Speaker Series Events

THE IOP’S SPEAKER SERIES IS A FORUM FOR STUDENTS AND POLITICAL LEADERS TO EXPLORE KEY ISSUES OF THE DAY.

Recent guest speakers include former Director of the CIA John Brennan, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, Senator Tom Cotton, S.E. Cupp, Alicia Garza, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Van Jones, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Karl Rove, Symone Sanders, Representative Adam Schiff, former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, and Jon Stewart. IOP events are free to attend, and most are open to the public.

The IOP hosts nearly 100 Speaker Series events per year, ranging from large-scale events with audiences over 1500 to seminar-style discussions at the IOP house. Recent special events include the live Intelligence Squared debate “Has the Political Establishment Failed America?”; a speech by former President of Ghana John H. Mahama; and a series of programs looking at the policy and cultural changes brought by the Trump administration.

The Speaker Series also includes a number of student-led programs, such as Chicago Style, News & Views, and the International Policy Program. Students plan these programs in their entirety, from identifying topics to booking guests and moderating discussions.

Since launching in 2013, the IOP has welcomed more than 1000 speakers with the goal of elevating the public conversation and inspiring others in the process. During the 2016-2017 academic year, the Speaker Series attracted over 4500 unique attendees. Most events are filmed and posted on the IOP website.

Please contact Christine Hurley, Director, Speaker Series, at cehurley@uchicago.edu with any questions.

The program that you all are involved in at the Institute is a phenomenal program. The vision that David Axelrod had to give the students and the community an opportunity to hear different points of views from all different parties, I think is just extraordinary.— Ray LaHood, former Secretary of Transportation and IOP Advisory Board member 

Generous support for the IOP Speaker Series comes from the Zell Family Foundation. 

Download the PDF overview on the IOP Speaker Series Program