Current + Social Issues Speakers

In an ever-changing societal landscape, these author speakers share personal stories, insightful reporting, and imaginative narratives to illuminate our world.

Ta-Nehisi Coates

#1 New York Times-bestselling author of Between the World and Me and The Water Dancer

Anand Giridharadas

Bestselling author of Winners Take All and The Persuaders and a top on-air political analyst for MSNBC

Eric Holder

Former U.S. attorney general and esteemed civil rights leader

More Current + Social Issues Speakers

Omar El Akkad

Award-winning journalist and author of the debut novel American War

Robert Baer

Portrayed by George Clooney in the Academy Award-winning film Syriana, expert on American intelligence and the War on Terror

Shane Bauer

Investigative reporter and author of American Prison

Moustafa Bayoumi

Journalist and author of How Does it Feel to Be a Problem? Being Young and Arab in America

Adam Benforado

New York Times bestselling author of A Minor Revolution and Unfair

Katherine Boo

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and National Book Award-winning author of Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Rosa Brooks

American law professor and author of Tangled Up in Blue

Alisyn Camerota

Author, journalist, and anchor of the CNN morning news program New Day.

Rajiv Chandrasekaran

Former Washington Post journalist and award-winning author of Imperial Life in the Emerald City (inspiration for the 2010 movie Green Zone), Little America, and For Love of Country

Richard A. Clarke

America’s first czar of cybersecurity and counter-terrorism, and author of The Fifth Domain.

Steve Coll

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, New Yorker staff writer, and author of Ghost Wars and Directorate S

June Eric-Udorie

Feminist activist, Editor of Can We All Be Feminists? and DEI Programme Manager for Flexa

Dr. Sheri Fink

Pulitzer Prize-winning medical journalist and author of Five Days at Memorial, M.D. and Ph.D. from Stanford

Dr. Thomas Fisher

Emergency room physician and author of The Emergency: A Year of Healing and Heartbreak in a Chicago ER

Jean Guerrero

Award-winning multimedia reporter and author of the memoir, Crux

Mohsin Hamid

Bestselling author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, and Exit West

Dr. Michele Harper

Emergency room physician and author of the New York Times-bestselling The Beauty in Breaking

Shane Harris

Investigative journalist and author of The Watchers

Doc Hendley

Founder and president of Wine to Water, CNN Hero, and author of Wine to Water

Cathy Park Hong

Award-winning poet and New York Times-bestselling author of Minor Feelings

Kristen Iversen

Award-winning author of Full Body Burden and public health speaker

Dr. Ibram X. Kendi

National Book Award-winning historian and New York Times-bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist

Daisy Khan

Women's advocate, media commentator, and Executive Director of the Women's Islamic Initiative

Phil Klay

U.S. Marine Corps veteran and author of Redeployment, winner of 2014 National Book Award for Fiction

Robert Kolker

Award-winning journalist and instant #1 New York Times-bestselling author of Hidden Valley Road

Emily Ladau

Disability rights activist, writer, and speaker

Charlie LeDuff

American journalist, media personality, and author of Detroit: An American Autopsy

Chang-rae Lee

New York Times-bestselling author of The Surrendered and Native Speaker

Jill Leovy

Author of the New York Times-bestselling book, Ghettoside

Steve Lopez

Author of The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music

Amanda Lucidon

Obama White House photographer, award-winning filmmaker, and New York Times-bestselling author

Jayson Lusk

Food and agricultural economist, author of The Food Police

Megha Majumdar

Former Editor in Chief at Catapult and author of A Burning

Ian Manuel

Advocate for criminal justice reform, poet, and motivational speaker

Sarah McBride

Delaware State Senator, LGBTQ activist, and National Press Secretary for the Human Rights Campaign

Amy McGrath

U.S. Marine Corps veteran and founder of Honor Bound, Inc.

Bethany McLean

Vanity Fair contributing editor and co-author of All the Devils are Here and the national bestseller The Smartest Guys in the Room

Chanel Miller

Artist, activist, and author of the New York Times bestseller Know My Name

Leila Mottley

Author of Oprah’s Book Club selection Nightcrawling and former Youth Poet Laureate of Oakland

Josh Neufeld

Award-winning comics journalist and author of A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge

Jenny Nordberg

Award-winning investigative reporter, foreign correspondent, and author of The Underground Girls of Kabul

Eli Pariser

Board President of MoveOn.org, Cofounder of Upworthy, and author of The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You

Eduardo Porter

Economics reporter at The New York Times and author of American Poison

Carla Power

Journalist and author of Pulitzer Prize finalist If the Oceans Were Ink

Ahmed Rashid

Journalist and author of Descent into Chaos and Pakistan on the Brink

Kiley Reid

Debut novelist of instant New York Times-bestselling Such a Fun Age

Eve Rodsky

New York Times-bestselling author and creative leadership expert

Marjane Satrapi

Academy Award-nominated director, cartoonist, and author of Persepolis

Shaka Senghor

Author of Letters to the Sons of Society and Writing My Wrongs and leading voice on criminal justice reform

Daniel Sherrell

Environmental advocate and author of Warmth: Coming of Age at the End of Our World

Steve Silberman

Award-winning science writer and New York Times-bestselling author of NeuroTribes

Mark Sundeen

Award-winning author of The Man Who Quit Money and The Unsettlers

Dr. Dana Suskind

Pediatric physician and author of Thirty Million Words: Building a Child's Brain and Parent Nation

Victoria Sweet

Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, prize-winning historian, and author of God's Hotel and Slow Medicine

David Treuer

Author of The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee and Rez Life

Melissa Urban

"The Boundary Lady," New York Times-bestselling author, and Whole30 co-founder

Bina Venkataraman

Author of The Optimist's Telescope, Editor-at-Large at The Boston Globe, and a fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center

Ayelet Waldman

Acclaimed memoirist and author of Bad Mother and Love and Treasure

Charlie Warzel

Award-winning technology reporter and co-author of Out of Office

Zachary R. Wood

Former President of Uncomfortable Learning at Williams College, author of Uncensored, and free speech advocate

Lawrence Wright

Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower and staff writer for The New Yorker

Charles Yu

National Book Award-winning author of Interior Chinatown

C Pam Zhang

Debut novelist of How Much of These Hills is Gold and National Book Foundation 2020 5 Under 35 Honoree