Student Leadership Conference
Plenary Speaker Bios
Plenary Session 1
Thursday, January 27, 2005
7:30 - 8:30 PM
Bob Woodward is an assistant managing editor of The Washington Post, where he has worked since 1971. He has won nearly every American journalism award. The Pulitzer Prize was given to the Post in 1973 for the reporting of Woodward and Carl Bernstein on the Watergate scandal. In addition, Woodward was the lead reporter for the Post's articles on the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks that won the National Affairs Pulitzer Prize in 2002.
Woodward has co-authored or authored more #1 national best-selling nonfiction books than any other contemporary American writer. His ten #1 national bestsellers are:
- All the President's Men (1974) and The Final Days (1976), both Watergate books, co-authored with Bernstein
- The Brethren: Inside the Supreme Court (1979), co-authored with Scott Armstrong
- Wired: The Short Life and Fast Times of John Belushi (1984)
- Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA 1981-1987 (1987)
- The Commanders (1991), on the first Bush administration and the Gulf War
- The Agenda: Inside the Clinton White House (1994)
- Shadow: Five Presidents and the Legacy of Watergate (1999)
- Bush at War (2002), on the second Bush administration and the war on terror
- Plan of Attack (2004), on the decision to invade Iraq
Woodward's other two books, The Choice (1996), on the presidential election, and Maestro: Greenspan's Fed and the American Boom (2000) were national bestsellers for months.
Newsweek magazine has excerpted five of Woodward's books in headline-making cover stories; 60 Minutes has done pieces on five of his books and Dateline on four of them; three of his books have been made into movies.
In 1992, The New York Times said, "Bob Woodward is the most famous investigative reporter in America."
Woodward was born March 26, 1943 in Illinois. He graduated from Yale University in 1965 and served five years as a communications officer in the U.S. Navy before beginning his journalism career at the Montgomery County (Maryland) Sentinel, where he was a reporter for one year before joining the Post. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Elsa Walsh, an author and writer for The New Yorker. He has two daughters, Tali and Diana.
Plenary Session 2
Friday, January 28, 2005
9:15 - 10:15 AM
David Callahan has written extensively about American history, business, and public policy. He is author of The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead (Harcourt, Jan. 2004). Among his five previous books is Kindred Spirits: Harvard Business School's Extraordinary Class of 1949 and How They Transformed American Business (John Wiley/Forbes).
Callahan's numerous articles have been published in such places as The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, and The American Prospect. He has also been a frequent commentator on television programs, appearing on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News, and he has appeared dozens of times on radio talk shows across the United States. He is a regular commentator for Marketplace.
In 1999, Callahan co-founded a public policy center, Demos, based in New York City. Demos combines research and advocacy, working to strengthen democracy and expand economic opportunity within the United States. Prior to co-founding Demos, he was a Fellow at the Century Foundation from 1994 to 1999, where he engaged in wide-ranging public policy research and analysis. Callahan received his B.A. at Hampshire College and his Ph.D. in Politics at Princeton University. Born in 1965, he lives in New York City.
Plenary Session 3
Friday, January 28, 2005
10:45 - 11:45 AM
Lisa Williams is a respected researcher, national columnist and award-winning speaker. She is the president and CEO of Williams Research, Inc. and the author of the forthcoming book, Leading Beyond Excellence. As a former professor at Penn State University and a two-time endowed chair holder, she has dedicated her life to educating and developing excellence in future and current leaders. Major corporations and President Clinton's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection have sought her advice. Williams' research has practical and global implications and as such she has spoken to audiences in the United States, Belgium, Austria, Canada, London and Australia.
As the first female to hold a multimillion dollar endowed chair in her field, the first African American female to graduate from the Ohio State University's Marketing and Logistics Department, and the second woman in her discipline to become a full professor, she has committed herself to exceptional scholarship.
Lisa Williams' peers and students alike recognize her as a leader in the field of business and supply chain management. She has received many teaching awards and recognition from Ohio State, Penn State, and the University of Arkansas. She has been ranked by the most prestigious journal in the field for the number of articles published. Her research has been published in the Journal of Marketing Channels, Journal of Business Logistics, Transportation Journal, International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management, and International Journal of Logistics Management. Her column Profiles in Leadership is published in the Supply Chain Management Review Magazine.
Plenary Session 4
Friday, January 28, 2005
3:30 - 4:30 PM
From homeless to Harvard . . . it is an unlikely turn of events. Liz Murray's life is a triumph over adversity and a stunning example of the importance of dreaming big. Murray's life as the child of cocaine-addicted parents in the Bronx was bitterly grim. There was never food in the house, everything was filthy, drugs were everywhere and the welfare checks were spent before they arrived.
By the time Murray was 15, her mom had died from AIDS and she was homeless - living on the streets, riding the subway all night, and eating from dumpsters. Amidst this pain, Murray always imagined her life could be much better than it was. "I started to grasp the value of the lessons learned while living on the streets. I knew, after overcoming those daily obstacles that next to nothing could hold me down." Determined to take charge of her life, Murray finished high school in just two years while camping out in New York City parks and subway stations. She went on to earn a scholarship from The New York Times and entered Harvard in 2000. In order to be closer to her ill father, Murray has chosen to attend Columbia University starting in the fall of 2003.
Murray's story is exhilarating and her delivery innocently honest, as she takes audiences on a very personal journey where she achieves the improbable. Her story sounds like a Hollywood movie - and it practically is. Lifetime Television produced a movie about Murray's life story entitled From Homeless to Harvard, which premiered in April 2003. She is currently writing a book for Hyperion which is scheduled for release in 2005. She was a recent recipient of Oprah Winfrey's first ever Chutzpah Award.
Plenary Session 5
Saturday, January 29, 2005
9:00 - 10:00 AM
Victor Davis Hanson
Victor Davis Hanson is an acclaimed military historian, classicist, and strategist. He was educated at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and received his Ph.D. in Classics from Stanford University. He farmed full-time for five years before returning to academia part-time in 1984 to initiate a classics program at California State University, Fresno.
Hanson has written editorials and reviews for The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, American Heritage, Policy Review, The Wilson Quarterly, The Weekly Standard, The National Review, Country Living, The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mirror, City Journal, and Washington Times. He has been interviewed on numerous occasions on National Public Radio, and appeared with David Gergen on the PBS Newshour, as well as on CSNBC, MSNBC and Fox News. He is currently a weekly columnist for National Review Online, and a contributing editor to Arion, The Military History Quarterly, and City Journal.
Hanson is also the author of some 150 articles, book reviews, and newspaper editorials on Greek, agrarian, and military history, and contemporary culture.
Most recently, Hanson has written with John Heath Who Killed Homer? The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom (The Free Press 1998, paperback Encounter Press, 2000; Readers Subscription Book Club Selection), and, with Bruce Thornton and John Heath, Bonfire of the Humanities, (ISI Books 2001).
His The Wars of the Ancient Greeks (Cassell 1999; paperback ed. 2001; History Book Club Selection) was the first volume to appear in John Keegan's edited multi-volume history of warfare. The Land Was Everything: Letters From an American Farmer (forward by Jane Smiley, Free Press 2000) appeared in spring 2000.
Hanson's Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power appeared in late August (Doubleday 2001; History Book Club) and was on the New York Times Bestseller List. An Autumn of War (Anchor) came out in 2002, and its sequel about the current war against terror, Between War and Peace, will be published in early 2004 (Anchor). Ripples of Battle (Doubleday 2003) and Mexifornia: A State of Becoming (Encounter 2003) both appeared in the fall of 2003.
Plenary Session 6
Saturday, January 29, 2005
3:30 - 4:30 PM
Luz Lajous Vargas
Luz Lajous Vargas serves as President of the Board for ProMujer in Mexico City, a non-profit international micro-finance organization whose mission is to help women lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
Lajous Vargas is the past President of the International Women's Forum, one of the foremost global women's leaders' organizations, providing access, information, leadership exchange and development for women on issues of international concern. IWF has more than 3500 members in North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, the Pacific Basin, Europe and the Middle East. Lajous Vargas is the first non-US President of the IWF.
Previously she was a Partner of Russell Reynolds Associates, Inc., one of the leading global executive recruiting firms, with 35 offices worldwide. Prior to working at Russell Reynolds, Lajous Vargas served two terms in the Mexican House of Representatives and one term in the Mexican Senate. While in the House and Senate, she was President of the Mexico City Legislative Committee. She has also served as Executive Vice President of Nucleo Radio Mil radio network and was an associate with McKinsey & Co., the prestigious executive management consulting firm.
In 2000, Lajous Vargas completed a one-year fellowship at Harvard University's noted Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. She lives in Mexico City with her two sons Luis and Alejandro Madrazo.