Past Speakers

September 26, 2018: ANTONY J. BLINKEN, former Deputy Secretary of State

April 9, 2018: WERNER HERZOG, award-winning filmmaker, director and writer

September 25, 2017: AZAR NAFISI, Iranian-American bestselling author

April 17, 2017: SARAH LEWIS, bestselling author and assistant professor at Harvard University

September 27, 2016: DAVID BROOKS, political analyst and columnist for the New York Times.

April 14, 2016: CARL WIEMAN, award-winning physicist and professor in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University.

October 5, 2015: JULIA GILLARD, Australia’s first woman Prime Minister.

April 8, 2015: MARGARET ATWOOD, acclaimed author who has received numerous international literary awards including the prestigious Booker Prize.

Nov. 20, 2014: SALMAN RUSHDIE, author and winner of many of the world’s top literary prizes.

April 8, 2014: RICHARD HEINZL, founder of the first North American chapter of Doctors Without Borders.

October 3, 2013: JONATHAN SPENCE, the world’s foremost authority on Chinese civilization and the role of history in shaping modern China.

April 18, 2013: LOUIS MENAND, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and scholar of American studies.

October 4, 2012: STEVEN PINKER, cognitive scientist one of the world’s foremost writers on language, mind and human nature.

March 6, 2012: SUSAN SOLOMON, climate scientist internationally recognized as a leader in atmospheric science, 2007 Nobel Laureate, and Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. View her speech here.

October 6, 2011: RAJ PATEL, award-winning writer, food activist and academic.

March 10, 2011: MARTHA NUSSBAUM, philosopher and author of “Fragility of Goodness” and “Cultivating Humanity: A Classic Defense of Reform in Liberal Education.”

December 1, 2010: JODY WILLIAMS, humanitarian and Nobel Laureate.

February 16, 2010: STEVE FAINARU, winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting and author of “Big Boy Rules: America’s Mercenaries Fighting in Iraq.”

April 16, 2008: WILLIAM McDONOUGH, internationally renowned designer and one of the primary proponents and shapers of what he and his partners call “The Next Industrial Revolution.”

October 16, 2007: LOUIS SULLIVAN, former secretary of health and human services under President George H.W. Bush.

March 12, 2007: HANS BLIX, former chief UN weapons inspector in Iraq and author of “Disarming Iraq.”

October 10, 2006: JOHNATHAN KOZOL, public education advocate, author and winner of the National Book Award for “Death at an Early Age.”

April 12, 2006: JOSEPH STIGLITZ, winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Economics and bestselling author of “Globalization and Its Discontents.”

February 13, 2006: SEYMOUR HERSH, investigative reporter who won the Pulitzer Prize for exposing the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam. He is the author of “Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib” and other books.

October 4, 2005: KAREN ARMSTRONG, religion scholar and author who wrote “A History of God,” “The Battle for God,” the memoir “The Spiral Staircase” and a number of other well-received books.

March 15, 2005 CHRISTOPHER HOGWOOD, internationally acclaimed conductor and musicologist.

April 14, 2004: E.O. WILSON, a world-renowned biologist and two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

October 19, 2004: MARY ROBINSON, president of Ireland from 1990-1997 and U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997-2002

October 9, 2003: MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM, author who won the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award for The Hours.

October 2, 2002: LECH WALESA, former president of Poland and winner of the 1983 Nobel Prize for Peace

April 25, 2002: HORST STORMER, winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Physics.

October 9, 2001: JOSE RAMOS-HORTA, winner of the 1996 Nobel Prize for Peace for “his sustained efforts to hinder the oppression of a small people” in his homeland of East Timor

April 10, 2001: TERRY WAITE, humanitarian and hostage negotiator