Upcoming Speakers

September 2014

Tuesday, September 30
Kartick Satyanaran

Known in India as the “Bear Man,” Kartick Satyanaran is the co-founder of Wildlife SOS – a non-profit wildlife conservation organization famous for its campaign to rescue the “dancing bear” in India. “Dancing bears” were sloth bears that were used for human exploitation for the past 400 years.  Today the organization has evolved to actively work towards protecting the Indian wildlife, conserving habitats, studying biodiversity, conducting research, and creating alternative and sustainable livelihoods for poacher communities. He began the organization with his aunt and fellow animal rights champion Geeta Seshamani in 1995, and since then, they have rescued over 550 bears. The foundation has since expanded to preserve other wildlife such as elephants, reptiles, and leopards.

*In partnership with the Little Rock Zoo

October 2014

Wednesday, October 1
Gabriella Draney

With her vision of seeing Texas recognized as one of the top 3 innovation ecosystems in the world, Gabriella Draney will present the many different players and catalysts necessary to make that vision a reality. Building the world's leading B2B accelerator was the first step in the process. Tech Wildcatters began spinning out new programs in 2012, beginning with the international exchange globeStart, in partnership with American Airlines. In 2013, Health Wildcatters became the first healthcare focused accelerator in the southwest and is currently running its second class. This fall marks the beginning of the latest spinout, the codex, which provides professional technology training.


*In partnership with Gravity Ventures

Monday, October 6
Michael Nelson

Michael Nelson is the Fulmer Professor of Political Science at Rhodes College, a Fellow of Southern Methodist University’s Center for Presidential History, and a Senior Fellow at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. He is the author of numerous books, including “How the South Joined the Gambling Nation: The Politics of State Policy Innovation,” with John L. Mason, winner of the 2009 V. O. Key Award for Outstanding Book on Southern Politics from the Southern Political Science Association. His new book, “Resilient America,” explores how urban riots and the Tet Offensive, the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, the politics of outrage and race—all pointed to a reordering of party coalitions, of groups and regions, a hardening and widening of an ideological divide—and to the historical importance of the 1968 election as a watershed event.


*Book signing to follow

Tuesday, October 7
Wendy Young

Wendy Young is the President of KIND (Kids In Need of Defense), which was founded by Angelina Jolie and the Microsoft Corporation to create a pro bono movement of law firms, corporations, NGOs, universities, and volunteers to provide quality and compassionate legal counsel to unaccompanied refugee and immigrant children in the United States. Young has extensive immigration policy experience, including serving as chief counsel on immigration policy in the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Refugees for Senator Edward M. Kennedy. She has held prior immigration policy positions with organizations such as the United Nations, High Commissioner for Refugees, the Women’s Refugee Commission, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the National Council of La Raza.

Wednesday, October 8
Red Lines (film)

“Red Lines” follows the story of two people, Mouaz Moustafa, who was born in a refugee camp near Damascus, raised in Arkansas, schooled in politics on Capitol Hill and by the Libyan uprising, and Razan Shalab-al-Sham. Inspired by the Arab Spring, Razan and Mouaz watched from their two vantage points as, for a hopeful moment, anything seemed possible in Syria. Razan runs a Syria-wide activist network, deeply convinced that democracy is possible with women playing a special role in its realization. With his contacts in Washington, the Arab world, and the Free Syrian Army, Mouaz becomes a critical link between the rebellion and the West. Their story, “Red Lines,” is about the transformative power of conflict and conscience. Visit the films website at www.redlinesfilm.com

 * In partnership with the Little Rock Film Festival

*This event will be held at the Ron Robinson Theater

Thursday, October 9
Jonathon Martin

Jonathan Martin is the national political correspondent for The New York Times and the former senior political writer for Politico since its inception in 2007. Martin began covering politics for National Journal’s political publication, The Hotline, and also covered party politics for National Review magazine. He is the co-author of the New York Times best seller “The End of the Line: Romney vs. Obama: The 34 Days That Decided the Election.” His work has been published in The New Republic, National Journal, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. Martin appears frequently as a guest on CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, MSNBC, and NPR.

Friday, October 10
Virginia Postrel

Virginia Postrel is an author, columnist, and speaker whose work spans a broad range of topics, from social science to fashion, concentrating on the intersection of culture and commerce. Her most recent work, the book “The Power of Glamour: Longing and the Art of Visual Persuasion,” lays out the case for glamour as a life-shaping force, whether for good or for ill. Postrel takes an exhaustive look not only at the history of glamour, but at how it works, developing a theory that explains just about anything - from “how Jackie Kennedy is like the Chrysler Building or a sports car is like a Moleskine notebook, to why some audiences might find glamour in nuns, wind turbines or ‘Star Trek.’”


*Book signing to follow

Monday, October 13
Congressman Ed Bethune

Ed Bethune is a former member of the United States House of Representatives from Arkansas. In his new novel, “Gay Panic in the Ozarks,” the story follows the character of Aubrey Hatfield and the citizens of Campbell County as they get a second chance to grapple with man’s greatest vice - the refusal to see wrong happening and not do something about it. The life journey of protagonist Aubrey Hatfield contrasts the culture of the turbulent sixties with today’s culture, and ponders how we should adapt to or resist the ever-changing notions of right and wrong. “Gay Panic in the Ozarks” is a novel that examines love, hate, morality, honor, and duty.


*Book signing to follow

Wednesday, October 15
Rebecca Darwin

Formally the first female publisher of The New Yorker, Rebecca Darwin is the president and CEO of the media company that owns Garden & Gun. Launched in 2007, the magazine was named the #2 hottest launch of over 700 magazines in 2007, has recently won a National Magazine Award in General Excellence and was named to Advertising Age’s 2011 Magazine A-list. Darwin is also the former publisher of Mirabella, former marketing director of Fortune, and has served as the president and CEO of the National Association of Female Executives.


*In partnership with P. Allen Smith

Thursday, October 16
Hoop Dreams (film)

Arthur Agee is one of two Chicago-area high school basketball players whose lives were chronicled in the award winning 1994 documentary, “Hoop Dreams.” The film follows Agee and another rising young basketball star, William Gates, from their poor Chicago neighborhood as they transfer schools to a private school to have a better chance at playing in the NBA and improving their education at the same time. Gordon Quinn is the artistic director and founding member of Kartemquin Films, a nationally recognized media arts organization that acts as a bridge between communities and the media and fosters the growth of emerging filmmaking voices passionate about social issues.  For more information on the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, visit www.hsdfi.org.


*In partnership with the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival

*This event will be held at Sturgis Hall

Friday, October 17
Rob Engstrom

Rob Engstrom is the senior vice president and the national political director at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and is responsible for directing the Chamber’s national political, grassroots, and election-related activities. He also manages all member activities for the Chamber’s Federation, which includes thousands of state, local, and metro chambers of commerce and hundreds of trade and professional associations. Before joining the Chamber, Engstrom was director of the Division of Political Education at the Republican National Committee from 1998 to 2002, including a five-week stint on the Florida recount team for then-President-elect George W. Bush. In 2013, he was recognized as one of the top 50 influencers of the 2014 election cycle by Campaigns & Elections: The Magazine for People in Politics.

Tuesday, October 21
Clinton School Students

Five Clinton School students will discuss the international public service projects they completed this summer as part of the Master of Public Service degree program. The international project component exposes students to unique challenges and hands-on experience across the globe, and provides immediate and long-term impact for the students’ organizational partners. Since the Clinton School opened in 2005, students have visited 72 countries to complete more than 200 projects.

Wednesday, October 22
Michael Ross

Michael Ross is an author and an associate professor of History at the University of Maryland. In his new book, “The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case,” Ross offers the first full account of one of the events that electrified the South at one of the most critical moments in the history of American race relations. The book covers the kidnapping, where two African American women kidnapped seventeen-month-old Mollie Digby in front of her New Orleans home. From the moment it happens through the highly publicized investigation and sensationalized trial that followed, Ross paints a vivid picture of the Reconstruction-era South and the complexities and possibilities that faced the newly integrated society.


*Book signing to follow

Thursday, October 23
Arkansas Repertory Theatre

Written by Frederick Knott, “Wait Until Dark” is inspired by the 1967 Hollywood film of the same name, with both the play and the film garnering multiple Tony, Golden Globe, and Academy Award nominations for many of the actors involved, including the film’s star, Audrey Hepburn. In the story, a sinister con man and two ex-convicts are about to meet their match. They have traced the location of a mysterious doll to the Greenwich Village apartment of Sam Hendrix and his wife, Susy. With murder afoot, a deadly game of cat and mouse ensues, as Susy discovers the only way to play fair is to play by her rules. A panel of those involved in the production will talk about what it’s like to bring this thrilling production to life.



*In partnership with The Arkansas Repertory Theatre

Friday, October 24
Secretary Henry Cisneros

In 1981, Henry Cisneros became the first Hispanic-American mayor of a major U.S. city. After serving four terms as Mayor of San Antonio, in 1992, President Clinton appointed then-Mayor Cisneros to be Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). After leaving HUD in 1997, he became president and COO of Univision Communications, the Spanish-language broadcaster that has become the fifth most-watched television network in the nation. Secretary Cisneros is currently a member of the advisory boards of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Broad Foundation and was honored by the National Housing Conference as the “Housing Person of the Year.”

Monday, October 27
Community Conversations

Nearly three out of four Americans today worry that their income will not keep up with rising prices of health care. These worries outstrip anxieties about losing a job, terrorist attacks, crime, and losing savings in the stock market. The questions we must address are: How can we get the health care we require, in the face of rising costs?  How can we pay for what we need? This community conversation will be using material from the National Issues Forum Institute that centers on the question: Coping With the Cost of Health Care: How Do We Pay for What We Need?

Tuesday, October 28
Nassir Al-Nasser

Nassir Al-Nasser was the president of the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly and is a former ambassador from Qatar. He is currently the United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations. Al-Nasser’s new book, “A Year at the Helm of the United Nations General Assembly,” goes into detail about the four main pillars of his leadership (mediation, UN reform, natural disaster prevention, and response), and also addresses the shortcomings of the United Nations. Al-Nasser shares his thoughts on restructuring the Security Council and on how best to implement changes to the General Assembly to make it as effective as intended.


*Book signing to follow

Wednesday, October 29
Women's Foundation of Arkansas

Join us for the public release of three reports from the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas that addresses the barriers in a 21st century education for women and girls in Arkansas. The reports examine the impact of teen pregnancy and birth on education, the perceptions of the status of women and the links between education of women and girls to Arkansas’s economic future. 



*In partnership with Women’s Foundation of Arkansas and Clinton Health Matters Initiative