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      Speaker Series Kicks Off

      Widener Presents Philadelphia Speaker Series, Opening Oct. 2

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      Philadelphia Speakers Series

      The 2017-18 Series gets underway Oct. 2 with former British Prime Minister David Cameron.

      The Philadelphia Speakers Series, presented by Widener University, is preparing to welcome a stellar lineup of some of today's most celebrated and influential personalities to the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Officially kicking off on Oct. 2, the series will offer seven evenings of thought-provoking discussion.

      "Widener is a national model for leadership development. Our Oskin Leadership Institute develops skills and dispositions in our students that prepare them for future success," Widener President Dr. Julie E. Wollman said. "The Philadelphia Speakers Series is another example of Widener's commitment to advancing its mission of leadership by presenting these unique individuals, who have so much to teach us about leadership and professional success."

      David Cameron kicks off the 2017-2018 Speakers Series Oct. 2. As the youngest British Prime Minister in two centuries, Cameron led a transformation of the U.K.'s economy through his work to remodel the Conservative Party with a modern, compassionate agenda.

      Jeffrey Toobin takes the stage Oct. 23. Best known for his books, The Oath and The Nine, which chronicled the inner workings of the Supreme Court, Toobin began his career clerking for a federal judge and later served as an associate counsel to Lawrence Walsh during the Iran-Contra affair and Oliver North's criminal trial. He has since provided legal analyses on high-profile cases for CNN and The New Yorker.

      Journalist and author Cokie Roberts will speak in November. Roberts is best known for her role as a senior news analyst for NPR. She is also a regular roundtable analyst on This Week with George Stephanopoulos and serves as a political commentator for ABC News.

      Robin Wright will speak in January. As a joint fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Woodrow Wilson International School for Scholars, Wright has received numerous awards for her reporting for The New Yorker and other publications. She is also the author of many books on the Middle East.

      February speaker Rick Steves hosts the public television series Rick Steves' Europe and a public radio show called Travel with Rick Steves. He advocates for independent travel, encouraging Americans to become "temporary locals" by visiting cozy villages away from popular tourist routes, in addition to seeing major cities.

      Newt Gingrich, a congressman from Georgia for 20 years, and Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995-1999, will speak in March. He sought the presidential nomination for the Republican Party in 2012.

      The series concludes in April with award-winning National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen, who uses his camera to reveal the nature of the changing polar regions due to climate change.

      Presented by Widener University, the Philadelphia Speakers Series is sponsored by WHYY-FM 90.9, Haverford and the Haverford Trust Company. Visit for more information.


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