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
  • The Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan
Keynote clip - My struggle for excellence started before me [5:44] - Get Sharable Link
Explore Sully Sullenberger's Talks
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How to Handle a COVID-19 World and What Comes Next

Captain Sullenberger provides powerful remarks on leadership, resilience and preparedness amid the uncertainty and challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. Diving into topics such as how to confront ambiguous challenges with incomplete or conflicting information, finding courage even amid fear, deve ...

Captain Sullenberger provides powerful remarks on leadership, resilience and preparedness amid the uncertainty and challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

Diving into topics such as how to confront ambiguous challenges with incomplete or conflicting information, finding courage even amid fear, developing a plan and acting quickly, and staying true to your core values while also embracing change in the face of obstacles, Sullenberger illuminates an inspiring path forward and motivates teams to powerful action. 

Ultimately, Sullenberger highlights the values that will provide clarity of vision and purpose in even the most extreme crisis.

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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Biography

Captain “Sully” Sullenberger 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 was republished that year 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. 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.