Upcoming Events

We have some exciting events in the works for 2019-20.  Stay tuned!

Past Events



Ban Ki-moon

Ban Ki-moon is the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations. As chief administrative officer for the paramount body of international cooperation, Ban Ki-moon is well known for his peacekeeping and employment reforms, as well as his firm stance on global warming. Furthermore, Ban is the current chair of the International Olympic Committee's Ethics Commission, as well as co-founder of an international citizenship nonprofit. At Stanford, Ban gave an inspiring lecture about the future of global citizenship, overviewing the challenges that lie ahead and encouraging youth activism!

Ken Jeong

Ken Jeong is an actor and comedian, well known for his roles in the Community TV seriesThe Hangover film series, Crazy Rich Asians, and the ABC sitcom Dr. Ken. Also a licensed physician, Ken has since stopped practicing to focus on his career in acting. At Stanford however, Ken did not only amazing stand-up, but also answered medical questions from the audience! (With astonishing accuracy, while at the same time roasting everyone. Truly impressive.)

Glen Keane

Glen Keane is a renowned animator, author, and illustrator. From the Oscar-winning short Dear Basketball  to Disney classics such as the Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, Glen's directed projects are highly prevalent and imaginative. With his talk and incredible VR performance for Family Weekend, Glen reminded us all of the creativity that lies within our childlike side, and instilled magic that many had long forgotten.

Jennifer Lopez

Singer-actor Jennifer Lopez energized our campus during her talk about her movie, “Second Act”. Her fellow panelists, Alex Rodriguez (her significant other), Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas (Producer, A Second Act), and Desiree Gruber (CEO, Full Picture) discussed the hit movie, future steps, and life in general. Offering advice on overcoming fears, J.Lo also touched on how she has stayed true to her beginnings, reminiscing on the inspiration her mother gave her when she first began acting. 



Scott Dikkers

Scott Dikkers, co-founder of The Onion, was an essential figure in building up arguably the most renowned news satire organization in America. As the publication's longest serving editor-in-chief, Dikkers discussed his fascinating journey — sharing insights on satire, fake news, and entertainment marketing.

Sal Khan

Sal Khan is an American educator and entrepreneur who founded Khan Academy, a free online education platform with which he has produced over 6,500 video lessons teaching a wide spectrum of academic subjects. Sal's inspirational journey to leading a nonprofit serving millions of people across the world provided him with intriguing insights regarding the future of education.


Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah is the host of The Daily Show, the popular late-night television talk show on Comedy Central. Noah hails from South Africa, and frequently incorporates his experiences there with his political savvy into comedy that is both witty and insightful.

Tony Schwartz

Tony Schwartz is an American journalist, business book author, CEO and founder of The Energy Project, and the ghostwriter of Trump: The Art of the Deal. Schwartz spoke about his experiences writing the book and interacting with Donald Trump, as well as what he has learned about balancing professional ambitions with personal values.


Jessica Williams

Jessica Williams is the former senior correspondent for the Comedy Central program, The Daily Show.  Originally from Los Angeles, Williams also hosts the podcast, 2 Dope Queens, from WNYC Studios. 

John Boehner

John Boehner was the 53rd Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, serving from 2011 until 2015.  Boehner was also the House Minority Leader as well as the House Majority Leader previously, and served as a Republican representative of Ohio for 30 years until his retirement. 


Common is an American rapper who gained prominence following his Grammy Award-winning songs titled “Love of My Life” and “Southside”.  Born in Chicago, Common was also the recipient of the 2015 Golden Globe and also Academy Award for his song “Glory” which was featured in the film, Selma.  Common is also active in the film industry, having performed in movies including Terminator Salvation and Now You See Me.

Nikki Giovanni

Nikki Giovanni is a Grammy Award-nominated poet, as well as the recipient of the Langston Hughes Medal and the NAACP Image Award.  Giovanni helped to pioneer the Black Arts Movement in the 1960s and is currently a professor at Virginia Tech. 

Jad Abumrad

Jad Abumrad is the host of the public radio program, Radiolab.  In 2011 named a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship (also known as the Genius Grant), Abumrad has also produced works for All Things Considered, Democracy Now!, and other National Public Radio programs.

Phil Zimbardo

Philip Zimbardo is a professor emeritus at Stanford University.  Professor Zimbardo gained prominence with his research in the 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment, in which undergrads sorted into Prisoner and Prison Guard roles experienced significant behavioral effect resulting in the premature cancellation of the experiment.  Zimbardo graduated from Yale with a Ph.D in Psychology and is the founder of the Heroic Imagination Project.



Chris Hardwick

Chris Hardwick is the CEO of the digital division of Legendary Entertainment, Nerdist Industries.  Hardwick also hosts the Talking Dead on AMC, @midnight with Chris Hardwick on Comedy Central, and formerly hosted Talking Bad, also on AMC. 

Chris Ware & Marjane Satrapi

Chris Ware is the graphic artist known for creating the Jimmy Corrigan and Acme Novelty Library series.  Considered to be one of the best cartoonists in the industry, Ware has won the Eisner Award for creative achievement 11 times.  Marjane Satrapi is a French and Iranian graphic novelist best known for her works including Persepolis as well as Embroideries.

Jimmy Wales

Jimmy Wales is the founder of the world’s largest free, online encyclopedia – Wikipedia.  Wales also founded the webhosting service known as Wikia and has been named to Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World list.


Rainn Wilson

Rainn Wilson is widely known for his portrayal of Dwight Schrute in the television show, The Office.  Wilson is also known for his voice acting, as in the 2009 film, Monsters vs. Aliens.  Wilson is the founder of SoulPancake and a graduate of the University of Washington.

Cole Bolton & Mike Gillis

Cole Bolton is the Editor-in-Chief of the Onion, a satirical news publisher.  Mike Gillis is currently a writer for the Onion.

Kathryn Bigelow

Kathryn Bigelow was the director of the Academy Award-winning film, The Hurt Locker.  For her work on the Hurt Locker, she was also the recipient of the Academy Award for Best Director.  Bigelow has been named by Time magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. 




Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox portrays Sophia Burset in the Netflix series, Orange is the New Black. Cox is the first transgender person nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in history, and is also the first transgender person to be featured on the cover of Time magazine. 


Aziz Ansari

Aziz Ansari is an American comedian who gained prominence for his roles in Master of None and Parks and Recreation.  Since graduating from New York University, Ansari has also had roles in I Love You, Man, as well as 30 Minutes or Less.  Ansari has also written a book, Modern Romance: An Investigation.



David Petraeus

General David Petraeus is the former Commander of the United States Central Command and also the former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.  Since graduating from the US Military Academy, General Petraeus served in the United States Army for 37 years. He also has a Ph.D. from Princeton University.


Andrew Ross Sorkin

Andrew Ross Sorkin is an anchor on Squawk Box on CNBC, and also a writer for the New York Times.  Sorkin is the author of the best-selling book, Too Big to Fail and produced the film version of the book as well.



Garry Kasparov

Garry Kasparov is the former World Chess Champion and one of the greatest chess players in history. Born in the Soviet Union in 1963, Kasparov set the record for the youngest ever world champion and also competed against the IBM AI, Deep Blue in 1997.


Olympia Snowe

Olympia Snowe was the United States Senator from Maine, serving from 1995 until 2013.  While in the Senate, Snowe headed the Senate Small Business Committee and gained a reputation for her bi-paritsan ideals and her moderate political beliefs.  Snowe was also the First Lady of the state of Maine from 1989 until 1995.



Jane Goodall

Dame Jane Goodall of the Order of the British Empire is the world’s most renowned expert in the study of chimpanzees.  Educated at the University of Cambridge, Goodall founded the Jane Goodall Institute and is the United Nations Messenger of Peace.  Goodall has received the Kyoto Prize, the Hubbard Medal, and the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement for her work in the field of chimpanzees.

Ira Glass

Ira Glass is the host of the National Public Radio show, This American Life.  Glass has worked in the public radio industry for more than 30 years since graduating from Brown University. 




Tony Blair

Tony Blair was the Leader of the United Kingdom Labour Party, the Leader of the Opposition from 1994-1997, and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997-2007.  A graduate of the University of Oxford, Blair pioneered the “New Labour Party” which focused more on capitalist ideals than his more socialist predecessors.

Karl Rove & Robert Gibbs

Karl Rove was the Deputy Chief of Staff during the administration of President George W. Bush.  He also served as the Senior Advisor to the President.  Robert Gibbs was the White House Press Secretary during President Barack Obama’s first term in office.  Now the Global Chief Communications officer of McDonalds, Gibbs also advised President Obama during his re-election campaign in 2012.

John Githongo

John Githongo is a Kenyan journalist known for elucidating the widespread corruption throughout the Kenyan federal government.  The focus of the book, It’s Our Turn to Eat, Githongo was the recipient of the CNN African Journalist of the Year Award.



Nicholas Kristof

Nicholas Kristof is a CNN analyst, and writer for the New York Times.  The winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, the Harvard-educated Kristof has been instrumental in illuminating the human rights abuses throughout Africa and has been recognized by the Archbishop of South Africa as an “honorary African.”

Kofi Annan

Kofi Annan is the recipient of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize.  Trained as a diplomat from Ghana, Annan also served as the Secretary General for the UN for nearly ten years through the first half of the 2000s.  During his tenure, Annan emphasized health crises in Africa and remains involved with the United Nations.



Michael Moore

Michael Moore is a filmmaker, known for directing and producing the highest grossing documentary in American film history, Fahrenheit 9/11.  Moore’s film documenting the Columbine High School massacre was also the recipient of the Academy Award for a Documentary in 2002.  Moore has been named by Time magazine as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in the World.


Tom Friedman

Friedman is a writer for the New York Times and a world-renowned expert on international relations in the Middle East.  A graduate of the University of Oxford, Friedman has also been awarded the Pulitzer Prize three times since starting his career in 1979.



Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is an American actor, director, and screenwriter who played in starring roles as a child in films including Angels in the Outfield.  Since beginning his acting career at the age of 7, Gordon-Levitt has also gained recognition for his roles in 500 Days of Summer, Inception, The Dark Knight Rises, and Snowden.   

Perez Hilton

Perez Hilton runs the PerezHilton.com, a gossip blog which has gained national attention for its controversial tabloids.  Hilton is also an advocate of anti-bullying and is an outspoken spokesman for the It Gets Better Project.



Jake Hurwitz & Amir Blumenfeld

Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld are the starring duo of the web series, Jake and Amir.  Both former writers of CollegeHumor, they have also starred in The CollegeHumor Show as well as many other CollegeHumor-related productions.



Common is an American rapper who gained prominence following his Grammy Award-winning songs titled “Love of My Life” and “Southside”.  Born in Chicago, Common was also the recipient of the 2015 Golden Globe and also Academy Award for his song “Glory” which was featured in the film, Selma.  Common is also active in the film industry, having performed in movies including Terminator Salvation and Now You See Me.



Seth Meyers

Seth Meyers is the host of the NBC program, Late Night with Seth Meyers.  Prior to that, Meyers gained international repute with his work in the Weekend Update segment of Saturday Night Live, as well as for hosting the 2014 Primetime Emmy Awards, as well as the 2010 and 2011 ESPYS and the 2015 NFL Honors show.


Matisyahu is a singer and musician known for his ability to blend Jewish themes with modern rock and hip hop twists.  Originally from West Chester, Pennsylvania, Matisyahu has been featured in the Billboard Top 40 and acted in the 2012 horror film, The Possession.


Van Jones

Van Jones is the President of Dream Corps and the author of multiple bestselling books including The Green Collar Economy.  Van Jones has been listed as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World, and co-hosted the show, Crossfire, on CNN.  A graduate of Yale Law School, Van Jones also received the NAACP President’s Award in 2010.

Steven Chu

Professor Steven Chu is a Nobel Prize-winning physicist for his work at Stanford University in manipulating atoms with lasers.  Chu was also chosen by President Barack Obama as the United States Secretary of Energy during President Obama’s second term.  Chu is currently a professor at Stanford University.


Adam Savage

Adam Savage gained recognition for his starring rolw as co-host of MythBusters on the Discovery Channel.  An avid special effects designer, Savage also starred in the Disney Channel production, Unchained Reaction.  A graduate from the Tisch School of the Arts, Savage’s work has also been featured in the Matrix trilogy and the Star Wars saga.


BJ Novak

BJ Novak is an actor and comedian, who grew to fame as a writer and executive producer of The Office, in which he also starred as Ryan Howard.  Novak graduated from Harvard University.


Michael Uslan

Michael Uslan was the producer of the 1989 film, Batman, as well as its sequel, Batman Returns.  Uslan is also the recipient of the 1995 Daytime Emmy for his production, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?  Uslan has also been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Peace River Film Festival as well as the West Point Cadet Choice Award.

Pervez Musharraf

Pervez Musharraf was the tenth president of Pakistan, with a tenure from 2001 until 2008, in which Musharraf led an 50% increase in Pakistan’s GDP.  Musharraf has also held the positions of Chief Executive of Pakistan, Minister of Defence, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee as well as the Chief of Army Staff.


David Mamet

David Mamet is a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Tony Award-nominated writer.  The works he has published include The Duck Variations, and American Buffalo.  Mamet also wrote for the TV show, The Unit, and has received Oscar nominations for his work in Wag the Dog and The Verdict.


Madeleine Albright

Madeleine Albright was the United States Secretary of State under the Clinton administration, and is the first female Secretary of State in the history of the United States.  Since leaving politics, Albright has become a professor at Georgetown University.


Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie was the 1981 recipient of the Booker Prize for his novel, Midnight’s Children.  Rushdie has been named the 13th greatest British writer since 1945 by The Times and is a fellow of the United Kingdom’s Royal Society of Literature.  Rushdie has been knighted in both France and England and is currently a faculty at Emory University.

Morgan Spurlock

Morgan Spurlock gained recognition following his performance as director, writer, producer, and star of the 2004 documentary, Super Size Me.  An Academy Award nominee, Spurlock is the host of CNN documentary series, Morgan Spurlock Inside Man.  Morgan Spurlock graduated from New York University.


Dave Barry

Dave Barry is the 1988 recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. Renowned for his humor columns published by the Miami Herald, Barry has also been active as the guitarist in the Rock Bottom Remainders, and has had a TV show, Dave’s World, document his works on CBS.


Wesley Clark

Wesley Clark, Sr. served as the Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO from 1997 until 2000.  The former valedictorian of West Point and a Rhodes Scholar, Clark was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2000.


Sarah Silverman

Sarah Silverman is a two-time Primetime Emmy Award-winning comedian.  Silverman is known for her Comedy Central television show, The Sarah Silverman Program, as well as her performances in School of Rock and Wreck-It-Ralph.  Silverman was previously a writer on Saturday Night Live and is an avid activist on social issues throughout the nation.

Alan Dershowitz

Alan Dershowitz was the youngest Professor of Law in the history of Harvard Law School, gaining tenure at the age of 28.  A graduate of Yale Law School, Dershowitz spent 46 years in academia at Harvard Law School, and is currently with CNN as a political analyst.


Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader is the writer of the 1966 best selling book in non-fiction, Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile.  Nader has been recognized as one of the “100 Most Influential Americans” by Time Magazine and The Atlantic, and has been instrumental in affecting consumer protection legislation including the Whistleblower Protection Act and the Clean Water Act.