Distinguished Speakers

Lafayette gives students opportunities to learn directly from prominent leaders, who often also spend time with them in smaller settings. Major speakers in 2014 included the Honorable Portia Simpson Miller, prime minister of Jamaica. Those in 2013 included President Jimmy Carter; primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall; and Tony Blair, former prime minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.


Arts and Media

Speakers have included Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim, novelist Salman Rushdie, PBS NewsHour senior correspondent Gwen Ifill, and award-winning director, writer, producer, and actor Garry Marshall.

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Anne-Marie Slaughter

Authors and Academia

Speakers have included feminist activist Gloria Steinem, Civil War scholar James McPherson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Taylor Branch, and Anne-Marie Slaughter, first woman to serve as director of policy planning for the U.S. State Department.

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Economics and Business

Speakers have included ExxonMobil Chemical Co. President Steve Pryor '71, Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom, and Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Charles Plosser.

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Government and Law

Speakers have included President Jimmy Carter, former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev, Tony Blair, former prime minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; Vice President Joe Biden, and former U.S. attorney general Nicholas Katzenbach.

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Science and Medicine

Speakers have included primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall; John Forbes Nash Jr., a Nobel Prize-winning mathematician and subject of the film A Beautiful Mind; Martin Chalfie, who received the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry; and world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin S. Carson Sr., recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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