John Kerry, Jason Alexander, Susan Rice and Bob Woodward among Celebrated Lineup for the 2019-2020 Boston Speakers Series Presented by Lesley University

As the Boston Speakers Series sets the stage for its next sell-out season, it is preparing to welcome to Symphony Hall another dazzling lineup of speakers, including John Kerry, Jason Alexander (Seinfeld’s George Costanza), Susan Rice and Bob Woodward. Presented by Lesley University and featuring some of the world’s most celebrated and influential personalities of our time, the 2019-2020 Series will provide attendees the unique opportunity to listen to brilliance and simultaneously be entertained during seven memorable evenings filled with powerful perspectives and enlightening discussion. The complete list of presenters, in order of appearance, follows.

Sept. 25 and Oct. 7, 2019: John Kerry – The 2019-2020 series will get underway with what’s sure to be a fascinating presentation by Kerry, who served as Secretary of State during President Barack Obama’s second term. Following a nearly 30-year tenure as a senator from Massachusetts, he became the Democratic Party’s nominee for president of the United States in 2004. Kerry will give audience members a glimpse into his storied  life.

Oct. 21 and Oct. 23, 2019: Zanny Minton Beddoes – Named one of the “Most Powerful Women in the World” by Forbes, Beddoes’ presentation will share insights from her experience as the first female editor-in-chief of The Economist, a post she has held since 2015. Prior to her 25-year tenure with The Economist, she was an economist at the International Monetary Fund.

Nov. 18 and Nov. 20, 2019: Bob Woodward – Attendees will have a rare opportunity to get up-close and personal with journalistic icon and associate editor of The Washington Post, Bob Woodward. He, along with Carl Bernstein, uncovered the Watergate scandal detailed in their Pulitzer Prizewinning book, All the President’s Men. Woodward has written 19 bestselling books on American politics, most recently, Fear: Trump in the White House.

Jan. 27 and Jan. 29, 2020: Douglas Brinkley – As an award-winning historian, Brinkley has written more than 20 books on a wide range of topics that will be at the forefront of his presentation, including D-Day, Hurricane Katrina and the lives of Ronald Reagan, Bob Dylan and Walter Cronkite. Brinkley serves as CNN Presidential Historian, and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, American Heritage and Audubon.

Feb. 24 and Feb. 26, 2020: Peter Diamandis – Named one of the “World’s Greatest Leaders” by Fortune Magazine, Diamandis will grace the stage to share how a space entrepreneur turned innovation pioneer founded the XPRIZE Foundation to fund big money competitions to inspire groundbreaking developments in science and technology, and to solve some of the planet’s most pressing challenges.

March 16 and March 18, 2020: Susan Rice – Rice is sure to captivate audience members with an insightful presentation regarding her impressive career, including her tenure as National Security Advisor from 2013 to 2017 and her role  as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations from 2009 to 2013. Deepening her experience, Rice worked for the National Security Council and was Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs during the Clinton administration.

April 22 and 27, 2020: Jason Alexander – The 2019-2020 series will conclude with an evening of laughter as actor, singer, comedian and director Jason Alexander takes to the stage. While he is best known for his role as George Costanza in the hit television series Seinfeld, his other well-known movie credits include Pretty Woman, Duckman and Shallow Hal. He also has had an active career on stage, winning a Tony Award as Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his role in Jerome Robbins’ Broadway.

“Lesley University is delighted to once again present this series that aligns with our mission to prepare graduates with the knowledge, skills, understanding, and ethical judgment to be catalysts who shape a more just, humane world,” said Richard S. Hansen, interim president of Lesley University. “We are confident that the perspectives  offered by this year’s diverse and dynamic speakers will spark robust discussion that community members  are sure to enjoy.”

Tickets for the 2019-2020 Boston Speakers Series, which is expected to sell out quickly, are available now by visiting or by calling 617-266-1200 or 888-266-1200. As in years past, the series is sold by subscription, with subscribers guaranteed admission to hear all seven dynamic speakers. Subscriptions for the entire series range from $325 – $545. All presentations will begin at 8 p.m. and each includes a spirited Q&A period during which the speaker addresses questions from the audience.

Presented by Lesley University, the Boston Speakers Series is sponsored by WGBH (89.7 FM) Boston Public Radio, the Boston Globe and S + H Construction. For more information about the 2019-2020 Boston Speakers Series, visit

Lesley University educates more than 6,400 students each year and has over 90,000 alumni worldwide.  Across three Cambridge campuses, within a number of states, and online, we educate undergraduate and graduate students, adults completing degrees or looking to change careers, and professionals seeking to extend their development and expertise. Lesley offers leading programs in education, counseling and psychology, expressive therapies, art and design, biology, and business, among a number of other disciplines. Blending excellent teaching, research, and applied practice, our world-class faculty prepare highly skilled graduates to be creative and collaborative problem-solvers whose lives and careers positively impact society. Learn more about Lesley University at

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