past speakers - 2014  -  2013  -  2012   -  2011   -   2010    

Sep 25, 2014
Jason Riley

topic: TBA

Jason Riley is a member of The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board. He joined the paper in 1994 as a copyreader on the national news desk in New York. He moved to the editorial page in 1995 as copyreader and later became a copy editor. In April 1996, he was named to the newly created position of editorial interactive editor and maintained the editorial and Leisure & Arts section of He was named a senior editorial page writer in March 2000, and member of the Editorial Board in 2005.

Born in Buffalo, NY, Mr. Riley earned a bachelor's degree in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He has also worked for USA Today and the Buffalo News.

Oct 9, 2014
Catherine Filloux

topic: TBA

Catherine Filloux is an award-winning playwright who has been writing about human rights and social justice for over 20 years. Recent productions include: Selma '65, her play about the civil rights movement and the KKK, at La MaMa in New York City, where she is an Artist-in-Residence; her play Luz also premiered at La MaMa and was produced at Looking for Lilith in Louisville, Kentucky; published by NoPassport Press. Ms. Filloux recently went on an overseas reading tour to Sudan and South Sudan organized by the University of Iowa's International Writing Program; and her play The Beauty Inside was produced in Northern Iraq, in the Kurdish language, by ArtRole. Ms. Filloux is the librettist for three operas, and has been commissioned by the Wiener Staatsoper (Vienna State Opera House) to write the libretto for a new opera, which will premiere in 2019. Ms. Filloux's more than 20 plays have been produced in the U.S. and around the world. Ms. Filloux is featured in the documentary film, Acting Together on the World Stage, co-created by Dr. Cynthia E. Cohen and filmmaker Allison Lund. She is a co-founder of Theatre Without Borders and has served as a speaker for playwriting and human rights organizations around the world.

September 12, 2014 Interview on NBC

Nov 6, 2014
Steven Lonegan

topic: TBA

Steven Mark Lonegan is a businessman, author and former Mayor of Bogota, NJ. He was State Director of the NJ chapter of Americans for Prosperity and a candidate for the Republican nomination for Governor of New Jersey in 2005 and 2009, as well as the Republican nominee in the Oct 2013 special election to fill New Jersey's open U.S. Senate seat following the death of Frank Lautenberg.

Nov 13, 2014
John E. Schwarz

topic: A Free-Market Economy is not an Economy of Freedom

John E. Schwarz, born in New York City, taught public policy at the University of Arizona from 1970-2004, specializing in economic and social policy. Prior to that, he was on the faculty at the University of Minnesota from 1966-1970 and on the staff of Senator Birch Bayh of Indiana as an economic advisor. He is a graduate of Oberlin College in Ohio where he received a Bachelor's Degree and Indiana University where he received his PhD in Political Science and Economics. He was also educated at the London School of Economics and L'Institut d'Etudes Politiques at the University of Paris.

John Schwarz is currently Professor Emeritus of Government and Public Policy at the University of Arizona. He was Chair of the Faculty at the University of Arizona from 1995-1997, Senior Faculty Associate to the President of the University from 1998-2003, and winner of the Danforth Teaching Award from 1978-1984.

He has published six books, most of them focused on employment, pay, and social assistance in the United States as they relate to economic opportunity and the American ideal of freedom as understood by the Founders. One of the books, Illusions of Opportunity, was nominated for a Pulitizer Prize in 1998 and another, America's Hidden Success, was named one of the best three books of the year on American politics by the Washington Monthly and the best book of the year by the public policy organ of the American Political Science Association. Two of his books, America's Hidden Success and The Forgotten Americans, have been placed on lists of the best fifty books on American economic and social policy of the past half century. His most recent book is Common Credo: The Path Back to American Success, published by W.W. Norton in 2013. Articles of his have appeared in every major journal in political science as well as in numerous more popular outlets, including The Atlantic, The New Republic, the Nation, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, the Financial Times of London, and the Harvard Business Review.

Nov 20, 2014
Elizabeth Ames

topic: TBA

Elizabeth Ames, a veteran public relations executive and former journalist. founded Bolde Communications & Public Relations, Inc. in 1999. Ames brings to Bolde more than 20 years of experience on both sides of the press release. Prior to founding Bolde, she spent nearly seven years at Forbes, Inc., where she established the office of corporate press relations, working on behalf of the company in all major media markets in the U.S., as well as in Europe and Asia. She also served on the Public Relations Committee of the Magazine Publishers Assoc.

She previously spent six years in public relations at the Univ. of So. California, promoting the university's faculty and academic research. Ames developed and produced "Your Enterprise," a weekly radio feature promoting the USC Entrepreneur Program that aired on CBS affiliate KNX NewsRadio.

Prior to entering public relations, Ames spent more than ten years as a journalist. She was a reporter with BusinessWee, covering the entertainment business from the magazine's Los Angeles bureau. Her work as a freelance writer has appeared in New York, Newsweek, Vogue, People, Us, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, Savvy, Self, Horizon and numerous other publications.

Dec 18, 2014
Elizabeth Pisani

topic: TBA

Elizabeth Pisani says she is a recovering epidemiologist specialising in HIV and public health in developing countries. She's taken a little while off her "day job" to indulge her passion for Indonesia, a country that has captivated and infuriated Her for over two decades. She just spent a year on cargo ships etc exploring its outer reaches, and an equal time trying to make sense of it.

Before that she made a few people cross by publishing a book called The Wisdom of Wh*res: Bureaucrats, Brothels and the Business of AIDS. It concluded that in the multi-billion dollar HIV industry, we all sell ourselves to the highest bidder.

Elizabeth has an MA in classical Chinese from Oxford, an MSc in Medical Demography from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and a PhD in Infectious Diease Epidemiology, also from LSHTM. When she's not on a cargo ship she's now an independent consultant on public health issues; is doing quite a bit of work around increasing the sharing of data collected with public and foundation money, so that we can squeeze more good policy out of the same amount of data.

Before She became a scientist, she was a journalist for Reuters and The Economist. She reported on stock markets and revolutions, and had the dubious privilege of witnessing Chinese troops roll in to Tiananmen Square in 1989. She's lived in Western Europe (Germany, Spain, France, the UK, Belgium and Ireland), Asia (Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, China) and East Africa (Kenya). Elizabeth boasts that she can flirt in a bar and bribe a policeman in five languages.

Areas of Self-Procalimed Expertise:
Public Health, Global Health, Addiction, sea kayaking, Sex, HIV, Nation Building, Indonesia, Corruption

She is passionate about:
Common sense, serendipity, Cote Rotie, languages, discovery, learning, jamon jabugo, Indonesia.

Jan 29, 2015
Theresa M. Grant

topic: Common Mistakes Donors Make & How to Avoid Them

Theresa Grant, Chairwoman and Founder of Make A Difference has dedicated her life to helping disadvantaged children get access to quality education. In 2005 she quit her job as a marketing executive in the Silicon Valley and sold all of her possessions to fulfill a calling she had to make a difference in Africa. She moved to an orphanage on a farm outside of Lusaka, Zambia. Finding so much joy and satisfaction from making a difference in the lives of others, Grant helped start the international side of C2BU, an organization focused on helping people find their purpose in life. After working for two years with C2BU, Grant decided to start her own organization solely dedicated to empowering children in need called, Make A Difference (MAD).

Grant has a BS in International Relations and a BA in Spanish. She has supervised hundreds of volunteers from countries around the world including Australia, Belgium, China, India, Israel, Sweden, Tanzania, UK, USA and Zambia helping empower disadvantaged children.

MAD's mission is to support quality educational opportunities for vulnerable children and youth in developing countries. and it's dream is to help children rise out of poverty and become leaders within their countries.

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