Westmont brings world leaders to campus to inspire students to develop their gifts and potential as they seek God’s calling in their lives. Speakers such as Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Thomas Friedman and Robert Gates help students gain an international perspective and understand the impact they can make.
A Westmont education prepares students not only to serve in all spheres of society, but to lead in all spheres. Hearing directly from people who have shaped history and touched countless lives gives students a vision for their future and a deeper appreciation for the importance of effective leadership.
Muhammad Yunus at Westmont
Muhammad Yunus, a pioneer in using microfinance to end poverty, is the first person since Martin Luther King Jr. to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, the U.S. Presidential Medal and the U.S. Congressional Medal. He founded Grameen Bank in 1976 to make fair loans to the poor, helping 8.4 million borrowers gain a better quality of life. More than 250 institutions in nearly 100 countries operate microcredit programs based on Grameen’s model.
Henry Kissinger, U.S. secretary of state from 1973-1977 and a Nobel Peace Laureate, remains an influential public figure whose opinion on foreign policy is still sought by U.S. presidents, secretaries of state and other world leaders. Founder and chairman of Kissinger Associates, an international consulting firm, he served as national security adviser and secretary of state for two presidents.
Retired Gen. Colin Powell held senior military and diplomatic positions under four presidents. A retired four-star general in the U.S. Army, he has served as U.S. secretary of state, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and national security adviser. His books include “It Worked for Me,” “My American Journey” and “Leadership.” He is honorary chair of the Colin L. Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at City College of New York.
Robert Gates advised eight U.S. presidents, served as secretary of defense for two, and helped shape U.S. intelligence and defense policies for 45 years. A former Air Force officer, he is the only career officer in the CIA’s history to rise from entry-level employee to director. His books include “From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insiders Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War” and “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War.”
Condoleezza Rice has served as U.S. secretary of state (2005-2009) and national security adviser (2001-2005). She is professor of political economy at Stanford Graduate School of Business, Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, and professor of political science at Stanford. Her books include “Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family” and “No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington.”
Vicente Fox, former president of Mexico, rose from truck driver to CEO of Coca-Cola in Mexico before defeating his nation’s reigning political party to become president. Limited by the constitution to one six-year term, he promoted the rights of indigenous peoples, reduced Mexico’s foreign debt and rate of inflation, and worked with the United States on the difficult problems of drug trafficking and illegal immigration.
Walter Isaacson is the president of the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan educational and policy studies institute based in Washington, D.C. A former chairman and CEO of CNN and editor of Time magazine, has written acclaimed biographies of Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Kissinger and Steve Jobs. He is chair emeritus of Teach for America and former chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors.
Fareed Zakaria, one of the world’s leading journalists and commentators on international affairs, hosts CNN’s flagship international affairs program, Fareed Zakaria GPS. In addition, he is editor-at-large of TIME, a Washington Post columnist, and a bestselling author. His books include “The Future of Freedom” and “The Post-American World.”
Thomas Friedman is one of the world’s most highly respected commentators on international affairs. A syndicated columnist for the New York Times, he has won the Pulitzer Prize three times. Vanity Fair has called him “the country’s best newspaper columnist.” His books include six bestsellers, including “The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century” and “From Beirut to Jerusalem.”
David McCullough, the American historian and bestselling author has won the Pulitzer Prize twice. His books include “1776,” “The Johnstown Flood,” “The Great Bridge,” “Truman,” and “John Adams.” He hosted two public television shows, “Smithsonian World and The American Experience, and narrated Ken Burns’ “The Civil War,” “Napoleon” and the motion picture “Seabiscuit.”