Featured Speakers


Margaret Brennan

Moderator of CBS News' Face The Nation & CBS News' Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent

Margaret Brennan is moderator of CBS News’ premier Sunday public affairs program Face the Nation with Margaret Brennan. The second-ever woman to host the venerable CBS News broadcast, she also serves as the network’s chief foreign affairs correspondent based in Washington, D.C. and contributes to all broadcasts and platforms.

Brennan’s nuanced coverage on pressing issues and news-making interviews have earned her a reputation as a tough but fair questioner with a range of expertise that includes domestic politics, foreign affairs, national security, and economic news. She delivers a captivating view of the biggest stories driving our 24-hour news cycle and how they impact audiences’ lives. Since joining CBS News, Brennan has conducted numerous interviews with world leaders, politicians, policy makers, and newsmakers including Presidents Joe Biden and Donald Trump, U.K Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The list also includes many presidential hopefuls as well as heads of state in Iraq and South Korea.

Brennan has continued Face the Nation’s legacy as America’s premier Sunday morning public affairs program, helping propel it to be the most watched program in its category. Her interviews with leaders, scientists, and newsmakers at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic earned Face the Nation two Emmy Award nominations – one for outstanding news analysis and the second for coverage of the tension between the U.S. and Iran – as well as first place in the National Headliner Awards, with the judges noting “this coverage was exactly what the country needed at the time.” Face the Nation also earned the Wilbur Award for its 2019 feature on bipartisanship. Brennan previously won an Emmy Award for her Face the Nation interview with the father of a student killed in the Parkland High School shooting tragedy. 

Brennan first joined CBS News in 2012 and has held roles including State Department and White House Correspondent. She has broken stories including the news that members of the Trump Administration were discussing invoking the 25th amendment following the January 6th siege of the U.S. Capitol. She has also covered historic moments, such as the landmark nuclear deal with Iran, restoration of diplomatic ties with Cuba, the standoff with North Korea, the conflict in Ukraine, and the accord to transfer control of Syria’s chemical weapons.

Bringing a wealth of reporting experience to the Face the Nation moderator chair that sets her and the broadcast apart, Brennan has been reporting on politics, international affairs, and global markets since 2002. Prior to CBS News, she anchored and reported for Bloomberg Television around the globe. Before that, she was a correspondent at CNBC with a focus on the consumer during the 2008 financial crisis. She also contributed to various NBC News programs. Brennan began her career as an award-winning producer for CNBC’s Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser.

Brennan is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Gridiron Club, and sits on the advisory board for the University of Virginia School of Politics and the Smurfit School of Business.

She graduated with highest distinction from the University of Virginia in 2002, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in foreign affairs and Middle East studies with a minor in Arabic. As a Fulbright-Hays Scholar, she studied Arabic at Yarmouk University in Irbid, Jordan. She is also the recipient of an honorary doctor of letters degree from Niagara University.

Margaret Brennan


Scott Harrison

Founder and CEO of charity: water

Scott spent almost ten years as a nightclub promoter in New York City before leaving to volunteer on a hospital ship off the coast of Liberia, West Africa as a volunteer photojournalist.

Returning home to New York City two years later, he founded the non-profit organization charity: water in 2006. Turning his full attention to the global water crisis and the world’s 663 million people without clean water to drink, he created public installations and innovative online fundraising platforms to spread international awareness of the issue.

In ten years, with the help of more than one million donors worldwide, charity: water has raised over $260 million and funded over 24,000 water projects in 24 countries. When completed, those projects will provide over 7.3 million people with clean, safe drinking water.

Scott was recently recognized in Fortune magazine’s 40 under 40 list, the Forbes magazine Impact 30 list and was recently #10 in Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business issue. He has also been recognized as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.

In October 2018, Scott released, Thirst: A Story of Redemption, Compassion, and a Mission to Bring Clean Water to the World, his New York Times best-selling memoir, for which all the net proceeds go to fund charity: water projects around the world.

Scott Harrison


Nicole Malachowski

First Woman Thunderbird Pilot, Combat Veteran, Fighter Squadron Commander, White House Fellow & Advisor

Col. Nicole Malachowski, USAF (Ret.) defies stereotypes. Yes, she was a jet fighter pilot, but if you think you know her based on that, you’d be wrong. A leader, a combat veteran, the first woman pilot on the Thunderbirds Air Demonstration Squadron, a White House Fellow, and an inductee into both the National Women’s Hall of Fame and the Women in Aviation International Pioneer Hall of Fame, Nicole’s distinguished 21-year Air Force career exceeded her wildest dreams. But the dream came to an end when a devastating tick-borne illness left her struggling greatly to speak or walk for almost nine months. An indomitable spirit, Nicole fought back against overwhelming odds and prevailed. Nicole empowers people with three key beliefs: failure and risk is the price of entry for achieving something great; sometimes you need to yield to overcome; and her personal mantra – “nobody wants to lead a scripted life.”

While other high school students were practicing for their driver’s license, Nicole was accumulating flight time. She was sixteen years old when she took her first solo flight and from that point on there was no stopping her. While in high school, she joined the Civil Air Patrol and participated in Air Force Junior ROTC. Nicole’s professional story began when she earned her commission from the United States Air Force Academy in 1996. Following graduation, she attended Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) at Columbus AFB, MS and began her career as a pilot. Competitively selected to fly combat aircraft, she was among the first group of women to fly modern fighter aircraft.  As a career pilot, she served in combat as an F-15E Flight Commander, Evaluator, Instructor Pilot and Flight Lead. Over her 21-year career, Nicole achieved the rating of Command Pilot with over 2,300 flight hours in six different Air Force aircraft. She was also selected to fly as Thunderbird #3 with the USAF Air Demonstration Squadron – the first woman to fly on any Department of Defense military jet demonstration team. Colonel Malachowski has served as a mission ready fighter pilot in three operational F-15E fighter squadrons and has flown over 188 combat hours, including her proudest moment as a fighter pilot: leading the first fighter formation to provide security for Iraq’s historic democratic elections in 2005.

On the ground, Nicole was a White House Fellow, class of 2008-2009, where she served on the Presidential Transition Support Team (PTST) while assigned to the U.S. General Services Administration. The White House Fellows Foundation and Association awarded Nicole the 2019 IMPACT Award for demonstrating both remarkable achievement and transformational contributions in her field, as well as a sustained commitment to the White House Fellows program. Nicole also served two high-level staff assignments at the Pentagon – one in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD P&R) as well as the Secretary of the Air Force Office of International Affairs (SAF/IA). She also served as the Executive Director of the White House’s national ‘Joining Forces’ initiative where she directly advised former First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden on all topics relating to service members, veterans, and military families to include employment, education, mental health, veterans’ homelessness and more.

Nicole’s operational F-15E assignments include two tours of duty at RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom as well as one operational assignment to Seymour Johnson AFB, NC. She has also served alongside the United States Army 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Red Cloud, Republic of Korea, as an Air Liaison Officer. During her second assignment to Seymour Johnson AFB, NC, she had the honor of commanding the 333rd Fighter Squadron, leading an elite cadre of F-15E Instructors in the training of the next generation of combat aviators. Further, she was responsible for resources totaling over $1.1B and the execution of a $119M annual flying hour program.

Nicole earned a Master of Arts, with honors, in National Security Policy from American Military University and a second Master of Arts, with highest distinction, in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College. While there, she earned the Admiral Stephen B. Luce Award as the class honor graduate, the first Air Force officer in the history of the Naval War College to do so. Nicole has been recognized with several honors for her consistent contributions to community service. As Nicole continues to recover from her neurological tick-borne illness, she embraces any opportunity to educate others about her medical journey and gains energy from educating others about this growing epidemic. She is on the Board of Directors at the LivLyme Foundation and is a Patient Advisory Board Member of The Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness.                                                

Nicole Malachowski

Adam Steltzner

Leader & Chief Engineer, NASA Mars 2020 Mission, Rover Perserverance

Described as a cross between “Einstein and Elvis Costello,” Adam Steltzner is a leader heralded for making the impossible possible.  And he wants to know “How great do YOU dare to become?”

An aspiring rock star turned Ph.D. rocket scientist, Adam Steltzner is praised as a cutting-edge innovator and a leader who literally brings out the very best in his teams.  Adam serves has Chief Engineer of the current Mars 2020 Mission & Rover Perseverance that has ultimate objective of determining if life existed on Mars. 

A mission ten years in the making, Mars 2020 was plunged into uncertainty at a crucial juncture by the global pandemic.  Preparing a mission for Mars and not making any mistakes is immensely difficult under the best conditions.  Suddenly, Steltzner and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory team of 6,000+ was forced to operate remotely.  The collaborative teams pressed on and remarkably maintained all of the original assembly and launch timetables.  After a 6-month journey through space, history was made on February 18th when the Rover Perseverance spectacularly landed on the Martian surface, more than 200,000,000 miles from Earth.

Adam earlier led a breakthrough team that created the ingenious “sky crane” landing system for the Rover Curiosity that landed on Mars in 2012.  The achievement prompted leadership guru Simon Sinek to state, “[Steltzner] shows us that doing what others think is impossible takes more than grit and courage. It takes the ability to inspire people . . . It takes leadership.”  Steltzner was also honored with the “American Ingenuity” Award from Smithsonian Institute. 

Adam is the author of The Right Kind of Crazy: A True Story of Teamwork, Leadership and High Stakes Innovation, that was named a “best leadership book of the year” by the Washington Post.  CEO READ picked the book as “Editor’s Choice” for its unique strategies and perspectives.

Adam Steltzner