Stevenson University Presents
Baltimore Speakers Series
Join the Stevenson University community for the Baltimore Speakers Series, held at at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, to experience the ultimate in cultural engagement -- seven evenings of diverse opinions, profound insights, and fascinating discussion on a broad range of issues. Each year, a variety of speakers, including Pulitzer Prize winners, world leaders, statesmen, distinguished journalists, authors, and other celebrated personalities, visit Baltimore to enlighten and inspire their audiences. Come experience a season of provocative and captivating speakers amidst the grand ambiance of Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. You will be charmed, challenged, and entertained.
The opening night for the 2019-2020 Baltimore Speakers Series is September 24, 2019. Like past years, you'll have the opportunity to see and listen to many distinguished speakers from across the globe. This season's speakers are as follows:
On February 1, 2013, John Forbes Kerry was sworn in as the 68th Secretary of State of the United States, becoming the first sitting Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman to become Secretary in over a century. Kerry drew from this experience to provide the State Department with global stewardship on issues ranging from nuclear nonproliferation to radical extremists, to humanitarian challenges and the rising threat of climate change.
Kerry has demonstrated a constant commitment to public service. Shortly before he graduated from Yale University, Kerry volunteered for the United States Navy. He completed two tours of duty in Vietnam, including serving as a Swift Boat skipper patrolling the rivers of the Mekong Delta. Lt. Kerry returned home from Vietnam with a Silver Star, a Bronze Star with Combat V, and three Purple Hearts.
Back in the United States, Kerry felt compelled to speak out against the war in which he had served. He also began a lifelong fight for his fellow veterans as a co-founder of the Vietnam Veterans of America, and later as a senator who fought to secure veterans’ benefits, extension of the G.I. Bill for Higher Education, and improved treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.
After receiving his law degree from Boston College Law School in 1976, Kerry went to work as a top prosecutor in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, where he took on organized crime, fought for victims’ rights, and created programs for rape counseling. He was elected Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts in 1982 and was elected to the United States Senate two years later.
A best-selling author of A Call to Service: My Vision for a Better America and This Moment on Earth, Secretary Kerry released a memoir, titled Every Day Is Extra, in 2018. He is currently a Distinguished Fellow for Global Affairs at Yale University as well as the inaugural Visiting Distinguished Statesman for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Kerry was the Democratic Party’s nominee for President of the United States in 2004. He and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, have two daughters, three sons, and seven grandchildren.
Zanny Minton Beddoes
Editor-in-chief of The Economist and named one of the “Most Powerful Women in the World” by Forbes, Zanny Minton Beddoes is a renowned global economics expert, sought after for her authoritative perspectives on the world economy – past, present and future.
The first female editor in The Economist’s 176-year history, Minton Beddoes is known for delivering sophisticated insight on all facets of economic affairs. At the nexus of the global economy and policy, she adeptly positions new developments that impact business and industry into the broader context of world events. Such developments include emerging markets and a precarious European Union to corporate America and the latest twists in U.S. politics. Previously, during her decades-long tenure at The Economist, she served as business affairs editor, economics editor, and emerging-markets correspondent. Minton Beddoes is the recipient of the 2017 Loeb Award in the “Breaking News” category for The Economist’s scoop on Saudi Aramco, as well as the 2012 Loeb Award for economic journalism.
Minton Beddoes joined The Economist in 1994 after spending two years as an economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), where she worked on macroeconomic adjustment programs in Africa and the transition economies of Eastern Europe. Before joining the IMF, she worked as an adviser to the Minister of Finance in Poland, as part of a small group headed by Professor Jeffrey Sachs of Harvard University.
Minton Beddoes has written extensively about international financial issues including enlargement of the European Union, the future of the International Monetary Fund, and economic reform in emerging economies. She has published in Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy, contributed chapters to several conference volumes, and, in 1997, edited Emerging Asia, a book on the future of emerging-markets in Asia, published by the Asian Development Bank. In May 1998 she testified before Congress on the introduction of the Euro.
Minton Beddoes is a regular television and radio commentator on BBC, MSNBC, PBS, NPR, CNN and CNBC. She holds degrees from Oxford University and Harvard University.
Bob Woodward is an associate editor of The Washington Post, where he has worked since 1971. He has won nearly every American journalism award, and the Post won the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for his work with Carl Bernstein on the Watergate scandal. In addition, Woodward was the main reporter for the Post’s Pulitzer Prize-winning articles on the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Woodward has authored or coauthored 19 books, all of which have been national non-fiction bestsellers. Thirteen of those have been #1 national bestsellers. His work is meticulous and draws on internal memos, classified documents, meeting notes, and hundreds of hours of interviews with key players. Woodward has written books on nine of the most recent presidents, from Nixon to Trump. Fear: Trump in the White House (2018) was both a New York Times and International #1 bestseller. It broke the 94-year first-week sales record of its publisher Simon & Schuster and sold over two million copies its first three months in the U.S. alone.
Bob Schieffer of CBS News has said, “Woodward has established himself as the best reporter of our time. He may be the best reporter of all time.” Robert Gates, former director of the CIA and Secretary of Defense, said in 2014 that he wished he had recruited Woodward into the CIA, saying of Woodward, “He has an extraordinary ability to get otherwise responsible adults to spill [their] guts to him…his ability to get people to talk about stuff they shouldn’t be talking about is just extraordinary and may be unique.”
Woodward graduated from Yale University in 1965. He served five years as a communications officer in the U.S. Navy before beginning his journalism career at the Montgomery County Sentinel (Maryland), where he was a reporter for one year before joining The Washington Post. Woodward lives in Washington D.C. He has two daughters and is married to the journalist Elsa Walsh.
Douglas Brinkley is the Katherine Tsanoff Brown Chair in Humanities and Professor of History at Rice University, a CNN Presidential Historian, and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. The Chicago Tribune dubbed him “America’s New Past Master.” The New-York Historical Society has chosen Brinkley as its official U.S. Presidential Historian.
Six of Brinkley’s books were named New York Times “Notable Books of the Year,” and seven became New York Times bestsellers. His newest book, American Moonshot, was published in April 2019.
As an undergraduate at The Ohio State University, Brinkley majored in U.S. history with a minor in Latin American studies. He published his first article in 1983 on the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners in America. Accepting a fellowship to attend Georgetown University studying U.S. Diplomatic History, he earned his M.A. and his Ph.D. Brinkley’s early teaching career included teaching positions at the U.S. Naval Academy, Princeton, and Hofstra.
Brinkley has also been actively involved in the environmental conservation and historic preservation community. Over the course of his conservation career, he has held board or leadership advisory roles in support of the American Museum of Natural History, Yellowstone Park Foundation, National Audubon Society, and the Rockefeller-Roosevelt Conservation Roundtable. In 2015 he was awarded the Robin W. Winks Award for Enhancing Public Understanding of National Parks by the National Parks Conservation Association. In 2016 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service honored him with its annual Heritage Award.
A side passion of Brinkley’s has long been jazz, folk, and rock ’n’ roll music. He won a Grammy Award (Best Jazz Ensemble) in 2007 for co-producing “Presidential Suite: Eight Variations on Freedom.”
Brinkley is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Century Association, Society of American Historians, and James Madison Council of the Library of Congress. He is on the Board of Trustees at Brevard College and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library. Brinkley has received seven honorary doctorates in American studies. In 2002 Brinkley received The Ohio State University’s Humanities Alumni Award of Distinction. Brinkley lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and three children.
In 2014 Fortune Magazine named Dr. Peter Diamandis one of the World's 50 Greatest Leaders.
As an entrepreneur, Diamandis has established more than 20 companies in the areas of longevity, space, venture capital, and education. Diamandis is the Founder and Executive Chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation, which leads the world in solving big challenges by designing and operating large-scale incentive competitions. He is also the Executive Founder of Singularity University, a benefit corporation that provides educational programs, innovative partnerships, and a startup accelerator to help individuals, businesses, institutions, investors, NGOs, and governments understand cutting-edge technologies and how to utilize these technologies to positively impact billions of people. He is the Co-Founder and Vice-Chairman of Human Longevity Inc., a genomics and cell therapy-based company focused on extending the healthy human lifespan. In the field of commercial space, Diamandis is Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of Planetary Resources, a company designing spacecraft to enable the detection and prospecting of asteroids for fuels and precious materials. He also co-founded Space Adventures and Zero Gravity Corporation, among others.
From a very early age, Diamandis expressed a keen interest in space exploration. At age 12, Diamandis won first place in the Estes Rocket Design Competition for building a launch system able to simultaneously launch three rockets. He earned degrees in Molecular Genetics and Aerospace Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and holds an M.D. from Harvard Medical School.
Diamandis is a New York Times Bestselling author of two books: Abundance – The Future Is Better Than You Think and BOLD – How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World. His favorite saying is “the best way to predict the future is to create it yourself.”
Ambassador Susan E. Rice served as National Security Advisor and US Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 2009-2017. She also served as US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Special Assistant to the President, and Director for Multilateral Affairs at the National Security Council from 1993-2001. Rice began her career as a management consultant with McKinsey and Company.
Rice is currently a Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow at American University’s School of International Service and a Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. She is also a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times.
Rice currently serves on the boards of Netflix and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She previously served as a director at the Bureau of National Affairs (now Bloomberg BNA), the US Fund for UNICEF, and several other non-profits.
Rice received her master's degree and Ph.D in international relations from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar, and her B.A. with honors in history from Stanford University.
Though best known for his award-winning, nine-year stint as the now iconic George Costanza of television’s Seinfeld, Jason Alexander has achieved international recognition for a career noted for its extraordinary diversity from lauded performances on stage, screen and television to his extensive works as a writer, composer, director, producer and acting teacher.
Jason began as a teenager doing commercials for television and radio. While still in college, he made his Broadway debut in the original cast of the Hal Prince/Stephen Sondheim musical Merrily We Roll Along. He continued starring on Broadway in the original casts of Kander and Ebb’s The Rink, Neil Simon’s Broadway Bound, Rupert Holmes’ Accomplice and his Tony Award-winning performance in Jerome Robbin’s Broadway. Jason also authored the libretto for that show which won the Tony Award for Best Musical.
His many films include Pretty Woman, Jacob’s Ladder, Love Valor Compassion, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Dunston Checks In, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Shallow Hal. Additionally, he directed the feature films For Better or Worse and Just Looking. He also directed television episodes of Seinfeld, Til Death, Everybody Hates Chris, Mike and Molly, Criminal Minds and Franklin & Bash. His direction of Brad Paisley’s “Online” video won him a Country Music Award.
Aside from Seinfeld, Jason has starred and produced the series Bob Patterson, Listen Up and Hit the Road. Other notable roles are in Friends, Two and a Half Men, Old Christine, Criminal Minds, Monk, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Young Sheldon.
Jason tours the country as a speaker, comedian and symphony artist. In his spare time, he is also an award-winning magician, children’s’ author, poker champion, political and social activist, martial artist, ceramicist, teacher and a husband to artist Daena Title and proud dad of his sons, Gabriel and Noah.
Comments from Subscribers
Thank you for introducing us to trailblazers of our era! This is what the Series is about.
Yet another passionate, engaging, fascinating speaker. Thank you for the diversity and quality of the speakers you present.
At first, we were reluctant to purchase the entire series. However, it turned out that the speakers we were the least interested in initially were the ones we enjoyed the most. Now we understand why it is sold as a series.
I was spellbound from beginning to end.
The speaker captivated us… creative, clear, and humorous talking about history and its relevance today. Every answer was succinct and funny at times. He motivated me to become more interested in our history, and reminded my husband of his all time favorite professor.
How to Sponsor
Become a Sponsor of the Stevenson University Baltimore Speakers Series and gain exclusive access to some of the most interesting people in the world.
Stevenson University is proud to present the Baltimore Speakers Series at the Joseph A. Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. The Baltimore Speakers Series is an outstanding opportunity for the Greater Baltimore community to benefit from the unique perspectives of distinguished world leaders, journalists, authors, filmmakers and other influential individuals.
We encourage you to partner with Stevenson as a sponsor of this powerful series. All levels of sponsorship include recognition in our Baltimore Speakers Series program book which is distributed at each lecture throughout the year. Some levels of sponsorship also offer opportunities to meet speakers at intimate dinners before the lectures or at private receptions following the events.
Become a Sponsor
To learn more about the benefits of sponsorship to you or your organization,
contact Sue Kenney, Vice President and Chief of Staff, at 443.334.2547 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to our current partners
Since 2006, Stevenson University has sponsored the Baltimore Speakers Series. Over the years, the event has brought many national and international political, social, scientific, literary, and thought leaders to the Greater Baltimore Community. See the event's past speakers below: