Overcoming Adversity Speakers

If you're looking for a speaker to move, embolden, and encourage your audience, turn to Leading Authorities. We have a roster of resilience keynote speakers who are available to speak at events all around the world.

Let us know if you are interested in one of our speakers for your event.

Astrophysicist, Former Space Science Education Lead for NASA, & Inspirational Speaker

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    Please Inquire

Dr. Hakeem Olyuseyi, author of a highly-anticipated upcoming memoir, The Stars in My Soul: My Unlikely Journey through Space and Time, is an internationally-recognized astrophysicist, science TV personality, and global education advocate who has had a long, distinguished career in academia and scientific research. Currently, he is stationed at NASA Headquarters, where he serves as an Astrophysicist and Space Science Education Lead for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. A former TED fellow, Dr. Oluseyi holds three degrees, eight US patents, four EU patents, and co-hosts several shows on Science Channel and Discovery International, including Outrageous Acts of Science, How the Universe Works, Space's Deepest Secrets, Strange Evidence, You Have Been Warned, and Strip the Cosmos. Dr. Oluseyi's success is even more impressive given his incredible personal background and story. Motivating audiences globally with his message of persevering past naysayers, self-doubt, and overcoming adversity, he is exclusively represented by Leading Authorities.

World-Class Blind Adventurer

Fees
  • Local: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • US East: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • US West: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • Europe: $75,001 and up*
  • Asia: $55,001 - $75,000*

Erik Weihenmayer is a world-class adventurer, the first blind man to summit Mount Everest, and one of only 150 mountaineers to climb the Seven Summits. His latest and most demanding adventure is kayaking the 277 miles of the Grand Canyon. One of the most exciting and well-known athletes in the world, he never let his lack of vision interfere with his quality of life. Weihenmayer’s feats have earned him incredible press coverage and dozens of awards. He is also the author of two books and addresses leadership, teamwork, overcoming adversity, motivation, and inspiration.

Founder, Kindness Factory; Resilience Expert

Fees
  • Local: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US East: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US West: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • Europe: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Asia: $20,001 - $35,000*

A testament to the power of the human spirit, Kath Koschel is a survivor who has overcome incredible odds and unimaginable tragedy to inspire ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Koschel is formerly an elite cricketer and Ironman competitor whose world came crashing down when she broke her back twice in the span of five years and was told she’d never walk again. Instead, she faced the challenges head-on and defied all medical prognoses by teaching herself to walk again on three separate occasions. Driven by a passion to spread gratitude in the world, she founded Kindness Factory with the goal of encouraging one million acts of kindness and helping people find the light during dark times — just as she has done so many times.

Olympic Champion Swimmer; 10x Olympic Medalist, 21x World Champion, 14x World Record Breaker

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    Please Inquire
Katie Ledecky is a 10-time Olympic Medalist (seven Gold, three Silver) and 21-time World Championship Gold Medalist, the most for any female swimmer. She has broken 14 World Records and 37 American Records in her career. Katie was the most decorated female athlete at both Tokyo and Rio Games and had the most decorated single Olympics performance ever by a U.S. female athlete in Rio. Katie’s success has earned her USA Swimming’s Golden Goggles Award as Female Swimmer of the Year an unprecedented eight times. A recent graduate of Stanford University, Katie is passionate about the importance of education, especially STEM and leadership programs for girls. Katie went home with more hardware at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics - two gold medals and two silver medals, making her the most decorated female swimmer in individual events of all time. She also made history by winning gold at the first ever 1500m women’s event.

Army Ranger School Graduate, Leadership and Peak Performance Expert

Fees
  • Local: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US East: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US West: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • Europe: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Asia: $20,001 - $35,000*

Lisa Jaster is one of only three women to graduate from the first integrated United States Army Ranger program, which is one of the most difficult combat training courses in the world, and she was the first female Army Reserve officer to become a Ranger. Lisa continues to demonstrate that barriers are meant to be broken and exemplifies how resilience and hard work are absolutely essential to achieving your goals. Filled with humorous stories and moving anecdotes, her talks leave audiences inspired to push past adversity no matter the cost and better their lives.

Life Sciences Leader, Former EVP, Chief Medical Officer, & Chief Patient Officer at Pfizer, Inc.

Fees
  • Local: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US East: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US West: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Europe: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • Asia: $55,001 - $75,000*
A pioneer in medicine and leadership, Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall has been on the frontlines of healthcare for more than four decades as a clinician, researcher, and leader in the biopharmaceuticals and life sciences industries. Dr. Lewis-Hall is an incredible storyteller with a flair for well-timed humor who shares with audiences her powerful story and inspiring path to becoming a leader in the healthcare industry. Her talks motivate audience members to embrace pressure and determine their own destinations, just as she did on her path to being the first in her family to attend college, becoming a physician and, subsequently, a biopharmaceutical executive. Dr. Lewis-Hall’s message of perseverance, tenacity, equity, inclusion, and transparency is one that resonates with all audiences and diverse backgrounds.

Record-Breaking Explorer & Repeat TED Speaker

Fees
  • Local: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US East: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • US West: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • Europe: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • Asia: $35,001 - $55,000*

Polar explorer, TED speaker, and record-breaking long-distance skier Ben Saunders fuses the spirit of adventure with impressive technical ingenuity. He has five North Pole expeditions under his belt and is best known for leading one of the most ambitious expeditions in a century. Humble and self-effacing, he is an explorer of limits and his message is one of inspiration, empowerment, and overcoming adversity. He explores the dichotomy between ideas and action and urges audiences to consider carefully how to spend the “tiny amount of time we each have on this planet.”

Beauty Industry Leader, Founder & CEO of Skinphorea Facial Bar, and Creator of RevitalizeU Skincare Line

Fees
  • Local: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US East: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US West: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • Europe: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Asia: $20,001 - $35,000*
A beauty industry vanguard, Jessie Hayes-Stallings is the founder and CEO of Skinphorea Facial Bar & Acne Clinic who took her passion for skincare and manifested it into the first facial bar and acne clinic in Metro Detroit — a concept that has made waves in the industry. She has set Skinphorea apart by providing customers with medical-grade skin treatments while creating an elevated and personalized, yet convenient relaxation experience. Not only does she create experiences for Skinphorea’s skincare clients, she also creates opportunities for beauty industry hopefuls. As an investor and a mentor, she has partnered with the state to develop an apprenticeship program that offers aspiring estheticians the opportunity to train to earn their esthetic license at Skinphorea before being offered a full-time position at the company.

First Woman Thunderbird Pilot, Combat Veteran, & Fighter Squadron Commander

Fees
  • Local: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US East: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US West: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Europe: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • Asia: Please Inquire
A 21-year veteran of the United States Air Force, Colonel Nicole Malachowski (USAF, Ret.) wanted to fly military jets from the moment she saw them at her first air show when she was five years old. She achieved that goal – and then some. A leader, a combat veteran, the first woman pilot on the Thunderbirds Air Demonstration Squadron, an instructor, a White House Fellow, and an inductee into the Women in Aviation International Pioneer Hall of Fame, Nicole’s Air Force career exceeded her wildest dreams.

Vice Chairman, Global Wealth Management & Senior Client Advisor At Morgan Stanley

Fees
  • Local: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • US East: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • US West: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • Europe: $75,001 and up*
  • Asia: Please Inquire
Carla Harris is Vice Chairman of Wealth Management and Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley. She was Chair of the Morgan Stanley Foundation from 2005 to 2014, and sits on the boards of several community organizations. In August 2013, Carla was appointed by President Barack Obama to chair the National Women’s Business Council. She is a gospel recording artist and a popular public speaker who gives impactful career guidance to corporate audiences based on her book, “Expect to Win.” Carla joined Morgan Stanley in 1987 after completing an AB in economics from Harvard University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

History-Making Professional Triathlete, Ultramarathoner

Fees
  • Local: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US East: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US West: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • Europe: Please Inquire
  • Asia: Please Inquire
Sika Henry is a Corporate Analyst for Ferguson Enterprises and a Professional Triathlete and Ultramarathoner based in Newport News, VA. As a collegiate high jumper and sprinter, Sika became an NCAA All-American in Track and Field while earning her degree in Economics from Tufts University. After recovering from a traumatic bike accident that left Sika with significant injuries in 2019, she made history when she became the first African American Woman to qualify for her pro card in triathlon in 2021. Sika was named Athlete of the Year as part of the 2020 Outspoken Women in Triathlon Awards for her work to advocate for and make positive change in the sport of triathlon. In 2022, Sika broke the Virginia State 100K Road Record (the 10th fasted time by an American woman that year) and was inducted into the National Black Distance Running Hall of Fame.

Retired Marine Sergeant, Paralympic Bronze Medalist, & Endurance Athlete

Fees
  • Local: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US East: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US West: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • Europe: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • Asia: $10,001 - $20,000*
Retired Marine Sergeant and Paralympic Bronze Medalist, Rob Jones’ life is synonymous with fearless perseverance. In 2010, he was struck and injured by a land mine, resulting in a double above-the-knee leg amputation. Despite the injury, Rob’s incredible spirit remained intact. He went on to win bronze in the 2012 Paralympics, place fourth in the 2013 World Rowing Championships, and bike across the country for charity in 2015. In the fall of 2017, Rob completed a month long, back-to-back marathon challenge, running 31 marathons in 31 days in 31 different major cities. The incredible undertaking raised awareness and funds for wounded veteran charities.
Learn More About Overcoming Adversity With Our Resilient Speakers

Host an Overcoming Adversity Speaker at Your Next Event 

We work with speakers with diverse backgrounds and experiences who are prepared to cover all kinds of inspirational topics, including: 

  • Overcoming Adversity: These speakers have learned to navigate life with disabilities ranging from blindness to tick-borne illnesses. From becoming accomplished adventurers who have reached the summits of Mount Everest to thriving as jet fighter pilots, these speakers will show your audience that as long as you have resilience, adversity doesn't hold you back from living a fulfilling and meaningful life.
  • Finding the Opportunity in Hardship: Our speakers have faced challenges that they've allowed to shape their future for the better. Some of our speakers have lost limbs due to diseases or through military service. Even when the odds were stacked against them, these individuals displayed tenacity and the will to live, eventually going on to reach challenging goals and become world-class athletes.
  • Motivation: Inspire your audience with moving, motivational stories. We have speakers who pushed boundaries and made history while chasing their dreams. You'll also be able to hear from speakers who overcame impossible challenges — to eventually bring accessibility and change the world for others. 

Why Choose Leading Authorities Speakers Bureau? 

When you choose Leading Authorities for your next event, you'll have access to in-demand speakers who will leave a lasting impression on your audience. For more than 20 years, we've been helping our clients find the best resilience keynote speakers based on their needs and budget

We understand the topics your audience wants to hear about and will ensure you put on an informative and engaging event that helps you reach your goals. No matter the subject or size of your event, we'll be with you from start to finish to ensure it's a success. 

Book an Overcoming Adversity Speaker Today

Leading Authorities is here to help you find the right match for your next event. Browse our curated list of speakers who are well-prepared to deliver relevant messages that inspire your audience. Ready to book an overcoming adversity speaker? If you are located in the United States, give us a call at 1-800-SPEAKER or +44-203-440-4196 for international calls. You can also reach us by filling out our contact form, starting a chat, or emailing us at Contact@lauthorities.com.