schatz is committed to sharing radical histories that shine light on the marginalized people who've truly made America great, making a major impact on audiences of all kinds.
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.
Award-winning journalist, editor, and author Phillip Picardi is known for his role in revolutionizing Teen Vogue, Allure, and Out Magazines. Under Picardi’s leadership, the digital audience of Teen Vogue grew from just 2M unique visitors per month to over 12M, making the Condé Nast title the fastest-growing women's magazine in America for two years running. He was then appointed by Anna Wintour to oversee the digital operations of Allure, where he concepted “The End of Anti-Aging,” an industry call to action for brands to eradicate the shame and stigma around getting older. Dubbed “the prince of Condé Nast” by The New York Times, Picardi went on to launch a community-driven platform for LGBTQ+ youth called them. From building empowered and diverse teams to generating disruptive and out-of-the-box ideas, Picardi’s speaking engagements offer an abundance of insights.
Picardi went on to rebrand and relaunch Out Magazine, the largest and most influential publication for the queer and trans community. An expert in building empowered teams, he assembled and led the most diverse staff in the brand’s history. During Picardi’s career, he has been a sought-after consultant for clients like Levi's, Ralph Lauren, Lego, Burberry, and Nike. He is also the recipient of multiple awards, including Fast Company's 100 Most Creative People, the Forbes 30 Under 30, the AdWeek Hot List, a GLAAD Award, and more. Picardi recently graduated from Harvard Divinity School, where he was one of eleven students selected for the inaugural Masters of Religion and Public Life program. His studies inspired a podcast about religion and spirituality from Crooked Media called Unholier Than Thou, and his Substack newsletter Religiously Blonde. He is currently working on his forthcoming memoir based on his thesis, “Is Jesus Kinda Hot?” In motivational events, Picardi shares his expertise that resonates with corporate leaders as well as college audiences, and moderates powerful conversations with cultural luminaries.
Award-winning actor, producer, writer, New York Times bestselling author, and media trailblazer Lilly Singh is a leading force in popular culture. One of TIME’s “30 Most Influential People on the Internet,” Singh has amassed a global audience of over 40 million with her storytelling superpower. Lilly was the only woman of color to host a late-night show on a major network in nearly thirty years when her show A Little Late with Lilly Singh launched on NBC. She is the author of two international chart-topping books, How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to ConqueringLife and Be a Triangle: How I Went from Being Lost to Getting My Life Into Shape. As in her bestselling books, in her live events Lilly offers empowering insights about building her career, creating equity, leading with authenticity, and more, and always with her signature blend of humor, vulnerability, and keen observation.
Lilly can be seen as a judge of Canada’s Got Talent, host of CVT's primetime quiz show Battle of the Generations, and starring as one of the lead roles in the Disney+ series, The Muppets Mayhem. Lilly also voices the lead in her animated series, The Mindful Adventures of Unicorn Island, which she executive produces through Unicorn Island in partnership with Headspace Studios. Recently, she appeared in DreamWorks Animation’s blockbuster The Bad Guys and Hulu’s Dollface, to name a few. Lilly is the founder of Unicorn Island Productions (which has numerous TV and film projects in development), the nonprofit, Unicorn Island Fund (which uses the power of storytelling to challenge social norms and advance educational and financial opportunities for women and girls), and her fast-growing book club, Lilly’s Library (which promotes South Asian voices in literature). With each of her projects, Lilly reinforces her message that stories make the world go round. And as she shares in motivational events, “if you change the stories, you can change the culture, and ultimately change the world.”
A UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, one of Forbes’ “30 Under 30: Hollywood & Entertainment,” and one of Fast Company’s “Most Creative People,” Singh is heralded for her candor, comedy, and compassion. Her TED Talk, “A seat at the table” isn’t the solution for gender equity, has received more than 2.5 million views and was one of the five most popular TED Talks of 2022. With every innovative project, business endeavor, and keynote, Lilly is redefining the rules – breaking norms that led to exclusion – and leading us toward a richer and more inclusive future.
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 the new season of 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.
Described by TIME Magazine as “one of the most powerful disabled people on the planet,” Eddie Ndopu is perhaps best known for his human rights advocacy with respect to advancing disability justice at the forefront of the international development agenda. An award-winning and internationally acclaimed humanitarian, storyteller, public intellectual, and disability practitioner, Eddie is a thought leader and advocate for social equity, sustainability, and disability-based innovation. Ndopu describes himself as a queer, Black, disabled individual, fighting for social equity and the environment, and his influence is felt worldwide. A Global Changemaker, Eddie actively champions climate justice, fights global poverty and demands equity for the world’s most marginalized segments of society in his capacity as one of the UN Secretary-General’s 17 official advocates for the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Ndopu is a highly in-demand speaker for his insights about the intersections of disability, sustainability, and how we can best work together to make meaningful change for our planet’s future.
Ndopu is the Founder of A Billion Reasons, a groundbreaking social impact incubator established in partnership with the World Economic Forum to tackle the U.N.’s SDGs through a lens of universal design and disability-based innovation. Eddie serves on several global Boards, including as a member of the board of directors of the United Nations Foundation. He also sits on the advisory boards of The Valuable 500, IMAGINE and Verizon’s Global Advisory Board for Accessibility and Disability Inclusion. He formerly served as a member of both the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council for the New Agenda for Social Justice and the World Economic Forum’s Partnering for Racial Justice in Business Initiative. Eddie’s debut memoir, Sipping Dom Pérignon Through a Straw, which chronicles his challenging experience as a disabled student attending Oxford University, is slated for global release on August 1, 2023.
Featured in a profile by TIME, and recognized as one of Pacific Standard’s “Top 30 Thinkers Under 30,” Ndopu receives rave reviews after speaking events, and is sought-after for keynotes and conversations at venues such as Facebook, Amazon, Discovery Health, the COP26 Climate Change Summit, The World Economic Forum, the GlobalCitizen Summit, and Salesforce’s Dreamforce event, where he was described as, “one of the most powerful voices on the planet right now.”
The Points Guy (TPG) Founder Brian Kelly the leading voice in loyalty programs, points, miles, credit cards and travel. Kelly has been helping travelers and other consumers navigate the increasingly complicated loyalty universe for over a decade and has grown TPG to be a powerhouse travel and lifestyle media platform that reaches over 11M unique monthly visitors around the world. Kelly has found a unique way to reach his audience and inspire millions to live their best lives through his supercharged personality, deep industry knowledge and extensive worldwide travel.
Kelly has been recognized with awards and accolades, including AdWeek’s "Young Influentials" list in 2019 and Forbes’ #1 travel influencer. His long-standing knowledge and expertise has garnered the trust of the nation’s top morning shows, with appearances on TODAY Show, CBS This Morning, Good Morning America, and Kelly & Ryan, among others. Kelly’s passion for travel is shared by a belief in using travel as a global force for good, and he currently serves as a Committee Member for Rainbow Railroad, Global Ambassador for PeaceJam, Co-Chair of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Leadership Council, Goalkeeper for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and member of PTTOW.
Best known for his role in setting up – and then taking down – his former employer, the cyberwarfare firm Cambridge Analytica, Christopher Wylie sparked a global conversation when he gave The Guardian and The New York Times documents detailing the secret workings behind the company's alleged unauthorized possession and misuse of personal data from millions of Facebook users.
Wylie witnessed firsthand how culture, information and algorithms were being weaponized by militaries, governments and companies to undermine elections around the world. His testimonies before the United States Congress and British
Parliament served as a wake-up call and have led to new legislative proposals in both countries.
In powerful, eye-opening conversations, Wylie shares his groundbreaking story, discusses the future of technology, details the power of weaponized algorithms and information warfare, and makes AI understandable, disturbing, and yet somehow compelling.
Journalist, author, podcaster, and cultural figure Jenna Wortham is a thought leader at the intersection of tech, culture, and identity, offering engaging and incisive analysis to spellbound audiences across mediums. They co-edited the critically acclaimed visual anthology Black Futures, and is currently a staff writer for the New York Times Magazine, whom editor Jack Silverstein called “one of the most savvy and intelligent voices anywhere covering digital business and culture.” Jenna is also the co-host of the highly popular New York Times podcast Still Processing, which won a Webby Award and has appeared on year-end ‘Best of’ lists for The Atlantic, The Huffington Post, and Indiewire.
Jenna’s writing has appeared in Vogue, WIRED, The Economic Times, and more, and they have received numerous honors, including the prestigious MacDowell Fellowship. Jenna is uniquely positioned to speak to the challenges and possibilities of globalization of culture via the internet, and how we can continue to build our collective future in ever-changing digital spaces.
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.”
TRESSIE MCMILLAN COTTOM
Award-winning writer, sociologist, and cultural critic Tressie McMillan Cottom is celebrated for her profound yet personal ideas and the dynamic accessibility of her analysis. Dr. Cottom’s first book, Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy, led to appearances on The Daily Show, NPR’s Marketplace and Fresh Air, and has been name-checked by Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and activists like The Debt Strike Collective. Since the release of her second book, Thick: And Other Essays, Tressie’s career has skyrocketed. Thick became a Finalist for the 2019 National Book Award, and the following year Tressie received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship – known as the ‘genius grant’. Her work is prolific – beyond her books and celebrated New York Times opinion column, she has written a Substack newsletter “Essaying,” is a contributor for Vanity Fair, co-hosted the Black feminist podcast Hear to Slay with Roxane Gay, and has sat in as a guest host for The Ezra Klein Show. Her books have become modern classics, and her commentary is in demand on a wide range of topics like inclusive marketing, creating policy narratives, technology, the future of democracy, and the cultural zeitgeist.
Tressie is a public academic whose work is as impactful on Twitter as it is in groundbreaking research, and continually reimagines how our society might function better on behalf of the most marginalized. She has a devoted fanbase for her essays (Tressays, as her fans call them), which defy the form – she explores the intersections of race, class, and gender, in the same breath as incisive pop culture critique and personal history. Dr. Cottom is currently a professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and is sought after as a consultant for both global brands and on Capitol Hill. Tressie is equally in demand as a cultural authority – she was tapped to pen the Vanity Fair cover story for Sean Combs as well as the Harper’s BAZAAR cover story for Venus & Serena Williams. In her writing, as well as in luminous keynotes and moderated conversations, Tressie tells creative stories of her research and herself – taking theory into real-world understanding for audiences of all kinds.
Tamar Geller is a dog trainer, a behavior expert, and a New York Times bestselling author who developed '"The Loved Dog" method of dog training. Known for her innovative method that is based in the intersection of brain science, personal development, and deep understanding of dogs' behavior, which made her popular with celebrity clientele such as Oprah, Lady Gaga, the Kardashians, Tony Robbins, Reese Witherspoon, Mark Wahlberg, Brad Paisley and many others. Oprah called Tamar “Life coach for dogs and their people" as Tamar has transformed lives and impacted relationships not only for dogs, but also for the people who love them.
After serving as an intelligence officer working with the Israeli Special Forces, she spent time to observing wolves in the wild and studying the role of the leader as a parent and protector of his pack. By using similar techniques as the wolves, she created a method of training puppies that does not involve aggression, dominance, or choke chains. Tamar’s method goes beyond positive reinforcement as she emphasizes building a solid relationship with the dog based on understanding the dog as the individual that s/he is and coaching them through games and fun to become the best version of themselves. She strongly opposes the training methods that want a dog to be submissive. Tamar believes in helping PAWrents empower their dog to be the best s/he could be and build a relationship that is based on mutual devotion and love. She is the founder of the first cage-free doggy boarding and day care center in southern California, called The Loved Dog. Her first book of the same name teaches dog-owners how to train their dogs in a nonaggressive way.
Among other things, Geller works closely with the animal rights organizations Humane Society of the United States, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Best Friends Animal Society, Helen Woodward Animal Center, and various rescue organizations. She conducts speeches and programs for rescue organizations, and has given lectures about her expertise in dog behavior at Cal-Poly University Veterinary school and at Pepperdine University.
Tony is a former intelligence officer, senior defense executive, and retired U.S. Navy Commander.
He serves as a professionally-certified executive leadership coach, team trainer, and trusted advisor with a focus in leading people, managing systems, and designing organizations to deliver leveled-up performance.
He’s supported leaders in U.S. and allied governments, U.S. Navy SEAL teams, academia, commercial business, security and law enforcement, and the health industry to deliver decisive competitive advantage under the most challenging operational environments.
Legendary baseball player and manager Dusty Baker shares his love and skill with sport for all. Baker is the current manager of the World Champion Houston Astros, and future Hall of Famer, is entering his 50th season in Major League baseball, 19 years as a player, five as a coach and 26 as a manager. With the Houston Astros, he became the oldest manager in MLB history to take a team to the World Series and win the World Series, and the first African-American manager to have 50 post-season wins. The first MLB manager to reach the playoffs with five different teams, Dusty shares his expertise in motivational leadership, coaching a high-performing team, and winning under pressure.
Dusty has been named to the All-Time Los Angeles Dodger team as a player and the All-Time San Francisco Giants team as a manager. He is the founder of Baker Solar Team, Baker Family Wines, and was a broadcast analyst for TBS. A survivor of an aggressive cancer diagnosis, Dusty has helped raise over $1.5M for cancer research and is a passionate advocate for cancer survivors everywhere. He has spoken for countless groups including Houston Methodist Hospital, California State Automobile Association, General Motors, SBC Global Services, and more.
Former undercover FBI operative and New York Times bestselling author Tamer Elnoury is known for infiltrating and bringing down a terror cell in North America. There have only been a handful of people in our nation’s history that have done counter-terrorism work in this capacity or at this level, and no one has ever infiltrated Al Qaeda as deeply as Tamer has. In his New York Times bestselling book, American Radical: Inside the World of an Undercover Muslim FBI Agent, he shares his story – the explosive memoir of a Muslim American FBI agent fighting terror from the inside. In sought-after talks, Tamer offers unparalleled insights on building human connection for companies and organizations.
Tamer spent nearly two decades infiltrating and thwarting terror cells across the globe, and currently serves in an executive management position in law enforcement. His experience made him a master in the art of building and maintaining interpersonal trust – even with some of the most dangerous people on the planet. Today, he speaks to audiences about what it takes to build relationships founded on trust in a complicated and changing world.
World-class chef and television host and author Robert Irvine is a dedicated advocate for veteran’s issues. A veteran of the British Royal Navy, Robert learned to cook for a huge numer of people under intense pressure. The experience served him well when he took the Food Network by storm with his first show, Dinner: Impossible. His hit show Restaurant: Impossible has filmed sixteen seasons and Robert is the author of four cookbooks. His most recent book, Overcoming Impossible: Learn to Lead, Build a Team, and Catapult Your Business to Success is a one-of-a-kind guide to achieving goals and finding success in business and in life.
In addition to being a world-class chef, business leader, and fitness authority, Robert seeks to inspire people to live better through all his endeavors. A tireless supporter of our veterans, he gives back to those who defend our freedoms. He created the Robert Irvine Foundation to support wounded servicemen and their families and he frequently tours with the USO, visiting our troops around the globe. For his efforts, he has been named an Honorary Chief Petty Officer of the U.S. Navy and received the Medal of Honor Society’s Bob Hope Award for Excellence in Entertainment and the U.S. Department of the Army Outstanding Civilian Service Award.
Richard Browning is Founder and Chief Test Pilot of Gravity Industries which designs, builds and flies Jet Suits, pioneering a new era of human flight. The company was founded in March 2017 to challenge the perceived boundaries in human aviation and to inspire others to dare to ask “What if?”. It now scales towards an International Race Series.
Gravity has to date been experienced by over one billion people globally with Richard and his cohort of growing pilots completing over 130 flights across 34 countries and speaking at dozens of events from TED Talks to XPrize.
Prior to founding Gravity, Richard was a Royal Marines reservist for six years and an Oil Trader with BP for 16 years where he discovered and implemented major new technologies winning the BP Group innovation Award.
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.
Award-winning screenwriter and director, New York Times bestselling author, and U.S. Navy veteran Antwone Fisher is a renowned poet, storyteller, and advocate for children. Following eleven years of service in the U.S. Navy and an honorable discharge, Fisher began a decades-long career in Hollywood as an award-winning screenwriter, producer, and director. His autobiographical Antwone Fisher won numerous awards including AFI’s Movie of the Year, the renowned Humanitas Prize, and an NAACP Image Award. Fisher is the author of New York Times bestseller Finding Fish: A Memoir, Who Will Cry for the Little Boy?: Poems, and A Boy Should Know How to Tie a Tie: And Other Lessons for Succeeding in Life, which won an NAACP Award for Outstanding Literary Work. After his own time in the foster care system, which included being placed with an abusive foster family, Fisher became a passionate advocate for children, raising awareness about the adoption and foster care systems, and sharing his personal journey cultivating resilience, self-worth, and overcoming obstacles to lay a foundation for success.
Fisher was named one of Variety’s “Fifty People to Watch,” one of Fade In’s “100 People in Hollywood You Need to Know,” and received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree from Cleveland State University. In 2013, he testified before the Senate Finance committee, at a hearing titled: “The Antwone Fisher Story as a Case Study for Child Welfare.” Fisher is a gifted keynote speaker, receiving rave reviews like: ”Antwone did an amazing job at our Hope Through Housing Gala. His speech was exactly what we envisioned. His contribution was invaluable to our success.” (Hope Through Housing Foundation)
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.
The first Miss USA to be crowned while serving in the U.S. military, human rights advocate Deshauna Barber is an award-winning international speaker with a bold approach to inspiring and encouraging her audience. Deshauna is a STEM graduate who worked as an IT Analyst for the U.S. Government and was a logistics commander in the U.S. Army Reserve. She is the Vice Chair of Service Women's Action Network, the nation's leading nonprofit organization advocating on behalf of all servicewomen and women veterans in the country. Deshauna is a sought-after motivational keynote speaker for many groups including Fortune 500 companies like Google, Verizon Media, and Coca-Cola, among others, offering impactful lessons on diversity and inclusion, women and youth empowerment, mental health awareness, and more.
As Miss USA, Barber advocated for our men and women in uniform by encouraging our government to provide additional support for soldiers who have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). During her Army Reserve commitment, Captain Barber served her country for over 11 years and worked as a cadet instructor at Howard University's Bison Battalion. She has a Diversity and Inclusion Certification from Cornell University, and holds a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership from Norwich University. Deshauna has appeared on The Steve Harvey Show, The Rachael Ray Show, Fox, and Friends, The Chelsea Show, Good Morning Washington, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Daily Show, Live with Kelly, Good Morning America and in Glamour and Diversity Magazine, among many others.
Barber has made it her life goal to encourage, inspire and strengthen the people around her, and her engagements regularly receive rave reviews such as: "Deshauna is phenomenal!... She is moving, inspiring and powerful. She is also very approachable and personable..." (NAJA); and "We are all still flying high from today’s keynote. I couldn’t be more impressed! I’ve seen thousands of keynotes and that was one of the best ever!" (National Association for the Education of Young Children)
Famed actress and author Tiffani Thiessen got her breakout as America’s Sweetheart Kelly Kapowski on the hit NBS series Saved by The Bell. She catapulted to stardom appearing in over 400+ episodes of television spanning a career from 1989 to present. She starred in the USA hit series White Collar for six seasons, with the show earning 11 awards nominations. Most recently, Tiffani starred in the Netflix series Alexa & Katie, earning a coveted Daytime Emmy Nomination for her role.
As an innovator and entrepreneur, Tiffani channeled her love for cooking by creating and hosting the hit series Dinner at Tiffani’s. The series ran for three seasons on the Food Network, finishing every year as "one of the most watched shows on the network." Tiffani currently hosts MTV’s viral sensation Deliciousness, which recently premiered its third season. She is the author of the critically acclaimed cookbook Pull Up A Chair, which Publisher’s Weekly called “inspiring” and “a celebration.” Her highly anticipated follow up Here We Go Again, exploring the magic of leftovers, will be published on September 26, accompanied by a national media rollout.
As an artist and influencer, Thiessen has also successfully participated in campaigns for various Fortune 500 brands such as: GLAD, Hershey’s, Quaker, 3M, Albertson’s, Carnival Cruise, Coke, Crest, H&M, Heinz, and Nokia. Tiffani is a warm and engaging speaker, delighting audiences with her insights in keynotes and moderated conversations.
Leading researcher on aging and bestselling author, Professor Dr. David Sinclair is regarded as the world’s foremost expert on human longevity. A professor in the Genetics Department at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Sinclair heads a leading research lab that has discovered why we age and how to control it. He is the inventor on more than 50 patents, has published over 180 papers that have been cited 83,000 times, and is the author of the New York Times bestseller Lifespan: Why We Age and Why We Don't Have To, which The Wall Street Journal called “brilliant and enthralling.” Dr. Sinclair is a serial entrepreneur who has co-founded more than a dozen successful companies including MetroBiotech, EdenRoc Sciences, Tally Health, and Life Biosciences. An expert communicator of complex medical and scientific material, Dr. Sinclair is a highly sought-after speaker for his cutting edge innovations, insights about the influence of science on our lives and lifespans, and more.
Dr. Sinclair and his work have been featured on 60 Minutes, Today, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fortune, and Newsweek, among others, and has been named to TIME’s lists of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” as well as the “Top 50 People in Healthcare.” He has received more than 40 awards for his research and scientific breakthroughs, including Innovator of the Year, NIH’s Pioneer Award, and an appointment as an Officer of the Order of Australia – the equivalent of a knighthood – for his work in scientific communication and national security. His podcast Lifespan is one of the world’s most popular in the health and fitness category. Dr. Sinclair holds board seats on for-profit and non-profit organizations, is Co-Director of the Paul F. Glenn Center at Harvard Medical School, co-founded the scientific journal Aging, as well as Fully Aligned LLC, which works to democratize access to knowledge and tools to enhance mind and body wellbeing.
Former White House Press Secretary, political commentator, podcaster and New York Times bestselling author Dana Perino is a revered voice on current events, politics, and foreign policy. Perino served as White House Press Secretary, the second woman to hold that position and the first to do so in a Republican administration. She is a mainstay of Fox News programming, previously anchoring The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino, now co-hosting The Five as well as co-anchoring America’s Newsroom with Bill Hemmer & Dana Perino, is a featured panelist for election coverage, and is known by fans as “The Voice of Reason.” Perino, who was born in Wyoming where her family still ranches, offers unique insights from her time in the White House and as a journalist about message management during times of crisis, cultivating the qualities of powerful leadership, and the key issues facing companies and organizations in today’s political climate, and skillfully moderates thoughtful conversations that get to the heart of the matter.
Her book And the Good News Is… Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and espouses her values of determination, optimism, and restoring civility to our personal and political conversations. Her latest book Everything Will Be Okay: Lessons for Young Women (from a Former Young Woman) is a no-nonsense how-to guide for reframing thinking, finding confidence, and learning to take risks, and became the basis for her podcast Everything Will Be Okay, in which she interviews experts that make a difference in the lives of others. Perino is passionate about individual and economic freedom for women, and founded Minute Mentoring, a program that connects young women with mentors. She was nominated by former President Barack Obama to serve on the Broadcasting Board of Governors.
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.
SARAH ELIZABETH LEWIS
Public intellectual, scholar, and bestselling author Sarah Elizabeth Lewis focuses on the intersection of African American and Black Atlantic visual representation, racial justice, and representational democracy in the United States from the nineteenth century through the present. Dr. Lewis is the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Humanities and Associate Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. Her scholarship and research have been profiled by outlets including The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and her presentations on race in America are sharp, knowledgeable, and insightful.
One of the most eloquent speakers on the national conversation on race, Lewis believes the fight to end racial injustice cannot be merely legal or political. It has to involve images and it has to involve culture, because the fight is a struggle for visibility. A popular and in-demand speaker, her talks at the nexus of art, race, and justice leave audiences not only inspired, but rejuvenated and hopeful. A frequent speaker at universities and conferences, her mainstage TEDTalk, Embrace the Near Win, has received over 3M views.
Her award-winning “Vision & Justice” issue of Aperture magazine received the 2017 Infinity Award for Critical Writing and Research from the International Center of Photography and launched Vision & Justice, based on the topic of her core curriculum course at Harvard University, filled with compelling inquiry and a sense of timeliness. Lewis says that the point of her course, Vision & Justice magazines, and the talk is to answer the following questions: How is representational democracy tied up with visual representation? How can our culture shift the narratives we have about who counts and who belongs in society?
Lewis is also the bestselling author of The Rise, a fascinating examination of how our most iconic creative endeavors — from innovation to the arts — are not achievements but conversions, corrections after failed attempts. Translated into six languages, the book is a successful lesson on creativity, innovation, and discovery.
Candace Nelson is the Founder of Sprinkles and Pizzana, a New York Times bestselling author, and an expert in turning one’s passion into a profitable business. Her initial venture Sprinkles grew from ‘the world’s first cupcake bakery’ to one of the most successful cupcake brands ever, and led to the New York Times bestselling The Sprinkles Baking Book and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Sweet Success: A Simple Recipe to Turn your Passion into Profit. Nelson followed with the launch of Pizzana, a growing chain of Michelin Bib Gourmand-awarded pizzerias, and continues to expand her portfolio: co-founding the children’s sensory learning centers Play 2 Progress and launching CN2 Ventures with her husband, Charles Nelson, to invest in early stage consumer companies. She is a highly sought-after speaker on topics such as building a breakthrough brand, harnessing purpose to create a great company culture, and cultivating a community of brand loyalists.
Nelson’s book, Sweet Success, published by HarperCollins Leadership is a guide to entrepreneurship. With her characteristic warmth and humor, Candace leverages her entrepreneurial expertise to offer inspiration and practical strategies for individuals looking to spark creativity, build resilience, cultivate innovation, and build a brand that customers adore. Nelson is also a contributor to The Wall Street Journal, where she writes on the challenges and opportunities facing small business owners today. Candace has appeared on Good Morning America, Today, The Chew, The Talk, Shine On With Reese Witherspoon, Nightline and a Guest Shark on Season 15 of Shark Tank. She has also been featured in Inc., O Magazine, Vanity Fair, Bon Appetit, Food and Wine, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times. Candace was the star of the syndicated Food Network hit show Cupcake Wars, an Executive Producer and star on Netflix’s Sugar Rush, and is an Executive Producer on the upcoming Hulu show, Best in Dough, featuring Pizzana’s Executive Chef.
HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR.
Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker, literary scholar, and journalist Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is an acclaimed cultural critic and institution builder. Professor Gates is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University. Among his dozens of books are the recent New York Times bestsellers Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow and The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song. He has also produced and hosted an array of documentary films. The Black Church (PBS) and Frederick Douglass: In Five Speeches (HBO), which he executive produced, each received Emmy nominations. His latest history series for PBS is Making Black America: Through the Grapevine. Finding Your Roots, Gates’s groundbreaking genealogy and genetics series, has completed its ninth season on PBS and will return for a tenth season in 2024.
Professor Gates has received countless awards and honors, including a George Polk Award for his social commentary in The New York Times, a MacArthur Fellowship, the Chicago Tribune Literary Award for lifetime achievement, and the prestigious Gold Medal from the National Institute of Social Sciences, among many others. His filmmaking has received Emmy, Peabody, and NAACP Image Awards, as well as an Alfred I. duPont Columbia University Award. Professor Gates serves on the boards of many notable institutions, including: the New York Public Library, the Aspen Institute, the Brookings Institution, and is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations. A consummate scholar and esteemed public intellectual, Professor Gates is a highly sought-after keynote speaker for his riveting addresses to audiences of all kinds.
KENDALL COYNE SCHOFIELD
Olympic gold and silver medalist Kendall Coyne Schofield is “the fastest woman in hockey,” serving as captain of the U.S. women’s national hockey team. Capturing an astounding twenty-three medals in international competition, Schofield has had a ground-breaking career of ‘firsts’ – as the first female NHL All-Star Skills competitor, the first female player development coach for the Chicago Blackhawks, the first woman to serve as an analyst for a Chicago Blackhawks regular season game, and as a member of the first all-women NBC Sports and NHL Tonight broadcast teams. Her bestselling autobiography As Fast As Her reached #1 on Amazon in several categories, scoring a hat track as #1, #2, and #3 on Amazon in teen and young adult hockey in hardcover, audio, and Kindle.
Schofield earned her title as “the fastest woman in hockey” in 2019 when she became the first woman to compete in the fastest skater challenge at the NHL All-Star Skills Competition. Her time of 14.346 seconds was less than one second behind the winning NHL skater sending shockwaves throughout the sports world in a breakthrough moment for women’s hockey. Schofield has been named one of Forbes’ “30 Under 30,” and is a leader on and off the ice. She is the Co-Founder of the Schofield Family Foundation, serves on the board of the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association, and founded the “Golden Coynes” – an all-girls hockey development program in partnership with the Chicago Blackhawks and the Kendall Coyne Hockey Camp. Schofield is a champion of resilience, and in her motivating keynotes inspires audiences to get outside their comfort zone to accomplish their goals.
WNBA Champion and 2022 All Star Game MVP Kelsey Plum brings motivational insights from her stellar career and commitment to mentorship to uplifting events. The “un-guardable” Kelsey graduated as the NCAA Division I women’s basketball all-time scoring leader, and went on to be named the AP, John Wooden, Naismith, and USBWA College Player of the Year, and went No. 1 overall in the 2017 WNBA Draft. Despite a huge setback with a torn Achilles injury during her 2020 season, Kelsey went on to lead the inaugural USA Olympic 3x3 Team to an Olympic gold medal, earned the WNBA 6th Woman of the Year and All-Star MVP awards, and was named to the All-WNBA First Team. Kelsey led her Las Vegas Aces to its first WNBA championship in franchise history.
Beyond her championship athleticism, Kelsey is a passionate advocate for family & faith, mental health awareness, and giving back to her community. She introduced her inaugural Dawg Class Camp with Under Armour that will work on and off the court with nine of the top women’s college basketball guards to navigate the transition to a professional career. Kelsey is known for her passion for philanthropy, working with Safe Haven NV and coaching several youth basketball clinics. Her meteoric rise to the top of her game has generated major social media capital and given her a platform she uses to share a positive message about being part of a winning culture, navigating life’s transitions, and leaving your legacy.
Entrepreneur, author, and body acceptance advocate Katie Sturino is the founder of Megababe Beauty. Katie lends her voice and personal style to raise awareness for size inclusivity, empowering women of all sizes to find their confidence and celebrate their style. Her regular content series #SuperSizeTheLook and #MakeMySize have gone viral, reaching millions of people and attracting global media attention. Katie’s firsthand experience in life and business makes her the perfect person to speak to being a female founder, breaking down barriers, body positivity, and the work it takes to change societal norms.
Katie is the author of Body Talk, an illustrated workbook that tackles how women everywhere have a bad relationship with their body, though in the end, that’s not their fault. She is also the host Boob Sweat, a podcast that delves into often “taboo” topics such as dating in your 30s, Botox, and divorce. Katie has participated in panels such as the Goldman Sachs Small Business Summit, Harvard Business School Luxury Retail & Fashion Panel, WSJ’s The Future of Everything Panel, Women’s Wear Daily Panel, and more.
Award-winning gender economist and former Global 500 global executive Katica Roy is a programmer, data scientist, and the CEO and founder of an award-winning SaaS company, Pipeline. Pipeline uses advanced technology to enable companies to realize the economic opportunity of intersectional gender equity and launched the first gender equity app on Salesforce's AppExchange. Pipeline, which is backed by both Accenture and Workday, was named one of TIME Magazine’s Best Inventions of 2019 and awarded Fast Company’s: 2023 and 2020 World’s Most Innovative Companies, 2021 Next Big Things in Tech, and 2022 World Changing Ideas.
CNN, MSNBC, CBS, Bloomberg, Cheddar, MarketWatch, Yahoo Finance, Wharton Business, Newsy, and NBC have sought Katica for her sharp and unconventional take on the day’s headlines. She has interviewed President Biden, Vice President Harris, Senators Booker and Gillibrand, Secretary Pete, Canadian Pay Equity Commissioner Karen Jensen, Sophia Bush, Eve Rodsky, Gretchen Carlson, and Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings.
She has spoken on over 100 stages across the world including major stages at SXSW, CES, Web Summit, The Atlantic, and for major corporations such as JP Morgan, Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, Cisco, Edelman, BNP Paribas and more. Katica Roy is disrupting the business world with data-driven content that dynamically changes the audience. Ultimately compelling them to take action!
Katica’s high-octane, visionary articles have been published by the World Economic Forum, Fast Company, Fortune, Forbes, Bloomberg, NBC, Entrepreneur, The Hill, The Advocate, Harvard Business Review, and Morning Consult, garnering over 2.9 billion impressions. She has received numerous accolades, including being named a 2019 Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Business and awarded the 2019 Stevie Entrepreneur of the Year—Gold Award, the 2020 Colorado Entrepreneur of the Year as well as one of LinkedIn’s Top Influencer for gender equity in 2022. She is a member of Fast Company’s Impact Council and Bloomberg’s New Economy Forum. Katica offers illuminating insights into fixing the leaky talent pipeline, the economic opportunity of gender equity, engineering gender equity into the future of work, AI and the future of revenue, the intersection of gender equity and climate change, and more.
Respected political correspondent and chief national affairs analyst Kasie Hunt has covered campaigns, Congress, and Washington for almost two decades, including three presidential campaigns. Kasie currently serves as a CNN anchor and the network’s chief national affairs analyst, after more than eight years at NBC where she anchored Way Too Early with Kasie Hunt, Kasie DC on MSNBC, and served as the Capitol Hill Correspondent. Kasie is widely respected for her hard-hitting exchanges with major players in Washington D.C., earning a reputation for adding fresh angles to the political news cycle. She is also a brain tumor survivor. Just 36 years old when she was diagnosed and underwent brain surgery, she brings a unique perspective on resilience in an unstable world. Kasie in in-demand with a wide range of audiences from students to advertising executives to major philanthropic groups, including events with the BUILD Series, SXSW, Politicon, and the George Washington Elliott School of International Affairs.
Hunt started her career in journalism as a print reporter, covering health policy for National Journal, including the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the 2012 presidential campaign of former Gov. Mitt Romney for the Associated Press, and the 2010 midterm elections for Politico. She has appeared regularly some of the nation’s most influential programs, including NBC’s Meet the Press, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, CNN’s Inside Politics, and PBS’s Washington Week. In 2018, Kasie led the NBC News investigative team that was awarded the Joan Shorenstein Barone Award for its reporting on sexual harassment allegations on Capitol Hill. In sought-after events, she offers rare behind-the-scenes insights into the inner workings of presidential campaigns and Congress, as well as the cutthroat world of TV news.
Award-winning author, poet, and storyteller Kaitlin Curtice speaks to the intersections of spirituality and identity and how that shifts throughout our lives. An enrolled citizen of the Potawatomi nation and inter-spiritual advocate, she participates in conversations on topics such as colonialism in faith communities, and she has spoken at many conferences on the importance of inter-faith relationships. Her first book, Glory Happening: Finding the Divine Everyday Places, has been called “a stunner… every sentence is a feast for the senses” by author Rachel Held Evans. Curtice’s book Native: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God won the Foreword INDIES 2020 Book of the Year Award, and the 2021 Georgia Author of the Year Award and Midwest Book Award. In her writing as she does in compelling speaking engagements, Curtice shares how reconnecting with her Potawatomi identity both informs and challenges her Christian faith.
Curtice’s writing has been featured in Sojourners, Religion News Service, Apartment Therapy, On Being, SELF Magazine, and more. She also writes at The Liminality Journal, a Substack subscriber newsletter featuring essays, poetry, and more. Curtice and her work have been featured on CBS and in USA Today, and she is a regular contributor to Oprah Daily. Her latest book, Living Resistance: An Indigenous Vision for Seeking Wholeness Every Day, explores the roles we each have to play in the world right where we are, and empowers audiences to seek wholeness in whatever spheres of influence they inhabit.
Professional big wave surfer, author, and TV personality Kai Lenny is the epitome of multi-hyphenate when it comes to a modern-day waterman. Kai dominates in big wave surfing, stand-up paddling (SUP) surfing and racing, tow-in surfing, kite surfing, and hydrofoiling – for which he is widely considered the pioneer on the open ocean. Surfing since the age of 5, Kai became a sponsored pro athlete at just 9 years old and was behind a kite before he was 10. An explosive athlete in multiple dynamic sports, Kai has done the grueling 50km Molokai to Oahu paddle many times, is a veteran of the Professional Windsurfing Association World Wave Tour, has been runner-up at the Kite Surf Pro World Championships, and has won the SUP World Title eight times and counting.
Kai is the author of Big Wave Surfer: The Greatest Rides of Our Lives, a jaw-dropping photographic exploration of the world of big wave surfing. He’s also a prolific creator on YouTube, offering a glimpse of his incredible journey as a pro athlete. Kai has also successfully ventured into Hollywood TV and film pursuits, starring in the feature film PE’AHI, Red Bull TV’s Life of Kai, and HBO’s 100 Foot Wave. He has accomplished such feats as windsurfing across Lake Michigan, racing the Americas Cup Boat, Oracle, on a kite surfboard, kite SUP and windsurfed from Maui’s North Shore to Waikiki in one day, and foil surfed and kited 50 miles from the Big Island to Maui in an effort to raise awareness around plastic pollution. In engaging talks, Kai shares his inspiring journey as an athlete and adventurer, as well as an incomparable perspective on overcoming fear and pushing the limits to achieve unbelievable goals.
Kahlil Greene uses his unique leadership experiences and Gen-Z perspective to provide a youthful, forward-looking, and much-needed intervention to commonplace and antiquated DE&I strategies. He has authored op-eds about organizational equity in the LA Times and Washington Post; and his article “Dear CEO’s: A Gen Zer’s Open Letter to His Future Employers” was published in the Harvard Business Review. As a junior in college, Greene completed a summer internship with McKinsey and Company and later earned a Hall of Fame designation from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington for his fundraising and support of the nonprofit.
Prior to this, Kahlil Greene was elected the first Black student body president in Yale's 318-year history. At the end of his year and a half-long term--which lasted through the COVID-19 pandemic--his administration’s successes included grassroots fundraising over $57,000 for racial justice organizations in one week; launching six affinity networks to increase racial, socioeconomic, and gender representation on the Council; and kickstarting a walk-in mental health counseling program for students. Greene stayed true to his campaign promises to be direct in critiques of Yale’s administration and actively supportive of student-led movements and protests--a hallmark of his presidency.
Today, Greene is also a New York Times featured social media influencer who is verified on Instagram and has over 440k followers and 12mm views on TikTok. Both Instagram and Facebook, Inc. have collaborated with and sponsored Greene’s work directly. He often engages in political discourse with social media influencers and users from all backgrounds, and now uses his influence to generate awareness around social issues as they arise in real-time.
Renowned journalist Julia Ioffe is a leading authority on Russian-U.S. relations, showing us precisely what is at stake. Ioffe is a Founding Partner and the Washington correspondent for Puck, a new media company covering power, money, and ego. She previously served as Senior Editor for The New Republic, was a staff writer at The Atlantic covering politics and world affairs, and a correspondent for GQ Magazine. As a highly sought-after keynote speaker, Ioffe conveys Russian-American relations from both sides with clarity and insight. In her talks, as in her Atlantic cover story “What Putin Really Wants," Ioffe provides colorful, character-rich discussions of Russia’s socio-political structure, its tempestuous historical relationship with America, and how Russia will effect U.S. politics – and policy – moving forward.
Ioffe’s work has been featured in Politico, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, Slate, Puck, and many more. Born in Moscow, Ioffe’s family moved to the U.S. when she was seven years old. She studied Soviet history at Princeton with Stephen Kotkin, and later won a Fulbright Scholarship to return to Russia, where she worked as the Moscow correspondent for The New Yorker as well as Foreign Policy. Ioffe’s area of expertise, built on years of in-depth reporting in Russia for publications that include The New Republic, acknowledges Russia’s threat against American democracy, while placing emphasis on the way the media, right and left, can both over- and-underestimate Russia’s strategic coherence and capabilities. Ioffe’s talks provide a clear-eyed view of the situation, showing us that Russia is a non-partisan issue that every American, whether Democrat or Republican, must think hard about, regardless of political affiliation.
CNBC correspondent and author Julia Boorstin delivers insightful analysis with a focus on the intersection of media and technology. Boorstin serves as CNBC’s Senior Media & Tech Correspondent, playing a central role on the network’s bicoastal tech-focused program TechCheck. Before joining CNBC as an on-air reporter in 2006, she served as a reporter for Fortune magazine, and was an intern for Vice President Gore’s domestic policy office. Boorstin released her debut book When Women Lead: What They Achieve, Why They Succeed, and How We Can Learn from Them in October 2022, which features lessons from the leadership approaches of women running the world’s most innovative and successful companies.
Boorstin has contributed to CNN and CNN Headline News, among others. She is the creator of the CNBC “Disruptor 50,” an annual list she curates highlighting private companies transforming the economy and challenging companies in established industries. She also helped launch the network’s ‘Closing the Gap’ initiative, which covers people and companies closing gender and diversity gaps. In her writing, reporting, and speaking, Boorstin is a sought-after expert exploring groundbreaking leadership and business innovations that resonate across industries.
JUDY MURRAY OBE
Scottish tennis coach Judy Murray OBE is one of the most influential and inspiring voices in the sport. A former captain of Great Britain’s Billie Jean King Cup team, Judy was the tartan Chris Evert of her time, winning 64 Scottish titles. She is also the mother of two World No. 1 tennis players – capturing Grand Slam and Olympic titles along the way. For a decade, Judy was the National Coach of Scotland, and was the first woman to pass the Lawn Tennis Association’s Performance Coach Award. Judy offers expert insights and inspiration on building teams, developing resilience, nurturing talent, creating a champion mindset, and the parallels between sport and business.
Judy has created several initiatives to grow grass roots tennis globally and has played a pivotal role with many governing bodies in encouraging more girls to play, as well as increasing the number of female coaches and developing female leaders. In 2017, Judy was awarded an OBE for her services to tennis, women in sport, and charity. In addition, she is known for her appearance on the reality TV show, Strictly Come Dancing and is the presenter of the Driving Force docuseries - which explores the back stories of 20 of Britain's most successful female athletes. Highly respected for her creativity and insight, Judy shares her inspirational story with groups including Brodies LLP Solicitors, HSBC, JP Morgan, WTA, IBM, Salesforce, Deloitte, Peugeot, PayPal UK, among others.
JUDGE VICTORIA PRATT
Dynamic. Captivating. Relevant. These are just a few words used to describe Judge Victoria Pratt. She is recognized nationally and internationally for her commitment to reforming the criminal justice system. She’s been called a pioneer in procedural justice – a simple, proven approach to transforming our court system using the power of dignity and respect. Her respectful approach has had a transformational impact on court participants, the community, and court practitioners. Her highly viewed TED Talk “How judges can show respect” has been listed as one of the Top 15 Most Viral Motivational Talks on Facebook, with over 37M views. Pratt is the author of The Power of Dignity: How Transforming Justice Can Heal Our Communities, which the Los Angeles Review of Books called ”mandatory reading,” among other rave reviews.
Considered a global expert, Pratt has worked in Dubai, Ukraine, England, Scotland, Trinidad and Tobago, and Mexico. She’s been featured in media outlets such as The Guardian, Forbes, and PBS, to name a few. She champions criminal justice reform through her consulting firm Pratt Lucien Consultants, LLC, by sharing her skills and approach with corporations such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Prudential, as well as other institutions and organizations. In sought after motivational keynotes, Pratt offers unparalleled insights on procedural justice, transforming justice, DEI work, and leadership that make an impact with audiences of all kinds. She regularly receives rave reviews for her events, such as: “"Judge Pratt does not disappoint. She is a dynamic speaker with a passionate message that applies universally. Her words made the audience members reflect long after her presentation. I highly recommend her if you want your audience to be informed and inspired!" (Prudential Financial)
Nobel Prize-winning economist and author Joshua Angrist is a pioneer in the use of econometric ideas and tools to answer some of today’s most pressing policy questions. Angrist received the Nobel Prize for his innovative work using natural experiments to answer questions of profound importance. Does it matter whether you go to a highly selective high school or college? Where are the best schools? What are the long-run consequences of military service for those who serve? What are the economic implications of having, or growing up in, a larger family? Why are the sort of statistics we hear so often in the media likely to be misleading? How can you – as the consumer of such information – break through the fog? The tools of econometric data science, wielded with skill and judgment, dispel the hype and offer new insights.
Angrist is also Co-Founder of Avela, an education technology startup that matches students to opportunities, prioritizing equity, accountability, and quality to ensure fair decisions and empower families.
Angrist has co-authored two of the leading texts in applied econometrics and data science, Mostly Harmless Economics: An Empiricist’s Companion and Mastering ‘Metrics: The Path from Cause to Effect. Not only scientifically rigorous, with innovative content, his books are by far the funniest econometrics texts you’re ever likely to see. Angrist is the Ford Professor of Economics at MIT, co-founder and director of MIT’s Blueprint Labs, and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He has served on many editorial boards and as a co-editor of the Journal of Labor Economics.
Former Rugby Union player, entrepreneur, and podcaster Jonny Wilkinson is widely regarded as one of the greatest players to ever play the game. After making his name as one of the shining lights of Rugby Union, Jonny was inducted to the World Rugby Hall of Fame in 2014. His services to the sport were recognized by Her Majesty the Queen, initially appointing him as an MBE, latterly upgraded to OBE and subsequently, CBE. In addition to his incredible achievements in sport, Jonny has become an advocate for mental wellbeing, healthy ways to deal with stress and the unknown, and shares his profound insights in impactful conversations.
Jonny was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2003 and World Rugby Player of the Year in Monaco in 2004. Off the pitch, he established the Jonny Wilkinson NSPiRED Foundation – a program designed to support those in teaching and coaching roles towards inspiring the younger generation to live their fullest lives. The six-week program is devoted entirely to the individual, their world, and their potential to perform, lead, and connect with others. Jonny is also the Creator and Host of the I Am… with Jonny Wilkinson podcast – which explores the remarkable transformations of pioneers and thought leaders around the globe. In powerful talks, Jonny shares his authentic journey learning to deal with pressure, overcome and release trauma, and developing a growth mindset.
Respected Wall Street leader and acclaimed author John Mack has shaped history with his legendary career in finance. Now a Senior Advisor of Morgan Stanley, Mr. Mack is the former Chairman of the Board of Morgan Stanley and served as Chief Executive Officer from June 2005 until December 2009. Mr. Mack first joined Morgan Stanley in May 1972 as a member of the Firm's bond department and rose steadily to positions of increasing responsibility. During his thirty-four years at Morgan Stanley, his goal was to build the strongest and most productive team on Wall Street. Mr. Mack previously served as co-CEO of Credit Suisse Group and CEO of Credit Suisse First Boston. Mr. Mack distills his visionary leadership and unmatched strategic insights in revelatory speaking engagements.
A consummate leader, Mr. Mack has perfected the ability to motivate his employees to do their best work, especially in times of crisis. He serves as a non-executive director of New Fortress Energy, the Bloomberg Philanthropies, and Tri Alpha Energy. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of New York-Presbyterian Hospital and the University Hospital of both Columbia and Cornell. Mr. Mack is the author of Up Close and All In: Life Lessons from a Wall Street Warrior, and shares advice on both business and life in sought-after events.
JOHN J. SULLIVAN
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, 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.
JOHN DELLA VOLPE
Youth expert, pollster, strategist, and bestselling author John Della Volpe is the Director of Polling at the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics, where he leads polling initiatives on understanding American youth. Della Volpe was referred to by the Washington Post as one of the world’s leading authorities on global sentiment, opinion, and influence, and is the Founder of SocialSphere, a public opinion and analytics company. His new book, an Amazon Editor’s Pick for “Best Nonfiction,” Fight: How Gen Z is Channeling Their Fear and Passion to Save America, is an impeccable investigation into how Generation Z – those born in the 1990s and early 2000s – are rising to the unprecedented challenges of their time to take control of their country and our future. The recipient of an Eisenhower Fellowship, his research focus is data-based as well as qualitative, and he has advised heads of state, military generals, and blue-chip brands around the world, unlocking the secrets to winning the hearts, minds, and loyalty of Gen Z.
Della Volpe was appointed to the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission on Media in 2011, and serves as senior advisor and pollster to President Joe Biden. His work has been featured in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, TIME, and more, and he is a political contributor on MSNBC offering his insights and strategies for engaging the Millennial generation.
Della Volpe is the author of the Substack newsletter JDV on Gen Z, which puts public opinion into context while creating a pathway to understanding, empowering, and engaging Gen Z.
Actor, producer, entrepreneur, New York Times bestselling author, record-setting philanthropist, and WWE Superstar John Cena delivers high-octane star power and an empowering message of motivation and hope. Cena has been the face of WWE for more than a decade, earning the moniker “the Babe Ruth of the WWE.” He executive produced and narrated the Peacock docu-series WWE Evil, which explores impact of WWE villains on modern culture. As an actor, Cena is known for blockbuster roles in Peacemaker, The Suicide Squad, Hidden Strike, F9: The Fast Saga, Vacation Friends, and a cameo role in Warner Bros.' hugely successful film Barbie. Cena's upcoming credits include Argylle, The Independent, Coyote v. Acme, and more. Cena hosts Wipeout on TBS alongside Nicole Byer, which premiered as 2021’s highest-rated new unscripted cable series. With his focus on finding the positive, maximizing opportunities, and making a difference, Cena makes an impact on audiences of all kinds.
Cena has hosted Saturday Night Live, The ESPYs, The Today Show, The Ellen Degeneres Show, American Grit, Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?, and the 2017 and 2018 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards. He is the author of Do Your Best Every Day to Do Your Best Every Day, Be A Work in Progress, and the #1 New York Times bestselling Elbow Grease series inspired by lessons he learned about hard work, perseverance, and teamwork growing up with four brothers. Cena is Make-A-Wish’s most-requested wish granter and only celebrity to grant more than 700 wishes, a long-time supporter of the U.S. military and promoter of the FitOps Foundation, which empowers veterans through fitness and community, and the recipient of USO Metro’s Legacy of Achievement Award. An in-demand speaker, Cena brings major energy and insights and leaves audiences feeling uplifted and inspired.
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 760K combined followers and 120M+ 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 Meta, Google, TikTok, the Clinton Foundation, General Electric, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and on behalf of the Congressional Black Congress, among others.
Bervell has been featured on Good Morning America, Business 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, and the American Medical Association. Bervell’s work earned him the honor of being named a 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.
JESSICA WILLIS FISHER
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.
Award-winning restaurateur and celebrity chef Jeremy Fall is an innovator across mediums and industries who is redefining what it means to be a “cultural icon.” The only child of a French Afro-Caribbean mother and a Tunisian Jewish father, he grew up in the restaurant business and opened five successful eateries by the time he was twenty-seven years old, including Nighthawk Breakfast Bar, Nighthawk AM, Easy’s, Tinfoil Liquor & Grocery, and Paperboy. By age twenty-nine, he was on Forbes’ “30 Under 30 List” and had sold his successful restaurant group. Credited as the first chef and restaurateur to sign with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, Fall recently coproduced and costarred in the Facebook Watch show Beats for Breakfast with singer-songwriter Miguel. Bringing together leading edge thinking from multiple industries, Fall’s insights have been sought after by groups including ZipRecruiter, Cameo, Apple, W3BX, NFTNYC, UCSB, Facebook, and more.
In addition, Fall is the creator of media company Probably Nothing, an online NFT education platform that aims to bridge the gap between metaverse-savvy early adopters and the masses. His project ‘golden egg club’ is at its core – an art collection featuring hand-drawn elements by Fall, which celebrates his career milestones and may expand to reflect future accomplishments. The collection will act as a private membership, providing a space for Fall to cook exclusive meals for the group, inspire creative collaborations, brand partnerships, and more. Fall and Probably Nothing have partnered with Warner Records on the launch of a Web3 record label, expanding Fall’s impact. When it comes to the Web3 space, Fall continues to act as a conduit for the dynamic conversations about how food, technology, and culture intersect now and in the next iteration of the future.
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.
Award-winning journalist, sportscaster, and entrepreneur Jen Hale has won multiple Emmy, Edward R. Murrow, and Associated Press Awards for both her sports and new coverage. Currently in her eleventh season as a reporter for the FOX NFL season, Hale is also a frequent contributor on Fox & Friends Weekend, FOX Sports, and fills in as host of Skip and Shannon: Undisputed on FS1. After surviving cardiomyopathy, a genetic condition that often requires a heart transplant, she has gone on to serve as a spokesperson for the American Heart Association, appearing on numerous national programs to share her personal experience and raise awareness for cardiovascular health. The AHA awarded her with the Heart Ball Award in recognition for her efforts, and she shares her journey through diagnosis and recovery in powerful and inspiring talks that impact audiences of all kinds.
Hale is also the Founder and CEO of All Access Sideline Pass, an organization that focuses on educating and empowering young women in the New Orleans community through outreach, scholarships, and other community programming. She sits on the Board of Directors for LSU’s L Club, the French Quarter’s commercial economic engine The French Market, and owns Hale Historic Properties. She has received many accolades for her work, including the Alumni Achievement Award from The Fund for American Studies, being named New Orleans Magazine’s “Top Female Achiever” and to Gambit Magazine’s “Top 40 Under 40” list. Hale was the first woman to receive the Bob Roesler Award from the New Orleans Touchdown Club.
Showrunner, writer, and director Jeff Davis is best known for creating CBS’s Criminal Minds and MTV’s Teen Wolf. Shortly after graduating from USC’s Graduate Film School, Davis had his first feature script optioned. He pitched and developed with numerous producers and production companies and turned his attention toward television. Davis had an idea for a crime procedural series about FBI profilers, which became Criminal Minds – which is in its 17th season with another in production. Davis is committed to including diverse perspectives and representation in his work, including centering LGBTQ+ characters and storylines – which has earned him praise and recognition in the film and TV world and beyond.
From there, Davis pitched and sold projects to ABC, SyFY Channel, TNT, and FOX. He was approached by MTV to develop a series based on the cult classic Michael J. Fox movie Teen Wolf – which ran for six seasons and 100 episodes and led to a follow-up movie for Paramount Plus. Davis’ newest series Wolf Pack stars Sarah Michelle Gellar and has received critical and popular acclaim. In engaging events, Davis shares his journey in Hollywood, the importance of being able to tell your authentic story, and the value of creativity for any industry.
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 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.
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.
JEAN HANFF KORELITZ
New York Times bestselling author Jean Hanff Korelitz is known for crafting spellbinding plots across mediums, which keep audiences engaged and inspired. Korelitz is the author of the novels The Latecomer, You Should Have Known, which was adapted by HBO as The Undoing, Admission, which was made into a film, The Sabbathday River, A Jury of Her Peers, The White Rose, The Devil and Webster, and The Plot, a New York Times bestseller and Notable Book of 2021, as well as an Editor’s Pick on Amazon, and which is being adapted by Hulu to star two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali. She is the Founder of BOOKTHEWRITER, which hosts Pop-Up Book Groups for readers to discuss new books with their authors. Korelitz shares her expertise in storytelling, the creative experience, the writing process, as well as insights about the intersection of art and the human condition in compelling and memorable events.
Korelitz has appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, for which her novel The Plot was selected as the “Fallon Summer Read,” Zibby Owens’ podcast Mom’s Don’t Have Time to Read Books, and she has been featured in The Guardian, The Hollywood Reporter, The New York Times, which called The Plot her “most consequential book yet,” among others. She is also the author of Interference Powder, a novel for children, and a collection of poetry, The Properties of Breath. Korelitz and her husband, Irish poet Paul Muldoon, adapted James Joyce’s The Dead as an immersive theater piece, The Dead, 1904, which premiered at the Irish Repertory Theatre in NYC. She is sought-after for events with groups like Talks at Google, The National Arts Club, and many more.
Award-winning science journalist, speaker, and author Catherine Price has been hailed in The New York Times as “the Marie Kondo of brains.” Price is the author of numerous books including How to Break Up With Your Phone: The 30-Day Plan to Take Back Your Life, which has been published in more than 35 countries and was featured in a New York Times piece that went viral, receiving 2M+ hits in less than a week. Her newest book, The Power of Fun: How to Feel Alive Again has received international media coverage and, in addition to serving as the inspiration for her popular TED talk, was named the overall best self-care book of the year by The Independent. As the creator and founder of ScreenLifeBalance.com, Price is dedicated to helping people scroll less, live more, and have more fun.
Price’s work has been featured in outlets including The Best American Science Writing, NPR, The New York Times, Popular Science, The Los Angeles Times, TIME Magazine, Wired, Vox, Refinery29, BBC World News Service, Good Morning America, The Today Show, CBS This Morning, and The Guardian among many others.
Having spoken in front of audiences and clients including TED, Leadercast, SXSW, Intel, Cigna, Hyatt, T. Rowe Price, Warburg Pincus, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Yale University, and more, Price is an in-demand speaker, consultant, and workshop leader who offers lively and uniquely tailored programs full of what she called “science-backed self-help” that are compelling and actionable for audiences of all kinds.
She is comfortable and experienced in both in-person and virtual formats, and particularly enjoys moderated Q&As and fireside chats.
Powerhouse journalist Joanne Lipman has transformed newsrooms across the country – and now she’s turned her keen eye to transforming work and life in the post-pandemic era. In her blockbuster new book, Next!: The Power of Reinvention in Life and Work (March 2023), she offers a deeply reported, delightfully readable look at how to change your life, your workplace, or your career -– and how to inspire innovation in others. It follows her No. 1 bestseller That’s What She Said, about achieving gender equity at work and at home, inspiring men as well as women to join together to promote diversity, innovation and excellence.
One of the nation’s most prominent journalists, Lipman is the former editor-in-chief of USA Today and the USA TODAY Network, Conde Nast Portfolio, and The Wall Street Journal Weekend Journal, leading those organizations to six Pulitzer Prizes. Dubbed “innovator in chief” by The New York Times and “star editor” by CNN, Lipman began her career at The Wall Street Journal, where she rose to become the highest-ranking woman in the paper’s history. Lipman has been in-demand with groups such as Motorola, Google, Aetna, Chevron, NBC Universal, among many others.
Lipman is sought after for her insights, appearing on ABC, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, and CBS, and is an on-air contributor at CNBC. Her work has appeared in publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, TIME, Fortune, and Harvard Business Review. She teaches a popular Yale University course on Media & Democracy, focused on issues including polarization and combatting misinformation. A lively and entertaining speaker, Lipman offers action-oriented insights and critical analysis into issues ranging from workplace culture, to personal and business growth and transformation, to fostering diverse and equitable organizations, and more.
JASON Y. LEE
Founder and CEO of Jubilee Media Jason Y. Lee is a leader on the business side of the creator economy, with a focus on empathy and making a positive impact on the world. After graduating from The Wharton School at UPenn, Jason worked as a consultant at Bain & Company. He also previously worked on the 2007 Obama Campaign and for the Clinton Health Access Initiative in Zambia. But Jason stepped away from his successful consulting career to follow his purpose, founding Jubilee Media first as a non-profit, then transitioning to a digital media startup. Jubilee Media creates experiences to promote understanding and create human connection. Known for the viral series Middle Ground, Spectrum, and Odd One Out, Jubilee has developed an audience of more than 7.5M subscribers and garnered more than 3B views.
As the world becomes more divided and media more divisive than ever, Jubilee swims against the current – bridging people together to create empathy, discourse, and love. Jason is a proud Korean-American, and recently received the Digital Influencer Award at Character Media’s Unforgettable Gala. He shared his incredible career journey in a TEDx Talk, and has been sought-after for events with groups including Spotify Space, Boston College, Wharton Asia Exchange, Bain Alumni Speaker series, and more.
Renovation star, designer, and author Jasmine Roth is passionate about transforming spaces and inspiring others through entrepreneurship, innovation, and seeing possibilities everywhere. The winner of HGTV’s Rock the Block, Roth is also host of her own shows Hidden Potential and Help! I Wrecked My House, rescuing home improvement projects gone wrong. She is also known for HGTV’s A Very Brady Renovation, which received an Emmy nomination, Brother vs. Brother, Hometown: Takeover, and Extreme Makeover, Home Addition. Roth is the author of House Story: Insider Secrets to the Perfect Home Renovation, answering the most common questions she gets as a renowned renovation expert. In her keynotes and conversations, she brings her signature warmth and clear guidance, encouraging audiences to dream big and transform their spaces and their lives.
Roth has been featured in Forbes, People, BusinessWire, and more. She is the Founder of Built Custom Homes, her boutique development company, and has partnered with Hunter Fans to launch their new line of lighting. Roth’s website, Your Happy Home, showcases her full range of capabilities – from building homes from scratch to designing every single detail. A beloved TV personality and host, home design expert, and serial entrepreneur, Roth creates a memorable event for audiences of all kinds.
Jarrett Harper is a criminal justice and foster care reform advocate working to stop life sentences for children, develop better rehabilitation resources for those returning to society, and put an end to the foster care-to-prison pipeline.
Jarrett is a survivor of the California foster care system and endured 20 years of mass incarceration. After experiencing unimaginable trauma and abuse, at 16, Jarrett took the life of his abuser to protect himself and his younger brother. A year later, he was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole plus ten years. Despite having no chance of release from prison, he found forgiveness and hope and transformed his own life by helping change the lives of other men in prison who had the opportunity to get out.
After 20 years of creating and facilitating self-improvement programs for his peers, Jarrett’s sentence was commuted by Governor Jerry Brown through the tireless work of a group of dedicated advocates. On June 18, 2019, he was released from prison by Governor Gavin Newsom. Shortly after his release, Jarrett became an ambassador for Represent Justice’s Just Mercy campaign and has quickly become a sought-after speaker, booking engagements for Verizon, Google, YouTube, Jordan Park, USC, Princeton, Big Brothers, and Big Sisters, Human Rights Watch, and Parole Justice That Works.
Winner of three Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize, James Lapine is a writer, director, and Broadway legend. Known for genre-defining powerhouse collaborations with Stephen Sondheim, he was the writer and director for Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, Passion, the multi-media review Sondheim on Sondheim, and co-produced and directed the revelatory HBO documentary Six by Sondheim for which he garnered an Emmy nomination and a Peabody Award. A prolific creator, he wrote and directed the Tony Award-winning Falsettos, the film Custody, and wrote the film adaptation for Into the Woods, as well as numerous Broadway and off-Broadway productions. Lapine is a beloved and eloquent titan of the theater, sharing star-studded stories and creative insights with enraptured audiences.
An instantaneous New York Times bestseller, Lapine’s book Putting it Together: How Stephen Sondheim and I Created Sunday in the Park with George chronicles the nuances of a powerful collaboration and the creative process that produced the Pulitzer Prize-winning Drama. A consummate artist, Lapine was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2011, and in 2015 received the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers awards for a lifetime of exceptional achievement in the theatre. Lapine is a devoted student of humanity, enriching conversations with insatiable curiosity, humor, and poignant observations on art and life.
Renowned conductor James Conlon has cultivated a vast symphonic, operatic, and choral repertoire and is one of today’s most versatile and respected conductors and educators. Mr. Conlon has spoken internationally about the power of creativity, the enduring importance of classical music, and leadership insights that resonate across industries.
Since his 1974 debut with the New York Philharmonic, Mr. Conlon has conducted virtually every major American and European symphony orchestra. He is Music Director of LA Opera, with whom he has won four Grammy Awards and led more performances than any other conductor in the company’s history, and also serves as Artistic Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Through worldwide touring, an extensive discography and videography, numerous writings, television appearances and guest speaking engagements, he is one of classical music’s most recognized and prolific figures.
Mr. Conlon is an enthusiastic advocate of the role music plays in our shared humanity and civic life. He has worked to call attention to the works of composers silenced by the Nazi regime – which led to the creation of The OREL Foundation, the Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices, and his popular TEDx Talk “Resurrecting Forbidden Music.” Mr. Conlon has received numerous honorary doctorates and accolades including the Legion d’Honneur – France’s highest honor – and was personally inducted by then-President Jacques Chirac.
NFL linebacker Jaelan Phillips was the 18th overall pick to the Miami Dolphins in the 2021 NFL Draft. Jaelan has made an immediate impact, setting a new franchise record for QB sacks as a rookie with 8.5 and becoming the first rookie in the NFL since 2002 to record at least 6 sacks in a three-game span. Beyond his record-setting first years on the field, Jaelan is also a sought-after motivational speaker off the field, sharing his insights about cultivating a durable athlete’s mindset and what it takes to be a stellar teammate.
A graduate of the University of Miami and now a stand-out player for the Dolphins, Jaelan has connected with the wider community and become a Miami favorite for his generosity and commitment to the South Florida community. He was honored as a nominee for the 2023 Walter Peyton Man of the Year Award. Jaelan’s ability to bring uplifting energy and connect with any audience makes him an engaging choice for memorable events.
Journalist, political advisor, and author Iuliia Mendel rose to international prominence when she served as the press secretary and spokesperson for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Mendel worked previously for ICTV, Espresso TV, 112 Ukraine, and Inter, and served as a Communications Consultant for the World Bank. She produced the documentary Shell-Shocked: Ukraine’s Trauma, the first documentary focused on post-traumatic stress disorder. Mendel’s first book, The Fight of Our Lives: My Time with Zelenskyy, Ukraine’s Battle for Democracy, and What It Means for the World, received immediate critical acclaim and has been acquired for development into a limited TV series. In her writing as well as in her speaking engagements, Mendel brings incisive analysis, insider context, and an unparalleled point of view to the most vital issues facing the world today.
Mendel is a regular op-ed columnist for The Washington Post, and her work has appeared in Politico Europe, The New York Times, the Atlantic Council, VICE, Spiegel Online, and Forbes. She became the first Ukrainian journalist to win the prestigious World Press Institute fellowship, and was named to Focus magazine’s “100 Most Influential Women in Ukraine” and Novoe Vremya magazine’s “100 Most Successful Women in Uk