Sully Sullenberger

EXCLUSIVE
  • “Miracle on the Hudson” Captain
  • New York Times #1 Bestselling Author of "Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters"
  • Leading Voice on Leadership & Flawless Execution Strategies
  • Clint Eastwood/Tom Hanks film “Sully” released September 9, 2016

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

 

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Rave Reviews About Sully Sullenberger
Within minutes after Captain Sullenberger concluded his presentation, we have been barraged by amazing positive feedback from our dignitaries, sponsors & chamber members all echoing that he's the best speaker they've ever had the pleasure of hearing. He began with a standing ovation, ended with one, and totally riveted them in between. From the moment I greeted him on his arrival, he was nothing but friendly, engaging and in great spirits.

A Sample of the Groups That Have Hosted Sully Sullenberger
  • AT&T
  • Hershey's
  • Siemens
  • General Mills
  • Costco
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Cisco
  • Association of Washington Business
  • Chevron
  • Du Pont
Sullenberger: My struggle for excellence started before me - Get Sharable Link
Explore Sully Sullenberger's Talks
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208 Seconds: A Lifetime of Lessons

Capt. Sully's story is one of dedication, hope, and preparedness, revealing the important lessons he learned through his life, in his military service, and in his work as an airline pilot. In this riveting presentation, he shares details from the 208 seconds that put his entire career on the line.   ...

Capt. Sully's story is one of dedication, hope, and preparedness, revealing the important lessons he learned through his life, in his military service, and in his work as an airline pilot. In this riveting presentation, he shares details from the 208 seconds that put his entire career on the line.  He reminds audiences, even in these days of conflict, tragedy and uncertainty, there are values still worth fighting for—that life's challenges can be met if we're ready for them. Are you ready to aspire to new levels of excellence in life and business?

Leading Your Team to Success

How you prepare, train and lead make all the difference when you are confronted with a challenge. Capt. Sully’s life-long pursuit of learning and investing in himself shows the importance of education and preparedness, and illustrates that true leaders must always lead by example. In this presentati ...

How you prepare, train and lead make all the difference when you are confronted with a challenge. Capt. Sully’s life-long pursuit of learning and investing in himself shows the importance of education and preparedness, and illustrates that true leaders must always lead by example. In this presentation, Capt. Sully will challenge and inspire teams to establish a foundation of passion for their work, build trust in each other, and commit to always reaching for the highest standards. 

Making A Difference

Capt. Sully's stellar reputation as a leader was built over many years - one interaction, one person, one day at a time. In this presentation he shares how each of us has an opportunity to "make a difference," and that every day offers us numerous opportunities to be better and do better. ...

Capt. Sully's stellar reputation as a leader was built over many years - one interaction, one person, one day at a time. In this presentation he shares how each of us has an opportunity to "make a difference," and that every day offers us numerous opportunities to be better and do better.

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<p>Captain Sullenberger delivers powerful message on leadership at SAS Global Forum</p>

Captain Sullenberger delivers powerful message on leadership at SAS Global Forum

Famed “Miracle on the Hudson” pilot Capt. SULLY SULLENBERGER kicked off the SAS Global Forum with a “rousing” keynote on innovation and true leadership. A premier multinational workplace, SAS’ annual Global Forum attracts over 1,200 executive level customers from across industries, offering transformative insights and leadership strategies with a focus on the power of data and analytics to drive decision making. As the opening keynote, Captain Sullenberger set the bar high, encouraging rapt audience members to lead by example: “You have to be willing and able to check your ego at the door.” Sullenberger also stressed the importance of innovation and adaptability— “Change before you’re forced to, by competition, by regulation, or by circumstance, and the more and quicker that you’re able to change the more it can become a competitive advantage”—delivering countless memorable lines and takeaways. The informative and inspiring speech came just days after Sullenberger delivered another powerful keynote at the Cox Media Group Leadership Conference, and both appearances had the tweets pouring in:  “Goosebumps. We just heard from Capt. "Sully" Sullenberger at #CMGLC2017. Now that is leadership in crisis.”

Learn more about Captain Sullenberger’s SAS Global Forum Keynote >>
<p>Captain Sullenberger garners tweets of praise at back-to-back events </p>

Captain Sullenberger garners tweets of praise at back-to-back events 

Famed pilot CAPTAIN SULLY SULLENBERGER, who became an international hero after the emergency landing of Flight 1549 on the Hudson River, is in-demand and wowing audiences worldwide. Tweets from audience-members at recent events raved: "Very inspired by @CaptSully at the #MHA conference today!"; "Highly inspiring presentation by @CaptSully at #MSXXI. History of heroism and humanity"; "A hero! Chesley Sullenberger at #MSXXI. What a great speech!

<p>Captain Sullenberger's transformative lessons on 10th Anniversary of Miracle on the Hudson </p>

Captain Sullenberger's transformative lessons on 10th Anniversary of Miracle on the Hudson 

One of the most iconic moments in modern history, the story of "The Miracle on the Hudson" and Captain Sullenberger's successful emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 inspires people worldwide. January 15, 2019, marked 10 years since that historic flight. The milestone was honored nationwide as Captain Sullenberger participated in a special event with the flight's survivors, which was aired in a Good Morning America special that quickly racked up over 100,000 views on Facebook, and was in-demand for exclusive, in-depth interviews with ABC News, The New York Times, and Esquire. With over 64K Twitter followers, Sullenberger's poignant and personal tweets of reflection over the course of the day, were retweeted thousands of times. A gifted speaker with a message that resonates, Captain Sullenberger's lessons and awe-inspiring messages on leadership, teamwork, preparedness, and decision-making under tremendous pressure, rivet audiences at each and every event. Recently sought-out to address 10,000 attendees at the Fundacion Telemex and 750 attendees at the Missouri Hospital Association's Annual Convention, Captain Sullenberger kept audiences tweeting praise, such as: "Very inspired by @CaptSully at the #MHA conference today!"; "Highly inspiring presentation by @CaptSully at #MSXXI. History of heroism and humanity"; "A hero! Chesley Sullenberger at #MSXXI. What a great speech!"

Watch Captain Sullenberger's exclusive interview on ABC >>
<p><strong>Captain Sullenberger delivers a powerful call to action in crucial Washington Post op-ed </strong></p>

Captain Sullenberger delivers a powerful call to action in crucial Washington Post op-ed

CAPTAIN SULLY SULLENBERGER, the famed pilot who became an international hero after the emergency landing of Flight 1549 on the Hudson River, wrote an urgent and moving must-read op-ed in The Washington Post. Entitled “We saved 155 lives on the Hudson. Now let’s vote for leaders who’ll protect us all.” Captain Sullenberger reflects on the lessons he learned as captain of the “Miracle on the Hudson,” and how they apply to our democracy today. As Captain Sullenberger writes: “To navigate complex challenges, all leaders must take responsibility and have a moral compass grounded in competence, integrity and concern for the greater good.” A unifying call to action, Captain Sullenberger underscores the shared facts, humanity and ideals that bind us together as a nation. He condemns the current toxic political environment and inspires all of us to put country over party. “We cannot wait for someone to save us. We must do it ourselves,” Sullenberger writes, “This Election Day is a crucial opportunity to again demonstrate the best in each of us by doing our duty and voting for leaders who are committed to the values that will unite and protect us.” Sullenberger’s empowering message resonates. His op-ed instantly became a “Most-Read” and racked up over 1,000 comments of praise such as: “Facil with flight and with words. This is such a wise, seasoned and mature call to action. Thank you,” and “This piece is about the only thing that brought (positive) tears to my eyes in the last two years.”

 

Read Captain Sullenberger's Washington Post op-ed >>
<p><strong>Captain Sullenberger is a leading public safety expert </strong></p>

Captain Sullenberger is a leading public safety expert

A highly in-demand speaker thanks to his captivating messages on leadership, preparedness, and decision-making in times of crisis, Captain Sullenberger is a leading public safety expert who uses his position to foster change and meaningful dialogue. Captain Sullenberger has been dedicated to the pursuit of safety for his entire adult life, and while he is internationally renowned for serving as captain during “The Miracle on The Hudson,” his lessons on leadership, preparation, and safety extend far beyond the world of aviation. Following the tragic Las Vegas shooting, Captain Sullenberger posted a moving op-ed, “We Must Do More Than Grieve,” urging for concrete and common-sense political action. Another one of his posts, "We Are at a Crossroads; Will We Choose Safety?," highlights the importance of maintaining current regulations in order to save human lives. Named to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Advisory Committee, Captain Sullenberger has been sought-out as an expert to ensure public safety in the age of technological advancements such as autonomous vehicles. The recipient of countless awards—he was ranked second in TIME's "Top 100 Most Influential Heroes and Icons of 2009” and was awarded the French Legion of Honour—Captain Sullenberger channels his expertise and passion into powerful keynotes that reveal how to achieve the highest levels of safety through effective crisis management, and continuous learning, leadership, and culture. Earning stellar reviews at each of his engagements, recent feedback from Captain Sullenberger’s keynotes include the following: “There was not one sound in the room the entire time that he spoke... When you book a speaking engagement with Captain Sullenberger, you will definitely get more than your money’s worth" (Cox Media Group); "Rave reviews from audience members included: 'So timely, so powerful, so authentic.;' 'Great work. This will leave a mark!’; 'We more than loved him. He speaks our language’" (Boston Children’s Hospital).

<p><strong>Captain Sullenberger keeps the tweets of praise rolling in at Commvault GO</strong></p>

Captain Sullenberger keeps the tweets of praise rolling in at Commvault GO

Captain SULLY SULLENBERGER captivated an audience of some 1,500 industry thought leaders and executives with his information-packed and riveting keynote at Commvault GO, a leading digital transformation conference that focused on the power of data. Drawing on his experience conducting an emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549, Captain Sullenberger revealed how data was key in framing his decision-making, translating his thought-process and expertise into life lessons for all audience-members regardless of their situation or occupation. Captain Sullenberger’s presentation was so impactful, it inspired many in the audience to take to Twitter to share their motivation and praise, such as:  “Been fortunate to hear many great and inspirational speakers over the years, but this may be the best one”; “I have the opportunity to hear @CaptSully speak, and to say that he is an inspiration wouldn’t even begin to cover it…”; “@CaptSully illustrated his #EverydayRemarkable at #CommvaultGO. Truly remarkable and an honor to hear his story”; “Well @CaptSully just gave one of the best keynotes I have ever heard”; “The @CaptSully keynote ends with a well-deserved standing ovation. Polished, informative, and engaging”; “Well there’s a reason @CaptSully was up last. No one can follow that.”  

<p>Captain Sullenberger brings the house down with inspiring Smartsheet Engage keynote</p>

Captain Sullenberger brings the house down with inspiring Smartsheet Engage keynote

As the keynote of Smartsheet’s inaugural global customer conference—Smartsheet Engage 2017Capt. SULLY SULLENBERGER addressed a standing room only crowd of over 1,000 attendees, sharing insights on leadership, decision-making, teamwork, and more.  Highlights from Captain Sullenberger’s smash hit speech, which drew multiple standing ovations, were showcased in a GeekWire article, including his thoughts on innovation, the importance of critical thinking, and his unique, personal insights into his miraculous emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River. As the article started, “Just a second while I pick my jaw up off the floor.” Captain Sullenberger’s keynote also received lots of praise on Twitter, inspiring tweets like: “Thank you to @Captsully for delivering such a moving and inspiring keynote at #SmartsheetENGAGE this morning”; “@Captsully Thank you for speaking at @Smartsheet #SmartsheetENGAGE One of those experiences in my life/career I'll never forget”; “A privilege to hear @Captsully at #SmartsheetENGAGE talking preparedness and what is really important in life”; “Standing ovation for @Captsully before delivering most amazing and inspiring keynote @Smartsheet.” Sought-out by companies and organizations of all industries for his transformative advice, Captain Sullenberger frequently makes headlines for his expertise in the areas of leadership, safety, crisis management, and more. Just recently, Media Planet highlighted Captain Sullenberger’s work as a thought leader and advocate for issues related to safety within the aviation industry, and BBC Radio conducted an in-depth, fascinating interview with him on the “Miracle on the Hudson.”

<p>Captain Sullenberger leaves audience “awestruck” at Infosys Confluence 2017</p>

Captain Sullenberger leaves audience “awestruck” at Infosys Confluence 2017

Delivering a keynote at Infosys Confluence 2017, a thought leadership summit attended by over 1,600 leaders and visionaries, Captain SULLY SULLENBERGER left audiences “awestruck” “impressed” and “inspired.” Sharing both lessons learned as Captain of US Airways Flight 1549—known as the “Miracle on the Hudson” — and insights into transformative leadership and the impact of technology on human performance, Sullenberger had the audience tweeting praise before, during and after his speech: “Awestruck watching and listening to @Captsully at #InfosysConfluence”; “An inspiring talk. Leadership fundamentals redefined. Awesome to hear it first hand. @InfyConfluence @Captsully”; “Always admired @Captsully for his bravery but I'm more impressed by his humility and his humanity. What an amazing role model! “; “Perhaps the deepest, most professionally relevant, most surprising, best conference keynote I've seen. THANKS @Captsully #InfosysConfluence”.

<p><strong>Captain Sullenberger’s game-changing lessons featured in <em>Forbes </em></strong></p>

Captain Sullenberger’s game-changing lessons featured in Forbes

CAPTAIN SULLY SULLENBERGER, the famed pilot who became an international hero after the emergency landing of Flight 1549 on the Hudson River, shared key insights on risk management and leadership with The Forbes Interview podcast. In a fascinating and informative one hour interview, Captain Sullenberger dives into the crux of an issue facing individuals and organizations across industries: “What we’re all trying to do ultimately is find ways to improve human performance in complicated systems that all involve inherent risk.” Drawing on his experience during the “Miracle on the Hudson,” as well as the wide range of roles he’s held as a trusted safety and risk-management expert since, Captain Sullenberger provides game-changing takeaways on what it takes to thrive under pressure both in business and life, how to build a team that can manage risk, and how to lead by example. It’s a message he’s shared with audiences worldwide, always receiving rave reviews: “There was not one sound in the room the entire time that he spoke... When you book a speaking engagement with Captain Sullenberger, you will definitely get more than your money’s worth" (Cox Media Group).

Listen to Captain Sullenberger’s Forbes Interview Podcast >> 

<p>Captain Sullenberger honored at 2017 Endeavor Awards</p>

Captain Sullenberger honored at 2017 Endeavor Awards

Captain SULLY SULLENBERGER, internationally renowned for his 2009 emergency landing of Flight 1549 on the Hudson River, was celebrated as the 2017 Inspiration Award Winner at the Endeavor Awards. A major event that honors and recognizes the awe-inspiring pilots and organizations that have contributed to public benefit aviation, Captain Sullenberger was not only applauded for serving as Captain during the “Miracle on the Hudson,” but also as an expert who has helped shape the public conversation on a wide range of safety issues. Currently serving on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Advisory Committee for Automation in Transportation, Captain Sullenberger is a trusted expert and national leader on top safety concerns, such as the challenges and opportunities of driverless cars and the risks of drone proliferation. Addressing a rapt audience during his award acceptance, Captain Sullenberger praised the unsung heroes and volunteer pilots making a difference.

Watch Captain Sullenberger speak at the Endeavor Awards >>
<p>Captain Sullenberger's lessons on leadership and decision-making keep audiences riveted to seat</p>

Captain Sullenberger's lessons on leadership and decision-making keep audiences riveted to seat

A highly in-demand speaker for his captivating message on leadership, preparedness, and decision-making— particularly in times of crisisCapt. SULLY SULLENBERGER receives overwhelming ovations after each one of his speaking engagements. "Captain Sullenberger had everyone riveted to their seat. You could hear a pin drop in the room" (Toronto Community Forum)"Rave reviews from audience members included:'So timely, so powerful, so authentic'...This will leave a mark!" (Boston Children's Hospital); "Within minutes after Captain Sullenberger concluded his presentation, we have been barraged by amazing positive feedback from our dignitaries, sponsors & chamber members all echoing that he's the best speaker they've ever had the pleasure of hearing"  (Danville Chamber of Congress). Beyond Captain Sullenberg's power with audiences, he also generates media attention before and after an event. Following a recent speaking engagement in Florida, an attendee and survivor of Flight 1549— the "Miracle on the Hudson" flight that brought Sullenberger fame— told local news: "I'm so grateful he's here standing with us." 

Watch one of Captain Sullenberger's recent presentations >>
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Biography

Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger, III has been dedicated to the pursuit of safety his entire adult life. While he is best known for serving as Captain during what has been called the “Miracle on the Hudson,” Sullenberger is a safety expert, speaker, and author. He still flies privately.

Born and raised in Denison, Texas, Sullenberger pursued his childhood love of aviation by learning to fly at age 16, while still in high school, and later at the United States Air Force Academy. At his graduation from the Academy in 1973, he received the Outstanding Cadet in Airmanship Award. In addition to his bachelor’s degree in psychology, he also has two master's degrees, one in industrial psychology from Purdue University and one in public administration from the University of Northern Colorado. He also has an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Purdue University.

Sullenberger served as a fighter pilot for the United States Air Force. He advanced to become a flight leader and a training officer, attaining the rank of captain. During his active duty, he was stationed in North America and Europe. After serving in the Air Force, in February 1980 Sullenberger became an airline pilot with Pacific Southwest Airlines, later acquired by US Airways, until his retirement from commercial flying in March 2010.

Prior to gaining worldwide attention, Sullenberger was an active and ardent safety advocate throughout his four-decade-long career. He was selected to perform accident investigation duties for the United States Air Force, and served as an Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) representative during a National Transportation Safety Board accident investigation. Additionally, Sullenberger served as a Local Air Safety Chairman for ALPA, and was a member of one of their national technical committees, where he contributed to the creation of a Federal Aviation Administration Advisory Circular. He was also instrumental in developing and implementing the Crew Resource Management course used by US Airways, and he taught the course to hundreds of other airline crewmembers.

After logging more than 20,000 hours of flight time Sullenberger became internationally renowned on January 15, 2009 when he and his crew safely guided US Airways Flight 1549 to an emergency water landing in New York City’s frigid Hudson River. The Airbus A320’s two engines had lost thrust following a bird strike. Sullenberger and his crew received international acclaim for their actions that day, including the passage of a Congressional resolution recognizing their bravery. Sullenberger was ranked second in TIME's "Top 100 Most Influential Heroes and Icons of 2009” and was awarded the French Legion of Honour.

Sullenberger is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters and also wrote Making a Difference: Stories of Vision and Courage from America's Leaders. Clint Eastwood directed the major motion picture about Sullenberger’s life, titled Sully, based on Highest Duty. Tom Hanks starred in the lead role; Aaron Eckhart and Laura Linney co-starred. The film was released to critical acclaim in September 2016 and garnered four Broadcast Film Critics nominations and one Academy Award nomination. Highest Duty has been republished as Sully: My Search for What Really Matters.

Sullenberger is an international lecturer and keynote speaker at educational institutions, corporations and non-profit organizations about the importance of aviation and patient safety, high performance systems’ improvement, leadership, crisis management, life-long preparation, and living a life of integrity. He presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2011, as well as the Swiss Economic Forum that same year. In collaboration with DuPont Sustainable Solutions, Sullenberger developed and was featured in an award-winning video training program, Miracle on the Hudson: Prepare for Safety, which helps employees increase their commitment to safety and transform their organizations’ safety culture. At the request of Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Sullenberger began serving on the DOT’s Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation in January 2017. From 2009 to 2013, he served as co-chairman of EAA Young Eagles—a program that inspires and educates youth about aviation.

Most recently, Sullenberger has lent his voice to fulfilling what he feels is his latest mission: defending our democracy.