Lesley University proudly presents the Boston Speakers Series, an outstanding opportunity for our community—and Greater Boston—to benefit from the perspectives of national and world leaders, authors, activists, historians, humanitarians, and other influential individuals.

As we deepen our century-long tradition of service to others, we seek to build knowledge and engage the community in meaningful discussion. The Boston Speakers Series is an extension of our mission to educate others, shape the future of bold ideas, and expand our global outreach.

Lesley has announced the 2018-19 lineup for our Boston Speakers Series, which will include major newsmakers, celebrated activists, influential entertainers and more for the sold-out subscription series.

Upcoming Speakers

  • James Comey - October 10 and November 26, 2018

    Former Director of the FBI (2013-2017) 
    James Comey was appointed Deputy U.S. Attorney General by President George W. Bush; appointed FBI Director in 2013 by President Barack Obama; and, ultimately, fired in 2017 by President Donald Trump amid political storms regarding the investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Comey’s firing and public statements led, in part, to the appointment of a special investigator, Robert Mueller.

  • Lisa Genova - October 12 and November 7, 2018

    ­Neuroscientist and Author of "Still Alice"
    Lisa Genova is the author of the best-selling novel “Still Alice,” which was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film. A renowned neuroscientist, Genova will engage the audience with an insightful discussion about the human brain and neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s, and what we can do to prevent them.

  • Gloria Steinem - November 19, 2018 and January 2019 (Date To Be Determined)

    Feminist, Journalist and Political Activist 
    Journalist and political activist Gloria Steinem is an internationally recognized icon of the women’s liberation movement. Steinem, who was a columnist for New York magazine and co-founded Ms. magazine in 1972, has helped launch organizations to advocate for women’s issues, including the Women’s Media Center.

  • Jeb Bush - January 18 and January 23, 2019

    Governor of Florida (1999–2007) 
    Florida’s only two-term Republican governor, Jeb Bush served in that position from 1999-2007 and returned to the political spotlight in 2016, as a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. Bush serves as Chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, a national nonprofit organization he founded.

  • Bryan Stevenson - February 27, 2019

    Social Justice Advocate and Author of "Just Mercy" 
    As founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, Bryan Stevenson has challenged bias in the criminal justice system and helped achieve court decisions that prohibit sentencing children under the age of 18 to death or life imprisonment without parole. His memoir, “Just Mercy, was featured as one of Time magazine’s “10 Best Books of Nonfiction” in 2014. He holds an honorary doctorate from Lesley.

  • Ian Bremmer - March 4 and March 20, 2019


    Global Political Risk Specialist 
    Founder of Eurasia Group, a leading global political risk research firm, Ian Bremmer will share insights from his years of providing analysis and expertise to diplomats and heads of state on how political developments and national security dynamics impact financial markets across the globe. He is regularly featured on CNN and the BBC and is a foreign affairs columnist for Time.

  • Jon Meacham - March 25, 2019

    Pulitzer Prize-Winning Presidential Historian
    Jon Meacham won the Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Andrew Jackson. He has also profiled Thomas Jefferson and, most recently, George H. W. Bush in a body of work that spans from the Founding Fathers to the Civil Rights Era. A former editor-in-chief of Newsweek and a contributing editor to Time magazine, he now serves as the executive editor at Random House.

  • Jay Leno - April 29 and May 1, 2019

    Comedian and Former Host of "The Tonight Show"
    The season will conclude with a conversation with late night TV host Jay Leno. After performing stand-up comedy for years, Leno became host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” after Johnny Carson’s retirement in 1992. Leno dominated the late-night TV ratings for more than two decades. He hosted his last episode in 2014 and currently hosts “Jay Leno’s Garage” on CNBC.

Past Speakers

Purchasing Tickets

Tickets are sold by series subscription only; prices range from $315 to $535 per subscription for all 7 lectures. Contact the Boston Symphony Hall ticket office as soon as possible to order your tickets.

For More Information

Visit BostonSpeakersSeries.org or call 617.266.1200

Sponsorship Opportunities

Partner with Lesley to sponsor this powerful series. All levels of sponsorship include recognition on the Boston Symphony Hall stage and in our program book, distributed at each lecture throughout the year.

Some levels of sponsorship offer opportunities to meet speakers at intimate dinners or at private receptions following the events.

Learn More About Sponsorship Benefits

Renee Aisenberg
Lesley University / Office of Advancement

“We aim to bring the foundation of a Lesley University education to the broader community by presenting speakers who will stimulate our thinking, encourage us to ask new questions, and nurture our passion for lifelong learning.”
Richard S. Hansen, Interim President, Lesley University