The Institute for Leadership Studies
and Book Passage present

Leadership Lecture Series

Learn more, and explore select archives from recent Leadership Lecture Series events any time.

We encourage you to learn more and to explore video archives of recent lectures and conversations with Tracy Kidder, Silvia Vasquez Lavado, Leila Mottley, Laura Dern, Isabel Allende, Tom Felton, Temple Grandin, Patti Smith, Frank Bruni, Dorothy Wickenden, Elizabeth Alexander, Valerie Biden Owens Louann Brizendine, and Eric Holder; U.S. Congressman Adam Schiff, Douglas Tallamy, and Lidia Bastianich; with Robert Reich, Isabel Allende, Sharon Stone, and Heidi Kühn; and with Chasten Buttigieg, Jon Meacham, and the Reverend Al Sharpton.

Click the corresponding event to learn more and to view the archive of recent online events.

Learn more about these recent Leadership Lecture Series events.

Isabel Allende

in conversation with in conversation with Javier Zamora
The Wind Knows My Name

Isabel Allende is the author of a number of bestselling and critically acclaimed books, including Violeta, A Long Petal of the Sea, The House of the Spirits, Of Love and Shadows, Eva Luna, and Paula. Her books have been translated into more than forty-two languages and have sold more than seventy-four million copies worldwide. She lives in California..

Laura Dern

in conversation with Zoë Elton
Honey, Baby, Mine: A Mother and Daughter Talk Life, Death, Love, (and Banana Pudding)

Laura Dern is an award-winning actress, producer, creator, and activist. She has received a number of accolades, including an Academy Award, an Emmy, and five Golden Globe Awards. Dern is also a passionate environmentalist.

Leila Mottley

in conversation with Darwin BondGraham

Leila Mottley is the author of the novel Nightcrawling, an Oprah’s Book Club Pick and New York Times best seller. She is also the 2018 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate. She was born and raised in Oakland, where she continues to live.

Darwin BondGraham has reported on gun violence for The Guardian and was an enterprise reporter for the East Bay Express. BondGraham’s work has also appeared with ProPublica and other leading national and local outlets. He holds a doctorate in sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and was the co-recipient of the George Polk Award for local reporting in 2017. He lives in Oakland, California. You can follow him on Twitter @DarwinBondGraha.

Silvia Vasquez-Lavado

in conversation with Amanda E. Machado
In the Shadow of the Mountain

Silvia Vasquez-Lavadois a humanitarian, mountaineer, explorer, social entrepreneur, and technologist living in San Francisco. In 2014, she launched Courageous Girls, a nonprofit that helps survivors of sexual abuse and trafficking with opportunities to find inner strength and cultivate their voices by demonstrating their physical strength.

Tracy Kidder

in conversation with James O’Connell
Rough Sleepers

Tracy Kidder has won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the Robert F. Kennedy Award, among other literary prizes. His books include Mountains Beyond Mountains, Strength in What Remains, The Soul of a New Machine, House, Among Schoolchildren, Old Friends, Hometown, and A Truck Full of Money.

Tom Felton

in conversation with Noah Griffin
Beyond the Wand

Tom Feltonis an English actor, best known for playing Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films. He has also appeared in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Belle, The Flash, A United Kingdom, The Forgotten Battle and 2.22 A Ghost Story in London’s West End. He lives in London with his dog Willow.

Temple Grandin

Visual Thinking

Temple Grandin is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University and the author of the New York Times bestsellers Animals in Translation, Animals Make Us Human, The Autistic Brain, and Thinking in Pictures, which became an HBO movie starring Claire Danes. Dr. Grandin has been a pioneer in improving the welfare of farm animals as well as an outspoken advocate for the autism community. She resides in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Patti Smith

A Book of Days

Patti Smith is the author of the National Book Award winner Just Kids, as well as M Train, Year of the Monkey, and numerous collections of poetry and essays. Her seminal album Horses has been hailed as one of the top 100 albums of all time. In 2005, the French Ministry of Culture awarded Smith the title of Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres; she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, and was awarded the key to New York City in 2021.

Eric Holder

Our Unfinished March

Eric Holder, former U.S. Attorney General, shares a brutal, bloody, and at times hopeful history of the vote; a primer on the opponents fighting to take it away; and a playbook for how we can save our democracy before it’s too late.

Louann Brizendine

The Upgrade

Dr. Louann Brizendine details her own experiences and those of the thousands of women at her clinic, sharing a message that is nothing short of revolutionary: in the time of life typically known as menopause, women’s brains are reshaped, for the better, in a way that creates new power, a bracing clarity, and a laser-like sense of purpose if you know how to seize it.

Elizabeth Alexander

The Trayvon Generation

Elizabeth Alexander, Pulitzer Prize finalist and New York Times bestselling author and poet, offers a galvanizing meditation on the power of art and culture to illuminate America’s unresolved problem with race.

Dorothy Wickenden

The Agitators

Dorothy Wickenden, the executive editor of The New Yorker, shares riveting, provocative, and revelatory history of abolition and women’s rights, told through the story of three women — Harriet Tubman, Frances Seward, and Martha Wright—in the years before, during and after the Civil War.

Frank Bruni

Beauty of Dusk

Douglas Tallamy’s New York Times bestseller Nature’s Best Hope, urges homeowners to take conservation into their own hands. Now, he is turning his advocacy to one of the most important species of the plant kingdom—the mighty oak tree.

Congressman Adam Schiff

Midnight in Washington

Congressman Adam Schiff shares his vital, inside account of American democracy in its darkest hour – and a warning that the forces of autocracy unleashed by Trump remain as potent as ever.

Douglas Tallamy

The Nature of Oaks

Douglas Tallamy’s New York Times bestseller Nature’s Best Hope, urges homeowners to take conservation into their own hands. Now, he is turning his advocacy to one of the most important species of the plant kingdom—the mighty oak tree.

Lidia Bastianich

Lidia’s a Pot, a Pan, and a Bowl

Lidia Bastianich—doyenne of Italian cooking—makes Italian cooking easy for everyone with this new, beautifully designed, easy-to-use cookbook. Lidia’s a Pot, a Pan, and a Bowl shares more than 100 homey, simple-to-prepare recipes that require fewer steps and fewer ingredients (not to mention fewer dirty pots and pans), without sacrificing any of their flavor.

Sharon Stone

The Beauty of Living Twice

Sharon Stone is an actress, human rights activist, artist, mother, daughter, sister, and writer. She has been honored with a Nobel Peace Summit Award, a Harvard Humanitarian Award, a Human Rights Campaign Humanitarian Award, and an Einstein Spirit Award, as well as many other accolades. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her family.

Heidi Kühn

Breaking Ground

Heidi’s Kühn’s memoir Breaking Ground, documents her commitment to fostering peace and raising awareness – a driving force in her life from her early days as a student at the University of California, Berkeley, to her time as a reporter in Juneau, Alaska, covering the Exxon Valdez oil spill and US-Russia relations.

Isabel Allende

The Soul of a Woman

Isabel Allende, celebrated author, international human-rights advocate, and 2014 Presidential Medal of Freedom award recipient discusses her new book, The Soul of a Woman, which offers and passionate and inspiring meditation on what it means to be a woman.

Robert Reich

The System: Who Rigged It. How We Fix it.

Robert Reich, The Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, discusses his latest book, The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It, which shows how wealth and power have interacted to install an elite oligarchy, eviscerate the middle class, and undermine democracy.

Al Sharpton

in conversation with Alicia Garza
Rise Up: Confronting a Country at the Crossroads

Al Sharpton talks with Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, about his new book Rise Up and offers contemporary lessons for anyone who’s stood at the crossroads of their personal or political life, weighing their choices of how to proceed.

Jon Meacham

in conversation with Dr. Clayborne Carson
His Truth is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope

Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian, talks with legendary civil rights pioneer Dr. Clayborne Carson about his just-released, intimate portrait of longtime U.S. congressman John Lewis — and of the power of hope that fueled this civil rights icon and helped lead a nation.

Chasten Buttigieg

in conversation with Andrew Sean Greer
I Have Something to Tell You

Chasten Butttigieg presents his memoir, I Have Something to Tell You, in conversation with Pulitzer Prize winner Andrew Sean Greer, sharing his experiences growing up gay in his small Midwestern town; his life as the husband of former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg; and his hope for America’s future.

Presented By

Dominican University of California Institute for Leardership Studies

Book Passage


Dominican University of California Women, Leadership and Philanthropy

Domenican University of California

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