Philadelphia Speakers Series

2019–2020 Speakers

John Kerry U.S. Secretary of State (2013–2017)

Monday, September 23, 2019, 8pm

Kerry served as United States Secretary of State during President Barack Obama’s second term. He represented Massachusetts in the United States Senate for nearly thirty years, and was the Democratic Party’s nominee for president in 2004.

Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-in-Chief of The Economist

Monday, October 28, 2019, 8pm

Named one of the “Most Powerful Women in the World” by Forbes, Beddoes is the first female editor-in-chief of The Economist, a post she has held since 2015. Prior to her 25-year tenure with The Economist, she was an economist at the International Monetary Fund.

Bob Woodward Washington Post Investigative Journalist

Monday, November 25, 2019, 8pm

A journalistic icon, Woodward is associate editor of The Washington Post. He, along with Carl Bernstein, uncovered the Watergate scandal detailed in their Pulitzer Prize-winning book, All the President’s Men. Woodward has written 19 bestselling books on American politics, most recently, Fear: Trump in the White House.

Douglas Brinkley American Historian

Monday, January 13, 2020, 8pm

An award-winning historian, Brinkley has written on a wide range of topics, including D-Day, Hurricane Katrina, President Kennedy and the Great Space Race and the lives of Ronald Reagan, Bob Dylan and Walter Cronkite. Brinkley serves as CNN Presidential Historian, and as a contributing editor at Vanity Fair.

Peter Diamandis Founder of the XPRIZE Foundation

Monday, February 17, 2020, 8pm

Fortune named Diamandis one of the “World’s Greatest Leaders.” A space entrepreneur turned innovation pioneer, he founded the XPRIZE Foundation to fund big money competitions to inspire groundbreaking developments in science and technology, and to solve some of the planet’s most pressing challenges.

Susan Rice Former National Security Advisor & U.N. Ambassador

Monday, March 23, 2020, 8pm

Rice served as National Security Advisor from 2013 to 2017. She also served as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations from 2009 to 2013. Under President Clinton, Rice worked for the National Security Council and was Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.

Jason Alexander Seinfeld’s George Costanza, Actor & Comedian

Monday, April 20, 2020, 8pm

Alexander is best known for his role as George Costanza in the hit television series Seinfeld. Other well-known movie credits include Pretty Woman and Shallow Hal. He has also had an active career on stage, winning a Tony Award as Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his role in Jerome Robbins’ Broadway.