Past Speakers

Past Videos and Papers

Past Omnibus Season videos and papers are available for viewing.

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2016–2017

Dr. Bennet Omalu
Dr. Bennet Omalu, physician specializing in chronic brain injury
Don’t Break the Rules: Change the Game!

April 17, 2017

As detailed in the 2015 film Concussion, Dr. Bennet Omalu’ was the first doctor to identify chronic brain damage (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) as a significant factor in the deaths of certain professional athletes. Faced with ridicule and dismissal by the NFL, Omalu became a symbol of truth in the pursuit of doing what’s best for people and their health.

Mark Emmert
Mark Emmert, President and CEO of the National Collegiate Athletic Association
College Sports as a Pathway to Opportunity

February 7, 2017

National Collegiate Athletic Association president and CEO Mark Emmert is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a fellow of the National Academy for Public Administration. He is a former Fulbright administrative fellow and a former fellow of the American Council on Education.

Charlie Savage
Charlie Savage, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and Washington correspondent for the New York Times
Power Wars: Obama, Bush, and the Post-9/11 Presidency

November 10, 2016

Savage began covering post-9/11 issues in 2003 as a reporter for the Miami Herald, including those of national security, individual rights, and rule of law. Other journalism honors include the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award, the Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency, and the Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism.

Jeb Bush
Jeb Bush, 43rd governor of Florida
Leadership, Redefined: An Evening with Jeb Bush

September 8, 2016

The son of former President George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush, Jeb Bush served as governor of Florida for two terms. Bush also served as chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education and was the co-chairman of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy and chair of the National Constitution Center.

2015–2016

James Carville Mary Carville
James Carville, Liberal best-selling author, actor, producer, and talk-show host
Mary Matalin, Conservative political author, television, and radio host
All’s Fair: Love, War, and Politics

March 24, 2017

Carville’s reputation for leading overlooked campaigns to victory began in 1986, culminating with Bill Clinton’s election in 1992. Carville then turned to global politics, focusing on campaigns around the world. Matalin is a celebrated conservative political voice who worked under President Ronald Reagan and served as George H.W. Bush’s campaign director, assistant to George W. Bush, and counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney. She is a frequent commentator on news networks ABC, CNN, MSNBC, and FOX News Network. Together, the couple has more than 60 years of political experience.

Bill McKibben
Bill McKibben, Environmental activist
The Climate Fight Reaches Its Crucial Stage

November 5,2015

Bill McKibben is the founder of 350.org, the first planet-wide grassroots climate change movement, which has organized 20,000 rallies around the world, and spearheaded resistance to the Keystone Pipeline. McKibben has been recognized with Guggenheim and Lyndhurst fellowships, as well as the Lannan Prize for nonfiction writing. He was also a former staff writer for The New Yorker.

Eric Olson
Eric Olson, Retired four-star Admiral, Navy SEAL, and former commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command
The World at Night

October 7, 2015

Olson’s leadership is credited for accomplishing some of the most notable military operations of the past decade. He was the first Navy SEAL to be appointed to three-star and four-star rank, in addition to being the first naval officer selected to command all U.S. special operations forces.

2014–2015

Garrison Keillor
Garrison Keillor, Host of public radio’s live variety show A Prairie Home Companion
An Evening with Garrison Keillor

April 1, 2015

Keillor’s long and storied career on the airwaves began in 1969 when he went to work for Minnesota Public Radio, and his mastery of storytelling has made him to a household name. In addition to performing with orchestras in legendary venues across the country, Keillor has taken A Prairie Home Companion on the road for tour broadcasts all across America.

Anthony Chan
Anthony Chan, Chief Economist, J.P. Morgan Chase
The Global Economy

March 4, 2015

Economist Anthony Chan is featured regularly on CNBC and Bloomberg TV and in The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, and more. His responsibilities include economic analysis and research, and he travels widely for client presentations on economics and investments. Chan earned a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland and is a member of several forecasting panels.

Neil deGrasse Tyson
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist, television host, Internet icon, and superhero of the sciences
This Just In: Latest Discoveries in the Universe

October 21,2014

Tyson is a research associate at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space in New York. He is the former host of PBS' NOVA ScienceNow and was the host of the Fox network series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. NASA awarded him its Distinguished Public Service Medal, its highest award for a citizen.

Doris Kearns Goodwin
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Presidential Historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning Author
Leadership Lessons of History: Doris Kearns Goodwin on the American Presidents

September 23, 2014

Doris Kearns Goodwin penned Team of Rivals, which chronicles Abraham Lincoln’s political career and his ability to bring former rivals into his cabinet to serve the good of the country. She has also written books on Lyndon Johnson, Kennedy, and Teddy Roosevelt. Her chronicle of FDR, No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II, won a Pulitzer prize.

2013–2014

Jim Clifton
Jim Clifton, CEO of Gallup and Author
The Coming Jobs War

November 12, 2013

Jim Clifton is the CEO of Gallup and the author of The Coming Jobs War, which explains how and why those who create and control the job market also control our future. Clifton is responsible for major innovations in the realm of public opinion polling, including the Gallup World Poll, which collects data from across the world on key global issues.

Jeanette Walls
Jeanette Walls, Author
The Glass Castle: Demon Hunting and Other Life Lessons

October 23, 2013

Walls is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel The Glass Castle, which recalls her unconventional upbringing in the care of unorthodox parents. Walls grew up to become a renowned columnist for New York Magazine and MSNBC.com and has appeared on Good Morning America, Larry King Live, and Oprah.

2012–2013

Susan Orlean
Susan Orlean, Author
My Encounters with Extraordinary People

April 18, 2013

Susan Orlean is the author of the best-selling book, The Orchid Thief, which was made into the Oscar-winning movie, Adaptation. Her latest work, Rin Tin Tin: The Life and The Legend tells the story of Rin Tin Tin's journey from orphaned puppy to movie star and international icon.

Grant Imahara
Grant Imahara, Robotics Engineer
Engineering in Entertainment

March 25, 2013

Before becoming a mythbuster on the popular Discovery Channel TV science program Mytbbusters, Grant Imahara was an animatronics engineer and model maker for George Lucas' Industrial Light & Magic, where he specialized in electronics and radio control. His film credits include Star Wars, The Matrix, Jurassic Park, and Terminator.

Naomi Tutu
Naomi Tutu, Human Rights Advocate
Hard Conversations: Talking About Race and Racism

March 25, 2013

Naomi Tutu is a lifetime advocate of human rights. Daughter of Bishop Desmond Tutu, she was born in apartheid South Africa, but later lived in Lesotho, the United Kingdom, and the United States. She has served as a development consultant in West Africa and has worked in coordination of programs that support race and gender awareness.

Jon Meacham
Jon Meacham, Historian and Author
Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

November 7, 2012

Jon Meacham is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author, former editor of Newsweek, and executive vice president and executive editor at Random House Publishing. He is also the author of two New York Times bestsellers—American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation and Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship.

Jeffrey Toobin
Jeffrey Toobin, News Analyst and Author
Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court

October 24, 2012

A senior analyst for CNN and staff writer for The New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin is one of the country’s most esteemed experts on politics, media, and the law. Toobin has provided analysis on some of the most provocative and important events of our time. His book The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court, provides a unique look into the inner workings of the Supreme Court.
Mia Farrow
Mia Farrow, Actor and Activist
With Knowledge Comes Responsibility: The Darfur Crisis

September 12, 2012

Farrow has devoted her life to humanitarian causes. She is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and has fought to eradicate polio. Her latest effort raises awareness of the genocide occurring in Darfur, Chad, and the Central African Republic.

2011–2012

The Capitol Steps
The Capitol Steps
The MOCK in Democracy - 100th Lecture

April 12, 2012

The Capitol Steps, a political satire comedy troupe, formed in the early 1980s when a group of Senate staffers working under the Reagan administration decided that if entertainers could become politicians, then politicians could become entertainers. Their ability to take on both sides of the aisle has been featured in The Washington PostThe Huffington PostPoliticoThe Los Angeles TimesThe New York Times, and more.

Diane Ravich
Diane Ravich
Education Reform

March 13, 2012

Diane Ravitch was an early proponent of accountability, but now believes it actually undermines American education. She is research professor of education at New York University and nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. As assistant secretary of education, Ravitch led the federal effort to promote the creation of voluntary state and national academic standards.

Michele Norris
Michele Norris
The Grace of Silence and the Power of Words

February 20, 2012

Michele Norris is an award-winning journalist with more than two decades of experience. Since 2002, Norris has hosted NPR's newsmagazine All Things Considered, public radio's longest-running national program. Her first book, The Grace of Silence: A Memoir, focuses on how America talks about race in the wake of Barack Obama’s presidential election, and explores her own family's racial legacy. 

Martha Raddatz
Martha Raddatz
Global Hotspots from Yemen to Afganistan and the Arab Spring in Between

November 8, 2011

Martha Raddatz has reported many of the most compelling foreign and domestic news stories of our time. In addition to covering the White House, Raddatz traveled to Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq. In 2007, the White House Correspondents' Association awarded her the Merriman Smith Memorial Award for excellence in presidential news coverage under deadline pressure. 

William Dunkelberg
William Dunkelberg
Unemployment - How Can We Fix It?

October 12, 2011

William Dunkelberg is an authority on small business, entrepreneurship, consumer behavior, consumer credit, and government policy. He was the first recipient of the Small Business Administration's Research Advocate of the Year Award and the Abramson Scroll from the National Association for Business Economics in 2009.

Mitch Daniels
Mitch Daniels
Keeping the Republic: Saving America by Trusting Americans

September 28, 2011

Mitch Daniels is a former governor of Indiana. His work as CEO of the Hudson Institute and President of Eli Lilly’s North American pharmaceutical operations prepared him for the business of running the state. He served as chief of staff to Senator Richard Lugar, senior advisor to President Ronald Reagan, and director of the Office of Management and Budget under President George W. Bush.

2010–2011

Tom Rush Country Joe McDonald
Tom Rush and Country Joe McDonald
Activism: Then and Now

April 27, 2011

In a moderated format with acoustic musical elements, Tom Rush and Country Joe McDonald discuss how music was used as an outlet for social commentary and protest in the 1960s, and society's response to national issues today. Rush helped shape the folk music revival in the '60s and its renaissance in the '80s and '90s. McDonald's music straddles the two polar events of the '60s—Woodstock and the Vietnam War.

Patrick Henry Hughes
Patrick Henry Hughes
Achieving Your Potential

March 16, 2011

Patrick Henry Hughes was born with a rare genetic disorder that left him without eyes or the ability to fully straighten his arms and legs. Despite these challenges, he is a virtuoso pianist, trumpet player, and vocalist. In his book I Am Potential: Eight Lessons on Living, Loving, and Reaching Your Dream, he recounts life lessons that are at the heart of his success.

Rick Steves
Rick Steves
Perspective on Adventure, Culture, and a Changing World

February 16, 2011

Rick Steves advocates smart, affordable, perspective-broadening travel. As host and writer of the popular public television series, Rick Steves' Europe, he encourages Americans to travel as “temporary locals.” In his 2009 book, Travel as a Political Act, Steves suggests how travel can be a significant force for peace and understanding in the world. During the past 20 years, Steves has produced over 100 travel shows for public television.

Andrew Ross Sorkin
Andrew Ross Sorkin
Too Big to Fail 

November 10, 2010

Andrew Ross Sorkin is a leading voice about Wall Street and corporate America. Sorkin's New York Times bestseller, Too Big To Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System—and Themselves, is the first account of how the financial crisis developed into a global tsunami. New York Magazine described Sorkin as “the most famous financial journalist of his generation.”

Ken Auletta
Ken Auletta
Googled: The Future of Media

October 7, 2010

Author and media columnist for The New Yorker, Ken Auletta is “the James Bond of the media world,” Auletta's book, Googled: The End of the World as We Know It, is a New York Times business bestseller. He has written four other national bestsellers and has published articles in The New York TimesVanity FairEsquire, and The New Republic.

Sean Astin
Sean Astin
On Acting, Leadership, and Other 'Very Important' Stuff 

September 14, 2010

Actor Sean Astin will always be “Mikey” in the popular classic, The Goonies, and will forever be remembered for portraying Samwise Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Yet, the film for which he is singularly identified is Rudy—the 1993 box office hit featuring him as a working-class dreamer and inspirational underdog in the Fighting Irish football program at Notre Dame.

2009–2010

Christopher Buckley
Christopher Buckley
An Evening with Christopher Buckley

April 8, 2010

Author and social/political satirist Christopher Buckley has compiled quite the life résumé to draw upon—merchant marine, magazine managing editor, best-selling author, and chief speechwriter to Vice President George H. W. Bush—all before he turned 30.

Neil LaBute
Neil LaBute
Changing Course: The Serpentine Road to Success

March 25, 2010

Neil LaBute is a seasoned talent of stage and screen who has roots in Fort Wayne as well as IPFW. An assistant professor of theatre at the university in the early 1990s, he returned to the city later in the decade to film his directorial debut, In the Company of Men (1997), an award-winning, dark commentary on men who dislike women.

Jamaica Kincaid
Jamaica Kincaid
Reading and Growing up under Colonial Rule

February 11, 2010

Jamaica Kincaid skillfully tempers the boundary between poetry and prose. Born Elaine Potter Richardson, she left her native country of Antigua at age 16, bound for New York. Following years of college coursework and freelance writing projects, she secured a position at a teenage girl's magazine.

Andrew Sullivan
Andrew Sullivan
Friendship: The Forgotten Relationship

November 10, 2009

Andrew Sullivan uses his columns, online blog, and frequent television appearances to question the present course of conservatism in America, arguing for the revival of conservative traditions for the Republican Party, not religious ideology. 

James Galbraith
James Galbraith

October 2014, 2009

James Galbraith’s Ivy League education and professional affiliations make him an ideal forecaster for America's financial health and economic climates elsewhere. He is the Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. Chair of Government/Business Relations and professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin.

Tom Rush Henry Winker
Marlee Matlin and Henry Winkler
A Conversation with Marlee Matlin and Henry Winkler

September 12, 2009

When 12-year-old Marlee Matlin met Henry Winkler, “The Fonz” from ABC’s Happy Days, they struck a special bond instantly. Winkler met Matlin while she was attending a community theatre where she began acting at seven years old. He enthusiastically told Matlin to follow her dream of becoming a professional actress despite her profound deafness. 

2008–2009

Sandra Day O’Connor
Sandra Day O’Connor
And Justice for All

April 23, 2009

The first woman to serve on the Supreme Court, Sandra Day O’Connor served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1981 until her retirement from the bench in 2006. For many years she was a crucial vote on the court because of her case-by-case approach to jurisprudence and her relatively moderate political views, which helped define her role as the centrist coalition-builder.

A.J. Jacobs
A.J. Jacobs
My Year of Living Biblically

March 26, 2009

A.J. Jacobs sees his life as a series of experiments in which he immerses himself in a project or lifestyle, for better or worse, then writes about what he learned. 

Hal Holbrook
Hal Holbrook
Mark Twain Tonight!

January 29, 2009

An Emmy- and Tony-Award winning actor who is one of the great craftsmen of stage and screen, Holbrook is best known for his performance as Mark Twain, for which he won a Tony and the first of his 10 Emmy Award nominations. He is not simply an impersonator of Mark Twain, he is an authority on the writer about whom Hemingway said, “American literature began.”

David Baldacci
David Baldacci
From Thriller to Tradition: Balancing Between Deadly Suspense and Wistful Southern Fiction

November 14, 2008

David Baldacci’s novels, populated with Secret Service agents, CIA sharpshooters, and less-than-ethical presidents, excite the imagination of readers everywhere. Baldacci is also an advocate for literacy and the importance of reading.

Eugene Robinson
Eugene Robinson
Politics and the Nation

October 21, 2008

Eugene Robinson uses his column in The Washington Post to pick American society apart and then put it back together again in unexpected, and revelatory, new ways. He is also a political analyst, a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, and the recipient of many journalism awards.

John L. Esposito
John L. Esposito
The United States and the Muslim World: What the Next President Should Know

September 24, 2008

A well-known promoter of strong ties between Muslims and Christians, John Esposito has urged the Vatican to make greater efforts to encourage such ties. He is a professor of religion, international affairs, and Islamic studies at Georgetown University and the author of more than 35 books.

2007–2008

Daniel Glaser
Daniel Glaser
National Security and the International Financial System

April 25, 2008

Daniel Glaser is the primary U.S. Treasury official for the development and coordination of international anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing policy. He is a key official in developing and implementing strategies to disrupt and dismantle money laundering and terrorist financing networks worldwide.

Jerry Greenfield
Jerry Greenfield
An Evening of Entrepreneurial Spirit, Social Responsibility, and Radical Business Philosophy

March 5, 2008

Jerry Greenfield wanted to be a doctor. Ben Cohen wanted to be a potter. Today, Greenfield and Cohen’s names are synonymous with socially responsible business and all-natural ice cream in innovative flavors through Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc. Beginning with one ice cream shop in a renovated Vermont gas station in 1978, Ben & Jerry’s celebrated more than $237 million in sales from nearly 200 by 1999.

Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Genealogy and Genetics and the African-American Experience

January 7, 2008

Henry Louis Gates Jr. is both an eloquent commentator and formidable intellectual force on multicultural and African American issues. He is widely acknowledged for taking African American studies beyond the ideological bent of the 1970s and ‘80s black power movement, and bringing it into a scholarly sphere that is the equivalent to all other disciplines

Samantha Power
Samantha Power
The Age of Genocide

November 13, 2007

Human rights scholar and author Samantha Power is the Anna Lindh Professor of Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Her book, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, was awarded the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction, the 2003 National Book Critics’ Circle Award for general non-fiction, and the Council on Foreign Relations’ Arthur Ross Prize for the best book on U.S. foreign policy. 

Carl Bernstein
Carl Bernstein
Dysfunction: The State of American Politics and Journalism Today

October 10, 2007

Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward broke the Watergate story for The Washington Post. Their investigations into the scandal that brought down the presidency of Richard Nixon were recounted in two of the biggest-selling books of the decade: All the President’s Men and The Final Days. Through various media, Bernstein continues to build on the theme he and Woodward first explored in the Nixon years—the use and abuse of all aspects of power.

Cheech Marin
Cheech Marin
An Interpretation of a Culture through Chicano Art

September 25, 2007

Best known as one half of the hilarious counterculture, no-holds-barred duo of “Cheech and Chong,” Marin is a paradox in the world of entertainment. As an actor, director, writer, musician, art collector, and humanitarian, he’s a man who has enough talent, humor, and intelligence to do just about anything.

2006–2007

Gail Sheehy
Gail Sheehy
Finding a Dream for the Second Half of Your Life

April 26, 2007

Gail Sheehy offers dynamic programs based on her groundbreaking investigations and observations of men and women within different phases of their lives. Her original landmark work, Passages, was on The New York Times bestseller list for more than three years. A Library of Congress survey named Passages one of the 10 most influential books of our time.

Eric Schlosser
Eric Schlosser
Fast Food Nation

March 13, 2007

Author of the national bestsellers Fast Food Nation and Reefer Madness, Eric Schlosser investigates hidden realms of American business and culture and their far-reaching effects on our lives. He challenges people to think about critical issues, including food safety, workers’ rights, the war on drugs, our prison system, marketing to children, and the obesity epidemic. 

Bobby Moresco
Bobby Moresco
One on One with Bobby Moresco

January 19, 2007

Hollywood screenwriter Bobby Moresco has achieved Academy Award-winning successes as the co-writer and producer of Crash and co-producer of Million Dollar Baby. Moresco has co-created and produced critically acclaimed television series and founded his own theatre company in 1978, The Actor’s Gym, in Los Angeles.

Alfre Woodard
Alfre Woodard
Who Are These Americans?

November 13, 2006

Committed to political activism in the United States and Africa, Alfre Woodard was among artists and activists who, in 1989, founded Artists for a New South Africa, a nonprofit organization dedicated to democracy and equality in South Africa and civil rights in the United States. She also has been active in campaigns against environmental racism and efforts to raise AIDS awareness.

Seymour Hersh
Seymour Hersh
American Foreign Policy

October 17, 2006

Seymour Hersh is one of America’s finest investigative journalists, uncovering some of the most important news stories of our times. Hersh discusses the often shadowy world where America's official foreign policy stance meets the politics and power in other parts of the world. He reveals what happens when governments seek to operate unhindered by the checks and balances of our constitutional system.

Azar Nafisi
Azar Nafisi
Reading Lolita in Tehran: An Evening with Dr. Azar Nafisi

September 13, 2006

Azar Nafisi is the author of the national bestseller Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, which offers a compassionate and often harrowing portrait of the Islamic revolution in Iran and how it affected one university professor and her students. She has lectured and written extensively on the political implications of literature and culture, as well as the human rights of Iranian women and girls.

2005–2006

Liz Murray
Liz Murray
From Homeless to Harvard

April 10, 2006

Liz Murray’s life is a triumph over adversity. By the time Murray was 15, her mom had died, and she was homeless. Determined to take charge of her life, she finished high school in just two years while camping out in New York City parks and subway stations. Lifetime Television produced a movie about Murray’s life entitled From Homeless to Harvard.

Luis Rodriguez
Luis Rodriguez
Hearts and Hands: Creating Community in Violent Times

March 12, 2006

Luis Rodriguez is the author of several collections of poetry that have won a Poetry Center Book Award, a PEN/Josephine Miles Literary Award, and ForeWord magazine’s Silver Book Award, among others. His work Always Running earned a Carl Sandburg Literary Award and was designated a New York Times Notable Book.

Tavis Smiley
Tavis Smiley
An Evening with Tavis Smiley

March 13, 2006

With his late-night television talk show, Tavis Smiley on PBS, and his radio show The Tavis Smiley Show on NPR, Tavis Smiley is the first American to simultaneously host signature talk shows on both PBS and NPR. He has authored eight books and has his own imprint (Smiley Books) with Hay House.

Jean Chatzky
Jean Chatzky
Talking Money with Jean Chatzky

November 8, 2005

Jean Chatzky is the financial editor for NBC’s Today Show and the host of a series of money minutes, Talking Money with Jean Chatzky, on CNBC. She is the author of four books on personal finance, including, Pay It Down! From Debt to Wealth on $10 a Day. Chatzky was named an editor-at-large of Money in February 1998.

Boots Randolph
Boots Randolph
Living the Music

October 4, 2005

Saxophonist Boots Randolph started bringing audiences to their feet in the early ’60s, when his signature song, “Yakety Sax,” first hit the airwaves. Randolph was the first to play sax on recordings with Elvis, and he also played on Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman,” Al Hirt’s “Java,” REO Speedwagon’s “Little Queenie,” and Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ ’Round the Christmas Tree.”

Mitch Albom
Mitch Albom
From Morrie to Heaven: Searching for a Meaningful Life

September 9, 2005

In September 2003, Mitch Albom released his first novel, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, which debuted at No. 1 on The New York Times bestsellers list and sold nearly five million copies in its first year. Albom is a columnist for the Detroit Free Press and hosts the The Mitch Albom Show, a nationally syndicated radio program. 

2004–2005

Janie Fricke
Janie Fricke
The Reality of Fame and Stardom

April 13, 2005

Janie Fricke went from Indiana farm girl to internationally acclaimed recording artist. She was born in South Whitley, Indiana, and raised on a farm where her father taught her how to play guitar. From county fairs to corporate trade shows, live concerts, in recording studios, or before millions on television, Fricke's voice and personality have captivated audiences around the world.

David Brooks
David Brooks
The Landscape of American Politics

March 17, 2005

David Brooks has a gift for bringing audiences face-to-face with the spirit of our times with humor, insights, and quiet passion. He is a keen observer of the American way of life and a savvy analyst of present-day politics and foreign affairs. A frequent contributor to The New York Times, he now writes a regular biweekly op-ed column for the newspaper

Nikki Giovanni
Nikki Giovanni
An Evening with Nikki Giovanni

January 2, 2005

Nikki Giovanni’s outspokenness, in her writing and in person, has made her one of the most widely read American poets. She prides herself on being “a black American, a daughter, a mother, a professor of English.”  Since 1968, she has inspired readers and critics and has established herself as a bestselling poet, author, and essayist.

Deepak Chopra
Deepak Chopra
An Evening with Deepak Chopra

December 10, 2004

Acknowledged as one of the world’s greatest leaders in the field of mind-body medicine, Deepak Chopra continues to transform our understanding of the meaning of health. Through his creation of The Chopra Center for Well Being in California in 1995, Chopra’s work is changing how the world views physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social wellness.

James Earl Jones
James Earl Jones
Freedom Through Literacy

November 9, 2004

James Earl Jones is known for his powerful and critically acclaimed stage and screen performances. He won two Tony Awards—one for his work in Great White Hope and the other for Fences. His appearance in the critically acclaimed CBS series Under One Roof and in NBC’s sitcom Frasier brought Jones Emmy nominations.

The Capitol Steps
The Capitol Steps
The Capitol Steps: The Lighter Side of Politics

September 14, 2004

The Capitol Steps political comedy troupe began in 1981 at a Christmas party in the office of former Senator Charles Percy. Over the next 20 years, the Capitol Steps recorded 23 albums and appeared on Good Morning America, the Today Show20/20Entertainment TonightNightline, CNN’s Inside Politics, and dozens of times on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered.

2003–2004

Joyce Carol Oates
Joyce Carol Oates
Reading and Commentary with Joyce Carol Oates 

March 31, 2004

Joyce Carol Oates is one of America’s most versatile, serious writers and the author of a number of distinguished books in several genres. Often her vision is that of a highly complex America populated with presumably ordinary families who experience common yet intense emotions and relationships and who frequently encounter violence.

Richard Rodriguez
Richard Rodriguez
The Brown Round World: Beyond Multiculturalism and Diversity

March 17, 2004

One of America’s most respected essayists and master of the “personal essay,” Richard Rodriguez writes about the intersection of his personal life with some of the great vexing issues of America, including bilingual education, affirmative action, and understanding the role of race in America’s past and future.

B. D. Wong
B. D. Wong
All the World's a Stage: Supporting the Transformation from Exclusion to Inclusion

February 9, 2004

Known as the compassionate and tireless Father Ray Mukada from the HBO series Oz, forensic psychiatrist Dr. Huang on NBC’s Law and Order: SUV, and as the voice of Captain Li Shang in Disney’s Mulan, B. D. Wong tells how his career choice has forced him to not only accept but embrace his racial identify.

Winona LaDuke
Winona LaDuke
Politics, Motherhood, and Environmental Justice from a Native Perspective

November 18, 2003

An internationally respected Native American and environmental activist and author, Winona LaDuke fights for environmental justice issues in native America. She focuses particularly on energy policy, including nuclear waste, dam projects, coal strip mining, and alternative energy.

Ben Vereen
Ben Vereen
An Evening with Ben Vereen

October 2, 2003

A consummate entertainer who left his mark on the Broadway stage, concert circuit, in film and on television, Ben Vereen’s enduring success results from his unique ability to blend rare talent, artistic mastery, and discipline with a strong sense of social consciousness. 

P. J. O’Rourke
P. J. O’Rourke
The Politics of Worry

September 8, 2003

With more than a million words of trenchant journalism under his byline and more citations in The Penguin Dictionary of Humorous Quotations than any other living writer, P. J. O’Rourke has become one of American’s favorite political satirists.

2002–2003

Henry Cisneros
Henry Cisneros
America's Role in the World: Globalization and the Clash of Cultures

March 13, 2003

Henry Cisneros became the first Hispanic-American mayor of a major U.S. city—San Antonio, Texas—in 1981. He was interviewed by the Democratic Presidential Nominee as a potential candidate for vice president. From 1993 to 1997, Cisneros served as the secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Barbara Ehrenreich
Barbara Ehrenreich
Nickel and Dimed

February 17, 2003

A respected and original social commentator, author, and journalist, Barbara Ehrenreich has been a contributing writer for Time magazine since 1990. Her articles, reviews, essays, and humor have appeared in range of publications. Her articles, reviews, essays, and humor have appeared in many national and international publications, including The News York Times Magazine and Esquire.

Barbara Buhler Lynes
Barbara Buhler Lynes
Solving Puzzles, Discovering O'Keeffe: the Georgia O'Keeffe Catalogue Raisonné 

November 21, 2002

Barbara Buhler Lynes is the curator of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and author of the Georgia O’Keeffe: Catalogue Raisonné. Lynes has lectured widely and written extensively about the artist and her work. Her publications include O’Keeffe, Stieglitz, and the Critics, 1916–1929, and Georgia O’Keeffe

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Our Environmental Destiny

October 9, 2002

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is chief prosecuting attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper and the senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council. A man whose message supersedes his golden name, Kennedy has earned a reputation as a resolute defender of the environment. He is also a clinical professor and supervising attorney at the Environmental Litigation Clinic at Pace University School of Law.

Charlie Trotter
Charlie Trotter
An Evening with Charlie Trotter

September 4, 2002

Charlie Trotter started cooking professionally in 1982. His adept understanding of cultural influences and flavors from around the world are intuitively and spontaneously translated into his own highly original cuisine. Wine Spectator magazine observed, “Trotter regards recipes the way jazz musicians see their musical scores—as frameworks for improvisation.”

2001–2002

Christy Haubegger
Christy Haubegger
An Evening with Christy Haubegger: The Making of Latina Magazine

April 17, 2002

The visionary founder of Latina, the first bilingual magazine that targeted exclusively Hispanic women in the United States, Christy Haubegger is a dynamic personality who breaks down barriers for Hispanics in business and mainstream media. 

Yevgeny Yevtushenko
Yevgeny Yevtushenko
The Best of the Best

March 22, 2002

Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko gained international fame in 1961 with his poem “Babi Yar,” in which he denounced Nazi and Russian anti-Semitism. His demands for greater artistic freedom and his attacks on Stalinism and bureaucracy in the late 1950s and 1960s made him a leader of Soviet youth.

Dale Chihuly
Dale Chihuly
Chihuly on Chihuly

January 31, 2002

Dale Chihuly has led the avant-garde in the development of glassblowing as a studio art and the broader contemporary interest in glass as an expressive medium. His work is included in more than 190 museum collections worldwide.

John Updike
John Updike
John Updike: On Writing and His Recent Work

November 28, 2001

The author of the Rabbit series, John Updike has two Pulitzer Prizes, and is only the third American to be so honored. His other works include novels, volumes of poetry, and short-story collections. 

Cornel West
Cornel West
The War against Parents

October 25, 2001

One of the first black scholars at Harvard University to receive the academic title of professor, the school’s highest faculty post, Cornel West teaches Afro-American studies and philosophy of religion. 

Rulon Gardner
Rulon Gardner
Overcoming Obstacles

September 11, 2001

An athlete with a history of notable but obscure success, Rulon Gardner became a household name—and the pride of a nation—when he took the Olympic gold medal for wresting in Sydney in 2000.

2000–2001

Jules Feiffer
Jules Feiffer
My Life and Funny Times

April 26, 2001

Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Jules Feiffer, a humorist who mixes such unlikely subjects as nuclear destruction and sexual relationships, has been called a satirist whose strong point is compassion. 

Wendy Wasserstein
Wendy Wasserstein
A Life in the Theatre

March 19, 2001

Seen by many as the voice of a generation, playwright Wendy Wasserstein used her art to chronicle the staggering social changes that have transformed modern life.

Brent Staples
Brent Staples
The Crisis in Education

January 8, 2001

In celebration of Black History Month, IPFW presents author and journalist Brent Staples, who writes on education, politics, and culture for the New York Times editorial board. 

David S. Broder
David S. Broder
What's Next in American Politics

November 13, 2000

Broder, a national political correspondent reporting the political scene for The Washington Post, writes a biweekly column that covers an even broader aspect of American political life. Broder is known for his grassroots analysis of election campaigns. 

Mitzi Gaynor
Mitzi Gaynor
An Evening with Mitzi Gaynor

October 10, 2000

Gaynor’s vibrant personality and singing, dancing, and acting talents made her a star of motion pictures, television, the theatrical stage, Las Vegas, and concerts. She is best known for her role as Ensign Nellie Forbush in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific

Jim Hightower
Jim Hightower
If the Gods Had Meant Us to Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates

September 19, 2000

Hightower hosts a daily radio talk show and produces radio commentaries heard on 70 stations across the United States. He publishes daily commentaries on his website and coedits The Hightower Lowdown, a monthly newsletter.

1999–2000

Dinesh D’Souza Nadine Strossen
Dinesh D’Souza and Nadine Strossen
Affirmative Action Debate

April 11, 2000

Dinesh D’Souza, renowned author and speaker, and senior analyst at the White House during the Reagan administration, debates affirmative action with Nadine Strossen, the first female president of the American Civil Liberties Union, who has written, lectured, and practiced extensively in constitutional law, civil liberties, and international human rights.

Eleanor Clift
Eleanor Clift
Inside Politics

March 19, 2000

A key member of the Newsweek political team, Eleanor Clift reported regularly on the Washington power structure and, as contributing editor, explored the White House and Congress. Clift became the deputy Washington bureau chief in 1992 in 1992 and later became a political analyst for the Fox News Network.

Paceholder image - No iamge for Alan Page
Alan Page
The Importance of Mentoring Youth

February 10, 2000

A Minnesota Supreme Court Justice and ardent defender of equal education for all children, Alan Page established the Page Foundation that has produced more than 180 scholarships for underserved youth. He was a member of the famed “Purple People Eaters,” was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 

Edward Albee
Edward Albee
The Playwright vs. the Theatre

November 16, 1999

Acclaimed as one of America’s most important dramatist still writing, Edward Albee is most famous for his Tony Award-winning play Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? His award-winning plays are repeatedly produced in theatres throughout the world. Albee’s plays, with their intensity, grappling with modern themes, and experiments in form, startled critics and audiences alike while changing the landscape of American drama.

Bianca Jagger
Bianca Jagger
The Power of One

October 6, 1999

Actress, human rights activist, and environmentalist Bianca Jagger’s early efforts focused on earthquake victims, homeless people, and refugees. She frequently spoke before U. S. Congress in support of such organizations as Amnesty International and Save the Children. 

Beverly Sills
Beverly Sills
Conversation on the Arts

September 9, 1999

Regarded as one of the most beloved and respected American opera sopranos, Beverly Sills was a member of the New York City Opera from 1955 to 1980 and performed in leading opera houses around the world. After her retirement from singing, she became general director of NYCO and served as a chair of the Metropolitan Opera.

1998–1999

Willian Kristol
William Kristol
A Republican Future?

March 19, 1999

An authority on national politics, William Kristol’s writings about political philosophy, American political thought, and public policy have appeared in both popular and academic journals.

Amy Hempel
Amy Hempel
Short, Short Prose, Poems, or 'Couldn't Finish'

February 23, 1999

A writer of funny, lyrical short stories, Amy Hempel features dogs and other furry creatures that make her one of the country’s top short-fiction writers. 

Joe Clark
Joe Clark
Lean on Me

November 10, 1998

The former high school principal who expelled 300 students in a single day for fighting, vandalism, drug possession, profanity, and abusing teachers, Joe Clark is remembered as “the principal with a baseball bat in his hand” in the movie Lean on Me.

Judy Chicago
Judy Chicago
Overview: From the Sixties to the Nineties

October 19, 1998

An artist, writer, feminist, and intellectual, Judy Chicago makes it her mission to translate women’s life experiences into art. She ignites controversy as she confronts cultural issues through her artwork.

Clarence Page
Clarence Page
Race Relations for the New Millennium

September 9, 1998

A Pulitzer Prize-winning commentator and nationally syndicated columnist, Clarence Page is passionate about how race continues to divide Americans. He makes no apologies for attacking the current trend of racial denial. 

1997–1998

Amy Hempel
Jean-Michel Cousteau
Designing the Future

April 6, 1998

The son of environmentalist and ocean pioneer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Jean-Michel Cousteau shares his vision and great love and concern for the planet through his impassioned and eloquent lectures on proactive environmental preservation and unique educational field study programs.

Phyllis Schlafly Sarah Weddington
Phyllis Schlafly and Sarah Weddington
Gender Issues Debate

March 23, 1998

Phyllis Schlafly, a conservative political activist and lawyer, engages in a gender issue debate with Sarah Weddington, an attorney and women’s advocate famous for representing the winning side of Roe v. Wade. 

Douglas L. Wilder
Douglas L. Wilder
Social and Political Challenges of the 21st Century

February 19, 1998

Douglas Wilder was the first-elected black governor in U. S. history, serving from 1990 to 1994. He was elected in Virginia, the heart of the Confederacy during the Civil War.

Joy Harjo
Joy Harjo
The Woman Who Fell from the Sky

November 10, 1997

An author, poet, musician, and enrolled member of the Muscogee tribe, Joy Harjo combines elements of storytelling, prayer, and song to create a unique voice. Harjo was called one of the most powerful Native American voices of her generation.

Edward James Olmos
Edward James Olmos
We're All in the Same Gang

October 3, 1997

A successful actor and an effective activist, Edward James Olmos is best known for his roles on Miami Vice and the film Stand and Deliver, for which he received an Academy Award nomination. Olmos stresses the importance of education and the risks of gang life, and tries to promote the notion of taking responsibility for one's own actions.

Molly Ivins
Molly Ivins
Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She?

September 17, 1997

An outspoken columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and a commentator on 60 Minutes, Molly Ivans amused audiences with her political humor and wit. Her book, Molly Ivins Can’t Say That, Can She? is a collection of essays on politics and journalism.

1996–1997

Wolf Blitzer
Wolf Blitzer
The Clinton White House: A Firsthand Report

April 10, 1997

The former CNN’s senior White House correspondent and military affairs correspondent at the Pentagon, Wolf Blitzer has reported on a wide range of major breaking stories around the world during his 30 years in journalism.

Sarah Weddington
Lynne V. Cheney
Saving Our Schools

March 20, 1997

The former chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities, CNN’s Sunday Crossfire host Lynne Cheney is an outspoken cultural critic with a firm conviction to improve our schools. In 1995 she founded the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, a think tank devoted to reforming higher education.

Johnnetta B. Cole
Johnnetta B. Cole
Trials and Triumphs of African-American Women: Can I Get a Witness?

February 24, 1997

Johnnetta Cole was the first African-American woman to head Spelman College in Atlanta, Ga.—the historically black college for women. She is a leading educator, anthropologist, and advocate for people of color and women everywhere.

Betty Friedan
Betty Friedan
Restucturing Family Values

November 14, 1996

The foremost spokesperson for women’s rights, Betty Friedan founded the National Organization for Women (NOW). Her book, The Feminine Mystique, is credited with sparking the second wave of American feminism in the 20th Century. She was also the first president of the National Organization for Women (NOW).

Hazel R. O’Leary
Hazel R. O’Leary

October 6, 1996

The U. S. Secretary of Energy during the Clinton administration, Hazel O’Leary directed the clean-up of the nation’s nuclear weapons plants—one of the largest environmental programs in the world.

James R. Hansen Hans Mark Mark N. Brown
James R. Hansen, Hans Mark, and Mark N. Brown
NASA: Present, Past, and Future

September 19, 1996

James R. Hansen, Hans Mark, and Mark N. Brown presented a panel discussion on NASA’s past, present, and future. Hansen is a specialist in the history of technology, Mark is the former deputy administrator of NASA, and Brown is the director of aerospace operations for Decision Technologies Division and former NASA astronaut.

1995–1996

Dick Gregory
Dick Gregory
An Evening with Dick Gregory

April 22, 1996

Comedian, author, nutritionist, businessman, recording artist, actor, philosopher, anti-drug crusader, and activist Dick Gregory is most famous for his hunger strikes and fights for social change. 

Daniel J. Boorstin
Daniel J. Boorstin
Heroes of the Unexpected

March 27, 1996

Librarian of Congress Emeritus Daniel Boorstin served as director of the Library of Congress from 1975 to 1987, director of the National Museum of American History, and the senior historian at the Smithsonian Institution. He was the first incumbent of a chair in American history at the Sorbonne and at Cambridge University, England.

Betty Friedan
Harry Wu

February 15, 1996

China: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

After respected human rights campaigner Harry Wu spent 19 years as a political prisoner in the Chinese government’s “Bamboo Gulag,” he repeatedly risked his life by returning to China to document slavery and human rights abuse. Wu founded the Laogai Research Foundation in 1992.

Studs Terkel
Studs Terkel
Coming of Age

November 28, 1995

Stage, radio, film actor, television personality, and author of nonfiction books, Studs Terkel began hosting The Studs Terkel Show in 1954. His radio work earned him the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award for excellence in broadcasting. 

Robert Heilbroner
Robert Heilbroner
After the Millennium: Prospects for 21st Century Capitalism

October 18, 1995

Economist and Emeritus Norman Thomas Professor of Economics at the New School for Social Research, Robert Heilbroner is the author of 21st Century Capitalism and The Debt and the Deficit. These and many of his other works are used extensively in classrooms in the United States and Europe.

Ralph Nader
Ralph Nader
Corporate Responsibility in a Global Economy

September 18, 1995

Citizen action group activist and a consumer advocate Ralph Nader launched the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and meat and poultry inspection laws. He points to the Freedom of Information Act of 1974 as one of his proudest achievements.