Keynote Speakers

Global thought leaders, innovators, authors, influencers, educators and TED senior fellows have taken the spotlight at our events. Keynotes are selected by our Program Council

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Alfre Woodard Award-Winning Actor & Activist

Alfre Woodard’s work as an actor has earned her an Oscar nomination, 4 Emmy Awards and 17 Emmy nominations, 3 SAG Awards and a Golden Globe. In addition to her acting career, Woodard is a longtime activist - co-founding Artists for a New South Africa, a nonprofit working to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS and further the cause of democracy and human rights in South Africa, and advocating for the arts in education, largely through her work on the “Turnaround Arts” initiative with President Obama's committee on the Arts and Humanities. Launched in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Education and the White House Domestic Policy Council, the initiative aims to narrow the achievement gap and increase student engagement through the arts.

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Tamron Hall Accomplished TV Host, Award-Winning Journalist and Philanthropist

The “Tamron Hall” show premiered across the country on September 9. Tamron co-hosted the third hour of “TODAY” and “TODAY’s Take” for three years and anchored “MSNBC Live with Tamron Hall.” She has hosted several special reports for MSNBC and NBC News, including the Emmy-nominated “Education Nation: Teacher Town Hall,” and she served as a correspondent for the NBC News special “The Inauguration of Barack Obama,” which won an Emmy for Outstanding Live Coverage in October 2010.

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Steve Wozniak Computer Scientist, Co-Founder of Apple

A Silicon Valley icon and philanthropist for more than thirty years, Steve Wozniak has helped shape the computing industry with his design of Apple's first line of products the Apple I and II.

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LeVar Burton Actor, Director, Author, Founder of LeVar Burton Kids

Multi-award-winning actor, director, and education advocate LeVar Burton is best known to television audiences around the world for his portrayals of two iconic characters, Kunta Kinte in Roots and Geordi LaForge in Star Trek: The Next Generation, as well as his 23 years as producer and host of PBS's Reading Rainbow.

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Sir Ken Robinson Author, Speaker and International Advisor on Education in the Arts to Government, Nonprofits, Education and Arts Bodies

An internationally recognized authority in creativity and innovation in education and business, Sir Ken Robinson's Videos of his famous TED talks are the most viewed in the history of the organization and have been seen by an estimated 300 million people in over 150 countries.

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Ted Dintersmith Author, TED Speaker, Film Producer Visit website

Ted Dintersmith is one of America's leaders in innovation, entrepreneurship, and education.

Ted's professional experience includes two decades in venture capital, including being ranked by Business 2.0 as the top-performing U.S. venture capitalist for 1995-1999. He served on the Board of the National Venture Capital Association, chairing its Public Policy Committee. From 1981 to 1987, he ran a business at Analog Devices that helped enable the digital revolution.

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Nolan Bushnell A Technology Pioneer, Entrepreneur, Scientist, and Founder of Atari

Nolan Bushnell is a technology pioneer, entrepreneur and scientist. Often cited as the father of the video game industry, he is best known as the founder of Atari Corporation and Chuck E. Cheese Pizza Time Theater. Bushnell was the first and only man to hire the late Steve Jobs and wrote the bestseller, Finding the Next Steve Jobs, published by Simon and Schuster in 2013.

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Kimberly Bryant Founder and CEO of Black Girls CODE

Kimberly created Black Girls Code in 2011, a non-profit organization dedicated to changing the face of technology by introducing girls of color (ages 7-17) to the field of technology and computer science with a concentration on entrepreneurial concepts.

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Ron Clark Author, Educator and Founder of The Ron Clark Academy

Known to many as "America's Educator," Ron Clark is the 2000 Disney American Teacher of the Year, a two-time New York Times Bestselling author, the subject of a television movie and the founder of The Ron Clark Academy. Ron is regularly featured on network and cable television (The Today Show, CNN and Oprah,) and was dubbed by Ms. Winfrey as her first "Phenomenal Man."

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