The three-day event will showcase nearly 100 national, regional and local authors, feature children and family resources, and include exciting literary programming.
Meet Our Authors
He has taught at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, the University of Navarra and the University of Virginia. At the University of Virginia, he was the Elwood R. Quesada Professor of Architecture from 2011 to 2018, and Chair of the Department of Architecture from 2011 to 2016. Since 2016, he has been the co-director and founder (with Pankja Vir Gupta) of the Yamuna River Project, a long-term, interdisciplinary research program whose objective is to revitalize the ecology of the Yamuna River in the Delhi area. The project involves an interdisciplinary team with expertise in architecture, land planning, civil engineering, environmental science, public-private partnerships, anthropology, political science, history and cultural studies. The team’s objective is to engage the efforts of government agencies, experts and activists in an ongoing program to address the multidimensional challenges of Delhi and the relation with its river.
Both in academic research and in practice, Alday promotes a new attitude towards the transformation of our environment and how architecture can contribute to the inhabitation of the most challenged areas of the planet. He utilizes a multidisciplinary global vision and social and environmental ethics to examine the role of architecture and architects.
An advisor to the Bush and Obama administrations on influenza preparedness and response, he served on the original team which recommended public health measures to mitigate a pandemic or bioterrorism attack.. After Hurricane Katrina, the Louisiana congressional delegation asked him to chair a bipartisan working group on flood protection, and he served on both the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and the levee board protecting metropolitan New Orleans, where he was the architect of the board's lawsuit against 97 energy companies for their role in coastal land loss. Barry has worked with the private sector and with state, federal, United Nations, and World Health Organization officials on influenza, water-related disasters, and risk communication. He serves on numerous advisory boards and is Distinguished Scholar at Tulane University’s Bywater Institute and adjunct faculty at the Tulane University School of Public health and Tropical Medicine.
New Orleans at Year 300 (2018), which he researched with Guggenheim and NEH fellowships. His documentary based on the new book will premier in 2020.
Ms. Brazile has devoted her life to working for progressive change, responsible governance, and the advancement of all people in a society that is fair and equitable. Brazile first got involved in politics at the age of nine when she worked to elect a City Council candidate who had promised to build a playground in her neighborhood; the candidate won, the playground was built, and a lifelong passion for political progress was ignited. Brazile has worked on every major presidential campaign since 1976 and in 2000 Ms. Brazile became the first African American woman to serve as the manager of a major party presidential campaign, running the campaign of former Vice President Al Gore.
Ms. Brazile loves working with young people, encouraging them to vote, to run for office, and to work within the system to strengthen it. She has lectured at over 200 colleges and universities across the country on such topics as “Inspiring Civility in American Politics,” “Race Relations in the Age of Obama,” “Why Diversity Matters,” and “Women in American Politics.” In 2013, Ms. Brazile was appointed by President Obama to serve on the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. She is also the proud recipient of more than ten honorary doctorate degrees from major colleges and universities, including her alma mater Louisiana State University. In October 2017, Ms. Brazile was the recipient of the W.E.B Du Bois Medal, Harvard’s highest honor in African American studies. Brazile has served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University since 2002 and spent the fall of 2017 serving as a Joan Shorenstein fellow in Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Howard University has appointed Ms. Brazile as the Gwendolyn S. and Colbert I. King Endowed Chair in Public Policy for two consecutive academic years. In this capacity, she is responsible for developing and hosting a lecture series to engage the Howard community on several subjects, including politics, voting, criminal justice reform and civility.
O, The Oprah Magazine chose Ms. Brazile as one of its 20 “remarkable visionaries” for the magazine’s first-ever O Power List. In addition, she was named among the 100 Most Powerful Women by Washingtonian magazine, Top 50 Women in America by Essence magazine, and received the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s highest award for political achievement. In 2016, Ms. Brazile was awarded Wonk of the Year from the Kennedy Political Union at American University. In March 2018, Black Enterprise awarded Ms. Brazile with the Barbara Graves Legacy Award.
Ms. Brazile has worked passionately on behalf of her beloved hometown of New Orleans. In the aftermath of the two catastrophic hurricanes that devastated the Gulf region, Ms. Brazile was appointed by former Governor Kathleen Blanco to serve on the Louisiana Recovery Board to work for the rebuilding of the state and to advocate for the Gulf recovery on the national stage. Ms. Brazile was also appointed by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu to serve on the Tricentennial Commission.
Ms. Brazile is a contributor to Fox News and was formerly a contributor to ABC News and CNN. Ms. Brazile was the recipient of a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Daytime Program, Good Morning America (2016-2017) in connection with her work with ABC. She has also been a syndicated newspaper columnist for Universal U’Click and a prolific writer with articles appearing in nearly every major newspaper in the nation. She moonlights as an actress and is especially honored to have made three cameo appearances on CBS’s The Good Wife, and two cameo appearances on Netflix’s series House of Cards. She most recently appeared on BET's Being Mary Jane. Ask her and she’ll tell you that acting, after all, is the key to success in politics.
Ms. Brazile is the founder and director of Brazile & Associates LLC, a general consulting, grassroots advocacy, and training firm based in Washington, DC.
His The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, 2007, received the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Book Award. He was personally selected by Nancy Reagan to edit President Ronald Reagan’s presidential diaries (2011). His 2012 book Cronkite won Fordham University’s Ann M. Sperber Prize for outstanding biographies. His two-volume annotated The Nixon Tapes, 2016, won the Arthur S. Link – Warren F. Kuehl Prize. He received a Grammy Award in 2017 as co-producer of Presidential Suite: Eight Variations on Freedom (Best Jazz Ensemble). The New-York Historical Society selected Brinkley in 2017 as their official U.S. Presidential Historian. He is on the Board of Trustees at Brevard College and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library. He is a member of the Century Association, Council of Foreign Relations and James Madison Council of the Library of Congress.
He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and three children.
His most recent book, “The Second Mountain,” shows what can happen when we put commitment-making and relationships at the center of our lives. He is also the author of “The Road to Character,” “Bobos In Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There” and “The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement.”
Mr. Brooks is on the faculty of Yale University and is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
Follow him on Twitter @nytdavidbrooks and his Weave project @Weavetheppl
Bronston has won awards from the Associated Press, the Louisiana Press Association and the New Orleans Press Club, and in 2006, she shared in the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. She lives in suburban New Orleans and has a grown daughter, Sally, who lives in Washington D.C.
Further information about Professor William Craft Brumfield is available via the Tulane University Department of Germanic & Slavic Studies.
Edgar has been active in the hospitality industry for over 20 years; spending much of that time learning and then managing at his family’s flagship restaurant, Dooky Chase’s in Treme. In 2013, Chase Concessions became a joint venture partner for management and operations of all food and beverage concessions at the New Orleans Airport; concurrently, in January 2016, he opened Dook’s Place, a full service restaurant and bar, in the airport as well. Since that time, Chase and his partners have expanded into the current, New Orleans Airport as well as into the Boston and Nashville markets.
Edgar resides in New Orleans with his wife, Gretchen, daughter, Sidney and son, Edgar “Vito” Chase,V, along with their dog, Roch, and is committed to this community they will be raised in. Chase is active in his community and civically involved in a number for non-profit boards and commissions; is the newly elected Chairman of the Finance Authority of New Orleans; a board member of the CCCI; the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA); a board member of the New Orleans African American Museum, as well as the Audubon Nature Institute.
Dr. Cox received her BA and MA in history from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and her Ph.D. in 1997 from the University of Southern Mississippi. She is the author of three books, the editor or co-editor of two volumes of southern history, and she has written numerous essays and articles on the subject of southern history and culture. Her first book, Dixie’s Daughters: The United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Preservation of Confederate Culture, won the 2004 Julia Cherry Spruill Prize from the Southern Association for Women Historians for the Best Book in Southern Women’s History. Her second book, published by UNC Press in 2011, is Dreaming of Dixie: How the South Was Created in American Popular Culture. She is the editor of Destination Dixie: Tourism and Southern History (University Press of Florida, 2012), which won the 2013 Allen G. Noble Award for the best edited collection in North American material culture from the Pioneer America Society and the co-editor of Reassessing the 1930s South (LSU Press, 2018). Her latest book, entitled Goat Castle: A True Story of Murder, Race, and the Gothic South, was published by UNC Press in October 2017.
Dr. Cox has written op-eds for the New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, TIME magazine, Publishers Weekly, and the Huffington Post. Her expertise on the American South has led to interviews with the Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, The Daily Beast, Mic, The Atlantic, the Wall Street Journal, Slate (France), the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, the Houston Chronicle, and the Charlotte Observer, as well as international newspapers in Germany, Denmark, Ireland, and Japan. She has also appeared on CNN with Brooke Baldwin, BBC Newshour, Black Politics Today, The Mike Smerconish Show (Sirius XM), C-SPAN, Canadian Public Broadcasting, Minnesota Public Radio, Georgia Public Radio, and Charlotte Talks.
She frequently gives public talks to both community and academic audiences, and is an OAH Distinguished Lecturer.
Cox is originally from Huntington, West Virginia.
A cultural historian studying the Communist Party's great enterprise, Professor DeMare researches how Chinese citizens have negotiated with the politicization of their everyday lives. Mass campaigns, revolutionary art, and rural cultural workers are the primary concerns driving his research agenda. His new book Mao's Cultural Army: Drama Troupes in China's Rural Revolution, explores the political uses of cultural performance in the rise of the Chinese Communist Party and the early years of the People's Republic of China. He is currently writing and editing books on the epic land reform campaigns that shook the Chinese countryside during the late 1940s and early 1950s.
Professor DeMare offers a wide selection of courses on East Asian history. Survey courses cover the entirety of Chinese history, from Peking Man to the post-revolutionary era. Seminars allow students to delve into a variety of topics, including imperialism, gender, and empire.
Mao's Cultural Army: Drama Tropes in China's Rural Revolution
Charting their training, travels, and performances, this innovative study explores the role of the artists that roamed the Chinese countryside in support of Mao's communist revolution. DeMare traces the development of Mao's 'cultural army' from its genesis in Red Army propaganda teams to its full development as a largely civilian force composed of amateur and professional drama troupes in the early years of the PRC. Drawing from memoirs, artistic handbooks, and rare archival sources, Mao's Cultural Army uncovers the arduous and complex process of creating revolutionary dramas that would appeal to China's all-important rural audiences. The Communists strived for a disciplined cultural army to promote party policies, but audiences often shunned modern and didactic shows, and instead clamored for traditional works. DeMare illustrates how drama troupes, caught between the party and their audiences, did their best to resist the ever growing reach of the PRC state. This is the first book in the new Cambridge Studies in the History of the People's Republic of China series.
Downing has garnered multiple awards including a 2017 Louisiana Writer Award, 59th Grammy Award Participant Certificate, eight Parents’ Choice Awards, four iParenting Media Awards, two Parent’s Guide To Children’s Media Awards, four National Parenting Publications Awards, a Family Choice Award, two Family Review Center Awards, Family Review Center Gold Award, Family Review Center Best of the Year Award, DAR Literacy Promotion Award, an Imagination Award, and a Haiku International Association Honorable Mention Award. Her work has received rave reviews on Grammy.com and in Nick Jr. Magazine, Family Fun Magazine, Parenting Magazine, Parent’s Magazine, Publisher’s Weekly, American Library Association’s Booklist, School Library Journal, Washington Post, Early Childhood News, Cookie Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News, New Orleans Magazine, and Big Apple Parent to name a few. Further, she was selected as one of “The Women of the Year 2008” by New Orleans CityBusiness Magazine, “Thirty People to Watch in 2000” by New Orleans Magazine and “Forty Under Forty” by Gambit Weekly Magazine.
Mrs. Edwards has long been active in her community, supporting various organizations and school and church groups. Early in her marriage during the governor’s eight-year service as an Army Infantry Airborne ranger, the first lady volunteered her time and assistance to families of deployed Army service members.
While raising three children, Mrs. Edwards became a certified teacher and taught music for more than eight years. As Louisiana’s First Lady, she continues to advocate for teachers, public education and music and arts education. She started Louisiana First Foundation with a mission of service and support for children. Louisiana First Foundation is the rainbow cover for Louisiana Fosters, Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention and TeachMAM (Teach Music, Art and Movement).
John Bel and Donna married in 1989. They are the proud parents of three children: Samantha, Sarah Ellen and John Miller, son-in-law, Jonathan and three fur babies, Mollie, Bandit and Lady.
Born and raised in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Edwards attended Hunter College and LSU (B.A. in Journalism). He has had a decades-long career as a producer of many special events, most notably the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. He is the Chief Creative Officer and Chief Marketing Officer of Festival Productions, Inc.-New Orleans.
Her book Come Sunday, A Young Reader’s History of Congo Square received the Bronze Medal Independent Publisher Book Award and was a finalist for Next Generation Indie Book Award. Her research and advocacy for Congo Square influenced the New Orleans City Council Ordinance that changed the official name of the location from Beauregard Square, named after Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard in 1893, to the popular name Congo Square in 2011.
Evans is also the award-winning author of books for children including Hush Harbor: Praying in Secret, The Battle of New Orleans: The Drummer’s Story, and A Bus of Our Own. She is co-author of the upcoming book, Passing It On: The Art of John T. Scott, which will debut in 2022.
Working in the community, Evans co-chaired the New Orleans Committee to Erect Historic Markers on the Slave Trade to Louisiana, helped to erect the UNESCO Site of Memory Middle Passage Marker, and currently serves on the New Orleans Legacy Project Committee.
Cuba: An American History, published in 2021, is a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize in History, long-listed for the OCM Bocas Prize in Caribbean Literature, and winner of a Prose Award from the Association of American Publishers.
Charles Figley helped establish and served as the first editor of three journals: Journal of Family Psychotherapy, 1983-1990 (Haworth Press); Founding Editor of the Journal of Traumatic Stress by the Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and Plenum (initial publisher), 1987-1992, and; Founding Editor of Traumatology, the International Journal by the Green Cross Academy (currently published by the American Psychological Association) in 1995.
Professor Figley served as Editor of three book series. They include: Editor (Founder) of the Routledge Psychosocial Stress Book Series, 1978-present; Editor (Founder), Innovations in Psychology Book Series, 1995-2003 (CRC Press); Co-Editor (Founder) with Therese Rando, the Death and Trauma Book Series, 1996-2001 (Taylor & Francis Publishers).
Charles Figley is a highly published and popular speaker. He has published more than 315 scholarly works including 200 refereed journal articles, 28 books and 85 book chapters. Collectively, his work reports on more than 37 research projects focusing primarily on traumatic stress and resiliency of individuals, families, and communities. His 2012 book, Encyclopedia of Trauma (Sage Press) was honored as the top book of its kind by the American Library Association and his 2013, First Do No Self Harm: Understanding and Promoting Physician Stress Resilience (Oxford University Press) were highly praised by the American Psychological Association. His co-edited book, Combat Social Workers: Applying the Lessons of War to the Realities of Human Services of published last year and his long-awaited book written with Mark Russell, Psychiatric Casualties: How the Military Ignores the Full Costs of War was published this year. He is cited as among the most productive scholars by Google Scholar.
Dr. Figley is an elected fellow of the five of the leading national professional associations and received many other honors in recognition for his scholarship. He is the recipient of numerous lectureships and other honors throughout the world including Northern Ireland, South Africa, England, Australia, Canada, and universities through the United States. He was awarded a senior Fulbright Research Fellowship to conduct research in Kuwait in 2004 and follow-up on work that was started in 1992, shortly after the liberation from and end of the occupation by Iraq. In 2004, Dr. Figley was named lifetime Alumni Fellow by the Pennsylvania State University, the highest honor awarded to its graduates. More recently, Figley was honored by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York with an honorary degree in June 2014 in recognition of his career-long achievements in social justice for the traumatized.
For the past thirty years Fry has lived on the watery fringe of New Orleans, occupying a self-built stilt house over the Mississippi River, hidden by the huge levees that keep the city dry. In his new book, They Called Us River Rats, he traces the movement of people down the river and their accumulation in settlements along the shore in New Orleans. The book explores the miraculous survival of the vestigial outsider colony where the author lives today- a fascinating intersection of people and place. It is both a personal story of life on the river, and a history rich with accounts Fry collected from of a century of river rats.
He hails from Moss Point, Mississippi, a small town on the Gulf Coast, and is a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.
Earlier books were: “The Battle For Gotham: New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs,” “The Living City: Thinking Small in a Big Way,” “Cities Back From the Edge: New Life For Downtown,” and “A Frog, A Wooden House, A Stream and A Trail: Ten years of Community Revitalization in Central Europe.”
Her writing has also appeared in the Nation, New York Magazine, New York Times Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. She served on the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission and the Sustainability Advisory Board for NYC under Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
In 2004, Roberta, with author/urbanist Jane Jacobs, founded The Center For the Living City centerforthelivingcity.org to build on Jacobs’ ground-breaking work.
She has been a recipient of fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, NYS Council on the Arts, Surdna Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Fannie Mae Foundation, and writing awards from the American Institute of Architects, American Planning Assn, Municipal Art Society, the New York Press Club, the City Club of New York and the Press Club of New Orleans.
Born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to a construction worker and a homemaker, John Grisham as a child dreamed of being a professional baseball player. Realizing he didn’t have the right stuff for a pro career, he shifted gears and majored in accounting at Mississippi State University. After graduating from law school at Ole Miss in 1981, he went on to practice law for nearly a decade in Southaven, specializing in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. In 1983, he was elected to the state House of Representatives and served until 1990.
One day at the DeSoto County courthouse, Grisham overheard the harrowing testimony of a twelve-year-old rape victim and was inspired to start a novel exploring what would have happened if the girl’s father had murdered her assailants. Getting up at 5 a.m. every day to get in several hours of writing time before heading off to work, Grisham spent three years on A Time to Kill and finished it in 1987. Initially rejected by many publishers, it was eventually bought by Wynwood Press, who gave it a modest 5,000 copy printing and published it in June 1988.
That might have put an end to Grisham’s hobby. However, he had already begun his next book, and it would quickly turn that hobby into a new full-time career—and spark one of publishing’s greatest success stories. The day after Grisham completed A Time to Kill, he began work on another novel, the story of a hotshot young attorney lured to an apparently perfect law firm that was not what it appeared. When he sold the film rights to The Firm to Paramount Pictures for $600,000, Grisham suddenly became a hot property among publishers, and book rights were bought by Doubleday. Spending 47 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, The Firm became the bestselling novel of 1991.
The successes of The Pelican Brief, which hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list, and The Client, which debuted at number one, confirmed Grisham’s reputation as the master of the legal thriller. Grisham’s success even renewed interest in A Time to Kill, which was republished in hardcover by Doubleday and then in paperback by Dell. This time around, it was a bestseller.
Since first publishing A Time to Kill in 1988, Grisham has written one novel a year (his other books are The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Chamber, The Rainmaker, The Runaway Jury, The Partner, The Street Lawyer, The Testament, The Brethren, A Painted House, Skipping Christmas, The Summons, The King of Torts, Bleachers, The Last Juror, The Broker, Playing for Pizza, The Appeal, The Associate, The Confession, The Litigators, Calico Joe, The Racketeer, Sycamore Row, and Gray Mountain) and all of them have become international bestsellers. There are currently over 300 million John Grisham books in print worldwide, which have been translated into 40 languages. Nine of his novels have been turned into films (The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, A Time to Kill, The Rainmaker, The Chamber, A Painted House, The Runaway Jury, and Skipping Christmas), as was an original screenplay, The Gingerbread Man. The Innocent Man (October 2006) marked his first foray into non-fiction, and Ford County (November 2009) was his first short story collection.
Grisham took time off from writing for several months in 1996 to return, after a five-year hiatus, to the courtroom. He was honoring a commitment made before he had retired from the law to become a full-time writer: representing the family of a railroad brakeman killed when he was pinned between two cars. Preparing his case with the same passion and dedication as his books’ protagonists, Grisham successfully argued his clients’ case, earning them a jury award of $683,500—the biggest verdict of his career.
When he’s not writing, Grisham devotes time to charitable causes, including most recently his Rebuild The Coast Fund, which raised 8.8 million dollars for Gulf Coast relief in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. He also keeps up with his greatest passion: baseball. The man who dreamed of being a professional baseball player now serves as the local Little League commissioner. The six ballfields he built on his property have played host to over 350 kids on 26 Little League teams.
The founder of TODAY’s Read with Jenna book club, Bush Hager is also the best-selling author of the #1 New York Times best-seller “Sisters First,” written with her sister Barbara Bush, and the New York Times best-seller “Ana’s Story: A Journey of Hope,” which she wrote after interning with UNICEF in Latin America. She also co-authored the children’s books “Our Great Big Backyard” and “Read All About It!” with her mother. Most recently, she wrote “Everything Beautiful in Its Time,” a collection of poignant essays about her beloved grandparents and the wisdom they passed on to her.
As part of her work on TODAY, Bush Hager received a 2012 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Morning Show. In 2011, she was honored as one of Glamour’s Women of the Year alongside her mother and sister.
Bush Hager has conducted a wide range of interviews with notable figures including first daughter Ashley Biden, former first lady Michelle Obama, Reese Witherspoon, Joanna Gaines, Katherine Schwarzenegger and fellow first daughter Susan Ford Bales.
Prior to TODAY, Bush Hager was a reading teacher at a public school in Baltimore. She began her career as an elementary school teacher in Washington D.C. in 2005. She is currently an editor-at-large for Southern Living.
In 2004, Bush Hager graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English. She lives in New York with her husband, Henry Hager, their two daughters Mila and Poppy, and their son Hal.
Follow Bush Hager on Twitter and Instagram @JennaBushHager.
She has also produced several visuals including Black Love: A Sustaining Force Post-Katrina which was presented at the 80th Anniversary of Zora Neal Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God.
Kelly is the New Orleans Literary Coordinator for Poets & Writers, Inc based in New York. Her debut poetry collection is: Freedom Knows My Name.
Prior to his command of Joint Task Force-Katrina – leading the Department of Defense response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana – General Honoré served in a variety of command and staff positions which focused on Defense Support to Civil Authorities and Homeland Defense. As Vice Director for Operations, J-3, The Joint Staff, Washington, D.C., and, as the Commander, Standing Joint Force Headquarters-Homeland Security, United States Northern Command, General Honoré’s focus was Defense Support to Civil Authorities and Homeland Defense. For four of the past six hurricane seasons, he supported the Department of Defense planning and response for Hurricanes Floyd in 1999; Lilli and Isidore in 2002 (both hit the Gulf Coast); Isabel in 2003; and Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne in 2004. General Honoré also planned and supported the United States military response to the devastating flooding which swept Venezuela 1999 and Mozambique in 2000. As Vice Director for Operations, he led the Defense Department’s planning and preparation for the anticipated Y2K Millennium anomaly. As Commander of SJFHQ-HLS under NORTHCOM direction, he planned and oversaw the military response to the Space Shuttle Columbia Tragedy and the DC Sniper Shootings. Additionally, General Honoré participated in three TOPOFF (Top Officials) exercises as well as the United Endeavor series of Homeland Defense exercises.
Among his assignments are Commanding General, First Army; Commanding General, SJFHQ-HLS, U.S. Northern Command; Commanding General, 2d Infantry Division, Korea; Deputy Commanding General/Assistant Commandant, United States Army Infantry Center and School, Fort Benning, Georgia; and the Assistant Division Commander, Maneuver/Support, 1st Calvary Division, Fort Hood, Texas. He has also served as the Brigade Commander, 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia; Senior Mechanized Observer/Controller, “Scorpion 07,” National Training Center (25 rotations); and Commander, 4th Battalion, 16th Infantry Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Germany.
General Honoré’s awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (one Oak Leaf Cluster), the Distinguished Service Medal (one Oak Leaf Cluster), the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (four Oak Leaf Clusters), the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (three Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Commendation Medal (three Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal (two Bronze Service Stars), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal (one Bronze Service Star) the Global War on Terror Service Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon (4), Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi), the Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait) and the Joint Meritorious Unit Award. Qualification badges include the Expert Infantry Badge, the Parachutist Badge, and the Joint Staff Identification Badge.
General Honoré retired on February 29, 2008, following 37 years of active service with the United States Army. He continues to speak and consult nationally on Building a Culture of Preparedness.
Isaacson’s most recent biography, The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing and the Future of the Human Race (2021), is a gripping account of how Nobel prize winner Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues launched a revolution that will allow us to cure diseases, fend off viruses, and improve the human species. He is also the author of Leonardo da Vinci (2017), The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution (2014), Steve Jobs (2011), Einstein: His Life and Universe (2007), Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (2003), and Kissinger: A Biography (1992), and coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made (1986).
He is a host of the show “Amanpour and Company” on PBS and CNN, a contributor to CNBC, and host of the podcast “Trailblazers, from Dell Technologies.”
Isaacson was born on May 20, 1952, in New Orleans. He is a graduate of the Isidore Newman School, Harvard College and of Pembroke College of Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He began his career at The Sunday Times of London and then the New Orleans Times-Picayune. He joined TIME in 1978 and served as a political correspondent, national editor, and editor of digital media before becoming the magazine’s 14th editor in 1996. He became chairman and CEO of CNN in 2001, and then president and CEO of the Aspen Institute in 2003.
He is chair emeritus of Teach for America. From 2005-2007 he was the vice-chair of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, which oversaw the rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. He was appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate to serve as the chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which runs Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and other international broadcasts of the United States, a position he held from 2009 to 2012.
He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society of the Arts, and the American Philosophical Society. He serves on the board of United Airlines, the New Orleans City Planning Commission, the New Orleans Tricentennial Commission, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Society of American Historians, the U.S. Defense Department Innovation Board, the Carnegie Institution for Science, and My Brother’s Keeper Alliance.
Elizabeth’s resume boasts an Associate of Science in Early Childhood Education, an Associate of Arts in General Education, and she is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management. Currently residing in Palm Bay, Florida with her husband and son, Elizabeth spends her spare time baking, watching football, traveling, honing her skills as a photographer, and volunteering in the church and her local community.
She has taught at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, the University of Navarra, the University of Vic-Central University of Catalonia and the University of Virginia. At the University of Virginia, she was Research Faculty (2012-15), first Professor of Practice of the School of Architecture (2015-17) and tenured Associate Professor (2017-18).
Jover is co-author of the book Ecologies of Prosperity (ORO Editors, 2018) and The Water Park (ACTAR, 2008). She has been a juror for several honor awards, including the FAD Architecture Prize and Mies van der Rohe European Union Prize for Architecture (2015), and for international competitions including the Glories Square in Barcelona and the Hainan Eco-Island in China.
Both in academic research and in practice, Jover promotes a broader understanding of architecture that aims to mitigate and reverse socioecological crises. Her academic research line discusses the reform of the current model of progress by promoting a specific socioecological urbanism.
Board Certified as a Specialist in Sports Dietetics by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Molly manages the nutrition program at Ochsner Fitness Center, including a team of lifestyle dietitians who guide clients in achieving personal fitness goals as well as disordered eating and general health and wellness.
In 2013 she founded Eat Fit, a nonprofit initiative of Ochsner Health that works with local restaurants, markets, schools and corner stores to develop & identify nutritious items on the menu. The Eat Fit team of dietitians works with more than 500 restaurant partners in six regions across Louisiana with the mission of providing easy-to-access real-world education, inspiration and resources on wellness and nutrition.
As a regular contributor to national publications, Molly is a nutrition journalist who covers all things related to nutrition and wellness. She has been the nutrition expert for New Orleans’ ABC affiliate WGNO since 2009, with weekly TV segments on WGNO’s Good Morning New Orleans. And you can catch her podcast, FUELED wellness + nutrition with Molly Kimball, where she dives deeper into the science and the stories to educate and inspire.
Molly is the recent recipient of the Louisiana Champion award by LWCC, and - perhaps her favorite accolade - she received the Risk Taker award by Ochsner Health leadership. Molly prefers a good walk-and-talk with colleagues versus desk or Zoom meetings, and when she’s not immersed in the world of nutrition science, you can find her creating functional pottery, a perfect antidote to technology and deadlines.
Boxing has been at the center of Isaac’s life. He was a Golden Gloves Champion in LA at the age of 15. He held the Louisiana Department of Corrections boxing title for eleven years while in the State Penitentiary, Angola. After leaving Angola in 1991, he restarted his amateur boxing career just missing by one bout a spot on the USA team that competed in the Barcelona Olympics. From 1992 until 1998 he boxed professionally traveling around the country and the world.
At the age of sixteen, Isaac was arrested, tried as an adult and wrongly convicted of the murder of Dr. Ronald Banks. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole at the deadliest prison in America, the Louisiana State Penitentiary, Angola in October 1979. In 1992, his conviction was overturned after a police document was discovered that contained exculpatory evidence not shared with his defense team at the time of the original trial. Isaac received no financial compensation for the thirteen years of his life spent wrongly imprisoned.
In 1999, Isaac pled guilty to trafficking drugs and was sentenced to another twenty years in Federal Prison. He served seventeen years of this sentence and was released in the spring of 2015. Isaac estimates that roughly seven of the thirty years he spent incarcerated was served in solitary confinement.
Isaac is the father of four children and while in prison taught Parenting from Prison classes to other inmates helping them to maintain active parenting roles even while incarcerated. He currently lives with his wife, Denise, in New Orleans, LA.
In 2015, Landrieu was named “Public Official of the Year” by Governing, and in 2016 was voted “America’s top turnaround mayor” in a Politico survey of mayors. He gained national prominence for his powerful decision to take down four Confederate monuments in New Orleans, which also earned him the prestigious John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. In his New York Times best-selling book, In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History, Landrieu recounts his personal journey confronting racism, and tackles
the broader history of slavery, race relations, and institutional inequalities that still plague America. He recently launched the E Pluribus Unum Fund, which will work to bring people together across the South around the issues of race, equity, economic opportunity and violence.
Prior to serving as Mayor, Landrieu served two terms as lieutenant governor and 16 years in the state legislature. He also served as President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Mitch and his wife Cheryl have five children.
Global history, Colonial Latin America, Andes, political economy, mining, labor, environment, piracy
I am a historian specializing in the history of the Andes region of South America. Going back to my 1996 dissertation at the University of Minnesota, most of my scholarship has focused on extractive industries and their local, regional, and global effects.I have worked extensively in Colombia, Ecuador, and Bolivia, and more recently in Peru, Argentina, and Chile. The Andes Mountains have a long history of providing humans with metals and other minerals, and understanding the evolving and sometimes violent relationships built around mining -plus this activity's manifold environmental consequences - have not ceased to intrigue me.
In my 2002 book, Quito 1599: City and Colony in Transition(University of New Mexico Press), I attempted to tell the story of this equatorial Andean city and its vast hinterland in terms of Quito's early fame as a producer of gold. A former Inca capital, San Francisco de Quito became the seat of a royal Spanish appeals court and legislative body and ultimately the nucleus of the Republic of Ecuador. The early search for gold took Spanish conquistadors and thousands of native Andeans deep into the backcountry of the Pacific watershed and the upper Amazon, only to quickly exceed the limits of sustainability and to test the patience of native peoples and newly formed runaway slave communities.Quito 1599is an experiment in using a pivotal year to trace longer-term transformations in society and economy.
In my book Colour of Paradise: The Emerald in the Age of Gunpowder Empires(Yale University Press, 2010), I followed the path of Colombian emeralds from the remote north Andean mines of Muzo and Chivor to the courts of the Mughal, Safavid, and Ottoman Empires, linked by multi-ethnic trading clans and other globe-trotting go-betweens. I also traced emeralds as they flowed to the courts and gem bourses of Europe. My basic model was that of a commodity-chain history, but I attempted to expand on this production-circulation-consumption approach in order to explain the complex shifts in meaning that emeralds underwent in their long journey from source to consumer -what some have termed the social life of things. The emerald in this "gunpowder" age was in no way a simple, bulk commodity.
My most recent book, Potosí: The Silver City that Changed the World (University of California Press, 2019), treats the rise and fall of colonial Latin America's richest mining boomtown, an early modern marvel and an environmental nightmare. By 1600, the Imperial Villa of Potosí was one of the largest cities in the Western Hemisphere and one of the highest anywhere. My main aim in this book is to reorient early modern world history by placing this improbable, multi-ethnic city and its silver mines and refineries at the center of the world. Potosí was the globe's number-one silver producer for many years, lubricating trade from Moscow to Macau, but it was also a major consumer of global products and an important regional slave market and redistribution hub. In social terms, the book examines how a remote Andean mining camp became a cosmopolitan stage that made space for people of all nations and classes, upending norms of race, gender, and sexuality even as fortunes rose and fell overnight. It was also a site of intense indigenous exploitation and mass death. I end by bringing the story of Potosí up to the present day.
In moving from raw commodities to semi-manufactured products, my current project, tentatively titledRoyal Scam: The Great Potosí Mint Fraud of 1649, traces the global significance of a major debasement scheme that arose within the royal mint at Potosí in the mid-seventeenth century. It so happened that the fabled silver mines of Potosí's Cerro Rico were not inexhaustible, or rather that their ores became more expensive to extract and refine. A resulting debt crisis hobbled silver refiners and their creditors, sparking an illegal form of financial innovation: debasing the king's coinage to cover the deficit. The secret could not long be kept given the global flow of Potosí silver, yet it took the king ofSpain's ministers over a decade to break up the great mint fraud of the 1640s. I trace the local crime, its corrupt circles, and its eventual punishment along with the fraud's global implications, revealing once again the complex backward and forward linkages that tied a remote Andean mining town to nearly every major economic center in the world. It is, in a sense, a tale for our times.
Behind the mint fraud project is a documentary history of another major seventeenth-century Potosí disaster: the outbreak of gangland warfare between the city's most powerful factions. Sometimes called the "Basque-Vicuña War," this bloody conflict pitted migrants from the Basque Country in northern Spain against nearly everyone else, but with prominent migrants from Extremadura (SW Spain) singled out as leaders. Drawn into the conflict as body guards, henchmen, and assassins were numerous footloose "vicuñas," the multi-ethnic high-plains drifters of their day, and behind the scenes were several powerful women. The worst violence exploded between 1622 and 1625, when a viceroy issued a general amnesty. My colleague Timothy F. Johnson (U. Nebraska -Kearney) is translating a series of documents that I have collected from archives in Bolivia, Spain, the U.S., and the U.K. I am composing an introduction and adding annotations. Our intention is to provide readers with a full sense of the conflicting narratives and intense passions generated by this early inter-ethnic American "war." It was a series of backstreet showdowns involving rapiers and matchlock pistols in theThree Musketeers mode, but it was also a war of words.
My other interests include the world history of piracy, which inspired me to expand an earlier book intoPillaging the Empire: Global Piracy on the High Seas, 1500-1750 (Routledge, 2015).I have just publishedPiracy in the Early Modern Era: An Anthology of Sources(2019) with co-author Arne Bialuschewski of Trent University in Ontario, Canada.I am also planning to return to my earlier research on gold mining in colonial Colombia, from which my book on emeralds grew. The green Andes keep tugging at my heart.
As a teacher, I have always tinkered with textbooks, and with Matthew Restall (Penn State) I co-authoredLatin America in Colonial Times(Cambridge, 2018), now in its second edition. An abiding interest in world history led me to work with co-authors Bonnie Smith, Richard Von Glahn, and Marc Van de Mieroop on the textbookWorld in the Making: A Global History(Oxford, 2018). My feeling is that all historians should attempt to work and teach at various scales from micro to macro, and to accept the global challenge.
As service to my profession, I have been General Editor of the interdisciplinary journalColonial Latin American Reviewsince 2010. I also serve on the editorial boards of several U.S., European, and Latin American journals, including Fronteras de la Historia and Itinerario. With Matthew Restall I edit theCambridge Latin American Studies monograph series and on my own I edit the Diálogosseries of books with broader appeal for the University of New Mexico Press.
A news veteran of Chicago, Lemon reported from Chicago in the days leading up to the 2008 presidential election, including an interview with then-Rep. Rahm Emanuel on the day he accepted the position of Chief of Staff for President-elect Barack Obama. He also interviewed Anne Cooper, the 106-year old voter President-elect Obama highlighted in his election night acceptance speech after he had seen Lemon's interview with Cooper on CNN.
He has served as moderator for CNN's political town halls, co-moderated first 2020 Democratic Presidential Debate and co-hosted Color of Covid special that addressed the pandemic's impact on communities of color.
Lemon served as the network's leading voice guiding viewers through the death of George Floyd and summer of nationwide protests and riots.
He has reported and anchored on-the-scene for CNN from many breaking news stories, including the Orlando shooting at Pulse Nightclub (2016), Charleston church shooting (2015), death of Freddie Gray while in police custody, the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO (2014), the George Zimmerman trial (2013), the Boston marathon bombing (2013), the Philadelphia building collapse (2013),the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting (2012), the Colorado Theater Shooting (2012), the death of Whitney Houston, the Inaugural of the 44th President in Washington, D.C., the death of Michael Jackson (2009), Hurricane Gustav in Louisiana (2008) and the Minneapolis bridge collapse (2007).
Lemon has also anchored the network's breaking news coverage of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the Arab Spring, the death of Osama Bin Laden and Joplin tornado. He reported for CNN's documentary Race and Rage: The Beating of Rodney King, which aired 20 years to the day of the beating. He is also known for holding politicians and public officials accountable in his "No Talking Points" segment.
He joined CNN after serving as a co-anchor for the 5 p.m. newscast for NBC5 News in Chicago. He joined the station in August 2003 as an anchor and reporter after working in New York as a correspondent for NBC News, The Today Show and NBC Nightly News. In addition to his reporting in New York, Lemon worked as an anchor on Weekend Today and on MSNBC. While at NBC, he covered the explosion of Space Shuttle Columbia, SARS in Canada and numerous other stories of national and global importance.
In addition to NBC5 and NBC News, Lemon has served as a weekend anchor and general assignment reporter for WCAU-TV, an NBC affiliate in Philadelphia, an anchor and investigative reporter for KTVI-TV in St. Louis and an anchor for WBRC-TV in Birmingham. He began his career at WNYW in New York City as a news assistant while still in college.
In 2009, Ebony named him as one of the Ebony Power 150: the most influential Blacks in America. He has won an Edward R. Murrow award for his coverage of the capture of the Washington, D.C. snipers. He won an Emmy for a special report on real estate in Chicagoland and various other awards for his reporting on the AIDS epidemic in Africa and Hurricane Katrina. In 2006, he won three more local Emmys for his reporting in Africa and a business feature about Craigslist, an online community.
Lemon serves as an adjunct professor at Brooklyn College, teaching and participating in curriculum designed around new media. He earned a degree in broadcast journalism from Brooklyn College and also attended Louisiana State University.
Mr. Lewis is a columnist for Bloomberg View and a contributing writer to Audible. His articles have also appeared in Vanity Fair, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Gourmet, Slate, Sports Illustrated, Foreign Affairs, and Poetry Magazine. He has served as editor and columnist for the British weekly The Spectator and as senior editor and campaign correspondent for The New Republic. He has filmed and narrated short pieces for ABC-TV’s “Nightline;” created and presented a four part documentary on the social consequences of the internet for the British Broadcasting Corporation; and recorded stories for the American public radio show, This American Life.
Mr. Lewis grew up in New Orleans and remains deeply interested and involved in the city. He holds a bachelor’s degree in art history from Princeton and a master’s degree in economics from the London School of Economics. He lives in Berkeley, California with his wife, Tabitha Soren, and their three children: Quinn, Dixie and Walker. In 2009 he published Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood, about his attempts to raise them.
His research on race, implicit bias, leadership, and social justice has been published in top-tier academic journals such as the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Academy of Management Journal, Psychological Science, and Leadership Quarterly. Dr. Livingston’s work has also been featured in popular press outlets such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Harvard Business Review. His article “How to Promote Racial Equity in the Workplace” was the winner of the 2020 Warren Bennis Prize, awarded to the best article on leadership published in Harvard Business Review each year.
His groundbreaking and influential approach to combatting racism is detailed in his newly- released book The Conversation: How Seeking and Speaking the Truth about Racism Can Radically Transform Individuals and Organizations, which has received high praise from book critics, corporate executives, and ordinary citizens.
In his spare time, he enjoys jazz, wine and whiskey tasting, gastronomy, philosophy, interior design, real estate investing, hiking, and nature documentaries. He has resided in five countries and speaks four languages. He is a proud alumnus of Tulane University.
Martin joined the New York Times in 2013 after working as a senior political writer for POLITICO for several years. In addition, his work has been featured in the National Journal, National Review, The New Republic, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. A native of Arlington, Virginia, Martin is a graduate of Hampden-Sydney College. He and his wife, Betsy Fischer Martin, live in New Orleans and Washington, DC.
Since that time, Matalin has made frequent television and radio appearances as a political commentator, securing a career in conservative media advocacy following decades of work in the GOP political trenches.
In addition to her successful careers in politics, television and radio, Matalin is also a widely read, respected and acclaimed author. Matalin co-authored the best-selling political campaign book All's Fair: Love, War, and Running for President with her husband, James Carville. The book was named one of the top 5 best books on public relations by The Wall Street Journal. Matalin and Carville recently returned to the New York Times best sellers list with their newest book Love and War: 20 Years, 3 Presidents, 2 Daughters, One Louisiana Home, available now. Matalin also penned Letters to My Daughters, a series of short missives for her own daughters, making both The New York Times and the Washington Post best-seller lists.
Matalin relocated to New Orleans in 2008, where she is active in the cities efforts in higher education reform, entrepreneurial development and the Catholic Church. Matalin has served on numerous boards including Tulane University's President's Council, The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Loyola University’s Board of Trustees and The Louisiana Nature Conservancy. Along with her husband, James, Matalin served as Co-Chair for Super Bowl XLVII, the Katrina-10 Commemoration and the 2018 New Orleans Tri-Centennial Celebration. Matalin shares her home with Carville and their two daughters of evolving political persuasion.
McGarr is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He serves on the board of trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He is only one of a few people that have been appointed to The Kennedy Center by two different Presidents. He also serves on MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors, the Foundation for the National Archives Trustee's Council, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation, and Ken Burns’ Better Angels Society.
He is a founder of the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize, the nation’s highest honor for humor, now in its 22nd year. He also is a creator of The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. He has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy and a NAACP Image Award.
McGarr is a past chair of the Development Board of the University of Texas at Austin. He is the founder of the Texas Program in Sports and Media and the annual McGarr Symposium on Sports and Society at the College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin.
He has published op-eds in The New York Times (October 6, 2009, “A Texas-Size Health Care Failure”), Politico (October 23, 2011, “Why Washington Needs A Laugh”) and USA Today (May 28, 2020,“Coronavirus is no joke, but it's why comedy must go on”).
His (quasi) memoir coming out on September 28, 2021: The Man Who Made Mark Twain Famous, stories from the Kennedy Center, the White House and other comedy venues.
McGarr has been married to Janie Strauss McGarr for 43 years and has two daughters, Elizabeth McGarr McCue and Kathryn McGarr, and a granddaughter, Annette Cap McCue, and a grandson, Hudson McCue.
He served as the highly successful and popular Mayor of New Orleans as well as the President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. He previously was a Louisiana State Senator, and was a lawyer in New Orleans with an active, high profile practice.
He is a leading voice on the national stage in the battle for jobs, education, housing and voting rights equity.
A graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, and the University of Pennsylvania, he has been recognized as one of the 100 most influential Black Americans by Ebony Magazine, one of the top 50 Non Profit Leaders by the Non Profit Times, one of the 100 Most Influential Black Lawyers in America and he has also been inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame in Atlanta, GA.
Over the years, Tyrell honed his skills as a writer by ghostwriting novels, penning screenplays, and adding film directing to his repertoire. In 2019 he released his debut novel “Stolen Innocence” as an independent author. In 2021 Tyrell and his co-author Elizabeth Johnson released their first youth novel “Just Like My Dad”. Realizing the struggles as an independent author, Tyrell decided to write and produce books as a business, thus forming “PlaTy Multimedia & Publishing.” Tyrell has written and produced commercials for “Outrageous Love Foundation,” “L&J Multicultural Barbershop,” and other film projects. Tyrell also has several new novels on the way, including the highly anticipated Urban thriller “Illusions.”
With a roster full of talent and drive to match, Tyrell envisions PlaTy Multimedia as being the number one media and publishing company in the world. With a roster that boasts experienced and talented authors, such as Alonzo Strange of “Tit4Tat” and Alan Little, creator of the “Country Boy” series, Tyrell Plair feels like there literally is no limit to what they can achieve.
Tyrell developed unheralded leadership skills as a soldier in the United States Army with a tour in Kuwait. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology with a Media and Technology concentration from the University of Phoenix. When not fulfilling his role as Chief Operating Officer of Platy Multimedia, you can find Tyrell locked in on a game of chess, fishing, or enjoying his family and friends.
As an ethnobotanist—a scientist who studies how, and why, societies have come to use plants for different purposes—Dr. Plotkin carried out the majority of his research with the Trio Indians of southern Suriname, a small rainforest country in northeastern South America, but has also worked with elder shamans from Mexico to Brazil.
Dr. Plotkin has a long history of work with other organizations to promote conservation and awareness of our natural world, having served as Research Associate in Ethnobotanical Conservation at the Botanical Museum of Harvard University; Director of Plant Conservation at the World Wildlife Fund; Vice President of Conservation International; and Research Associate at the Department of Botany of the Smithsonian Institution. Dr. Plotkin currently serves as President of the Amazon Conservation Team (ACT), a non-profit organization he co-founded with his fellow conservationist and wife, Liliana Madrigal in 1996, now enjoying over 25 years of successes dedicated to protecting the biological and cultural diversity of tropical South America.
Dr. Plotkin has authored or co-authored many books and scientific publications, most notably his popular work Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice, which is currently in its fortieth printing and has also been published in Dutch, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish. Acclaimed filmmaker Miranda Smith produced a related documentary titled The Shaman's Apprentice featuring Dr. Plotkin’s work, which has since garnered awards at eighteen different film festivals. His children’s book The Shaman’s Apprentice – A Tale of the Amazon Rainforest (1998), co-authored with Lynne Cherry, was called “the outstanding environmental and natural history title of the year” by Smithsonian magazine.
Dr. Plotkin’s critically acclaimed book, Medicine Quest: In Search of Nature’s Healing Secrets, was published in early 2000. A subsequent book on epidemiology, (coauthored with Michael Shnayerson), The Killers Within: The Deadly Rise of Drug-Resistant Bacteria, was published by Little, Brown in September of 2002. It was hailed as “One of the Top Ten Science Books of the Year” by Discover magazine. He recently completed “The Amazon – What Everyone Needs To Know,” which was published by Oxford University Press.
In 1998, he played a leading role in the Academy Award-nominated IMAX film Amazon. Time Magazine hailed him as an environmental “Hero for the Planet” in 1999. He more recently (2018) appeared in the award-winning documentary, “Living in the Future’s Past,” which featured Jeff Bridges, who also serves on ACT’s Advisory Board.
Dr. Plotkin’s work has been featured in a PBS Nova documentary, in an Emmy-winning Fox TV documentary, on the NBC Nightly News and Today Show, CBS’ 48 Hours and in Life, Newsweek, Smithsonian, Elle, People, The New York Times, along with appearances on National Public Radio. Smithsonian magazine’s 35th anniversary issue profiled Dr. Plotkin as one of "35 who made a difference" in November 2005. In March 2007, he was honored with the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens Conservation Award. And in March 2008, Dr. Plotkin and Liliana Madrigal were awarded the Skoll Foundation’s prestigious Award for Social Entrepreneurship, making ACT the first environmental organization to garner this recognition.
In May 2010, Mark Plotkin received the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. The degree citation read in part: "For teaching us that the loss of knowledge and species anywhere impoverishes us all; for combining humanitarian vision with academic rigor and moral sensibility; and for reminding us always, with clarity and passion and humor, that when we study people and plants, we are simultaneously exploring paths to philosophy, music, art, dance reverence, and healing." In October of the same year, the great Jane Goodall presented Mark with an award for "International Conservation Leadership."
Dr. Plotkin's TED Talk on the protection of the Amazon's uncontacted tribes has attracted well over a million views. You can see the talk at:
Dr. Plotkin was educated at Harvard, Yale and Tufts University. In 2011, he was the recipient of the Yale School of Forestry Distinguished Alumni Award. In 2019, the Harvard University gave him the Shinagel Award for Public Service “in recognition of his lifelong commitment to the protection of the Amazon rainforest and the tribal communities within.”
Born on April 21, 1939, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she joined the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1957. After studies in the USA and Canada, she spent the following years teaching high school, and serving as the Religious Education Director at St. Frances Cabrini Parish in New Orleans and the Formation Director for her religious community.
In 1982, she moved into the St. Thomas Housing Project in New Orleans in order to live and work with the poor. While there, Sister Helen began corresponding with Patrick Sonnier, who had been sentenced to death for the murder of two teenagers. Two years later, when Patrick Sonnier was put to death in the electric chair, Sister Helen was there to witness his execution. In the following months, she became spiritual advisor to another death row inmate, Robert Lee Willie, who was to meet the same fate as Sonnier.
After witnessing these executions, Sister Helen realized that this lethal ritual would remain unchallenged unless its secrecy was stripped away, and so she sat down and wrote a book, Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States. Dead Man Walking hit the shelves when national support for the death penalty was over 80% and, in Sister Helen’s native Louisiana, closer to 90%. The book ignited a national debate on capital punishment and it inspired an Academy Award winning movie, a play and an opera. Sister Helen also embarked on a speaking tour that continues to this day.
Sister Helen works with people of all faiths and those who follow no established faith, but her voice has had a special resonance with her fellow Catholics. Over the decades, Sister Helen has made personal approaches to two popes, John Paul II and Pope Francis, urging them to establish the Catholic Church’s position as unequivocally opposed to capital punishment under any circumstances. After Sister Helen’s urging, under John Paul II the catechism was revised to strengthen the church’s opposition to executions, although it allowed for a very few exceptions. Not long after meeting with Sister Helen in August of 2018, Pope Francis announced new language of the Catholic Catechism which declares that the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person, with no exceptions.
Today, although capital punishment is still on the books in 30 states in the USA, it has fallen into disuse in most of those states. Prosecutors and juries alike are turning away from death sentences, with the death penalty becoming increasingly a geographical freak. Sister Helen continues her work, dividing her time between educating the public, campaigning against the death penalty, counseling individual death row prisoners, and working with murder victims’ family members. Sister Helen’s second book, The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions, was published in 2004; and her third book, River of Fire: My Spiritual Journey,in 2019.
Peter is a graduate of Babson College, started his career at the investment firm of Kidder Peabody & Co and later served as the assistant state treasurer for Louisiana. There he successfully managed the State’s $3 billion investment portfolio. He went on to earn his MBA from the Univeristy of New Orleans.
In 1993 he founded Tulane’s nationally acclaimed Burkenroad Reports student stock research program (www.burkenroad.org). Here he leads 200 business students in search of overlooked and underpriced stocks in six southern states. He and his program have been featured widely in the financial press including; The Wall Street Journal, BARRON'S and The New York Times.
From Vancouver to Jupiter, Peter has addressed over 1000 groups in 47 states. These include groups of nuns, tin can manufacturers, money managers, waterpark owners, insurance professionals and NFL players. He has even done a couple of TED TALKS.
He is also an author, husband and a dad who has attended baseball games at all 30 current major league ballparks.
In January 2017, Rose was named the Artistic Director of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO) and led the eighteen-piece orchestra to its first concert season in October of that year that featured world-renowned artists Sheila E, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ledisi, Slick Rick, and Eric Benet. He has been instrumental in the organization's success by developing educational and community programs, leading performances, and developing partnerships associated with The Jazz Market, a 350-seat performance venue in the New Orleans’ Central City neighborhood which is home to the orchestra. Prior to his role at NOJO, Rose served as the Artist in Residence at the University of Texas Arlington and Cadillac’s Jazz by the Boulevard Festival , produced the Keller Jazz in June series, and founded the Fort Worth Jazz Orchestra, a 501c(3) non-profit organization.
In 2019, Rose produced NOJO's most recent recording Songs: the music of Allen Toussaint o n the legendary Storyville Records imprint, which received rave reviews. He is currently working on several new recordings with the orchestra and his own ensembles and continues to tour, perform, and produce a range of projects. This past January 2021, Rose was named the New Orleans Music and Culture Curator for Jazz Ascona in Switzerland.
Rosenthal led an investigative team via the New Orleans-based group she founded––Levees.org––and discovered the real cause of the devastation: Faulty engineering which resulted in the deaths of at least 1,500 and over $100 billion in property damage and business losses, not "Mother Nature."
In a classic tale of "first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win", the Levees.org team succeeded not only in exposing the details of the failure, but also uncovering a multi-million dollar smear campaign––against the people of New Orleans, Levees.org and Sandy herself––funded with U.S. taxpayer dollars.
By 2015, the news media, which had upheld the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' version of events, finally capitulated, and major news outlets like the New York Times and the BBC, officially changed their version of events to reflect the reality.
Rosenthal's 4-time award-winning book "Words Whispered in Water" which documents this story is her first book.
Levees.org exists to make sure the U.S Army Corps of Engineers is held accountable in New Orleans and throughout the U.S. where the lives and property of 201 million Americans depend on the integrity of their levees.
Rosenthal is currently host of the Beat the Big Guys podcast where she coaches listeners on how to fix problems in their own communities.
Mother of three and grandmother of two, the Massachusetts-born Rosenthal has lived in New Orleans with her New Orleans native husband Steve since 1980.
Mr. Rubenstein is Chairman of the Boards of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Economic Club of Washington; a Fellow of the Harvard Corporation; a Trustee of the National Gallery of Art, the University of Chicago, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins Medicine, the Institute for Advanced Study, the National Constitution Center, the Brookings Institution, and the World Economic Forum; and a Director of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Mr. Rubenstein is a member of the American Philosophical Society, Business Council, Harvard Global Advisory Council (Chairman), Madison Council of the Library of Congress (Chairman), Board of Dean’s Advisors of the Business School at Harvard, Advisory Board of the School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University (former Chairman), and Board of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers Community.
Mr. Rubenstein has served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Duke University and the Smithsonian Institution, and Co-Chairman of the Board of the Brookings Institution.
Mr. Rubenstein is an original signer of The Giving Pledge, a significant donor to all of the above-mentioned non-profit organizations, and a recipient of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy, and the MoMA’s David Rockefeller Award, among other philanthropic awards.
Mr. Rubenstein has been a leader in the area of Patriotic Philanthropy, having made transformative gifts for the restoration or repair of the Washington Monument, Monticello, Montpelier, Mount Vernon, Arlington House, Iwo Jima Memorial, the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian, the National Archives, the National Zoo, the Library of Congress, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Mr. Rubenstein has also provided to the U.S. government long-term loans of his rare copies of the Magna Carta, the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Emancipation Proclamation, the 13th Amendment, the first map of the U.S. (Abel Buell map), and the first book printed in the U.S. (Bay Psalm Book).
Mr. Rubenstein is the host of The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations on Bloomberg TV and PBS; and the author of The American Story: Conversations with Master Historians, a book published by Simon & Schuster in October 2019, and How to Lead: Wisdom from the World's Greatest CEOs, Founders, and Game Changers, a book published by Simon & Schuster in September 2020.
Mr. Rubenstein, a native of Baltimore, is a 1970 magna cum laude graduate of Duke University, where he was elected Phi Beta Kappa. Following Duke, Mr. Rubenstein graduated in 1973 from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was an editor of the Law Review.
From 1973-1975, Mr. Rubenstein practiced law in New York with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. From 1975-1976, he served as Chief Counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments. From 1977-1981, during the Carter Administration, Mr. Rubenstein was Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy. After his White House service and before co-founding Carlyle, Mr. Rubenstein practiced law in Washington with Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge (now Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman).
Author, Shaya: An Odyssey of Food, My Journey Back to Israel
Alon Shaya is Chef-Partner of Pomegranate Hospitality, which includes Saba in New Orleans, Safta in Denver, and both Miss River and Chandelier Bar at the Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans. Born in Israel, raised in Philadelphia, and a proud New Orleanian, Alon has always had a deep love and appreciation for food and the singular way restaurants anchor their communities.
In 2017, Alon and his wife Emily founded Pomegranate Hospitality with a mission to create a space where meaningful, lasting relationships are created, community engagement prospers, cultural differences are celebrated, and personal and professional growth of the team are weighed with equal measure.
He is the author of Shaya: An Odyssey of Food, My Journey Back to Israel. Part memoir and part cookbook, Shaya shares Alon’s deeply personal journey of survival and discovery, exploring the evolution of a cuisine and the transformative power and magic of food and cooking.
Alon, a multiple James Beard Foundation award-winner, was named "Best Chef, South" in 2015, and his restaurant won "Best New Restaurant" the following year. He was named one of the "50 People Who Are Changing the South" by Southern Living and one of the "50 Most Influential Jews in America" by The Forward.
When not working, Alon loves to spend time with his wife Emily, daughter Ruth, and their two dogs Henry and Ceci. He enjoys traveling for new food experiences around the world, playing tennis, and fly fishing.
David Spielman is approaching his 50th anniversary of his photographic career, which began when he moved to New Orleans. His portfolio features works from six continents. “New Orleans Portrayed” is his fifth book, and follows his acclaimed “Southern Writers,” “Katrinaville Chronicles,” “When Not Performing,” and “Katrina Decade.”
Recently Spielman was recognized as Chevalier (Knight) of the Ordre des Artes et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture for his photographic work both in New Orleans and France.
In 2021, Tisserand launched his quarantine project MY FATHER WHEN YOUNG — a self-published collection of 1950s-era Kodachome slides he discovered during the shutdown in his late father’s things. Subjects include street scenes in European cities, parties in Indiana and Kentucky, and 1959 Mardi Gras. “Jerry Tisserand’s photos from the late ‘50s hit us with a startling power, like a Kodachrome time capsule dropping on our front step,” said Ben Yagoda, author of THE NEW YORKER AND THE WORLD IT MADE. Said Roy Blount Jr.: “Imagine finding all this from your dad. Or even someone else’s.”
In the years preceding Hurricane Katrina, Tisserand served as editor of GAMBIT, New Orleans’ alternative weekly, and much of Tisserand’s published work focuses on Louisiana history and culture. He explored Louisiana music in his first book, THE KINGDOM OF ZYDECO, which received the ASCAP-Deems Taylor award for music writing. “This is an important book for anyone with an interest in life, American music, southern culture, dancing, accordions, the recording industry, folklore, old dance clubs in the weeds, fortune tellers, hoodoos, or shotguns,” said Annie Proulx. In 2006, Tisserand told his own Katrina story in his second book, SUGARCANE ACADEMY.
When not writing, Tisserand is an occasional chess coach and promoter, as well as founding member of the Mardi Gras parading organization The Laissez Boys. More information about Tisserand and his work can be found at www.MIchaelTisserand.com
She has been called the poet of her generation by Time Magazine, one of the 100 most creative people in business by Fast Company and sits on the board of The Lower East Side Girls Club, the National Black Theatre in Harlem, and the Women’s Prison Association.
Cleo is from New Orleans, Louisiana and currently lives in California with her family.
Before joining Ford, Darren was vice president at Rockefeller Foundation, overseeing global and domestic programs. In the 1990s, he was COO of the Abyssinian Development Corporation, Harlem’s largest community development organization.
Darren co-chairs New York City’s Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers, and has served on the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform and the UN International Labour Organization Global Commission on the Future of Work. He co-founded both the US Impact Investing Alliance and the Presidents’ Council on Disability Inclusion in Philanthropy. He serves on many boards, including Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the National Gallery of Art, Carnegie Hall, the High Line, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture. In the summer of 2020, he was appointed to the boards of Square and Ralph Lauren. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and is the recipient of 16 honorary degrees and university awards, including Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Medal.
Educated exclusively in public schools, Darren was a member of the first Head Start class in 1965 and received BA, BS, and JD degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. He has been included on numerous leadership lists: Time’s annual 100 Most Influential People, Rolling Stone’s 25 People Shaping the Future, Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business, Ebony's Power 100, and Out magazine’s Power 50. Most recently, Darren was named Wall Street Journal’s 2020 Philanthropy Innovator.
A graduate of Yale Law School and Swarthmore College—where she juggled classes and extracurriculars with four part-time jobs—Qian Julie is now a litigator. She wrote Beautiful Country on her iPhone, during her subway commute to and from work at a national law firm, where she was elected to partnership within two years of joining the firm. She is now managing partner of Gottlieb & Wang LLP, a firm dedicated to advocating for education and civil rights. Qian Julie believes that the first step to eradicating systemic barriers is affording underprivileged communities the quality of legal representation typically reserved for wealthy corporate interests.
Qian Julie’s writing has appeared in major publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, and The Cut. She regularly speaks on issues such as immigration, education, discrimination, and the power of literacy in the media and at conferences, universities, corporations, community centers, and houses of worship.
Qian Julie lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their two rescue dogs, Salty and Peppers.
Prior to joining NOLABA, Jeanette served as the Financial Operations Manager for Ochsner Health’s Retail Division, where she created strategic plans and managed budgets, projections, productivity dashboards, and built pro formas for numerous business divisions. In addition to leading cross-functional teams for Retail M&A activity, Jeanette translated complex financial data into relatable platforms such as infographics, reports, and presentations that provided easily-understood information to diverse audiences.
Before joining Ochsner Health, Jeanette served as the Executive Vice President of CIC Wealth – a privately-owned, independent wealth management firm with several offices located in the greater Washington, D.C. area. As a team, the firm was responsible for managing over $300M of client assets. Her areas of expertise included working with high-net worth individuals and business owners to create and manage defined benefit and contribution plans, actively manage investment portfolios, and implement tax-advantaged retirement income strategies for individuals and families. Jeanette was a Registered Representative (Series 7 & Series 66) and was awarded a Chartered Retirement Plan Specialist (CRPS®) designation from the College for Financial Planning. Prior to CIC Wealth, Jeanette worked with the wealth management teams at Capital One Bank and UBS Financial Services in New Orleans, LA.
Ms. Weiland currently serves as a board member for KIDsmART, the New Orleans Garden District Association, Louisiana BIO, and had her second children’s book published in Fall of 2020. She graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in International Trade and Finance, and received both her Master of Arts in Arts Administration degree and Master of Business Administration degree from the University of New Orleans.
While enrolled in graduate school in the evenings, Jeanette worked within the Development Department of the LSU Health Sciences Center’s School of Dentistry, where she and two other staff members were responsible for the fundraising practices and alumni affairs of the school. Before she began her graduate education, she interned on Capitol Hill for former U.S. Senator John Breaux of Louisiana and lived in Beijing, China where she studied the Mandarin dialect.
Dr. Weill has served in a variety of international and national roles, both in the private and public sectors, and has authored numerous medical articles, book chapters, and editorials.
He has twice testified before the United States Senate about how various inhaled occupational exposures affect lung heath. He has also appeared before various state legislatures and has lectured extensively nationally and internationally at major medical conferences and academic medical centers.
Dr. Weill’s writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Salon, Newsweek, the Chicago Tribune, STAT, USA Today, the Washington Post, The Hill, and the Los Angeles Times. He also has been interviewed on CNN and by the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Wall Street Journal. His memoir Exhale: Hope, Healing, and A Life in Transplant will be published in May 2021 by Post Hill Press.
Dr. Weill serves on the TransMedics Board of Directors and the GlycosBio, Kallaco, and the National Stone, Sand, and Gravel Association Scientific Advisory Boards, as well as various non-profit boards including the Tulane Medical School, Xavier University of Louisiana, the Isidore Newman School, Elevate, KatyCares, and NextGen Personal Finance. He is also on the Advisory Council of the Wake Forest Center for Entrepreneurship.
He lives in New Orleans with his wife Jackie and their two daughters, Hannah and Ava.
He is a 2004 graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (B.A., Public Relations) and a 2007 graduate of Marshall University (M.S., Athletic Administration). He earned his Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership from Mercer University in December 2019.
Since publishing his first book, Lucky Enough: A Year of a Dad’s Daily Notes of Encouragement and Life Lessons to His Daughter, in September 2018, Chris has appeared nationally on NBC’s TODAY and The Kelly Clarkson Show as well as numerous media outlets throughout the New Orleans Metro.