Jon Meacham

Presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize winning author Jon Meacham is a highly sought-after commentator. He is widely known as a skilled orator whose depth of knowledge about politics, religion, and current affairs brings historical context to the issues and events impacting our daily lives. His latest book, The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels, examines the present moment in American politics and life by looking back at critical times in U.S. history when hope overcame division and fear.

 

Meacham’s talents are also captured as a contributing editor at TIME writing for the magazine’s Ideas section, as author of “The Long View” column in The New York Times Book Review, as managing editor for Newsweek from 1998 to 2006, and editor of Newsweek from 2006 to 2010.

 

He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a fellow of the Society of American Historians, and chairs the National Advisory Board of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University. Meacham is a Distinguished Visiting Professor of History at The University of the South and a Visiting Distinguished Professor at Vanderbilt. He is currently at work on a biography of James and Dolley Madison. 

Alison Levine

Alison Levine is a history-making polar explorer, mountaineer, and author of the New York Times best-seller On the Edge: Leadership Lessons from Mount Everest and other Extreme Environments. She served as team captain of the first American Women’s Everest Expedition, climbed the highest peak on each continent and skied to both the North and South Poles – a feat accomplished by fewer than forty people in the world.

 

Levine has also utilized her leadership skills at the United States Military Academy at West Point as an adjunct professor, as well as a board and faculty member at the Thayer Leader Development Group at West Point. She is the founder of the Climb High Foundation, dedicated to improving the lives of jobless women in Uganda by training them to be trekking guides and porters, helping them earn a sustainable living wage. Levine is executive producer of the documentary film The Glass Ceiling, chronicling the life of Pasang Lhamu Sherpa and her quest to become the first Nepali woman to climb Mt. Everest.

 

Having spent prolonged periods of time in some of the world's most dangerous and inhospitable places, Levine tackles the topics of creating cohesive teams, taking responsible risks and developing no- nonsense leaders that can succeed in times of uncertainty. 

Shon Hopwood

Shon Hopwood’s unusual legal journey began not at law school, but federal prison where he learned to write briefs for other prisoners while serving an 11-year sentence stemming from bank robberies. Two petitions for certiorari that he prepared were later granted review by the United States Supreme Court, a very unusual feat.

 

After his release in 2009, he attended the University of Washington School of Law, and received his J.D. as a Gates Public Service Law Scholar in 2014. The Supreme Court of Washington allowed Hopwood to take the state bar exam and, in 2015, he became a licensed lawyer in the state of Washington, 17 years after his sentencing.

 

Hopwood went on to serve as a Teaching Fellow at the Georgetown University Law Center’s Appellate Litigation Program, where he litigated criminal, immigration, civil rights, and federal statutory cases in federal courts of appeals. He is currently a tenure-track professor of law at Georgetown Law School and a founding partner at PrisonProfessors.com, where he works to create content that will improve the outcome of our nation’s criminal justice system.

 

The author of Law Man: My Story of Robbing Banks, Winning Supreme Cases and Finding Redemption, he shares his inspirational story and continues to advocate for criminal justice reform.