Wasatch Speaker Series
Legendary Host of "The Tonight Show" and "Jay Leno's Garage"
Acclaimed TV late night show host, admired stand-up comedian, best-selling children’s book author, much-in-demand corporate speaker, TV and movie voice-over artist, pioneering car builder and mechanic, and philanthropist…Jay Leno is widely characterized as “the hardest working man in show business.”
Jay Leno’s late night television ratings domination included two decades as the host of the #1-rated “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” – he never lost a ratings year in which he served as host (See Full Bio).
Gen. Colin Powell, USA (Ret.)
Former Secretary of State of the United States (2001-2005)
For over 50 years, General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) has devoted his life to public service. Having held senior military and diplomatic positions across four presidential administrations, Powell’s deep commitment to democratic values and freedom has been felt throughout the world.
The son of Jamaican immigrants, Powell was born in Harlem in April 1937 and was raised in the South Bronx. He was educated in the New York City public schools and attended the City College of New York where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology. It was not until he joined the Army ROTC program at CCNY that he discovered his calling and launched his military career (See Full Bio).
Gabby Giffords & Mark Kelly
Former U.S. Representative, Arizona, & Retired NASA Astronaut and U.S. Navy Captain
Distinguished public servants and models of strength and dedication, Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly reveal how courage, optimism and hope can help you triumph over the most daunting adversities.
A retired American astronaut and U.S. Navy Captain, and a former state legislator and U.S. Congresswoman, Mark and Gabby represent the very essence of American service and heroism. Ever since an assassination attempt severely wounded Gabby in 2011, the couple has inspired the world with their story of hope and courage in the wake of tragedy, serving as a symbol for the possibility of second chances (See Full Bio).
Donna Brazile & Michael Steele
Former Chair, Democratic National Committee & Former Chair, Republican National Committee
Veteran political strategist Donna Brazile is the former interim Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the author of the New York Times bestseller Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-Ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House and the 2004 best-selling memoir Cooking with Grease: Stirring the Pots in American Politics. She is a co-author of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics...
When he was elected Lt. Governor of Maryland in 2003, Michael Steele made history as the first African American elected to statewide office; and again with his subsequent chairmanship of the Republican National Committee in 2009. (See Full Bios)
Renowned National Geographic Photojournalist
One of the first women photographers to work for National Geographic, Annie Griffiths has photographed in nearly 150 countries during her illustrious career. She has worked on dozens of magazine and book projects for National Geographic, including stories on Lawrence of Arabia, Baja California, Galilee, Petra, Sydney, New Zealand, and Jerusalem.
In addition to her magazine work, Griffiths is deeply committed to photographing for aid organizations around the world (See Full Bio).
Gen. John F. Kelly, USMC (Ret.)
28th White House Chief of Staff (2017-2019), Secretary of Homeland Security (2017)
Secretary Kelly was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1970, and was discharged as a sergeant in 1972, after serving in an infantry company with the 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Following graduation from the University of Massachusetts in 1976, he was commissioned an Officer of Marines.
As an officer, Secretary Kelly served in a number of command, staff and school assignments to include sea duty, instructor duty at The Basic School, the Infantry Officer Course, command of the 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, attendance at the National War College, and duty on Capitol Hill as the Commandant’s liaison to the U.S. Congress. He also served as the Special Assistant to the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, in Mons, Belgium...(See Full Bio)
Dr. Brian Greene
Theoretical Physicist, Mathematician, & Communicator of Cutting-Edge Scientific Concepts
Brian Greene is one of the world’s leading theoretical physicists and a brilliant, entertaining communicator of cutting-edge scientific concepts. A Professor of Physics and of Mathematics at Columbia University, Greene has been described by The Washington Post as “the single best explainer of abstruse concepts in the world today.”
Greene is the author of three acclaimed books -- The Elegant Universe, The Fabric of the Cosmos, and The Hidden Reality -- which have collectively sold over two million copies, been translated into more than 40 languages, and spent 65 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. His books are also the basis of two Emmy and Peabody Award-winning NOVA miniseries, both of which Greene hosted.
Greene is currently director of Columbia University's Center for Theoretical Physics. (See Full Bio).