New LAI Speakers for 2024

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At Leading Authorities, we pride ourselves on our ability to connect businesses and event coordinators with the best keynote speakers who captivate audiences with compelling stories. Their informative presentations are filled with insights that leave audiences inspired and bring out thought-provoking conversations that remain with them long after the event has concluded. 

Tell Us About Your Event   See Our Exclusive Speakers

We represent a large network of speakers with highly sought after expertise and we are excited to highlight speakers we have recently begun working with. With vast knowledge in trending topics for this year, these speakers offer audiences unique and valuable perspectives. 

  • Lindsay Shookus, Longtime Saturday Night Live Producer
  • Miguel CervantesAlexander Hamilton in Broadway’s “Hamilton,” Actor & Advocate
  • Maya Jaguar, Cultural Innovator, Former Head of Transformation at Google X, Leadership & Transformation Advisor
  • Noelle Russell, Leading AI Innovator & Practitioner, Global AI Solutions Lead at Accenture Federal Services, Founder & Chief AI Officer at AI Leadership Institute
  • Dr. Michael J. Sorrell, Visionary Leader, Institutional Change Agent, President of Paul Quinn College
  • Mark Bryan, Senior Foresight Manager, Future Today Institute
  • Samantha Jordan, Futurist; Consultant, the Future Today Institute
  • Gina Ortiz Jones, 27th Under Secretary of the Air Force; Barrier-Breaking Public Servant and Military Leader
  • Dr. Raj Panjabi, Influential Healthcare Leader, Entrepreneur, & White House Official (2021-2023)
  • Sydney Savion, Former Global Learning Futurist at Google, Transformational Leadership Expert
  • Ted Singer, Longtime CIA Senior Executive, Expert National Security Problem-Solver
  • Mike Studeman, U.S. Navy Rear Admiral (Ret.), Renowned National Intelligence Leader, Foreign Policy Practitioner, & China Expert 
  • Linda Weissgold, Influential National Intelligence Leader, CIA Deputy Director for Analysis from 2020-2023
  • Bill Whitaker, Award-Winning Journalist & 60 Minutes Correspondent

With our network spanning across multiple fields, we can cater to a vast range of interests, needs, and preferences for any event. Read on to discover more about the new speakers we represent in 2024 and how their expertise could be a match for your upcoming event.  

Lindsay Shookus 

lindsay shookus smiling against a white background

Late night lessons on leading in challenging environments, building relationships, and embracing adversity on the path to success 

A former producer and director of Saturday Night Live’s talent department, Lindsay Shookus’ impressive career includes seven Emmy and two Peabody awards. Her long-standing presence at Saturday Night Live solidified her reputation for leading with impact, building lasting relationships in a fast-paced world, bringing out the best in the talent she worked with, and thriving in the challenging, high-stakes environment of live TV.  

A talented storyteller, Shookus shares proven leadership strategies from the entertainment world and demonstrates how they can be adapted by leaders in any industry, while also offering highly entertaining anecdotes and wisdom on how to push past life’s obstacles, overcoming any challenge, and forge lasting and meaningful relationships. She has been described as a joyous speaker that can engage audiences and light up any room.  

Miguel Cervantes

miguel cervantes smiling, wearing black shirt

Moving music and meaningful messages on the purpose, resilience, and hope 

Miguel Cervantes is a world-renowned stage actor who is best-known for his mastery of the role of Alexander Hamilton in the iconic Hamilton musical. Following standout performances in Broadway's American Idiot and If/Then and the Chicago run of Hamilton, Cervantes was handpicked by the show's creator and original Alexander Hamilton actor Lin-Manuel Miranda to join the Hamilton cast on Broadway, and cement his legacy as one of the great performers and storytellers of our time. 

Cervantes utilizes the power of story and song to immerse groups in a unique experience that breaks down the barrier between the stage and the audience and inspires them to rediscover their purpose and embrace the lessons adversity has to offer. He is open and honest as he shares his own experiences overcoming setbacks and unimaginable tragedy on the path to making his dreams a reality, while moving the audience with soul-stirring musical interludes on the acoustic guitar and keyboard, or with his band, The HamJams. 

Maya Jaguar

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Channeling courage and creativity into breakthroughs in business and personal discovery

When organizations want to optimize the people side of innovation, they turn to Maya Jaguar. Previously the head of transformation at the Google X moonshot company, Jaguar is a culture innovator, as well as a leadership and transformation thought leader who advises global companies — including Microsoft, LinkedIn, and Nike — on how to unlock the potential within their organizations and position their businesses for long-term exponential growth. 

She leads an experience unlike any you've ever seen as she introduces audiences to "The Way of the Jaguar" and inspires them to embrace curiosity and explore the edge on the path to creating unlikely breakthroughs — both individually and collectively. In addition to her inspiring words of wisdom, Jaguar includes customized interactive elements that empower audiences in unique ways, while driving home paradigm-shifting messages on leadership, innovation, and self-discovery. 

Noelle Russell

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Intriguing insights for leveraging tech as a vehicle for exponential business growth 

Noelle Russell is an award-winning future trends and technology expert with an excitable passion for AI. In her current role as the global AI solutions lead at Accenture Federal Services, she helps leaders at the world’s top companies understand the opportunities AI and other emerging technologies present to grow their businesses, and shares strategies for implementing new tech in support of their goals.  

Russell has a profound interest in utilizing AI effectively and ethically. She empowers organizations to embrace technology and utilize it effectively, offering insights into AI decision-making through engaging and inspirational storytelling.  

Dr. Michael J. Sorrell

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Moving stories with relatable lessons on leading towards a collective purpose  

Dr. Michael Sorrell is the President of Paul Quinn College who has been recognized by Fortune Magazine as one of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.” He notably passed on the opportunity to be the president and part owner of the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies to instead assume the position of president at the once-struggling Paul Quinn College. In his nearly two decades at the helm, he has transformed the school from a failing institution to one of the most successful and innovative historically Black colleges in the nation. 

Not only is Dr. Sorrell an avid and engaging storyteller, but his background and lessons in leadership captivate audiences to re-think their approaches to achieving goals, while empowering them to align those goals with their purpose. He emphasizes the importance of resilience, authenticity, and taking risks. 

Mark Bryan

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Future-focused strategies for innovating organizations 

Working as a senior foresight manager at Amy Webb’s Future Today Institute, Mark Bryan assists organizations in pivoting their workforces and position their businesses for growth in this era of continuous innovation and disruption. His extensive knowledge has placed him among the most prominent thought leaders in his field, with his insights and contributions being recognized with two “40 Under 40” awards in 2022.  

An avid advocate for the power of digital transformation, Bryan advises groups on the best practices to embrace new technology, trends, and ideas within their organizations. He utilizes principles in psychology, human behavior, and culture to emphasize a future-focused strategy. 

Samantha Jordan

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A plausibly optimistic view of emerging technologies on the future of business 

Sam Jordan is a futurist and consultant at Amy Webb’s Future Today Institute who partners with organizations across industry to help them understand the complexities, opportunities, and risks of the evolving tech and business landscape.  Jordan has authored the portions titled the “Future of Computing” and “Future of Space” in the Future Today Institute’s annual “Tech Trends Report,” which garners more than 1 million downloads each year.  

Known for her authoritative yet optimistic voice, Jordan often speaks on the potential of emerging technologies to bring people into a better future. She fundamentally stresses progress rather than pessimism and encourages purpose-focused frameworks for moving forward. 

Gina Ortiz Jones

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A 30,000-foot view of national and economic security, and how servant leaders empower their teams 

Serving as the 27th Under Secretary of the Air Force, the Honorable Gina Ortiz-Jones is a military leader and the first woman of color and out lesbian to serve in her position. During her tenure as Under Secretary, she was the second-highest ranking civilian leading the Air and Space Forces.  

Known for her inspirational voice and changemaker attitude, Jones has unwavering commitment to public service and pushes boundaries and glass ceilings every day. She seamlessly ties her personal experiences with insights on leadership, geopolitical affairs, and current events in a thoughtful and engaging way. 

Dr. Raj Panjabi

raj panjabi pictured smiling against a white background

Fascinating insights on leadership and innovation from the frontlines of healthcare 

Previously a White House Official from 2021-2023, Dr. Raj Panjabi is an influential healthcare leader and entrepreneur who has played a pivotal role in the response to major public health events and shaping policies. He was the top pandemic official at the White House National Security Council and was named one of TIME’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” as well as Fortune’s “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.” 

Drawing upon his extensive experience, he shares personal anecdotes alongside lessons on leadership and innovation. He has a profound storytelling ability and his insights from being on the frontlines of major health events have shaped policies, opinions, and the future of healthcare.  

Dr. Sydney Savion

Thought-provoking lessons for leading high-trust culture where things get done 

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Dr. Sydney Savion is a former global learning futurist at Google and a veteran of the U.S Air Force, where she served for 20 years. She held several high-ranking positions in the military and corporate worlds and has received numerous accolades relating to her achievements as a transformational leader.   

Dr. Savion is known for her thought-provoking and riveting talks that focus on leadership and how it defines an organization’s future. She utilizes stories from her own career to emphasize the importance of trust, authenticity, and connection in successful companies. Her advice is known to help professionals understand the fast-changing culture of business today and inspire them to leave a legacy of good.  

Ted Singer

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Clear analysis of hot-button geopolitical issues and their impact on organizations, industries, and society 

Ted Singer is a former CIA executive and Chief of Station and has 35 years of leadership in national security under his belt. His expertise lies within the Middle East, Europe, and global affairs and has guided some of the most pivotal intelligence and national security decisions of our time. 

Reflecting upon his real-world experiences, Singer explores how to identify and counter threats, and showcases his knowledge and insight on how groups can navigate the complex geopolitical landscape within their own organizations and communities. He shares strategies for leaders to properly advance through crises and collaborate across cross-functioning teams.  

Mike Studeman

mike studeman pictured against a grey background smiling

Unparalleled insights into global intelligence and the shifting geopolitical landscape 

Mike Studeman is a retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral and a former Commander of the Office of Naval Intelligence, renowned for his standing as one of the U.S’s foremost National Intelligence Leaders. An expert on China and Asian affairs, and a foreign policy practitioner, has led intelligence operations at every level and has been recognized with various honors and accolades, including the Navy Distinguished Serice Medal and three Defense Superior Service Medals. 

His unrivaled expertise on global intelligence and the shifting geopolitical landscape makes him a sought-after voice on matters of power strategy, and he also shares insights for how organizations can anticipate challenges, make smart choices in the face of tough decisions, and be adaptable. He is a key influencer in geopolitical dynamics that are shaping the 21st century.  

Linda Weissgold

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A clear and comprehensible look at the world through an intelligence lens 

In her nearly 40-year career, Linda Weissgold served as the CIA’s top analyst and was a trusted advisor to high-profile leaders, including President George W. Bush. Serving as the CIA’s Deputy Director for Analysis from 2020-2023, Weissgold has received numerous accolades, including the Presidential Rank Award – considered the most prestigious award for outstanding leaders in the federal workforce.  

Her unequivocal knowledge on national security and intelligence provides groups insight on creating innovative ideas and how critical intelligence analysis shapes policies, many of which have the potential to directly impact their organizations. Her commitment to pragmatism and candor underscores the power of vision and leadership, and properly solidifies her impact on the intelligence community.  

Bill Whitaker

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Up close and personal insights paired with profound wisdom on the stories that are shaping our world today  

For four decades, Bill Whitaker has been a cornerstone of CBS News coverage and, since 2014, he has appeared as a correspondent for 60 Minutes. His reporting on transformative 60 Minutes episodes, including “The Whistleblower” and “Too Big to Prosecute,” has earned him numerous awards and accolades, with the Emmy, Peabody, and DuPont Columbia awards among them. During the 2016-2017 60 Minutes season, Whitaker reported segments for more than 50 percent of the program’s broadcasts.  

Charming, clever, and inquisitive, Whitaker’s storytelling ability grips audiences and his insights on unravelling complex narratives is unmatched. Whitaker engages groups through his firsthand experiences and offers lessons that spur audiences to consider what can be done to move their organizations forward.  


Interested in bringing in any of these speakers to share their powerful stories and valuable insights? Contact us to get started! You can also: 

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