Joseph S. Calvaruso Keynote Speakers

Mary Jean Eisenhower

Mary Jean Eisenhower2017 Joseph S. Calvaruso Keynote Address

Thursday, April 20, 2017, 7 p.m.
Goodrich Chapel

Mary Jean Eisenhower was born in Washington, D.C., during her grandfather Dwight D. Eisenhower's first term in office as president of the United States. She was christened in the Blue Room of the White House and grew up in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, close to the Eisenhower Farm, where President Eisenhower eventually retired. Her father, John, was named U.S. Ambassador to Belgium in 1969, and she lived in Brussels with her family until 1972.

Eisenhower is president and chief executive officer of People to People International, which was founded by President Eisenhower on September 11, 1956 and became a private organization in 1961. She joined PTPI hoping to carry on her grandfather's dream, but it has since become a dream of her own.

In 1999 she established the PTPI Friendship Fund following an inspirational visit to an orphanage in Morocco. To date, the fund has provided assistance to many causes, including the global humanitarian eradication of landmines; earthquake relief in India; disaster relief to victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks and their families; support of schools for the underprivileged in China and Sri Lanka; a home for leukemia victims and their families in Cuba; Japan tsunami relief; and efforts in Rwanda and Haiti.

Following September 11, 2001, Eisenhower's focus intensified toward getting young people from around the world together to learn about each other and to engage in conflict management. Her vision resulted in Peace Camp 2003: An Evolution of Thought and Action and The Global Peace Initiative. The efforts have brought people from diverse areas, representing more than 30 nationalities, together in Egypt, Jordan and Turkey to discuss issues and reach a better understanding of their unique and individual cultures. The program remains active today.

Eisenhower has received the Knight of Peace Award from the International University in Assisi, Italy; the Medal of Honor from the Slovak Republic; the Consular Corps Award of Excellence; The Harry S. Truman Award for Public Service; Friendship Ambassador recognition from The Peoples' Republic of China; and the Friend of Foreign Service Award, Taiwan, among others. A recipient of four honorary doctorate degrees, Eisenhower has also served as a fellow at Stanford University and in the Churchill Institute at Westminster College (Missouri).

Benjamin Jealous

Benjamin Jealous2016 Joseph S. Calvaruso Keynote Address

“The Secret to Unleashing Inner Greatness”

Thursday, April 21, 2016, 7 p.m.
Goodrich Chapel

Important update, April 18, 2016: Morris Dees, co-founder and chief trial attorney of the Southern Poverty Law Center, was originally scheduled to give the 2016 Joseph S. Calvaruso Keynote, but is unable to do so due to health concerns.

Benjamin Jealous is the former president and CEO of the NAACP. He is now a partner at the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kapor Capital, where he invests in high-growth companies that have a positive social impact and continues his goal of increasing opportunities for minorities in the tech economy.

A Rhodes Scholar, Jealous was named by Fortune and Time magazines to their “Top 40 Under 40” lists and was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Jealous' new book, Reach: 40 Black Men Speak on Living, Leading, and Succeeding, features personal essays from prominent figures in the black community.

The youngest president in NAACP history, he began his career at age 18 opening mail at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Jealous has been a leader of successful state and local movements to ban the death penalty, outlaw racial profiling, defend voting rights, secure marriage equality and end mass incarceration.

Under his leadership from 2008 to 2013, the NAACP grew to be the largest civil rights organization online and on mobile, and became the largest community-based nonpartisan voter registration operation in the country. Jealous' leadership at the NAACP included bringing environmentalist organizations into the fight to protect voting rights, and convincing well-known conservatives to join the NAACP.

Prior to leading the NAACP, he spent 15 years as a journalist and community organizer. While at Mississippi's Jackson Advocate newspaper, his investigations were credited with exposing corruption at a state penitentiary and proving the innocence of a black farmer framed for arson. While at Amnesty International, he led successful efforts to outlaw prison rape, expose the increasing trend of children being sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, and draw attention to expanded racial profiling in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Nathan Wolfe

Nathan Wolfe 2015 Joseph S. Calvaruso Keynote Address

“Before It Strikes: Viral Forecasting for Pandemic Prevention”

April 23, 2015
7 p.m., Goodrich Chapel

The Indiana Jones of virus hunting, Nathan Wolfe travels the world to track, study, and eradicate the next pandemic before it strikes. One of Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World for 2011, this Viral Storm author draws on his breakthrough discoveries to tell us where viruses come from, why they spread, and how to stop them.

"Virus Hunter" Nathan Wolfe rethinks pandemic control for our globalized world. By concentrating on how epidemic diseases—such as HIV, SARS, and West Nile—all stem from human contact with infected animals, he is able to discover new threatening viruses where they first emerge. According to Wired magazine, "Wolfe's brand of globe-trotting echoes an almost Victorian scientific ethic, an expedition to catalog the unseen menagerie of the world." His debut book, The Viral Storm, is an "engrossing and fast-paced chronicle of medical exploration and discovery" (Publisher's Weekly) that takes readers from the jungles of Africa to Wolfe's state-of-the-art labs, shedding light on the often overlooked but ultimately critical field of microbiology. It was published in six languages and shortlisted for the Royal Society's Winton Prize.

Wolfe is the Lorry I. Lokey Business Wire Consulting Professor in Human Biology at Stanford University; the Founder and CEO of Metabiota, a company that specializes in microbiological research, products, and services; and the Chairman of Global Viral, a non-profit that promotes understanding, exploration, and stewardship of the microbial world. Wolfe was named a Rolling Stone "100 Agents of Change," a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. He is also the winner of the NIH Director's Pioneer Award. Wolfe has received over $60 million in grants and contracts from Google, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Defense, among others—making him a man poised to eradicate pandemics before they even happen.

Greening of the Great Lakes

Nathan Wolfe spoke with Kirk Heinze, '70, on the April 12 edition of "Greening of the Great Lakes" (WJR-AM 760, Detroit).

Richard Alley

2014 Joseph S. Calvaruso Keynote AddressRichard Alley

“A Brighter Light at the End of the Tunnel: The Optimistic Future of Energy and Environment”

April 24, 2014
7 p.m., Goodrich Chapel

Teacher, researcher and author Richard Alley is Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences and associate of the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute at The Pennsylvania State University. Alley has spent 14 field seasons on great ice sheets in Antarctica, Greenland and Alaska, gathering data on climate and sea-level change. His development of future climate-change models earned him a seat on the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was a co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

Alley is past chair of the National Research Council's Panel on Abrupt Climate Change, and has provided climate-change information to top federal officials including a U.S. vice president and members and committees of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Committed to educating the general public as well, Alley was presenter for the PBS program Earth: The Operators' Manual. He wrote a companion book for the PBS series and a popular account of climate change and ice cores, The Two-Mile Time Machine, which was named Phi Beta Kappa's Science Book of the Year in 2001.

Alley is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and has earned numerous research awards, including the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, the Heinz Prize, the Revelle Medal of the American Geophysical Union and the Seligman Crystal of the International Glaciological Society. He has won four teaching awards at Penn State, and his public service has been recognized with the American Association for the Advancement of Science Public Engagement with Science Award, the Public Service Award of the Geological Society of America and the American Geological Institute Award for Outstanding Contribution to Public Understanding of the Geosciences.

Alley will receive the National Academy of Sciences' triennial Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship on April 27, 2014.

Alexander McCall Smith

Alexander McCall Smith 2013 Joseph S. Calvaruso Keynote Address

“The Very Small Things of Life”

Thursday, April 18, 2013
7:00 p.m., Goodrich Chapel

Alexander McCall Smith has written and contributed to more than 100 books ranging from specialist academic titles to children’s literature. He is best known for his No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, which to date has been translated into 45 languages and sold over 20 million copies worldwide. The series, which was adapted for BBC Radio and HBO television, has inspired a cookbook and led McCall Smith to share the young Precious Ramotswe’s story in a series of children’s books.

While he has written many popular stand-alone novels and short stories, McCall Smith is a master of series fiction, including The Sunday Philosophy Club, Portuguese Irregular Verbs, and three children’s series. Fascinated with the challenge of writing to deadline, McCall Smith began two other series with novels written in installments. 44 Scotland Street was a cultural obsession when published in weekday installments in the Scotsman newspaper. Corduroy Mansions was likewise originally published and podcasted serially by the United Kingdom’s Daily Telegraph. McCall Smith is currently working on a book about W. H. Auden, scheduled for publication by Princeton University Press in 2014.

McCall Smith was born in what is now Zimbabwe and was educated there and in Scotland. He first returned to Africa to help establish a new law school at the University of Botswana. Now a professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh, he also served as vice chairman of the Human Genetics Commission of the United Kingdom, chairman of the British Medical Journal Ethics Committee, and as a member of the International Bioethics Commission of UNESCO.

McCall Smith is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Crime Writers’ Association’s Dagger in the Library Award, the United Kingdom’s Author of the Year Award (2004), the Saga Award for Wit, and Sweden’s Martin Beck Award. In 2007 he was made a Commander of the British Empire for his services to literature. He holds honorary doctorates from 12 universities, and the Presidential Order of Merit given by the president of Botswana. He lives in Edinburgh.

Laurie Garrett

Laurie Garrett2012 Joseph S. Calvaruso Keynote Address

“The Man Made Flu Debate: Putting the ‘Public’ Back in Public Health”

7:00 p.m., Thursday, April 19, 2012
Towsley Lecture Hall

Best-selling author Laurie Garrett is the only writer ever to have been awarded all three of the Big “Ps” of journalism: the Peabody, the Polk and the Pulitzer. Turning that talent to international policy, Garrett is currently the senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. In that capacity, she has reported on topics ranging from HIV and other disease pandemics to global health challenges related to international financial crises. She has particular expertise in newly emerging and re-emerging diseases, bioterrorism, and the intersection of public health, foreign policy and national security.

Garrett has written several popular and critically acclaimed books, including The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance, Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health, and I Heard the Sirens Scream: How Americans Responded to the 9/11 and Anthrax Attacks.

Garrett is a member of the National Association of Science Writers, and served as the organization’s first president during the 1990s. She currently serves on the advisory board for the Noguchi Prize, the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, and the Health Worker Global Policy Advisory Group, and is a principal member of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network. Garrett also chairs the scientific advisory panel to the United Nations Commission on HIV Prevention in collaboration with UNAIDS.

Garrett earned a degree in biology from the University of California Santa Cruz and did graduate work at the University of California Berkeley. While writing The Coming Plague, Garrett was a graduate fellow in Harvard’s School of Public Health. She received an Alumni Achievement Award from the University of California and honorary doctorates from Georgetown University, Illinois Wesleyan University and the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. In 2011 Garrett was named one of the “45 Greatest Alumni” of the University of California Santa Cruz, on the 45th anniversary of the school’s creation.

About the Joseph S. Calvaruso Keynote Address Endowment.

Annie Leonard

Annie Leonard2011 Joseph S. Calvaruso Keynote Address

“The Story of Stuff”

7:00 p.m., Thursday, April 14, 2011
Goodrich Chapel

Annie Leonard is author of The Story of Stuff, the book, published by Free Press of Simon and Schuster on March 9, 2010.

Annie has spent nearly two decades investigating and organizing on environmental health and justice issues. She has traveled to 40 countries, visiting literally hundreds of factories where our stuff is made and dumps where our stuff is dumped. Witnessing firsthand the horrendous impacts of both over- and under- consumption around the world, Annie is fiercely dedicated to reclaiming and transforming our industrial and economic systems so they serve, rather than undermine, ecological sustainability and social equity.

Annie is currently the Director of The Story of Stuff Project. Prior to this, most recently, Annie coordinated the Funders Workgroup for Sustainable Production and Consumption, a funder collaborative seeking to address the hidden environmental and social impacts of current systems of making, using and throwing away all the stuff of daily life.

She has also worked with GAIA (Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives), Health Care Without Harm, Essential Action and Greenpeace International.

Annie is currently on the boards of International Forum for Globalization and GAIA and has previously served on the Boards of the Grassroots Recycling Network, the Environmental Health Fund, Global Greengrants India and Greenpeace India. She did her undergraduate studies at Barnard College, Columbia University and graduate work in City and Regional Planning at Cornell, both in New York. She is currently based in the Bay Area, California.

About the Joseph S. Calvaruso Keynote Address Endowment.

Mira Nair

Mira Nair2010 Joseph S. Calvaruso Keynote Address

“Between Two Worlds: An Evening With Mira Nair”

7:00 p.m., Thursday, April 22, 2010
Goodrich Chapel

Mira Nair is the rare, prolific filmmaker who fluidly moves between Hollywood and independent cinema. After several years of making documentary films, Mira Nair made a stunning entry on to the world stage with her first feature, SALAAM BOMBAY! (1988), now hailed as a classic. The film received more than 25 international awards, including an Academy Award Nomination for Best Foreign Film, BAFTA, and the Camera D’Or (for best first feature) and Prix du Publique (for most popular entry) at the Cannes Film Festival in 1988.

In the following decade, Nair directed four features: MISSISSIPPI MASALA (1991), THE PEREZ FAMILY (1995), KAMA SUTRA: A TALE of LOVE (1996), and MY OWN COUNTRY (1998). In 2001, Nair's MONSOON WEDDING won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and was nominated for a Golden Globe and a BAFTA, becoming one of the highest grossing foreign films of all time. In 2002, Nair directed HYSTERICAL BLINDNESS for HBO which gave the channel its highest original film ratings ever, winning a Golden Globe for star Uma Thurman, and 3 Emmy Awards for Gena Rowlands, Ben Gazzara and design. In 2004, Nair directed Reese Witherspoon as Becky Sharp in Focus Features' stunning adaptation of Thackeray's VANITY FAIR. A year later, Nair's adaptation of Jhumpa Lahiri's bestselling novel THE NAMESAKE became another critical and commercial success for the director. Her latest film, Amelia, starring Hilary Swank and Richard Gere, has sparked a fresh wave of interest in one of America's first (and most enduring) celebrities and proto-feminists, Amelia Earhart.

A long time activist, Nair divides her energies between filmmaking and her two successful non-profit organisations. In 1988 she used the profits of SALAAM BOMBAY! to create the Salaam Baalak Trust which has directly impacted government policy on streetchildren in India. 20 years later, the trust’s 25 centers provide a safe and nurturing environment for 5000 street children annually. In 2005 Nair founded Maisha, a filmmakers' training program based in East Africa. In its 5 years of operation, Maisha has trained hundreds of students from Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania in screenwriting, directing, producing, acting, sound design, editing, and cinematography.

Equally committed to the short film form, Nair has directed six films, all of which are included on the Criterion Collection's forthcoming compilation of her work. Following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Mira joined a group of eleven renowned filmmakers; her film is a retelling of a true story of a mother’s search for her son who did not return home on that fateful day. In 2007 Nair's New York based production company, Mirabai Films, produced AIDS JAAGO, a series of 4 short films made by India's cutting-edge directors and stars. The series, designed to help de-stigmatize AIDS in India, has been seen by over 2 million viewers worldwide. Nair's own short film for the series, called MIGRATION, deals with AIDS as the class leveler in society by following its transmission through interweaving stories linking rural and urban India. Nair also directed a segment of the feature film '8' as one of eight directors each creating a short film to address a different Millienium Development Goal. Her film,"How Can It Be" deals with gender equality. "Kosher Vegetarian", Mira's segment of the feature film NEW YORK, I LOVE YOU, stars Natalie Portman and Irrfan Khan.

After the release of AMELIA, Ms. Nair has returned to the theatre from where she started, directing a spectacular musical on Broadway based on her beloved film, MONSOON WEDDING. Her forthcoming feature will be an adaptation of Mohsin Hamid's bestselling novel, THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST, to be filmed in New York, Pakistan and Chile in 2010.

Mira Nair was born in India and educated at both Delhi University and Harvard. She currently lives in New York City and Kampala, Uganda with her husband and son.

About the Joseph S. Calvaruso Keynote Address Endowment.