208 Seconds: A Lifetime of Lessons
Ambassador 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. Ambassador 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, Ambassador 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
Ambassador 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.
On the 14th Anniversary of the Miracle on the Hudson, Ambassador Sullenberger shares transformative lessons in leadership
January marked 14 years since one of the most memorable examples of heroism in modern history – the “Miracle on the Hudson.” When Ambassador SULLY SULLENBERGER successfully led the emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549, he had no idea the impact his story would have on the world, which continues to captivate and empower audiences today. His extraordinary story became a #1 New York Times bestselling book, Highest Duty: My Search For What Really Matters, and Sully – a major motion picture directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Tom Hanks. Ambassador Sullenberger has become a sought-after global expert in leadership, innovation, crisis management, and decision-making in times of adversity.
In honor of the occasion, the Carolinas Aviation Museum has announced its new name – The Sullenberger Aviation Museum. The museum has housed the famous Flight 1549 plane and a corresponding exhibit for over a decade, and the renaming signifies a new commitment to serve as innovation center for STEM education – a cause close to Ambassador Sullenberger’s heart.
This anniversary, Ambassador Sullenberger is reflecting on his lifelong pursuit of knowledge and excellence that led up to that day, and the transformative lessons he learned from the flight and its aftermath, which he continues to share with riveted audiences worldwide. He has appeared on ABC News, MSNBC, Good Morning America, the 3 Things with Ric Elias podcast, in People Magazine, Forbes, Christian Science Monitor, and many more. A gifted speaker whose message resonates in motivational keynotes, Ambassador Sullenberger offers unparalleled takeaways about the impact we can have through continuous learning, the pursuit of excellence, and an unwavering commitment to making a difference.
Watch Ambassador Sullenberger’s event with The Air League >>
Ambassador Sullenberger has a rare ability to connect with audiences, receiving glowing praise for every motivational keynote
One of the most captivating American heroes of our time, Ambassador SULLY SULLENBERGER leveraged his expert leadership 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. The “Miracle on the Hudson” became the subject of Ambassador Sullenberger’s #1 New York Times bestselling book, Highest Duty: My Search For What Really Matters, and Sully - a major motion picture directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Tom Hanks. In addition to telling this incredible story to riveted audiences around the globe, Ambassador Sullenberger shares his experiences in leadership, crisis management, aviation safety, and public policy in sought-after motivational keynotes with groups such as the Society for Human Resource Management, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (New Jersey Chapter), the Orange County Business Council, AT&T, and many more.
As a global thought leader, Ambassador Sullenberger has been dedicated to the pursuit of safety his entire adult life. He recently served as the U.S. Ambassador and Representative to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a U.N. Specialized Agency, after being nominated by President Biden. Beyond his impact as a leadership expert and public servant, Ambassador Sullenberger has honed the craft of connecting with his audiences – from C-suite executives to trade associations, from organizations in the midst of challenges to teams hungry for motivation. Audiences and hosts who experience Ambassador Sullenberger as a motivational keynote speaker consistently share their glowing praise and his takeaways resonate long after the event itself:
“Within minutes after Ambassador 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.” (Danville Chamber of Commerce)
Watch Ambassador Sullenberger’s insights on excellence >>
Ambassador Sully Sullenberger's message is one everyone needs right now
With clear messages on leadership, preparedness, and decision-making in times of crisis, Ambassador SULLY SULLENBERGER's interview on The Oath with Chuck Rosenberg has received truly amazing feedback. Exceeding 100K downloads in one week and counting, audiences are craving lessons and examples of leadership and steadiness during these challenging times. Many, in fact, found the episode to be cathartic. One listener said it called to mind a time when “words mattered." Another said it's a reminder that America “can reflect the best of who we must be.” Ambassador Sullenberger is “a strong, compassionate voice in the dark, reminding us of what it means to be human,” another said. People are craving examples of leadership, not just in public but amongst each other and Ambassador Sullenberger brings that in spades to his in-person and virtual events.
Whether he's speaking to C-suite executives or customer service representatives, Capt. Sullenberger is unique in that he's able to both inspire and energize while also bringing a calm and steadiness to a room. Long before the current political climate we're living in, in passing, an audience member said, "that man needs to run for President" not because of politics but because he is an example of leadership and inspiration that everyone can look to for hope.
Watch Ambassador Sullenberger's remarks on civic duty to each other and our country >>
Ambassador Sully Sullenberger reminds senior leadership teams that their courage can be contagious, empowering teams to accomplish more than ever before
Sometimes, we all need to be reminded that amid crisis, we have what it takes to make it through. The incredibly inspiring and motivational Ambassador SULLY SULLENBERGER, reminds us that none of us really knows what tomorrow may bring, whether it is a sudden crisis or a new opportunity. In a moving post, Ambassador Sullenberger highlights what he's learned over 53 years of flying and consistently having to prepare for the worst. He provides a powerful call to action for all of us as citizens, for the empathy, shared sacrifice, and what he calls "realistic optimism," necessary in these times. Equal parts bold inspiration and tangible advice, Ambassador Sullenberger's words highlight his unique qualities as a speaker, and ability to unify and empower.
An in-demand speaker thanks to his captivating and actionable lessons on leadership, preparedness, and decision-making – particularly in times of crisis – Ambassador Sullenberger receives overwhelming rave reviews after each of his engagements, such as: "Ambassador 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); and "Within minutes after Ambassador 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 Commerce)
Ambassador Sullenberger keeps the tweets of praise rolling in
Not many speakers generate as much effusive social media feedback from audience members as Ambassador SULLY SULLENBERGER does. His powerful lessons on leadership, teamwork, preparedness, and decision-making under tremendous pressure resonate deeply with audiences of all kinds.
Highlight tweets from recent engagements include:
One of the most iconic moments in modern history, the story of "The Miracle on the Hudson" and Ambassador Sullenberger's successful emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549, inspires people worldwide. And thanks to Sullenberger's captivating and powerful message, he is in-demand for events with groups like Disney's Data and Analytics Conference, the Society for Human Resource Management, AT&T, General Mills, (ISC)2's Security Congress, and many more.
Ambassador 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, Ambassador SULLY SULLENBERGER is a leading public safety expert who uses his position to foster change and meaningful dialogue. Ambassador 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. Recently serving as the U.S. Ambassador and Representative to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a U.N. Specialized Agency, Ambassador Sullenberger has been sought-out as an expert to ensure public safety in the age of technological advancements such as autonomous vehicles.
Ambassador 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. Ambassador Sullenberger earns stellar reviews at each of his engagements, including: “There was not one sound in the room the entire time that he spoke... When you book a speaking engagement with Ambassador Sullenberger, you will definitely get more than your money’s worth" (Cox Media Group) and the glowing praise from audience members such as "'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).
Ambassador Sullenberger’s game-changing lessons featured in Forbes
Ambassador 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, Amb. 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, Amb. 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 Ambassador Sullenberger’s Forbes Interview Podcast >>
Ambassador “Sully” Sullenberger has been dedicated to the pursuit of safety his entire adult life. He recently served as the U.S. Ambassador and Representative to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and is a sought-after speaker, safety expert, author and pilot.
Sullenberger considers it one of the greatest honors of his life having been asked by President Biden to be the U.S. Ambassador to the International Civil Aviation Organization, a United Nations Specialized Agency, in Montréal, Québec, Canada. He was nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2021. He served in the post in 2022. During his tenure he reasserted effective U.S. leadership at ICAO, tackling the aviation crises involving Belarus, Russia, a Middle East airspace dispute and climate change.
Upon reentering private life, he has resumed his profession as a keynote speaker to audiences around the world and continues his advocacy for safety in global air travel.
Sullenberger has a long history of service. He is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, and served as a fighter pilot in 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 he became an airline pilot with Pacific Southwest Airlines, later acquired by US Airways, until his retirement from commercial flying in March 2010. He still flies privately.
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, as Captain, and his First Officer Jeff Skiles safely guided US Airways Flight 1549 to an emergency water landing in New York City’s frigid Hudson River, during what has been called the “Miracle on the Hudson.” The Airbus A320’s two engines had lost thrust following a bird strike. In terms of total combined years of flying since they had become pilots, Sullenberger and Skiles had 75 years’ experience at that time. And in terms of total years of just airline flying experience, they had a combined 50 years, so they were an extraordinarily experienced crew.
Sullenberger, Skiles and their 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 has been 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, lifelong 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. In more recent years, he has also been outspoken in defending our democracy.
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.