The Distinguished Speaker Series of Pasadena is a subscription series of speakers that provides audiences with the opportunity to learn from and be inspired by remarkable individuals who have made significant contributions to the world. The series includes national and global leaders, Nobel Prize winners, newsmakers, and authors, featuring the most fascinating, prestigious, and influential individuals of our time.
This series has a rich history. It is in its 27th Season in Pasadena
The carefully selected speakers for the series represent a diverse range of expertise and backgrounds. They offer unique insights and perspectives on various topics, including world affairs, politics, and other relevant subjects.
The primary objective is to inspire, enlighten, entertain, and inform the audience through powerful and thought-provoking presentations.
Pasadena Distinguished Speaker Series evenings are held at the Ambassador Auditorium, located on the historic Ambassador College campus. The Ambassador was notably referred to as “The Carnegie Hall of the West” during the period between 1974-1995 as it hosted some of the most internationally renowned singers and performers. With its stunning architectural design and accompanying reflection pool, you’ll feel as if you’re entering a modern Greek temple.
Before attending a #SpeakersLA night, we recommend dining at a local favorite like Il Fornaio, Malbec Argentinean cuisine, The Parkway Grill, Arroyo Chop House or True Food Kitchen.
Here are the season’s guests:
Goldie Hawn – Academy Award-Winning Actress & Advocate
Wednesday, September 20, 2023 – Pasadena
Goldie Hawn is an Academy Award-winning actress, producer, director, best-selling author, and fierce children’s mental health advocate. Known to millions as one of the screen’s most beloved actresses, her memorable performances have endeared audiences around the world and she has touched millions more with her work as a best-selling author and humanitarian. She is the Founder of The Goldie Hawn Foundation, a public charity created after 9/11, whose mission is to help children manage stress and reach their highest potential. Working with leading psychologists, educators and researchers, the Foundation has developed MindUP™ a curriculum for grades K-12 that provides children with emotional and cognitive tools to help them understand and improve their own emotions, reduce anxiety; sharpen concentration; build confidence; and improve performance in school. Hawn has also authored two best-selling books, a memoir, A Lotus Grows in the Mud, and 10 Mindful Minutes.
Dr. Moogega Cooper – Award-Winning engineer of the Mars Rover & Real-Life “Guardian of the Galaxy”
Monday, October 16, 2023 – Pasadena
On Feb. 18th, 2021, Dr. Moogega “Moo” Cooper helped make history when the Mars Perseverance Rover successfully landed on the Red Planet. Part of the famed NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) team, Moo is blazing a trail as a real life ‘Guardian of the Galaxy’ holding the awesome responsibility of keeping the Red Planet safe from Earth’s contaminants. Her work is integral to the ongoing mission to discern whether Mars could be habitable for humans and to ensure that we don’t harm what’s already there. Her presentation will include breathtaking images taken from space and she will share the leadership lessons learned from her inspirational journey to the top of her field, insights on how perseverance pays off, and how diversity makes the JPL team even greater.
Liz Cheney – Former U.S. Representative & Profile in Courage Recipient
Wednesday, January 31, 2024 – Pasadena
Cheney served as the U.S. representative for Wyoming from 2017 to 2023. She chaired the House Republican Conference, the third-highest position in the House Republican leadership, from 2019 to 2021, and served as the Vice Chair of the Select Committee investigating the January 6 insurrection. She was a member of the House Armed Services Committee, China Task Force, and Natural Resources Committee. A specialist in national security and foreign policy, she is the co-author, along with her father, Dick Cheney, of Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America. In 2022, Cheney, along with Ukrainian President Zelensky, received the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library’s prestigious Profile in Courage Award, with a commendation for her “consistent and courageous voice in defense of democracy.”
Dr. Lisa Genova – Neuroscientist and Bestselling Author of Still Alice
Wednesday, February 21, 2024 – Pasadena
A Neuroscientist and #1 international best-selling author, Genova is one of the world’s leading experts on Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases, their origins, and the state of current research in the quest for their cures. Lisa Genova wields her ability to tell a story and her knowledge of the human brain to discuss medical conditions like Alzheimer’s in warmly human terms. She has written novels about Alzheimer’s disease, traumatic brain injury, autism, Huntington’s disease, and ALS. Her book, Still Alice, became a movie that brought actress Julianne Moore an Oscar for Best Actress. Her newest book, Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting, is nonfiction and explores how we remember, why we forget and what we can do to improve and protect our memories.
H. R. McMaster – Retired US Army Lieutenant General & Former National Security Advisor
Monday, March 25, 2024 – Pasadena
Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster (USA Ret.) was assistant to the president for National Security Affairs from 2017-2018. He is renowned and distinguished as a pre-eminent “warrior-thinker” and “iconoclast general.” McMaster currently operates from the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. His PhD in History from UNC Chapel Hill grounds his perspectives and his 34 years of military service as well as his 13 months as National Security Advisor gives him a front row seat to global affairs in our era. McMaster will provide a powerful call for Americans and citizens of the free world to transcend the vitriol of partisan political discourse, better educate themselves about the most significant challenges to national and international security, and work together to secure peace and prosperity for future generations.
Thomas Friedman – Pulitzer Prize-winning Foreign Affairs Columnist and Best-Selling Author
Monday, May 6, 2024 – Pasadena
Thomas Friedman is one of America’s most visionary thinkers. This three-time Pulitzer Prize-winner is one of the world’s preeminent commentators on international affairs. When events in this nation and abroad seem too menacing to comprehend, the American public looks to him for the straight talk and reliable information we need. He has traveled the globe reporting on China, the Middle East conflict, U.S. domestic politics and foreign policy, global trade, and the impact of climate change. His foreign affairs column, which has appeared in the New York Times for 28 years, is syndicated in 700 newspapers worldwide. Some of his international best-selling books include The World is Flat and From Beirut to Jerusalem to name a few.
For more information, visit www.speakersla.com or call (310) 546-6222.