HWA New Speakers

HWA connects you with people who are actively engaged in changing the world.  These fresh voices add new perspective and insight to today's most important conversations.  

Give us a call to chat about these HWA New Speakers for a timely, buzz-worthy, straight-from-the-headlines event.

News about our New Speakers

<p><strong>Dr. Rahul Jandial inspires many to dream at the Society of Healthy Peoples</strong></p>

Dr. Rahul Jandial inspires many to dream at the Society of Healthy Peoples

Leading neuroscientist, brain surgeon, and bestselling author RAHUL JANDIAL, MD, PhD, led an engaging discussion on dream research with The Society of Healthy People and Republica.ro. He leaned into a scientific approach to dream analysis, deepening the understanding of audiences seeking physical, philosophical, and spiritual wellbeing. The event planners enhanced guest experiences by distributing Jandial’s This is Why You Dream to members preceding the conversation. The Society of Healthy People said, “Dr. Rahul Jandial was fantastic... a resounding success with our audience. We are enthusiastic about the prospect of having him join our lineup for future events.”

Watch Rahul Jandial speak on the Today Show Australia >>

Listen to Rahul Jandial on the School of Greatness Podcast >>

<p><strong>Quiara Alegría Hudes’ heartwarming memoir, ‘My Broken Language,’ showcases the creative power of diversity</strong></p>

Quiara Alegría Hudes’ heartwarming memoir, ‘My Broken Language,’ showcases the creative power of diversity

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Tony Award-winning musician QUIARA ALEGRÍA HUDES’ book My Broken Language: A Memoir is a coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of an ailing Philadelphia barrio, with her sprawling Puerto Rican family as a collective muse. My Broken Language was named named “One of the Best Books of the Year” by NPR, the New York Public Library, BookPage, and BookRiot. Weaving together Hudes’s love of books with the stories of her family, the lessons of North Philly with those of Yale, her book and talks are an inspired exploration of home, memory, and belonging.

Watch Quiara Alegría Hudes in discussion with Random House here >>

Watch Quiara Alegría Hudes’ keynote at Yale University >>

<p><strong>Personal growth & professional success with Sophia Amoruso</strong></p>

Personal growth & professional success with Sophia Amoruso

Entrepreneur, investor, and bestselling author SOPHIA AMORUSO is no stranger to mixing her personal and professional selves. Her New York Times bestselling memoir #GIRLBOSS, detailed her early life and experiences as a founder in tandem. She freely shares the story of growing up while growing her brand in a way that audiences find refreshing and uplifting.

Amoruso openly discusses side hustles, the personality traits necessary for success, and the necessity of failing before you fly. Knowing how closely intertwined the identities of self and career become in pursuit of the Girl Boss ideal, Amoruso addresses her own experiences with the same grace and reflection as she does her business stories. Groups including Ford, Inbound, TechCrunch Disrupt, and more have sought out her insights on how personal growth and professional success go hand in hand.

Watch Sophia Amoruso’s keynote at Girlboss Rally here >>

<p><strong>Dr. Sarah Elizabeth Lewis makes creativity accessible</strong></p>

Dr. Sarah Elizabeth Lewis makes creativity accessible

Art and cultural historian SARAH ELIZABETH LEWIS is celebrated for her visionary perspective, as well as her gift in sharing that vision in an accessible and uplifting way with her audiences. Lauded for her bestselling book on creativity, The Rise, and viral TED talk on “Embracing the Near Win,” Lewis gives audiences the space to access their creative selves and makes a case for celebrating failure. With every uniquely tailored keynote, Lewis leads the audience through a powerful intellectual journey assessing how we see the world, and what that means for our communities, companies, and lives.

Watch Sarah Elizabeth Lewis’s TED Talk >>

Watch Dr. Sarah Elizabeth Lewis’s opening remarks at Studio in a School >>

<p><strong>Julián Castro inspires many, receives a rave review at The National Association of Colleges and Employers' Annual Conference</strong></p>

Julián Castro inspires many, receives a rave review at The National Association of Colleges and Employers' Annual Conference

Politician, author, and analyst JULIÁN CASTRO spoke to 2K attendees at The National Association of Colleges and Employers at their NACE Annual Conference and Expo. Castro touched on the future of the workforce, organizational branding, strategic recruiting and onboarding, and building a successful and productive workforce. The NACE thoroughly enjoyed Castro’s keynote, sharing: "Julián Castro’s keynote was amazing and our audience is so happy! As is our leadership! In my 19 years doing this, I have never had a keynote customize his presentation to the audience as much as Secretary Castro did. We are truly grateful to him that he took to heart the conversations during our prep call. He was outstanding!"

Watch Julián Castro’s address at NACE >>

Our New Speakers

HWA NEW

CHRIS CHRISTIE

  • Former Governor of New Jersey
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55th New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is a high-profile figure in U.S. politics. He spent his two terms in office emphasizing the issues of fiscal responsibility, pension, health benefit reform, education reform, and the opioid crisis gripping his state and the nation. He also devised the state’s groundbreaking response to super-storm Sandy, leading the rebuilding of the state’s housing, infrastructure, and public schools, setting a bipartisan example for storm recovery. Gov. Christie is currently a Senior Legal and Political Commentator for ABC News and the Managing Member of the Christie Law Firm and Christie 55 Solutions, LLC. Previously, he served as Chairman of the Trump Presidential Transition Committee. He is the author of The New York Times bestseller Let Me Finish, detailing his life and career in New Jersey and as a candidate for President. In his book What Would Reagen Do? Gov. Christie reflects on the past, present, and future of U.S. leadership. Lauded for his trademark charisma and candor, Gov. Christie provides an in-depth understanding of what is happening in the nation’s capital and what it means for your industry, organization, and employees.

Gov. Christie highlights achievable solutions and unrelenting leadership which will help move us forward and help solve the most pressing issues in Washington. His insights have been sought by hosts such as Concordia, Motorola Solutions, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute, and more.

HWA NEW

RICH KLEIMAN

  • CEO & Co-Founder of Boardroom
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Entrepreneur and media architect Rich Kleiman is the co-Founder and CEO of Boardroom – a sports and entertainment company that includes the flagship media network, Boardroom.TV. Founded in 2019 by Kleiman and Kevin Durant, Boardroom covers the business of sports, music, and entertainment, with a special focus on the ways that athletes, executives, musicians, and creators are moving the business world forward. Other projects under the Boardroom umbrella include the critically acclaimed scripted series SWAGGER in partnership with Imagine Entertainment and Apple TV+, the Academy-Award-winning short film Two Distant Strangers (Netflix), and Emmy-nominated documentary NYC Point Gods (Showtime). Most recently, Kleiman announced the launch of Boardroom Advisory, an offering for talent and brands to help them navigate business strategy, content creation, sports ownership opportunities, and venture & private equity investing.

Kleiman has been Kevin Durant’s manager since 2013, and brokered KD's lifetime deal with Nike. He is co-Founder of 35V, which houses over 100 early-stage investments across sports, technology, finance, media, and more. The 35V portfolio includes digital sports network Overtime, Coinbase, Acorns, Postmates, and NBA Top Shot by Dapper Labs. Kleiman serves as the Executive Director of the Durant Family Foundation (fka Kevin Durant Charity Foundation), helping underserved and low-income families and youth across the globe. He also sits on the Board of Directors at New Heights Youth, Inc., a non-profit dedicated to sports-based youth development and education in New York City.  As both a speaker and a moderator, Kleiman generates high-impact conversations on building robust and lasting business portfolios, maintaining mental wellness as an elite performer, and learning from your mistakes to build an industry-transforming business.

HWA NEW

KEVIN MCCARTHY

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

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

HWA NEW

GENERAL MARK MILLEY

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

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

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

HWA NEW

CHRIS VOSS

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

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

HWA NEW

ROCHELLE WALENSKY, MD, MPH

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

HWA NEW

AMY POEHLER

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

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

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

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

HWA NEW

URSULA BURNS

  • Former CEO & Chairman of the Board of the Xerox Corporation (2010-2017)
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Ursula Burns made history as the first Black woman to lead a Fortune 500 company when she became CEO of Xerox in 2009. Her journey from the lower east side projects, to earning two engineering degrees, and landing an internship at a company she would one day run, is a story that will inspire many. Burns is the author of Where You Are Is Not Who You Are: A Memoir, which received a rave review by the New York Times.

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

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

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

HWA NEW

BEN AFFLECK

  • Critically Acclaimed Award-Winning Actor, Director, and Producer
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Ben Affleck is an Academy Award winner who has been widely recognized for his work as a director, actor, writer and producer. During his impressive and long-running career, he has appeared in iconic projects spanning all genres including Argo, Gone Girl, and Good Will Hunting, and he has played Batman in several films within the comic franchise.  Affleck has been honored with some of the entertainment industry's highest awards, including the Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe and Screen Actor's Guild awards for the span of his work both in front of and behind the camera.

HWA NEW

MARGARET TRUDEAU

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

HWA NEW

JUDIT POLGÁR

  • Chess Grandmaster & World Chess Hall of Fame Member
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Chess Grandmaster Judit Polgár is the best female player in chess history. At the age of 12, Polgár took the lead in the adult women’s world ranking, which she would hold for the next 26 years. By 14, she was already a two-time Women's Chess Olympic Champion (1988, 1990). Polgár won two further silver medals as member of the Hungarian men's team. At the age of 15 years and 4 months, she became a male international grandmaster, breaking Bobby Fischer's age record. In October 2005, Polgár ranked 8th in the absolute world ranking, as the first and, to date, the only female top 10 chess player. Polgár gave the informative and entertaining TED Talk “Giving checkmate is always fun,” and her talks on breaking the glass ceiling and strategic decision-making have delighted audiences worldwide.

Since retiring, Polgár has focused on the international promotion of the sport of chess, writing, and the Judit Polgár Chess Foundation. The World Chess Hall of Fame inductee has authored many books on chess, including Chess Palace, the Best European Learning Materials award-winning program now used by 40K children daily. Polgár has been an expert commentator at major international tournaments. Polgár has spoken at TED Conference, Morgan Stanley, CITI Bank, Exxon, the Warwick Economics Summit, and McKinsey: “We collectively think the speech Ms. Polgar gave during her presentation at our Executive event in September was excellent.”

HWA NEW

MATT MEDVED

  • Co-Founder, CEO, and Editor-in-Chief of nft now - Award-winning web3 digital media platform.
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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 SchoolSXSWNFT NYCNew York Media FestivalSyracuse UniversityBillboard 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.

HWA NEW

KATY BOHINC

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

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

HWA NEW

ROHINI KOSOGLU

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

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

HWA NEW

ABIGAIL HING WEN

  • AI Expert & Intel's Former Senior Director of Emerging AI Tech
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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. Abigail serves on the board of Harvardwood.

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.

HWA NEW

DR. MARK T. ESPER

  • U.S. Secretary of Defense (2019-2020) and Secretary of the Army (2017-2019)
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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.

HWA NEW

GINNI ROMETTY

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

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

HWA NEW

DE KAI

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

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

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

HWA NEW

AMANDA MONTELL

  • Linguist and Expert in Language & Contemporary Culture
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Critically acclaimed author, linguist, and podcast host Amanda Montell is the author of two bestselling nonfiction books, Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism and Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language. Cultish was named a best book of 2021 by NPR and is currently in development for television. She is also the creator and co-host of the hit podcast, Sounds Like A Cult, which won "Best Emerging Podcast" at the iHeart Radio Podcast Awards, and has been praised by The New York Times, Vulture, Wired, Esquire, Marie Claire, and more. Amanda has given keynotes all over the world for book festivals and library series, universities and high schools, corporate events and consulting, and TEDx.

Amanda is an expert in language and contemporary culture, able to speak with accessibility and enthusiasm on timely topics from how cult language secretly shows up on social media and in the workplace, to how to make your company language more gender inclusive, to cognitive biases in the modern age. She is currently at work on her third book, The Age of Magical Overthinking: Notes on Modern Irrationality (to be published by OneSignal, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, in 2024). The book is an exploration of contemporary delusion — how cognitive biases show up in our personal lives, on social media, and in public policy.

HWA NEW

STEVEN LIM

  • Award-Winning Digital Media Creator
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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.

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RYAN BERGARA

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

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

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ZIWE

  • Acclaimed Comedian, Writer, and Actress
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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.

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JOEL BERVELL

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

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JIMMY DARTS

  • Content Creator with Over 17M Followers
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Content creator and philanthropist Jimmy Darts always felt drawn to a hospitality mindset and a love of people. While traveling the world after high school, he fell in love with serving others. Today, he partners with companies to showcase their generosity and use the power of social media to inspire all generations to live selflessly across the street and around the world. Boasting over 17M followers across platforms, Jimmy overwhelms his viewers with kindness and generosity, combining his lifelong passions of serving others and creating compelling content.

Jimmy created The Jimmy Darts Foundation to showcase love through larger acts of giving. The Foundation’s mission strives to uplift those facing homelessness, combat the impact of childhood bullying, and empower children with resources to live better childhoods to empower the next generation. The foundation offers not just immediate help but a path to lasting restoration through impactful grants and partnership with effective organizations in each space through practical aid, and diverse, lasting support. In uplifting events, Jimmy motivates his audience to make a difference through kindness on an immediate and personal scale and through their capacity to create worldwide change for the better.

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VIC BLENDS

  • Entrepreneur and The World's Most Famous Barber
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Motivational speaker, entrepreneur, and barber Victor Fontanez – known by his social media handle Vic Blends – is the most famous barber in the world and the leading motivational voice of the new generation. Vic started cutting hair in his mother’s garage his senior year of high school, and this side hustle quickly turned into passion, then passion turned into purpose. Within five years Vic has amassed more than 18M social media followers and has risen to international success. Beyond his success on TikTok, he became the lead talent in Rockstar’s Latinx Equity Campaign which aired during the NBA Finals. Vic is passionate about making a social impact and shares an empowering message of personal growth, mental health awareness, social change, and more.

Giving back to his community and leaving a legacy are two major pillars for Vic, which prompted him to launch Vic Blends Academy – an online curriculum for the next generation of barbers. Thousands of inspired fans and students have already signed up. Building on his passion for bettering the community has grown from there, when Vic announced the launch of the first licensed barber schools in California Prison history. This program will give incarcerated people the opportunity to obtain their barbers licenses with hopes of setting them up for success upon release. He also funds and hosts an annual giveback to his hometown of Fayetteville – giving thousands of families supplies they need during the holidays. In honor of this monumental project, he received the key to the city of Fayetteville from its mayor. An effusive and energizing voice in conversations about social changing and impact, Latinx culture, and anti-bullying, Vic shares his inspiring insights worldwide.

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KENDALL TOOLE

  • Top Peloton Fitness Instructor - "Never Knocked Out"
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Athlete, community builder, and mental health advocate Kendall Toole is a lightning rod of energy and natural-born fighter who knows how to harness the collective attention in any room. A top Peloton fitness instructor, Kendall is also a content creator and lifestyle entrepreneur on a purpose-driven mission to empower others. Kendall is passionate about destigmatizing mental health and is an ambassador for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and considers her own mental health journey a part of what makes her powerful.

Kendall spent time as a multi-sport athlete, amateur boxer, and actress, and realized her drive to change culture and empower communities, particularly women, to step into their light. This ultimately led Kendall to her role at Peloton, which has catapulted her into pop culture stardom and viral reach on social media. Kendall has quickly become one of the most influential names in health & fitness and has amassed a loyal fanbase through her ability to stay “Never Knocked Out.” Through her in-demand classes, content, and speaking engagements, Kendall leaves a positive mark on her audiences by motivating those around her to find their voice and believe in their inner strength.

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VIVIAN TU

  • Wall Street Trader-Turned-Expert Educator
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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 SeminarForbes’ Top Creator eventBuzzFeed’s Content Creators Showcase, Glow Recipe’s Empowerment SummitNextShark’s AAPI College Readiness Conference, and Her Campus Media’s Her Conference, to name just a few.

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KEECHANT SEWELL

  • SVP of Security & Guest Experience, The Mets at Citi Field
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Leadership and security expert Keechant Sewell is currently the Senior Vice President of Security and Guest Experience for the Mets at Citi Field. Previously, Sewell was a U.S. police officer and administrator who served as the 45th New York City Police Commissioner, where she oversaw a comprehensive strategy focused on the safety of New Yorkers and improving core features of the NYPD. During her tenure, Sewell launched the Innovation Steering Committee, which made nearly 250 recommendations for improved data analytics, community engagement, technology, officer safety, and more. She has also leveraged technology to better connect to the public and keep officers and the city safe, in addition to a myriad of crime-reduction strategies. Sewell has forged meaningful and lasting relationships between the Department and communities, businesses, elected leaders, and government agencies. Sewell’s innovative leadership has resulted in a more diverse workforce, measurable results, and community initiatives. Sewell brings a unique perspective to topics including innovative leadership, manager effectiveness, teambuilding, and public safety.

Sewell has the distinction of becoming the first sitting NYPD Commissioner to be named “PBA Person of the Year” and recognized with the first annual Torch Award from MovementForward Inc., among numerous other awards and accolades. She is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, where she was selected to give the commencement address. To learn more on transforming institutions through innovation both human and digital, turn to Sewell’s expertise spanning both the private and public sectors.

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SEAN EVANS

  • Emmy Nominated Host & Co-Creator of 'Hot Ones'
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Emmy-nominated Hot Ones host Sean Evans has two superpowers: interviewing celebrities and eating extremely spicy foods. Against the odds, he's managed to combine the two into the massively popular YouTube show Hot Ones on First We Feast. Each week, Evans shares a plate of progressively spicier chicken wings with his celebrity guests, eliciting some of the most hilarious and honest answers you've ever seen from stars like Kevin Hart, Gordon Ramsay, and Jennifer Lawrence. Hot Ones has spawned a worldwide base of 8M+ YouTube fans and has racked up almost 60M views.

Despite his extreme tactics, Hot Ones guests respect Evans' deeply researched questions and commitment to his craft. The Chicago native grew up studying heroes like David Letterman and Howard Stern – and gaining an appreciation for extra-hot salsa from his dad – before cutting his teeth as a Complex News host. His interviews with the likes of Allen Iverson and Manny Pacquiao made him a favorite on the sports-media circuit, and his willingness to try just about anything – including a day of The Rock's diet and fitness regimen – helped propel his online profile. Evans has been nominated for and won several Webby Awards and was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show host in 2021.

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NATE BERKUS

  • Award-Winning American Interior Designer
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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 BazaarVOGUE, 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 ShowAmerican 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.

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GEOFF DUNCAN

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

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EUGENE DANIELS

  • White House Correspondent
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Politico White House correspondent and Playbook author Eugene Daniels draws on his vast experience in the political sphere to offer vital insights and moderate timely conversations. Since joining Politico in 2018, Daniels has covered the midterms, the Democratic presidential primary, and the general election through print, video, journalism, and podcasts. As White House correspondent, he focuses on Vice President Kamala Harris, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, the Second Gentleman, and emerging power players in Washington. During the country’s reckoning with race in 2020, Daniels moderated Politico's “Confronting Inequality” Town Hall series that examined how inequities in policing, housing, healthcare, education, and employment permeate and plague the United States.

Daniels is a Senior Contributor for MSNBC’s Morning Joe and a frequent guest on PBS’ Washington Week. He has been featured in Forbes and The Advocate, among many others. Prior to Politico, Daniels covered elections and national politics as a political reporter at Newsy, after starting his career in local television in Colorado Springs. As an engaging moderator and compelling keynote speaker, Daniels shares his unparalleled perspective on culture and diversity, what’s to come in U.S. politics and policy, and how the media and voters are making sense of the headlines.

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VAL DEMINGS

  • U.S. Representative (D-FL, 2017-2023)
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Former Congresswoman and Orlando Police Chief Val Demings is a rising political star who has made an impact with her message, “everyone counts, and everyone is accountable.” A lifelong public servant, Demings broke numerous glass ceilings in her rise through the Orlando Police Department, her election to Congress, her appointment to prosecute the first impeachment of former president Donald Trump, her campaign for Senate in Florida, and her consideration as a potential running mate to President Joe Biden. She is heralded as a tireless champion for public safety, civil rights, the rule of law, and the American Dream – Demings shares her perspective and insights as a riveting keynote speaker.

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

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LAURA BARRÓN-LÓPEZ

  • White House Correspondent, PBS ‘Newshour’
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White House Correspondent and political analyst Laura Barrón-López is an expert on current U.S. politics. She is the White House Correspondent for the PBS NewsHour, where she covers the Biden administration for the nightly news broadcast. She is also a political analyst on CNN. Her expertise in U.S. government affairs reflects over a decade of covering breaking news in politics. Previously, Barrón-López was a White House reporter for POLITICO, where she covered the national Presidential election. She has led the Washington Examiner’s coverage of the Democratic Party, coverage of Congress for HuffPost, and coverage of environmental policy for The Hill. Barrón-López’s sharp analysis, compelling storytelling, and engaging presentation style captivate audiences globally.

Barrón-López is an expert on the hottest political issues on voters’ minds today. Her voice has been sought by UVA’s Miller Center, the Texas Tribune Festival, the Atlantic Festival, the Professional Women in Advocacy Conference, and more. Pairing personal stories from her time as a reporter with her in-depth knowledge of current events, Barrón-López leaves audiences feeling inspired and informed.

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MARGARET HOOVER

  • Host of PBS' 'Firing Line with Margaret Hoover'
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Political commentator, bestselling author, and gay rights activist Margaret Hoover is the host of PBS’ Firing Line with Margaret Hoovera smart, civil, and engaging contest of ideas. Firing Line is a public affairs, multi-platform program that engages in long-form interviews and a rigorous exchange of ideas with the guiding principle that civil discourse is a civic responsibility. A CNN contributor, Ms. Hoover has served in The White House under President George W. Bush, in the Department of Homeland Security, on Capitol Hill and on two presidential campaigns. A gifted analyst and moderator, Ms. Hoover connects with a broad audience to amplify bipartisan solutions to the pressing challenges facing American businesses and individuals.

Ms. Hoover is the bestselling author of American Individualism: How a New Generation of Conservatives Can Save the Republican Party, and her writing has appeared in The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalThe New York Daily NewsThe Daily BeastCNN.com, and FoxNews.com. She is the President of American Unity Fund – a political organization focused on achieving full freedom and equality for LGBT Americans. Ms. Hoover serves on the boards of Stanford University's Hoover Institution, the Hoover Presidential Foundation, the Belgian American Educational Foundation, The Markle Foundation, and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. A persuasive and impassioned speaker, Ms. Hoover brings a unique perspective to topics including individualism, the future of politics, and more.

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JOHN AVLON

  • Senior Political Analyst and Anchor, CNN
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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 NationWingnutsWashington’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.

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RON KLAIN

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

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

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JAMES LAPINE

  • Award-Winning Playwright, Director, and Screenwriter
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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.

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JOHN J. SULLIVAN

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

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AMANDA GORMAN

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

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

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

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SANNA MARIN

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

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DR. LUANA MARQUES

  • Global Speaker, Author, Executive Coach
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Researcher, clinician, and author Dr. Luana Marques radiates an energetic blend of personal charisma and scholarly depth. Dr. Luana has emerged as a powerful force in the global speaking circuit, with former hosts including the Harvard Club of the United Kingdom, Moody's Shared Services, NAMI, and more. She is known for her captivating presence and dynamic storytelling that weaves together the threads of her personal journey and professional expertise to inspire transformation in her audiences.

Dr. Luana’s personal story of overcoming adversity, trauma, and poverty while growing up in Brazil provides authenticity and depth to her message. Today, as an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School, Past President of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, and bestselling author, Dr. Luana is a paragon of resilience, determination, and boldness. Through decades of work, Dr. Luana has been relentless in her goal of equipping everyone, everywhere, with skills to thrive. Everyone who attends her events leaves with a personalized plan to overcome challenges and make their next bold move toward what matters most. Dr. Luana’s hidden superpower comes through during Q&A’s, where she meets people where they are and provides them with tools to get unstuck in real-time. Dr. Luana’s commitment to actionable insights sets her apart, leaving her audiences inspired and armed with science-backed tools for change.

Dr. Luana's influential work has been recognized in numerous high-profile platforms, including The Washington PostWall Street Journal, BIG THINK, ForbesThe New York TimesGood Morning America, and Face the Nation. She is the author of the critically acclaimed book Bold Move, A 3-Step Plan to Transform Anxiety into Power – a testament to her ability to translate complex scientific insights into actionable strategies. Whether she's addressing a roomful of CEOs, community leaders, or corporate teams, she empowers them with science-backed tools that they can implement immediately to catalyze change.

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WENDY K. SMITH

  • Organizational Psychologist & Leading Expert on the Power of Paradox
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Management thought leader and award-winning organizational psychologist Wendy K. Smith is on a mission to help individuals and organizations turn our problems into possibilities. Smith currently holds the prestigious title of Dana J. Johnson Professor of Management and serves as the faculty director of the Women's Leadership Initiative at the Lerner College of Business and Economics, University of Delaware. Wendy is also one of the youngest people named as an Academy of Management Fellow. As an organizational psychologist, she is a leading expert on the power of paradox - applying both/and thinking to help us innovate, change and generate more creative, sustainable solutions to our toughest challenges. In her talks, Wendy brings science-based research to life with real world stories to both captivate and motivate her audiences.

Smith is the author of Both/And Thinking: Embracing Creative Tensions to Solve Your Toughest Problems, named a Top 10 Management Book by Thinkers50, a finalist for the Next Big Idea Award, and a #1 Amazon New Release. Smith and co-author Marianne Lewis were awarded the Thinkers50 Breakthrough Idea Award for these groundbreaking ideas. Wendy is also an award-winning scholar. She has been named the Web of Science Highly Cited Researchers for being among the top 1% most-cited researchers for 5 years in a row. She has published her research in influential journals such as the Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, Organization Science, and Management Science, while also reaching beyond academia to publish in Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Fast Company, Newsweek, and others. As a compelling and engaging teacher, she won the MBA Excellence in Teaching Award 5 times.

Beyond accolades and awards, Wendy's passion lies in helping leaders worldwide tackle the complex challenges of interpersonal dynamics, team performance, organizational change, and innovation to transform their organizations and the world. Approachable, insightful, and globally revered, she continues to shape the future of management thinking.

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GREG CREED

  • Former CEO & COO of Taco Bell & Yum! Brands
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Unconventional brand leader and former CEO of Yum! Brands and Taco Bell Greg Creed is known for his skill in building transformative, courageous workplace cultures. His landmark campaigns lifted Taco Bell into a period of profound growth. He was awarded Restaurant Business’s Restaurant Leader of the Year and named an “Industry Titan” by the Women’s Foodservice Forum. Creed’s book, R.E.D. Marketing: The Three Ingredients of Leading Brands (R.E.D. stands for relevance, ease, and distinctiveness), distills his hard-earned wisdom into actionable practices for any brand. As one of the most respected voices in his industry, Creed’s perspective is a unique window into how culture, branding, and innovation can thrive in harmony. Qu Beyond’s podcast said, “Greg is relatable, down-to-earth, humble, self-deprecating, and brilliant."

Creed is currently Founder and CEO of the unconventional consultancy firm UnCo, helping companies with brand building, franchising, culture, and leadership. He serves on the boards of Whirlpool Corporation, Aramark Corporation, and Delta Airlines. He also currently serves as advisor to the CEO and Board of Directors of Thanx Inc and is Chairman of Quid. He has spoken at industry-leading venues such as the Global Restaurant Leadership Conference, National Restaurant Association, Restaurant Leadership Conference, KBP Foods, and more. Creed’s engagements provide a rich repository of cases, learnings, and laughs that leave audiences feeling energized and motivated.

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KIM SCOTT

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

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ERIK LOGAN

  • Former CEO of World Surf League
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Transformational leader Erik Logan has a diverse portfolio that spans talent management startups, technology, cable networks, and sports league management, most notably as the CEO of the World Surf League (WSL) and President of the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). At WSL, Logan redefined the sport by introducing game-changing formats and partnerships with platforms like ABC, HBO, and Apple TV+, achieving record audiences and revenues. His previous role at OWN was marked by a turnaround that led the network to unprecedented ratings and revenues, reinforcing his reputation for innovation and growth.

Throughout his career, including tenures at XM Satellite Radio, Citadel Broadcasting, and CBS/Infinity, Logan has excelled in nurturing new talent and fostering innovative environments. His leadership style is characterized by a commitment to executive growth, a passion for business excellence, and an aptitude for recognizing industry trends, making him a catalyst for change and success in diverse sectors.

Whether leading a sports league to its best performance in over 40 years or driving a media network to become #1 in its key target demographics, Logan consistently demonstrates an uncanny ability to revolutionize how audiences interact with content. As an avid supporter of the growth mindset, Logan inspires a culture of continuous learning, innovation, and adaptability through his leadership and motivational speaking engagements.

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JOHN R. MILES

  • Expert on Intentional Behavior Change, Leadership, and Personal Mastery
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Former U.S. Navy officer, Fortune 50 senior executive, entrepreneur, author, and award-winning podcast host John R. Miles is a recognized expert on intentional behavior change, leadership, personal mastery, and the transformative power of "mattering." Founder & CEO of Passion Struck®, his globally renowned podcast, Passion Struck with John R. Miles, has garnered tens of millions of downloads and consistently holds the title of the #1 alternative health podcast worldwide, securing its place among the top 100 on Apple Podcasts. His syndicated national radio show, "Passion Struck with John R. Miles," is heard by millions weekly. John has interviewed David Rubenstein, Seth Godin, Susan Cain, Gretchen Rubin, Robin Sharma, Daniel Pink, Rachel Hollis, Jim Kwik, Arthur Brooks, & countless others. In a world where success is often measured by influence and impact, Miles has earned his place among the world's foremost thought leaders, leaving an indelible mark as a beacon of inspiration and change.

With over 25 years of leadership experience, Miles is frequently sought after as an advisor by many of the world's top companies and their executives. His leadership has been credited with generating billions of dollars in sales and advising two unicorn startups. However, his true passion lies in coaching and mentoring individuals to live a passion-struck life in every area. The story of his journey as a U.S. Naval Academy graduate exemplifying the principles of leadership and personal growth are a part of his debut book, Passion Struck: Twelve Powerful Principles to Unlock Your Purpose and Ignite Your Most Intentional Life (due out in early 2024). Passion Struck was chosen as one of February 2024's "Must-Read Books" by the Next Big Idea Club.

For more information, visit www.passionstruck.com or www.johnrmiles.com.

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THAI RANDOLPH

  • Award-Winning Marketer, Entrepreneur, Business Leader, and Architect of NextGen Entertainment Companies
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Thai Randolph was most recently CEO of Kevin Hart’s global media company HARTBEAT, fundraising over $100M. As an award-winning marketer, business leader and architect of NextGen media companies, Thai has been honored on Variety and Entrepreneur's "Women of Impact" lists and AdAge's "40 Under 40," to name a few.

She has built her career at the intersection of content, commerce, and community and led the launch of Women Write Now – a first-of-its-kind screenwriting fellowship developed in partnership with the Sundance Institute and HARTBEAT to champion the next generation of Black women in comedy through mentorship, advocacy, production, and exhibition. Continuing her mission to carve out spaces for overlooked – yet influential – voices in the industry, Randolph and co-founder/actress Tika Sumpter also launched Sugaberry, an audio-first media company for and by Black women – and co-host the Gracie-award winning podcast, The Suga.

Thai’s leadership perspective is in demand at high profile events such as Advertising Week, CES, Sundance, SXSW, Cannes Lions Festival, The Wrap’s TheGrill, Variety’s Inclusion and Entertainment Summits, Future of Television Conference, Digital Entertainment World, Adobe’s Digital Marketing Conference, YouTube's Publisher Summit, Cynopsis’ Big TV Conference, and Streaming Media East, among others. As a result-focused and empathetic leader, she continues to advocate for inclusive representation in entertainment and advertising, pay equity across industries and maternal and mental health for women and people of color.

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JODY AVIRGAN

  • Host of TED's 'Good Sport' Podcast, ESPN's '30 for 30' Podcasts, and More
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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.

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ASAF KOCHAN

  • Co-Founder and President of Sentra
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Visionary leader in digital security Brig.-Gen. (Res.) Asaf Kochan spearheads strategic initiatives leaving an indelible mark on the landscape of cybersecurity. Kochan is a distinguished former IDF Commander of Unit 8200 and held a senior position in the Israeli Prime Minister’s office. Beyond his prominent military career, Kochan’s visionary leadership extends into the private sector. In 2021, Asaf co-founded Sentra, a groundbreaking cybersecurity company headquartered in Israel. As the President of Sentra, he leverages his extensive experience to spearhead a transformative mission at the intersection of data-centric security and cloud-first innovation. As a seasoned practitioner of state-level cybersecurity, Kochan possesses an unparalleled grasp of the complex dynamics of contemporary digital environments and excels in providing innovative solutions.

Kochan’s contributions to both policy and technology have not only shaped the trajectory of cybersecurity but have also paved the way for cloud-first enterprises to thrive securely in an era in which big data reigns supreme. He has been invited by Calcalist, Cyber Week, CyberTechNYC, Maschmeyer Group, Hapag Lloyd AG, and more to share his perspective on cybersecurity and industry. Kochan breaks down complex security topics into digestible action items aimed at educating individuals or organizations on the nuances of cyber security today.

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DAVE FISHWICK

  • Star of Massive Netflix #1 Hit Movie 'Bank of Dave'
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Founder, Sunday Times bestselling author, and many-time entrepreneur Dave Fishwick is building the first new high street bank in over 120 years in Britain - Burnley Savings and Loans Ltd, also called The Bank of Dave. A many-time entrepreneur of six multi-million-pound businesses in the UK and America, Dave is the largest supplier of minibuses in the UK and an experienced pilot of planes and helicopters who hosts the fastest-growing aviation TikTok channel in the world, with over 55M combined views. He is a champion of grit, ingenuity, and taking on seemingly impossible challenges. Dave’s journey taking on the banks in a ‘Dave and Goliath’ style struggle became the subject of his Sunday Times bestselling book, Bank of Dave: How I Took On the Banks, and many subsequent documentaries.

The movie Bank of Dave hit #1 on Netflix, won Best Feature at the National Film Awards, and took Dave on a massive global speaking tour. Netflix is at work on the Bank of Dave sequel – the fastest commissioned move sequel in Netflix history.

Dave has been the star and subject of many TV shows, including Bank of Dave, Bank of Dave: Fighting the Fat Cats, Secret Millions, and the award-winning Loan Ranger series – looking at how payday loan companies exploit the poor, vulnerable, and desperate. Dave has won multiple BAFTA Awards and the prestigious Royal Television Society Award. He is a regular contributor as The Business and Money Expert on ITV with GMB and This Morning, and has been featured on CNBC, BBC, CNN, and more, and he writes for Mail Online, Daily Mail, and The Mail On Sunday.

Dave left school with no qualifications, and started off in life as a builder’s laborer. Now, he’s opened the first new high street bank in Britain in over 120 years - and then Hollywood turned up and made a movie about his life, which has been a global hit.

Dave is an expert on entrepreneurship, business, and finance, and he shares the story behind taking on seemingly impossible challenges, offering valuable lessons for businesses big and small

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JERMAINE STONE

  • President and CEO of Cru Luv Wines
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Cru Luv Wine's President and CEO Jermaine Stone was raised worlds away from wine country with plans to become a rapper. By 19, he had the attention of prominent figures in music including Chris Lighty and LL Cool J, but a temporary job packing boxes at Zachys Wine Auctions persuaded him to make a career in fine wine. Jermaine began an accomplished 9-year career, rising to the position of Logistics Manager, overseeing the inbound and outbound transport of $60M worth of fine wine annually. Jermaine became one of the founding Directors of Wally’s Auctions, where he co-created and implemented a full client experience. In addition to major operational roles, he provided strategic advice to Wally’s President and VP, and served as an auctioneer and public speaker at commercial and charity auctions.

Jermaine is the Founder and CEO of Cru Luv Selections, a New York-based wine branding and marketing firm dedicated to blending the best elements of wine and hip-hop culture. He is also the Founder of The Original Wine & Hip Hop Festival, which hosts events, diverse tastings, and master classes. Jermaine is the host of the critically acclaimed podcast, Wine and Hip-Hop and the Street Somm series with Tastemade+In signature events that are both educational and elevated, Jermaine brings his expertise to bespoke themed events pairing hip-hop music and wine.

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EDWARD ENNINFUL

  • Trailblazing Fashion Icon
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Regarded as one of the most influential voices in fashion, Edward Enninful OBE has helped bring widespread distinction to the British and global fashion industry. Enninful has spent over three decades promoting minority and ethnically diverse talent, striving to eliminate ethnic exclusion in the industry by uplifting and giving regular exposure to underrepresented topics, talent, and models. Enninful was the youngest-ever fashion director for an international publication, i-D, at age eighteen. By 1998, he became a contributing fixture at Vogue Italia, catapulting him into world recognition as a leading stylist and cultural contributor. Here, as an advocate for diverse voices, Enninful spearheaded the landmark, transformative publication of “The Black Issue.” From Vogue Italia, Enninful continued to use his voice to make a positive impact in the industry with roles at American Vogue, W Magazine, and most recently British Vogue. Enninful is the only Black person in the history of Vogue globally to serve as Editor-in-Chief. Upon his appointment, the CEO of Condé Nast International called Enninful “an influential figure in the communities of fashion, Hollywood and music which shape the cultural zeitgeist.”

In addition to his editorial work, Enninful has helped shape some of the most influential international fashion houses as a stylist, through his creative input coordinating fashion shoots for magazines, catwalk shows, reinventing brands, and high-profile advertising campaigns. Enninful’s dedication to diversity in the fashion industry was honored with a presentation of an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Enninful has also received the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator and the Trailblazer Award at the British Fashion Awards. The Powerlist 2024 named him the U.K.’s “Most Powerful Black Person.” His experiences are compiled in his memoir, A Visible Man and a SHOWstudio film, The Seven Deadly Sins of Edward Enninful. Enninful’s decades of driving culture provide a unique perspective on culture, creativity, and diversity, insights vital to any individual or organization.

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DR. LISA DAMOUR

  • New York Times Bestselling Author of 'Untangled', 'Under Pressure', and 'The Emotional Lives of Teenagers'
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Three-time New York Times bestselling author, podcaster, and thought leader Dr. Lisa Damour is known for her critically-acclaimed books UntangledUnder 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.

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TOM ABBOTT

  • Accomplished Broadcaster, Host, and Emcee
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Accomplished sports broadcaster, host, and emcee Tom Abbott brings a polished and engaging energy to his work as a sought-after host and emcee. During his time at the GOLF Channel, Abbott has worked on numerous major championships and Solheim Cup broadcasts, and has contributed to NBC Sports Group’s Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup tournament coverage. He was part of the NBC Sports Broadcast team for both the Rio and Tokyo Summer Olympics and reported on Biathlon for NBC Sports at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Abbott is an accomplished speaker and host for groups including Chevron, Evian, AIG, MGM Resorts, Dow Chemical, and The Rolex LPGA Awards – which he has hosted for the past decade.

Abbott is the youngest person in U.S. television history to broadcast The Ryder Cup, Solheim Cup, Walker Cup and Presidents Cup – completing this quartet in his early-thirties. He has reported on some of the game’s most memorable moments, including the 2009 Open at Turnberry when Tom Watson made a historic run at the Claret Jug, and from Copenhagen on the vote to restore golf as an Olympic sport. Previously, he contributed to several of the network’s original production projects, most notably the original series, Big Break, where he served as host for 11 seasons.

Abbot consistently receives rave reviews, such as: "Tom is the consummate professional – intelligent and engaging, the ultimate combination. His preparation takes place behind the scenes but is extensive and results in flawless execution when he has a microphone in hand. His delivery and engagement with audiences allows his personality to shine through and create what feels like individual connections with audience members." (Chevron)

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DAMAR HAMLIN

  • Professional Football Player
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NFL player, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Damar Hamlin inspires audiences with his vision for making an impact through his life and work. Hamlin has always put his family and his community first. As he told the Point Park Globe, "I wanted to give my city bragging rights, bring my city something and just give the city another reason to smile." While playing football at the University of Pittsburgh he was named first-team All-State and the Class AAAA Defensive Player of the Year. Hamlin plays starting safety for the Buffalo Bills, standing out as a leader on the team early in his NFL career. While still in school, Hamlin launched his popular Chasing M's clothing brand – which “tells the story of your come up through clothing and puts a community of like-minded people behind you to help achieve the life you want.” While expanding his portfolio as a fashion entrepreneur, he created The Chasing M’s Foundation – a vehicle to bring lasting impact to his community supporting toy drives, back-to-school drives, kids’ camps, and more, and recently launched a charity weekend featuring a youth football camp, charity softball game, and an All-Star game. Hamlin shares his perspective on leadership and standing up for those who need it the most in sought-after speaking engagements.

During a Monday Night Football game on January 2nd, 2023, Hamlin completed what looked like a routine tackle, only to collapse on the field moments after. He had suffered a cardiac arrest – and received swift medical attention as teammates and fans looked on in shock. His heartbeat was restored on the field, and he was rushed to emergency care. In the coming days, Damar’s teammates and fans were relieved to hear he was making progress. Communicating by writing on a clipboard due to his breathing tube, Damar asked, “did we win?” His trauma surgeon replied, “Yes, Damar, you won. You won the game of life.”

In his first public comments since his cardiac arrest, Hamlin shared on social media that he is thankful for the love he has received and asks for continued prayers for the long road ahead. In a massive show of support, fans donated to Hamlin’s 2020 GoFundMe campaign for The Chasing M’s Foundation’s annual toy drive. Dozens of NFL players, coaches, and executives donated to the campaign, which has raised over $9M so far. Hamlin has received the Variety Sports and Entertainment Social Impact Award, the 2023 Alan Page Community Award, the 2023 George Halas Award, presented the Pat Tillman Award at the ESPY Awards to the Bills training staff, and has been honored by the city of Pittsburgh with Damar Hamlin Day on July 9th. A gifted and motivational speaker, Hamlin illuminates how his faith and gratitude have helped him overcome obstacles, and offers motivational insights about entrepreneurship, community impact, and authentic leadership.

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DAVID POLLACK

  • Former NFL Linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals
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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).

 

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DR. MYRON ROLLE

  • Neurosurgeon and Inventor of Rolle Scoring System - A public health rating scale to prevent traumatic brain injury
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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.”

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MONICA PUIG

  • Former Professional Tennis Player
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Professional tennis player and ESPN commentator Monica Puig is celebrated as the first-ever Puerto Rican to win an Olympic gold medal. Monica’s professional career, which spanned for over a decade and with a career high ranking of #27, saw her win one WTA title (Strasbourg, 2014) as well as reaching the finals of four additional WTA events. Monica’s biggest victory, and the one that changed her life forever, was becoming the first ever gold medal winner for Puerto Rico by winning the women’s singles title at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The win in Brazil captivated a nation and propelled her to overnight stardom both in her home country of Puerto Rico as well as in many other parts of Central and Latin America.

Monica announced her retirement from tennis in the spring of 2022 and has since transitioned into a role with ESPN and the Tennis Channel, where she covers a number of tennis events around the world as both a commentator, host, and guest analyst. She has also fulfilled roles for ESPN around the 2022 MLB All-Star Game and is expanding into other areas of sports, business, and the entertainment world. As part of her transition from a championed tennis player, Monica is competing in three marathons this year as well as the Augusta Half Iron Man. In engaging and motivational talks, Monica shares lessons in cultivating an athlete’s mindset, overcoming adversity, women in sports, and her historic Olympic win.

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CARL NASSIB

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

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

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SEAN FOLEY

  • Famed Golf Instructor
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One of the biggest names in golf instruction, Sean Foley has coached three professional players to the number one ranking in the sport. Foley’s clients include three-time PGA TOUR winner Cameron Champ, Lydia Ko, and arguably the greatest player of all time Tiger Woods. Foley’s players have won a total of 56 professional events spanning many worldwide professional golf tours. His core teaching philosophy is driven by a passion to help golfers evolve into the best players and people they can be. Sean shares these takeaways for peak performance and success with audiences including MetLife, Grant Thornton, Home Depot, Zendesk, MIT Sloan Analytics, Dell, and more.

Sean has been the host of some of the most widely viewed content on NBC’s GolfPass. Having written countless instruction articles, Sean was the youngest coach ever to be included on the masthead at Golf Digest. He has been ranked in the top five greatest coaches for over a decade in Golf Digest’s annual rankings and was ranked the best instructor by PGA TOUR players twice. Sean has also been featured on the front cover of Golf Digest twice. Foley has coached countless celebrities, titans of industry, and world leaders from around the globe.

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NIGEL SYLVESTER

  • Professional BMX Athlete
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Professional BMX athlete, creative, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Nigel Sylvester is one of the most culturally relevant cyclists today. Sylvester was catapulted to the forefront of the sports world due to his progressive riding style, innovative content creation, and one-of-a-kind artistic expression and style. He has been a Jordan Brand signed athlete, featured in countless global and digital campaigns. Sylvester created ‘GO Ride,’ hosting a first-of-its-kind transatlantic 30-mile bike ride in London and New York City in honor of World Bicycle Day. His drive to give back led him to start the Nigel Sylvester Foundation, dedicated to transforming the lives of underserved youth, uniting diverse communities, and more. Today, Sylvester is one of the most widely recognized athletes in the world.

Sylvester is known for his outspoken advocacy, grit, and innovative creativity. Sylvester was featured in ESPN’s ‘Body Issue’ and included in Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30” list. Sylvester has spoken to Nike, Samsung, Chase, UNLOQ, Fashion Tech Forum, eBay, StockX, Complex, Gillette, Oakley about his many achievements across sports, business, and media.

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JONNY WILKINSON

  • Former Rugby Union Player
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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.

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DANNY HURLEY

  • Head Coach of UConn Men's Basketball
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Head Coach of UConn Men’s Basketball Danny Hurley led the Huskies to a National Title in one of the most impressive March Madness runs in history, defeating San Diego State 76-59. When he became the 19th head coach in the history of UConn basketball, it didn’t take long for him to put his stamp on the program. Hurley was the architect of two previous college basketball rebuilding projects and returned the Huskies to national prominence. From unranked to National Champions, Hurley shares insights from this story of perseverance, hard work, and incredible leadership.

Hurley has taken charge of four struggling hoop programs – St. Benedict’s Prep, Wagner College, the University of Rhode Island, and UConn – and built them into competitors on the national stage. He has been honored with the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year Award, multiple USBWA District I Coach of the Year Awards, and has sent multiple players to NBA teams. Drawing on his unmatched experience rebuilding multiple programs, Hurley offers actionable takeaways in maximizing personnel, the art of perseverance, and leadership 101.

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DYLAN ALCOTT

  • 4x Gold Medal Paralympian & Golden Slam Champion
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Paralympian, disability advocate, author, and philanthropist Dylan Alcott AO is one of Australia’s most successful and well-recognized Paralympians. A multisport Olympian, Alcott was the youngest member of the gold-medal winning team at the Beijing 2008 Paralympics, competing in wheelchair basketball. After winning silver at London in 2012, Dylan returned to wheelchair tennis, winning 15 Grand Slam tournaments as well as double Paralympic gold in Rio. In 2021, Dylan became the only male in any form of tennis to win the ‘Golden Slam’ – winning the Australian, French, Wimbledon, and US Open Championships. Dylan has been in high demand as a speaker, with powerhouse talks for TEDx, Johnson & Johnson, Oracle, Salesforce, McDonalds, Meta, LinkedIn, Deloitte, and more.

Alcott was named Australian of the Year in 2022, and GQ Australia called him “a champion for the ages.” In 2017, Dylan launched the Dylan Alcott Foundation with a mission to help young Australians with a disability achieve their goals in the workplace, on the sporting field, or at university. Alcott is also the Founder of Get Skilled Access – a consulting firm committed to making inclusion a reality for organizations of any size. Dylan was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2022 for distinguished service to Paralympic sport, particularly to tennis, and as a role model for people with disability, and to the community through a range of organizations.

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ANTONIA HYLTON

  • Correspondent, NBC News & MSNBC
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Peabody and two-time Emmy-winning correspondent, producer, and author Antonia Hylton reports at the intersection of politics, civil rights, and immigration. She is currently a correspondent for NBC News and MSNBC. From 2016 to 2020, Antonia was a Correspondent and Producer for Vice Media and HBO’s nightly news and documentary show, Vice News Tonight. Since 2019, she has served as an annual judge for the American Mosaic Journalism Prize. She is the co-host of the hit podcasts Southlake and Grapevine, and author of the book Madness: Race and Insanity in a Jim Crow Asylum. Hylton reports on the hardest-hitting stories of today, shaping the conversations beyond the headlines with her sharp critical analysis.

Hylton is one of the most respected journalists of her generation, winning a Peabody, two Emmy Awards, two Gracie Awards, a NAMIC Vision Award, and two Front Page Awards for special reporting and breaking news. She was named to Forbes’ “30 Under 30 - Media.” Beyond the professional sphere, she has conquered a rare form of colon cancer and is an outspoken advocate for preventative care and screenings. Hylton’s will to change the world and dedication to storytelling are consistent across her award-winning journalism, public health advocacy, and live engagements.

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MALLIKA CHOPRA

  • CEO of Chopra Global
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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 BreatheJust 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.

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RAHUL JANDIAL

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

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

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GABRIELLA KAREFA-JOHNSON

  • Global Contributing Fashion Editor at Large for Vogue
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Global Fashion Editor, Fashion Director, and Stylist Gabriella Karefa-Johnson is known for her stylistic vision and ability to tell stories through an inclusive gaze. A New York-based stylist and editor of Caribbean and West African descent, Karefa-Johnson has a keen eye for up-and-coming designers and a narrative-led approached aimed at diversifying representation in fashion. She worked as an associate fashion editor under fashion director Tonne Goodman at Vogue, and later became Vogue’s Global Contributing Fashion Editor at Large. Karefa-Johnson made history as the first Black woman to style a Vogue cover and has styled more than a dozen international covers of Vogue featuring Serena Williams, Paloma Elsesser, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Amanda Gorman, among many others.

Gabriella is known for her fierce propagation of inclusion in the industry, breaking barriers and disrupting the status quo to tell a more expansive story about the world – one that is full of possibilities. In 2017, she was named Fashion Director of biannual fine art and high fashion publication GARAGE Magazine, where she harnessed her expertise in contemporary American Art, and has served as a guest judge for Netflix’s Next in Fashion. Karefa-Johnson has shared her vision for a more inclusive fashion landscape with groups including Fashion Scholarship Fund, LVMH Prize, Woolmark Prize, Vogue Forces of Fashion, and Barnard’s Class of 2023 Commencement.

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ALLEN HUGHES

  • Emmy Nominated & Peabody Award-Winning Filmmaker
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Award-winning filmmaker Allen Hughes is an accomplished storyteller, whose work explores the American Dream through the lens of pop culture, its intersection with politics, and the global impact of the hip-hop artform. At twenty, Hughes and his twin brother catapulted into the entertainment industry as the creators & directors of Menace II Society. Hughes and his brother are behind the films Dead PresidentsFrom HellThe Book of Eli, and the documentary American Pimp. Hughes is the creative architect behind the critically acclaimed four-part HBO documentary series The Defiant Ones, the stories of Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre. The series was nominated for five Emmys, a Peabody Award, and won the Grammy Award for Best Music Film, the IDA Documentary Award for Best Limited Series, and the NAACP Image Award.

Hughes is the director and executive producer of FX’s Emmy-nominated Dear Mama, the first definitive, comprehensive five-part documentary series on the late hip hop icon Tupac Shakur. The series encompasses his relationship with his mother, Afeni Shakur – a celebrated activist – and was produced with the full cooperation of Shakur’s estate, including access to all his music and poetry. Hughes is also the executive producer of Netflix’s Arnold, the three-part documentary series which chronicles Arnold Schwarzenegger’s journey from the countryside of Austria to the highest echelons of the American dream. The series is produced by Hughes’ production company Defiant Ones Media Group. A documentarian with his attention on the movements and cultural moments that have shaped history, Hughes shares his insights in captivating moderated conversations about the intersection of creativity, art, politics, and culture.

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SHARON MCMAHON

  • "America's Government Teacher"
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Former high school government and law teacher Sharon McMahon is on a mission to curate facts, fun, and inspiration by educating Americans on democracy, politics, and history. After years of serving as a high school government and law teacher, Sharon took her passion for education to Instagram with a mission to combat political misinformation with non-partisan facts. Sharon has earned a reputation as “America’s Government Teacher'' and quickly amassed over a million social media followers, affectionately known as “Governerds.” Sharon is also the host of the award-winning podcast, Here’s Where It Gets Interesting, where, each week, she provides entertaining yet factual accounts of America’s most fascinating moments and people.

In a time where flashy headlines and false information often take the spotlight, Sharon is a reliable source for truth and logic. She has shared her knowledge with CNNThe Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Good Morning America, and has been featured in The Atlantic. She has received PRWeek’s Communicator of the Year Award as well as the noteworthy Jefferson Award.

In all that she does, Sharon encourages others to be world-changing humans. She has led her community in various philanthropic initiatives that have raised more than $7M for teachers, domestic violence survivors, terminally ill children, medical debt forgiveness programs, Ukrainian refugees, and more.

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RAYMOND BRAUN

  • Acclaimed Media Personality, Journalist, Social Influencer, and Entrepreneur
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Three years ago, Raymond Braun had never run more than three miles and was struggling with debilitating Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. In February 2023, Raymond set two World Records by completing 7 Olympic Distance triathlons on all 7 continents in 7 consecutive days. This endeavor was part of his mental health recovery program and aimed to destigmatize conversations about therapy and grief, while honoring his late friend, Maya Amoils, a mental health advocate.

As an award-winning multimedia journalist, producer, and advocate, Raymond now facilitates open conversations on the connection between mental and physical health through documentary storytelling, public speaking, endurance events, and peer-to-peer counseling. He has spoken at prestigious events ranging from the White House to the Forbes CMO Summit, and been featured in numerous media outlets including the New York Times, CNN, and many more.

Raymond struggled with OCD-related challenges throughout his life, masking them behind professional achievements and accolades. He graduated as valedictorian for both his B.A. and M.A. degrees from Stanford University. He went on to hold leadership positions at YouTube and Bumble, founded a creative consultancy with prestigious clients like CHANEL and Google, and achieved recognition as a GLAAD Award-winning documentary host.

Raymond ultimately found solace and transformation through endurance sports and exposure therapy. He now focuses on mental health awareness, inclusivity in fitness, and sharing inspiring stories of mental and physical transformation to empower others. Raymond's ultimate mission is to prove that individuals possess far greater potential than their self-limiting thoughts, stereotypes, and societal pressures suggest.

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JEFF KOONS

  • Renowned Contemporary Artist & Sculptor
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Iconic contemporary artist and sculptor Jeff Koons is one of the most prominent artists working today. Koons is known for challenging limitations while engaging viewers in a dialogue about the present moment and our historical past. For four decades, Koons has created works that explore themes of self-acceptance and transcendence. He is widely known for his bold paintings and sculptures, including Rabbit, Michael Jackson and Bubbles, Puppy, and Balloon Dog. The smooth, mirror-finished surfaces of his iconic stainless-steel sculptures reflect and affirm viewers and their environments. Since his first solo exhibition in 1980, Koons’s work has been shown in galleries, museums, and cultural institutions throughout the world.

Koons has received numerous awards and honors in recognition of his cultural achievements. He has been a board member of The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) since 2002 and co-founded the Koons Family International Law and Policy Institute with ICMEC for the purpose of combating global issues of child abduction and exploitation and to protect the world’s children.

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AMANDA KNOX

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

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

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MARK HYMAN, MD

  • 15-Time New York Times Bestselling Author
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Practicing family physician and many-time bestselling author Mark Hyman, MD is an internationally recognized leader, speaker, educator, and advocate in the field of Functional Medicine. Dr. Hyman is the founder and director of The UltraWellness Center, founder and Senior Advisor for the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, and Board President for Clinical Affairs for The Institute for Functional Medicine. He is a fifteen-time New York Times bestselling author of The Pegan Diet, Food Fix, and most recently Young Forever – an instant #1 NYT bestseller. Through his writing and in his sought-after talks, Dr. Hyman offers a revolutionary, practical guide to creating and sustaining health – for life.

Dr. Hyman is the co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of Function Health and the founder and chairman of the Food Fix Campaign – dedicated to transforming our food and agriculture system through policy. He is the host of one of the leading health podcasts, The Doctor’s Farmacy, which has over 200M+ downloads. Dr. Hyman is a regular medical contributor to CBS This MorningToday, Fox, CNN, Good Morning AmericaThe View, and CNN.

Through his work to change policy for the betterment of public health, Dr. Hyman has testified before the Senate Working Group on Health Care Reform on Functional Medicine. He has consulted with the surgeon general on diabetes prevention and participated in the 2009 White House Forum on Prevention and Wellness. Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa nominated Dr. Hyman for the President’s Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health. With topics ranging from food as medicine, to disruption in the healthcare system, to how technological advancements like AI will impact our approach to health, Dr. Hyman is an informed, engaging advocate who motivates his audiences toward lasting change.

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KEVIN JAMES

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

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

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PITBULL

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

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

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

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JEN HATMAKER

  • New York Times Bestselling Author of 14 Books
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New York Times bestselling author, award-winning podcaster, and community creator Jen Hatmaker inspires audiences to show up genuinely for their own lives – and believes this will change the world. Jen is the author of 14 books including the NYT bestsellers For the Love, Of Mess and Moxie, and Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire. Her latest book, Feed These People: Slam Dunk Recipes for Your Crew, is jam-packed with easy recipes, big flavors, and Southern wit. Jen is the founder and delighted curator of the Jen Hatmaker Book Club, host of the award-winning For the Love podcast, and she leads a tightly knit online community where she reaches millions of people each week.

Jen is a co-founder of Legacy Collective, a giving organization that grants millions of dollars towards sustainable projects around the world. A highly sought-after motivational speaker, Jen shares uplifting messages about leadership, well-being, authenticity, and finding yourself that resonate with an audience of millions

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JOHN MACK

  • Senior Advisor, Former CEO & Chairman of Morgan Stanley
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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.

 

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BRIAN DERRICK

  • Political Strategist, Civic Activist, and Tech Founder
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Political strategist, activist, and tech founder Brian Derrick is transforming civic engagement with his message: “Stop doomscrolling. Start doing something.” Derrick has built a large online following with his digestible breakdowns of news and politics, including policy, election cycles and voting rights, equality, and more. He is the Founder and CEO of Oath – a civic tech platform supported by Higher Ground Labs. Oath has raised millions of dollars for and engaged hundreds of thousands of people in state and local elections. Derrick is in-demand with groups including Generator Collective, Eleanor’s Legacy, The Next 50, Columbia Law School, and more.

A seasoned political consultant, Derrick has consulted on campaigns from city council to president – most notably for Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Marti Gould Cummings (NYC City Council). Derrick is also a leader in the nonprofit sector. In development roles at Lambda Legal, the country's oldest LGBT civil rights organization, he launched new programs for the next generation of philanthropists. His activism has had lasting impact at organizations including Pelotonia, Equitas Health, and others. Leveraging his experience speaking to individuals and corporations, Derrick offers substantial insight on today’s most pressing issues.

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CHRISTOPHER WORSHAM

  • Critical Care Physician
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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.

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STEPHANIE SCHRIOCK

  • CEO & Organizational Leader, Political Strategist, and Inspirational Visionary
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Organizational leader, political strategist, and senior advisor Stephanie Schriock is a strategic, adaptive leader with a 20-year record of success in both startups and mature organizations. An inspirational visionary, Stephanie’s strengths in management, strategy, and media relations are underpinned by her down-to-earth ability to engage with people from diverse backgrounds and views. From 2010 through 2021, Stephanie was President of EMILY’s List – a national organization dedicated to electing women to office. During her tenure, she tripled its income to $120M, quadrupled its staff to 120, built an online community of over 5M, and trained more than 14K women to run for office. She is the author of Run to Win: A Leadership Guide to Women Who Want to Change the World, an Amazon Editor’s Pick in Best Nonfiction. Stephanie has been sought-after to speak for groups including Yale University, George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management, the Harvard Women in Law Program, America Votes, and more.

Before joining EMILY’s List, Stephanie managed the successful U.S. Senate campaign of Jon Tester in Montana, building a campaign organization from scratch and defeating an 18-year incumbent. She served as Senator Tester’s Chief of Staff until 2010. Stephanie also managed Al Franken’s Senate campaign in Minnesota and was the national finance director for Howard Dean’s presidential campaign, where she pioneered the digital techniques that have since transformed political campaigning and fundraising. She serves on the boards of the Goldman School’s Center on Security in Politics at UC-Berkeley, Priorities USA, and Democracy Docket, and is currently consulting for Precision Strategies, FrontRow, and the Strategic Victory Fund. With expertise spanning leadership, politics, business, and more, Stephanie is an uplifting speaker who offers actionable strategies for growth and empowerment.

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STACY LONDON

  • Style Expert and Media Maven
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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!

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BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD

  • Acclaimed Actress, Director, and Producer
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Bryce Dallas Howard is a multi-hyphenate creator – an actor, director, and educator – who brings decades of experience in the entertainment industry to her insights about navigating emerging technologies and bringing creativity and collaboration to all areas of life.

Coming off the success of her main stage TED conference speech (named one of “the most newsworthy ideas of 2022”), Bryce is thrilled to share more of her adventures and lessons as a third-generation entertainer and as a working mom – from overcoming postpartum depression and public body shaming, to raising a family in the digital age, to running from dinosaurs in Jurassic World and directing Baby Yoda on the set of The Mandalorian.

As an educator and speaker, Bryce taught the Nine Muses Lab as part of the faculty at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. In addition to her weekly lectures at NYU, she has also spoken at the SXSW EDU 2020, Harvard University, New York University Tisch Salute, DGA Awards, AFI Fest, and the Environmental Media Association Honors. Bryce is celebrated for her ability to connect with audiences as a speaker (in-person or remotely) through fireside chats, keynotes, Q&As, and inspirational speeches.

As an actor, Bryce is known for Universal’s Jurassic World franchise, Rocketman, Black Mirror (“Nosedive”), and HBO’s As You Like It, for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination. She next stars in Matthew Vaughn’s spy thriller Argylle coming to theaters February 2024. As a filmmaker, Bryce directed episodes for The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett and the feature documentaries DADS (AppleTV+) and the upcoming PETS. The Founder of Nine Muses Entertainment, she has received numerous accolades for her directing work and has directed multiple commercial campaigns for Canon, Moroccan Oil, Volkswagen, and more.

Bryce’s motivational and energizing keynotes encompass messages about teamwork, women in leadership, building resilience, social media in the 21st century, the tradition of apprenticeship and mentors, and more.

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MICHAEL SPENCE

  • Nobel Laureate, Economic Sciences
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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."

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STEVE AOKI

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

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SARAH POLLEY

  • Oscar-Winning Filmmaker Known for 'Women Talking'
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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.

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BEN WALLACE

  • UK's Longest Serving Conservative Defense Secretary
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Heralded as the United Kingdom’s most experienced Minister in the fields of Defense, Security, and Foreign Affairs, Rt. Hon. Ben Wallace offers extensive expertise in geopolitics and global affairs. Most recently, Wallace occupied the position as NATO’s longest-serving Defense Secretary. His time in office saw Wallace steer both the domestic and international response to Ukraine, Afghanistan, the Salisbury poisoning, the WannaCry cyberattacks, as well as NATO and defense reform. Wallace’s comprehensive experience is sought after by financial institutions, government organizations, and leaders across industries seeking a thorough examination of how geopolitical realities will impact decision-making now and in the future.

Wallace has witnessed first-hand the emergence of new technologies in Defense and the impact on our security. During his tenure as the UK’s longest-serving Conservative Defense Secretary, Wallace published the UK’s first Defense AI strategy as well as established the National Cyber Force. Wallace has worked alongside the Pentagon and the CIA across two U.S. Presidential administrations and was a key facilitator in AUKUS – the U.S./UK/Australian nuclear and technology alliance. Before serving as Defense Secretary, Wallace served as Security Minister, led on counterterrorism, cyber security, counter espionage, and economic crime. A decorated former army officer, Wallace brings first-hand personal experience to global issues. Wallace also brings substantial knowledge of the Middle East and the Pacific theatre, providing an unmatched geostrategic outlook from a European perspective.

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AMBASSADOR TERRY BRANSTAD

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

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STEVE LEDER

  • Senior Rabbi of The Wilshire Boulevard Temple
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Senior Rabbi, award-winning commentator, and New York Times bestselling author Steve Leder has been called one of the most influential rabbis in America (Newsweek). Steve currently serves as the Senior Rabbi of Wilshire Boulevard Temple, a prestigious synagogue in Los Angeles with three campuses and 2,700 families. He is the author of five books: The Extraordinary Nature of Ordinary Things, More Money Than God: Living a Rich Life Without Losing Your Soul, the bestsellers More Beautiful Than Before: How Suffering Transforms Us and The Beauty of What Remains, and the New York Times and LA Times bestseller For You When I Am Gone: Twelve Essential Questions to Tell a Life Story.

Steve is a contributor and guest on The Today Show, CBS Sunday Morning, CNN, and NPR, and writes for TIME, USA Today, Women's Day Magazine, and the Los Angeles Jewish Journal where his Torah commentaries were read weekly by over 50K people. He has a segment on Spectrum 1 News Los Angeles called Wisdom Wednesdays With Rabbi Steve Leder. His sermon on capital punishment was included in an award-winning episode of The West Wing, and he is the creative consultant for the new Netflix series Shiksa produced by Steve Levitan (Modern Family) and written and produced by Erin Foster. He is a highly sought-after speaker who received the Louis Rappaport Award for Excellence in Commentary from the American Jewish Press Association, the Kovler Award from the Religious Action Center in Washington D.C. for his work in Black/Jewish dialogue and has presented twice at the Aspen Ideas Festival.

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BEN HARRIS

  • Vice President and Director of Economic Studies, Brookings Institution
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Prominent economist and author Ben Harris is Vice President and Director of Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution. Harris recently served as Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy and Chief Economist with the U.S. Treasury Department. In this role, Harris was a close adviser to Secretary Yellen, the Administration’s lead official on the price cap on Russian oil, and a key staffer in the development of the Build Back Better legislation. Harris has been a long-time advisor to President Biden, serving as his chief economist in the Obama White House and acting as the senior economic advisor to the Biden campaign. The New York Times called him "the quiet architect of Biden's plan to rescue the economy." Harris has been sought-after for speaking events at the Argus European Crude Conference, MIT Sloan Business School, Harvard Kenney School, American Enterprise Institute, among many others.

Prior to joining Treasury, Harris was the Executive Director of the Kellogg Public-Private Initiative and a research associate professor at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, in addition to serving as the chief economist to the evidence-based policy organization Results for America. Harris recently published The Retirement Challenge with Martin N. Bailey, addressing some of the most vexing problems facing the American retirement system. Harris has also published a variety of academic papers and policy briefs related to topics in public finance and has been regularly cited in media reports related to fiscal policy. His op-eds have been widely published, including frequent publication in the Wall Street Journal. Earlier in his career, he was the policy director of The Hamilton Project, a fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution, and deputy director of the Retirement Security Project.

Covering a wide variety of key topics, Harris is an expert on such timely topics as the macroeconomic economic outlook, Biden Administration policy, global energy markets and the price cap on Russian oil, the debt ceiling, and Congressional negotiations. 

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BARBARA STURM

  • Doctor of Aesthetics and Specialist in Orthopedics
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Leader in aesthetic medicine and entrepreneur Dr. Barbara Sturm is a German aesthetics doctor, widely renowned for her anti-inflammatory philosophy and her non-surgical anti-aging skin treatments. Dr. Sturm began her medical career in orthopedics as part of the team that developed cutting-edge treatments for inflammatory conditions like osteoarthritis. Termed the “Kobe Procedure” after the late NBA basketball star Kobe Bryant, the treatment utilizes the patient’s own blood cells to produce proteins that reduce inflammation and stimulate the healing process. Dr. Sturm then translated science from her clinical research and orthopedic practice into the field of aesthetics and opened her own medical clinic in Düsseldorf. She is the Founder and CEO of Dr. Barbara Sturm Molecular Cosmetics, sharing insights about starting and growing a business in the social media era with authenticity and authority.

As Dr. Sturm continued to innovate and revolutionize the field, she became one of the most sought-after beauty doctors in the world. In 2002, Dr. Sturm developed her famous “MC1," a bespoke plasma-based cream only available to Dr. Sturm’s patients. The potent cream harnesses the power of the body’s own proteins in a skin-healing formula to address the visible signs of inflammation. Dr. Sturm then set out to create a patients-only skincare regimen built around anti-inflammatory, ingredient science, launching her Molecular Cosmetics skincare line in 2006. In illuminating events, Dr. Sturm shares her business acumen, as well as a wealth of information about skincare, solutions to the aging process, and insights for a healthy lifestyle.

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PHIL HANLEY

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

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

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RANDY RAINBOW

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

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

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

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JAELAN PHILLIPS

  • NFL Linebacker for the Miami Dolphins
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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.

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REV RUN

  • Hip-Hop Icon and Front Man of RUN DMC
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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.

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GABBY DOUGLAS

  • Gold Medal Olympic Gymnast and Star Member of the “Fierce Five”
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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.

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GOTHAM CHOPRA

  • Award-Winning Documentary Filmmaker and Producer
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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.

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VICTORIA EADY BUTLER

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

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

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

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TOTO WOLFF

  • Co-Owner, CEO and Team Principal of Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula 1 Team
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Motorsport executive, VC investor, and former racing driver Toto Wolff delivers star power balanced with expertise in high-performance leadership and organizational culture. Toto is the Co-Owner, CEO, and Team Principal of the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team. A former racing driver turned investor, Toto started his career by founding a tech-focused venture capital firm in Austria. He entered F1 with an ownership stake in the Williams F1 Team in 2009, before acquiring a 30% stake (now 33%) in the Mercedes-Benz works team in 2013. Toto has since led the team, featuring the most successful F1 driver of all-time, Lewis Hamilton, to unprecedented heights, winning eight Constructor World Championships and seven Driver World Championships.

Toto’s high-performance leadership philosophy was the subject of a Harvard Business School Case Study in 2022, “Number One in Formula 1.” He regularly visits Harvard to work with MBA students and teach the case study, leading discussions on high-performance leadership and organizational culture. In 2024, Toto will help teach a Harvard Business School course alongside professor Anita Elberse, focusing on how he has led the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 team to historic success. Toto is also an Associate Fellow at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School where he imparts lessons on entrepreneurship and innovation, as well holding an Honorary Doctorate from Cranfield University. In sought after talks, Toto leverages his understanding of winning culture, team leadership, and personal effectiveness.

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TJ ADESHOLA

  • Former VP of Global Content Partnerships, Twitter
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Internationally-recognized media executive TJ Adeshola is a leader at the intersection of tech, media, and culture. Adeshola is the Former Vice President of Global Content Partnerships at Twitter – providing strategic consult for media properties across sports, gaming, entertainment, and news. He helps the biggest media brands in the world leverage Twitter and new media spaces to generate revenue and connect with culture, and TJ shares his actionable takeaways in transformative speaking engagements.

TJ has appeared on CNBC, Good Morning America, ESPN, NBA TV, NFL Network, and more. He has been recognized by the American Advertising Federation as an inductee in the Hall of AchievementSports Business JournalAd Age, and Black Enterprise "40 Under 40" awards, and was named one of 29 "Young Influentials" by Adweek. Through all his ventures, TJ prioritizes amplifying diverse voices across the entertainment, music, and sports industries. Adeshola has been sought after for thought leadership on high profile stages and conferences including including Advertising WeekSXSWCannes LionsCESMIT Sloan and Harvard Business School, the World Congress of Sports and more.

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TIFFANI THIESSEN

  • Creator and Host of 'Dinner at Tiffani's' on Food Network
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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.

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TENOCH HUERTA

  • Actor, Writer, and Film Producer
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Mexican actor, author, and activist Tenoch Huerta brings undeniable complexity and insights to his roles onscreen and his compelling conversations. Best known for his performances in Netflix’s Narcos: MexicoThe Forever PurgeDays of GraceGüeros, and Sin Nombre, Huerta joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe with his character Namor, in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. His work has received widespread praise and catapulted him onto the global stage, where he is leading vital conversations about race, identity, and representation.

Huerta combines his professional career with activism against racism and discrimination and speaks out in favor of various social causes including equality and the construction of new masculinities. He has received numerous accolades for his more than 70 films and television series, including the Ariel Award for Days of Grace and being named one of AP’s “Breakthrough Entertainers of 2022.” Huerta is the author of Orgullo prieto / Brown Pride, the #1 Best Seller on Amazon in its category, which he wrote with young people in mind: “I try to create, as much as I can, a better place to live for them.” Huerta brings star power and passionate insights about inclusivity and social justice to memorable events.

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TAMARA KEITH

  • NPR White House Correspondent
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NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith is the co-host of the NPR Politics podcast – the top political news podcast in America. Keith joined NPR in 2009 as a Business Reporter on topics spanning the business world, from policy debates to technology trends. Serving as the White House correspondent for NPR since 2014, she chronicled the final years of the Obama administration, covered Hillary Clinton’s failed bid for president, and documented the Trump administration. Keith is a sought-after speaker for events with groups including the National Association of State Retirement Administrators, Stable Value Investment Association, Johns Hopkins University, and many others.

Keith serves on the board of the White House Correspondents' Association and is the association's president through the middle of 2023. Her mission for the year of her presidency is to demystify the White House beat for the public, in an effort to help restore trust in the press, an essential pillar of American democracy. She also serves on advisory boards for the University of California Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement and the UC Berkeley J-School. Keith consistently receives glowing reviews for her events, such as: “It was honestly one of our best events (probably our best). She received a standing ovation and I’ve received non-stop kudos to and for her. Fantastic.” (Drury University)

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SHAUN TOMSON

  • World Champion Surfer
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Team member disengagement is a fundamental problem across the world. (Gallup 2022) World champion surfer, bestselling author, and leadership expert Shaun Tomson lectures widely on the Code Method – a high-impact and transformational self-development program that activates the power of purpose to ignite engagement.

A former World Surfing Champion, Shaun has been described as one of the 10 greatest surfers of all time and one of the most influential surfers of the century. During his professional career he won 19 major pro events and is recognized as one of the world’s most innovative surfers. Shaun is the author of the bestsellers Surfer’s CodeThe Code: The Power of “I Will”, and the recent #1 Amazon bestseller The Surfer and the Sage. Shaun has lectured around the world and inspired corporations like General Motors, CiscoPricewaterhouseCoopers, Google, Disney, and The Gap.

As an entrepreneur, Shaun founded two market leading, international clothing brands – Instinct in the 80’s and Solitude, which he co-founded with his wife Carla, in the 90’s. He produced and co-wrote the award-winning documentary film Bustin’ down the Door, and is an inductee in the US, Jewish, and South African Sports Halls of Fame. Shaun’s powerful mission is to help individuals activate their own personal Code to deeply engage with others to live a better and more purposeful life.

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SABRINA IONESCU

  • Basketball Player for WNBA's New York Liberty
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Professional basketball player Sabrina Ionescu plays for the New York Liberty of the WNBA and has been called the future of New York basketball. Before making the move to New York Liberty, Sabrina played for the University of Oregon where she accumulated numerous accomplishments including being unanimously voted the 2020 AP Women’s Basketball Player of the Year. She is also the first player, female, or male, in NCAA history with 2,000 career points (2,562), 1,000 career rebounds (1,040), and 1,000 career assists (1,091). Sabrina was selected first overall in the 2020 WNBA Draft, which was also the first number one overall draft pick in New York Liberty’s history. 

On May 18th, 2021, Sabrina became the youngest player in the WNBA history to record a triple double. Most recently in July 2022, Sabrina set multiple WNBA records by notching the league’s first-ever triple-double while scoring more than 30 points all while matching the current record for most all-time career triple-doubles at three. Additionally, she was voted by fans to the 2022 WNBA All-Star Game as a starter. Sabrina earned her first Gold Medal as a member of the U.S. Women’s Team during the 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in Australia. An engaging and inspirational speaker, Sabrina shares a message of empowerment and excellence in her motivational talks.

Sabrina is much more than just a basketball player; the 24-year-old star guard has quickly become one of the most marketable and successful names and brands in all of sports. In March of 2021, Sabrina was featured on the cover of SLAM Magazine for “The Future Issue” where she was penned as the future of New York basketball. Additionally, Sabrina is continuing her mission of inspiring the next generation to pursue athletic excellence, which led to her creating “SI20” youth basketball camps. A few of her brand partners include Nike, BodyArmor, Autograph, Division Street and The Boardroom. Offering major inspiration about teamwork, overcoming obstacles, and making a difference, Sabrina’s programs resonate with corporate audiences, organizations, and young people.

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ROBIN THEDE

  • Multi-Talented Comedian, Writer, Actor and Producer
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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.

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RICK RUBIN

  • 9-Time Grammy Award-Winning Record Producer
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Few individuals have affected as many corners of the musical universe for as long as Rick Rubin. He has collaborated with artists from Jay-Z to Tom Petty, Red Hot Chili Peppers to Johnny Cash, Adele to Slayer, Imagine Dragons to Lana Del Rey, Kevin Abstract to Black Sabbath. Rubin founded Def Jam recordings while studying fine art at New York University. Working from his dormitory, his first recordings with LL Cool J, the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, and Run DMC took hip-hop music out of the underground and into the mainstream. His success in selling tens of millions of albums worldwide was a shock to the established recording industry.

Since that time, Rubin has produced and guided the most popular and cutting-edge musicians on the planet, in addition to owning and operating his own label, American Recordings. From 2007 to 2013, he moonlighted as the Co-Chairman of Columbia Records to revamp their artist roster and help the company transition from the traditional record business to the new digital model. Rubin was named a TIME "100 Most Influential People in the World.” He has won nine Grammys and two CMAs. In 2021, he interviewed Paul McCartney for the Emmy-nominated documentary series McCartney 3,2,1, which Rubin also executive produced. He recently released his first book The Creative Act which was an immediate #1 New York Times Bestseller and launched a global conversation about creativity, causing #RickRubin to trend on TikTok and receive over 39M views. Rubin is the host of the Broken Record podcast featuring conversations about life, inspiration, and craft.

In addition to being one of the most honored and prolific producers in the world, he is a renowned host and interviewer known for his incredible insights, attention, and curiosity.

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RABIA CHAUDRY

  • Acclaimed Attorney and Criminal Justice Advocate
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Acclaimed attorney and advocate Rabia Chaudry is the New York Times bestselling author of Adnan’s Story and her critically acclaimed second book, Fatty Fatty Boom Boom: A Memoir of Food, Fat, and Family. Rabia is the Executive Producer of the HBO documentary series The Case Against Adnan Syed and also co-producer and host of the podcasts UndisclosedRabia and Ellyn Solve the CaseNighty NightThe Hidden Djinn, and The 45th. With over 400M downloads, Undisclosed is the most popular and impactful wrongful conviction podcast in the world. The Undisclosed team has helped exonerate over a dozen defendants and find new evidence to get nearly all of their defendants back in court. Rabia is sought after to speak about criminal justice, civil rights, and media advocacy through storytelling, regularly receiving glowing praise: “How good is Rabia? She was amazing! I wish [the event] had lasted longer...” (Velocity EHS)

Rabia is a 2021 Aspen Institute/ADL Civil Society Fellow and was previously a 2016 Aspen Ideas Scholar and on the Vanguard Board at the Aspen Institute. She has been awarded numerous fellowships and accolades and is a founding board member of the Inter-Jewish Muslim Alliance and the Muslim Jewish Advisory Council, both of which focus on building Muslim-Jewish coalitions around pressing policy issues and educating across communities to break barriers. With a background in immigration and civil rights law for over a decade, Rabia is a CVE (countering violent extremism) policy expert, senior analyst, and consultant, working on both domestic and international CVE projects with government and nonprofit sectors. She has been sought after by groups including Velocity EHS, Stanford, Princeton, Women and Extremism Summit, Abu Dhabi Ideas Weekend, and the American Bar Association, among others. See Rabia's full bio on her website: rabiachaudry.com.

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MARTA KAUFFMAN

  • Television Creator, Writer and Producer
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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.

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MARIKA LYSZCZYK

  • First-Ever Female Catcher in NCAA Men's College Baseball
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College baseball player Marika Lyszczyk made history by becoming the first female catcher to play on an NCAA men’s baseball team, and the first Canadian woman to play US college men’s baseball. Recruited to play NCAA Division 3 men’s baseball as a catcher at Rivier University, Marika has broken gender barriers that others thought were improbable or impossible. She has moved up to NCAA Division 2 and is currently playing for Sonoma State University as a pitcher. Marika continues to break barriers and uses her motivational speaking events to inspire her audiences to do the same.

Determined to follow her dream no matter how difficult it gets, Marika has overcome adversity and learned to adapt along the way by working on her strengths, not taking no for an answer, and forging relationships with others that support and believe in her through her journey. She was a member of the MLB Creator Class of 2022, selected for her social media content which focuses on being a woman in male-dominated sport. T-Mobile tapped Marika to do on-field commentating at the MLB Home-Run Derby at Dodgers Stadium, where she also conducted red carpet interviews. An up-and-coming sports reporter in addition to being a trailblazing player, Marika uses her platform to inspire young women and others to follow their dreams and pursue their goals no matter the obstacles.

Watch the SPORTSNET interview, "How Marika Lyszczyk is paving the way for all young women in sports" >>

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LISA WARDELL

  • Chairman and Former CEO & President, Adtalem Global Education Inc.
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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 JournalWashington PostBusiness InsiderBlack Enterprise, and other publications.

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LEE SUNG JIN

  • Emmy Award-Nominated Writer and Director
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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.

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LAURA LYNNE JACKSON

  • Teacher and Practicing Psychic Medium
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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 ShowDr. OzFox and FriendsGood Day New York, Telemundo, the Tokyo-based Fuji Television Network, The Huffington PostGoop.comOprah.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.

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KJ ROSE

  • Author of 'The Rose Effect: Eight Steps to Delivering the Performance of Your Life'
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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.

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KELSEY PLUM

  • WNBA Player for the Las Vegas Aces
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Back-to-back 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.

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KATIE STURINO

  • Body Acceptance Advocate & Creator of #SuperSizeTheLook and #MakeMySize
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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.

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KAI BIRD

  • Pulitzer Prize-Winning Biographer, Historian, and Journalist
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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.

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JUDY MURRAY OBE

  • Tennis Coach
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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.

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JESSICA WILLIS FISHER

  • Country and Americana Music Singer-Songwriter
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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.

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JEREMY FALL

  • Award-Winning Restauranteur and Celebrity Chef
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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.

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JENNA ELFMAN

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

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

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JEFF DAVIS

  • Showrunner, Writer, and Director
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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.

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JAMES CONLON

  • Renowned International Symphonic/Operatic Conductor and Educator
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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.

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IAN HAPP

  • MLB All-Star, Entrepreneur, and Media Personality
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MLB All-Star, entrepreneur, and podcaster Ian Happ is one of the most versatile players in Major League Baseball, both on and off the field. In 2022, Happ became an MLB All-Star and was also named a 2022 National League Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner. He is also the MLBPA Player Representative for the Cubs – taking a leadership role in negotiations between the union and the league owners to find common ground. As a professional athlete, Ian is uniquely positioned to discuss the discipline it takes to be great at your craft, the importance of teamwork, and a having winning mindset – the same principles for success that can be applied in the workplace.

Prior to being draft by the Chicago Cubs in the first round of the 2015 MLB Draft, Happ was a finance major. Ian is involved with a diverse and growing portfolio of companies and takes an active role in building true partnerships by focusing on investment opportunities that make an impact. He shares his love of business with his brother, Chris, who is a CPA. Ian also leverages his platform to connect with charities that speak to his values. Ian is also the Host and Executive Producer of The Compound, a weekly podcast hosted on Jomboy Media – for which Happ is an investor. The podcast brings entertainment and levity to conversations about sports and beyond. Ian delivers sports inspiration, business strategy, and uplifting mental health insights that make an lasting impact with audiences.

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FREYA AIR ASPINALL

  • Influential Conservationist and Model
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Influential conservationist and model Freya Air Aspinall is the only woman in the world to go in with Silverback Gorillas. Freya is the daughter of Damian Aspinall, a prominent conservationist, businessman, and Chairman of internationally renowned animal conservation charity, The Aspinall Foundation. The Aspinall Foundation runs the most ambitious rewilding program in the world, rescuing over 600 animals to date. Championing this essential work, Freya is uniquely positioned to raise awareness about the importance of rewilding, the truth about zoos, and the welfare of animals in captivity.

Having already reached over 80M people worldwide on her social media platforms, Freya is determined to save as many wild animals as possible while inspiring her peers to do the same. As Freya shares in sought-after speaking engagements: ”I have lived with animals my whole life and have been able to develop completely natural relationships with them. No training, no taming – bonds built on pure love and trust. Wild animals belong in the wild and I will not rest until I have saved as many of them as possible.”

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EDEN GRINSHPAN

  • Chef and Host of 'Top Chef Canada'
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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 ElleCosmopolitanCherry Bombe, parents.com, GlamourThe 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.

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DAVID PLOUFFE

  • Obama Campaign Manager and White House Senior Advisor
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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.

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DAVID NIHILL

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

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

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

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BLAKE NEWBY

  • Beauty & Style Consultant and Creator
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Writer, commentator, and venture capitalist Blake Newby is a longtime beauty industry expert who bridges the gap between culture and capital. Blake has had bylines across major publications including The Zoe Report, Allure, Cosmo, NYLON, Essence, and Hello Giggles. After joining Essence as an intern in 2012, she rose to become the publication’s Beauty & Style Editor – writing, conceptualizing, and reporting as a beauty industry expert and brand leader. A 360° industry authority, Blake serves as a Beauty Venture Scout for a major investment fund. Blake speaks to the cultural and commercial storytelling in the beauty and fashion industries, inclusivity as a brand and team leader, and lessons for organizations looking to grow and connect with their audience.

With a gift for nailing viral interviews with celebrities including Lori Harvey, Jack Harlow, Halle Bailey, and Rihanna, just to name a few, Blake is in-demand as a host and moderator. She has been a frequent guest on shows such as Good Morning AmericaAccess Hollywood, and The Tamron Hall Show. Blake is also a member of the Board of Directors for Iced Media, serving on their Growth Advisory Board. As a sought-after host and speaker, Blake has shared her informative and engaging perspective at events with groups such as CultureCon, Target, Association of National Advertisers, Dark & Lovely, L’Oreal, Unilever, and more.

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ARTHUR SMITH

  • Chairman & CEO, A. Smith & Co Productions Known for 'Hell's Kitchen', 'American Ninja Warrior', and More
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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.

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ALIYAH BOSTON

  • #1 Overall Pick in the 2023 WNBA Draft
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Rising WNBA star Aliyah Boston is a trailblazer in the new generation of athletes. From an early age, Aliyah has courageously pursued her dream of a future in basketball. At the age of 12, Aliyah and her sister Alexis moved to Massachusetts from their hometown St. Thomas, USVI to live with their aunt and pursue more basketball opportunities. Aliyah joined USA’s national basketball team, was a McDonald’s All-American in high school, and led the University of South Carolina’s program to their 2nd national championship – winning both the SEC Player of the Year and the SEC Defensive Player of the Year as the most decorated player in program history.

Aliyah was the #1 overall draft pick in the 2023 WNBA season, joining the Indiana Fever as the team’s centerpiece. A celebratory New York Times profile declared that Boston “has already become the face of the WNBA just months into her professional career.” She is the only player ranked in the top 20 in both offensive and defensive win shares, demonstrating her dominance on both ends of the court. And Boston is the youngest player and only the eighth rookie ever to start a WNBA All-Star game. Aliyah showcases her heart and passion on and off the court, consistently giving back to her community. Sought-after for her motivational story, Aliyah speaks about staying true to yourself, focusing on faith and family, and how to apply teamwork on and off the court.

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ATTICA LOCKE

  • Award-Winning Author, Screenwriter, and Film & TV Producer
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Acclaimed and award-winning novelist, screenwriter, and producer Attica Locke is an unparalleled storyteller whose uplifting delivery resonate with audiences of all kinds. A New York Times bestselling author, Locke’s novels include: Heaven, My Home, sequel to the Edgar Award-winning Bluebird, Bluebird; Pleasantville, winner of the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction and longlisted for the Bailey’s Prize for Women’s Fiction; The Cutting Season, winner of the Ernest Gaines Award for Literary Excellence; and her debut Black Water Rising, which was nominated for an Edgar Award, an NAACP Image Award, as well as a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and was short-listed for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. Her books have appeared on countless Best Book of the Year lists including The New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, and receive glowing praise by critics and devoted readers alike. As she does in her creative work, Locke offers a powerful experience for audiences, leaving them feeling more motivated, connected, and hopeful than before.

Locke is also an award-winning screenwriter and producer for TV and film. A former fellow at the Sundance Institute’s Feature Filmmaker’s Lab, she wrote and produced on Ava Duvernay’s Netflix miniseries When They See Us, Fox’s Empire, and Hulu’s Emmy-nominated limited series Little Fires Everywhere – for which she won an NAACP Image Award. Locke co-created and executive produced an adaptation of her sister Tembi Locke’s bestselling memoir From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home for Netflix, which was a top 10 hit in 50+ countries during its first weeks on air. In her delightful and engaging talks, Locke shares insights about authenticity, transformation, leadership, and teamwork that resonate with audiences across industries.

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BECKY HAMMON

  • Six-Time WNBA All-Star and Olympic Medalist
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Two-time Olympian and Women’s Basketball Hall of Famer Becky Hammon made history when she became the first woman to coach full-time in the NBA for the San Antonio Spurs. Hammon had a successful career as a player, including two Olympic appearances, an Olympic medal, a six-time WNBA All-Star, and being named one of the leagues “Top 15 Players of All-Time.” No stranger to breaking barriers in the sports world, Hammon joined the Spurs in 2014 in a leadership role as assistant coach. When Head Coach Gregg Popovich was ejected in the second quarter of a Spurs game, she made history again as the first woman head coach to lead an NBA team in a regular season game. Hammon is now the Head Coach of the WNBA Las Vegas Aces, back to back WMBA Champions. She is the first rookie WNBA coach to be named "WNBA Coach of the Year." She is joining ESPN as an Analyst, and will contribute to the network’s signature NBA shows, including Get Up, First Take, SportsCenter and NBA TodayHammon offers her unique perspective as the first female coach in a men’s league, offering takeaways for those looking to become game-changers at work and in life.

Hammon has been inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, and named to the Sports Illustrated “Unrelenting List,” the most powerful, influential, and outstanding women in sports right now. She is included on The W25, a list of the 25 most influential players in WNBA history. In impactful keynote speeches and moderated conversations, Hammon shares her journey to the NBA, revealing vital leadership lessons and inspiring audiences to pursue their dreams relentlessly and stand up for what they believe in.

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MATT ISEMAN

  • Emmy Award-Winning TV Host and Comedian
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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.

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TARA SCHUSTER

  • Bestselling Author of 'Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies'
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Tara Schuster is a bestselling author, playwright, and accomplished television executive. Schuster served as Vice President of Talent and Development at Comedy Central where she was the Executive in Charge of the Emmy® and Peabody Award-winning Key & Peele, the Emmy® Award winning @Midnight, and Lights Out with David Spade. For her work on Key & Peele, Jordan Peele remarked that Schuster is “ahead of her time...she sees the future a little bit.Her book, Buy Yourself The F*cking Lilies, debuted as the #1 New Release in Humor Essays and Self-Help on both Audible and Kindle. It was a finalist for Goodreads Best Nonfiction Book of 2020 and has been chosen by InStyle, Real Simple, People Magazine, Cosmopolitan, BuzzFeed, Goop, and many others as a must read. It has sold over 130,000 copies and is translated into five languages.

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KIZZMEKIA CORBETT-HELAIRE

  • Lead Scientist, COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Development
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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. 

 

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JOY-ANN REID

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

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

HWA NEW

TIFFANY D. CROSS

  • Journalist and Former Host, MSNBC's 'The Cross Connection'
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Celebrated journalist, bestselling author, and revered political analyst Tiffany D. Cross delivers every time in motivational, insightful, and thought-provoking events. She is the current co-host of iHeart Media’s Native Land Pod, which debuted in 2024 on Apple as the number one downloaded podcast in America across all categories. Cross also hosts ACross Generations, a broadcast show and podcast with Will Packer Productions and iHeart Media, where she focuses on a variety of topics from a multigenerational perspective. Cross previously hosted The Cross Connection on MSNBC, averaging 4.6M viewers a month. She is a longtime cultural commentator, having previously served as the D.C. Bureau Chief for BET Networks, an Associate Producer for CNN, and freelancer. She is also the founder of The Beat DC, a platform that provides critical analysis of national politics, policy, business, and media, highlighting their impact on and relationship with communities of color. An influential voice in the discourse of the moment, Cross is in-demand with groups including the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., the Society of Social Work Research, TriNet, Santa Cruz Nutritionals, Howard University, and more.

A 2020 Resident Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics, Tiffany has spent time on the campaign trail covering and working on numerous local, state, and federal campaigns. She is the bestselling author of Say It Louder: Black Voters, White Narratives, and Saving Our Democracy, which Kirkus Reviews hailed as “a compelling exploration of how Black voters have the power to shape the country's future.” Cross regularly receives stellar feedback for her events, such as: ”Tiffany was superb. A joy to work with, engaging and fully invested in making the event a stand-out” (Robert Toigo Foundation Annual Gala) and ”The event was absolutely wonderful and well received! Tiffany Cross was outstanding and prolific.” (Society for Social Work Research)

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SUNNY HOSTIN

  • 3x Emmy Award-Winning Legal Journalist
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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.

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LISA LING

  • Emmy Award-Winning Journalist
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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.”

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LAWRENCE O'DONNELL

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

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LINDSEY VONN

  • One of the Most Successful Skiers of All Time
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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.

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TOM BOSSERT

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

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

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CATHY O'NEIL

  • Big Data Scientist
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Data skeptic and New York Times bestselling author Cathy O’Neil is a thought leader exploring the realities and dangers of social networking, the consequences of algorithm design, and defending human dignity in the context of predatory capitalism. A prolific voice in academia and the private sector, O’Neil is the New York Times bestselling author of Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy, which was a semifinalist for the National Book Award. She is also a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a renowned blogger, and her expertise was featured in the critically acclaimed documentary The Social Dilemma. O’Neill is the Founder of ORCAA, a consultancy providing algorithmic auditing services focused on safety, fairness, and principled use of data, and launched the Lede Program in Data Journalism at Columbia University. Her latest book, The Shame Machine: Who Profits in the New Age of Humiliation, investigates how shame functions as a tool across sectors including government, the healthcare system, and the wellness industry. With a mathematics Ph.D. and background in finance and AdTech startups, O’Neil offers unparalleled insight and analysis about the challenges that lie ahead for individuals and businesses in our increasingly algorithmic world.

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HOPE JAHREN

  • Award-Winning Scientist
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Award-winning scientist and internationally bestselling author Hope Jahren is an expert on global climate change who helps us see our interconnectedness and interdependence with the world around us. Jahren’s New York Times Notable book Lab Girl won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography among other accolades. In a review of her book The Story of More: How We Got to Climate Change and Where to Go from Here, Nature called Jahren “the voice that science has been waiting for.”

Jahren is the recipient of three Fulbright Awards and is one of four scientists, and the only woman, to have been awarded both of the Young Investigator Medals given within the Earth Sciences. While a tenured professor at the University of Hawaii, she built the Isotope Geobiology Laboratories, with support from National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the NIH. She currently holds the J. Tuzo Wilson professorship at the University of Oslo, Norway.

For her sought-after keynote speeches, Hope receives consistent praise: “The presentation was flawless” (Medical Library Association), “Hope was absolutely brilliant” (Merwin Conservancy), and “Hope’s entire visit was a HOME RUN for us… She set a high bar for future presenters” (Howard Hughes Medical Institute).

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DANIEL JAMES BROWN

  • #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of 'Boys in the Boat', 'Facing the Mountain', and More
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Daniel James Brown is the author of #1 New York Times bestseller The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. A story that captures the world's attention and quickly skyrocketed to the top of bestseller lists, The Boys in the Boat is about American Olympic triumph in Nazi Germany and served as the inspiration for the PBS documentary “The Boys of ‘36'." It is an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times, and an improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world what true grit really meant, and is now being made into a movie directed by George Clooney and Grant Heslov

Brown's other books include Under a Flaming Sky: The Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894, which traces the personal stories and social, economic, and environmental causes of the Great Hinkley Fire, The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of a Donner Party Bride, which follows the footsteps of Sarah Graves, a young bride who left her home in Illinois in the spring of 1846, only to become one of a handful of the ill-fated Donner Party members who attempted to hike out of the Sierra Nevada to save herself and her family, and his second New York Times bestseller, Facing the Mountain: A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in World War ll, a gripping World War II saga of patriotism, highlighting the contributions and sacrifices that Japanese immigrants and their American-born children made for the sake of the nation.

In his captivating presentations, Brown shares the remarkable stories covered in his work, bringing history to life to leave audiences inspired.

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MICHAEL 'KILLER MIKE' RENDER

  • Grammy Award-Winning Rapper and Songwriter
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Michael Render, aka Killer Mike, is a Grammy-award winning rapper, businessman and activist. He is one half of the hip hop duo, Run the Jewels, host of the Netflix series, “Trigger Warning with Killer Mike,” and co-owner along with Tip ‘T.I.’ Harris of famed Atlanta restaurant, Bankhead Seafood. 

A native of Atlanta, Render made his musical debut on “Snappin’ and Trappin’” from OutKast’s 2000 LP Stankonia, and later appeared on the Grammy-award winning song “The Whole World,” from Outkast’s greatest hits album. He has since released five full-length albums as a solo artist and four albums for Run the Jewels. His fourth album was released on June 5.

Render was raised in the Adamsville/Collier Heights neighborhood on the Northwest side of Atlanta. He began organizing at the age of 15 and made a name for himself as an activist well before he recorded a single song. In addition to advocating for the decriminalization of marijuana, and restorative justice programs for young people, Render has worked locally with the anti-violence organization, Black Teens for Advancement and the Atlanta/Fulton Commission on Children and Youth through its Kids 4 a Change program.

A fierce advocate for black businesses, in July 2016, Render used his considerable influence to urge citizens to move their money to Black-owned banks. The Bank Black program is estimated to have moved more than $60 million to black-owned banking institutions. He was later presented with the James E. Young Visionary Leadership Award by the National Bankers Association for his impact.

It would be easy for someone of Render’s stature to focus exclusively on his career, but Render believes service to the community is the rent he pays for existing. Through his SWAG Shop barbershops, which he co-owns with his wife, he’s held back-to-school events offering free haircuts, braids, and school supplies for Atlanta children.

He has also used his platform to champion a love for the arts. His commitment to arts and culture was recognized recently when he was appointed to a three-year term for the prestigious High Museum of Art in Atlanta.

The pride of Atlanta, the city dubbed an $11.6 million boring machine, “Driller Mike,” in his honor. He was named to NME's "The Ten People Who Defined 2020" list for his powerful lyrics and activism, his album, RTJ4, made Variety's "Best Albums of 2020" list alongside Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, and he was named as the recipient of 2020's Billboard Change Maker Award.

Of all his roles and responsibilities, recognition and celebration, Mike is most proud to be called “husband” to Shana, and “father” to two sons and two daughters.

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LINDA YVETTE CHÁVEZ

  • Critically Acclaimed Screenwriter, Director, and Producer
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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.”

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LAWRENCE SUMMERS

  • Economic & Financial Thought Leader
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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. 

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DR. JESSICA B. HARRIS

  • A Leading Authority on the Food of the African Diaspora
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Jessica B. Harris is considered by many to be one of the ranking authorities on the food of the African Diaspora. A New York Times bestselling author, she is the author, editor, or translator of eighteen books, including twelve cookbooks documenting the foodways of the African Diaspora. Her award-winning book, High on the Hog, was the basis for the acclaimed Peabody Award-winning Netflix series of the same name.

She has lectured widely and written extensively for scholarly and popular publications. Harris consults internationally, is leading the Culinary Institute of America’s team to establish an African Diaspora concentration, and worked with the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture conceptualizing its cafeteria.

Dr. Harris holds degrees from Bryn Mawr College, Queens College/CUNY, The Université de Nancy, France, and New York University. She was granted an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Johnson & Wales University and holds numerous awards and accolades. Dr. Harris was a professor at Queens College/CUNY in New York for five decades and is currently professor emerita at that institution. In 2019, Harris’s books were inducted into the James Beard Cookbook Hall of Fame and she was the 2020 James Beard Lifetime Achievement awardee. She was named to the 2021 TIME Most Influential People list, and is the winner of the 2023 IACP Award for Culinary History.

Visit Dr. Harris' website for more information.

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MJ ACOSTA-RUIZ

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

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

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JANELLE MONÁE

  • Award-Winning Musician and Actor
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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.

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JOHN AVLON & MARGARET HOOVER

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Top political analysts, bestselling authors, and CNN luminaries John Avlon and Margaret Hoover bring fresh energy to longstanding debates with wit and wisdom. Avlon is a staunch Independent and Hoover is a proud Republican, and together they tackle the upcoming election cycle and the changing political and media landscapes.

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 NationWingnutsWashington’s Farewell, and Lincoln & the Fight for Peace. 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.

Political commentator, bestselling author, and gay rights activist Margaret Hoover is the host of PBS’ Firing Line with Margaret Hoover – a smart, civil, and engaging contest of ideas. Ms. Hoover is the bestselling author of American Individualism: How a New Generation of Conservatives Can Save the Republican Party and President of American Unity Fund – a political organization focused on achieving full freedom and equality for LGBT Americans. Ms. Hoover has served in The White House under President George W. Bush, in the Department of Homeland Security, on Capitol Hill and on two presidential campaigns.

Avlon and Hoover go beyond the partisan discourse with substantive insights and reasoned points of view. Together, they share how audiences can listen and work together across differences.

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HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR.

  • Emmy and Peabody Award-Winning Filmmaker, Literary Scholar, Journalist, Cultural Critic, and Institution Builder
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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.

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MARTIN SHORT

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

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

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