Bar Associations

ABA president announces Martin Scorsese, Dolores Huerta to join new speaker series

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Mary Smith at a podium

ABA President Mary Smith recently announced the ABA Presidential Speaker Series, a collection of exclusive conversations exploring the personal and professional journeys of world leaders, philanthropists and other change-making guests. (Photo by Mitch Higgins/ABA Media Relations.)

Beginning in October, ABA members will hear directly from Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese, labor rights icon Dolores Huerta and other influential thinkers and trailblazers.

ABA President Mary Smith recently announced a new ABA Presidential Speaker Series, a collection of exclusive conversations exploring the personal and professional journeys of world leaders, philanthropists and other change-making guests, as well as their thoughts on vital national and global issues. In addition to Scorsese and Huerta, scheduled speakers include former U.S. Ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Charles Johnson and former federal Judge J. Michael Luttig.

“Law touches everything in society, and we are privileged to launch the new ABA Presidential Speaker Series with a stellar line-up of luminaries who every day lift their voices and chart the future with their work,” said Smith, who chose “Lifting Our Voices, Charting the Future” as the theme for her presidential term. “These conversations will foster civility and engender stimulating conversations.

“We hope these conversations will inspire our members, particularly young lawyers and law students, and lead to ways that our members can continue to serve the profession and advance the rule of law.”

The ABA Presidential Speaker Series will kick off at 3 p.m. ET Oct. 5 with Daalder, who is also CEO of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He will be interviewed by Ertharin Cousin, CEO and founder of Food Systems for the Future and former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Agencies for Food and Agriculture.

This conversation, as well as the next three installments, will be virtual and free to ABA members and the public. The remainder of the series will continue to be free for association members but include a charge for nonmembers. They will all be released at 3 p.m. ET on Thursdays throughout the year.

Additional speakers will be announced, but the current schedule is:

  • Oct. 12: Huerta, a co-founder of the United Farm Workers, will be interviewed by the Rev. Miguel Bustos, the Episcopal Church’s manager for Racial Reconciliation and Justice.

  • Oct. 19: Scorsese, director of the new film Killers of the Flower Moon, and Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear of the Osage Nation will be interviewed by Smith and American Bar Foundation President Jimmy K. Goodman.

  • Nov. 2: Haaland will be joined by a panel of other accomplished Native American women, including Chief Judge Abby Abinanti of the Yurok Tribe; Kimberly Teehee, the first delegate-designate to the U.S. House of Representatives from the Cherokee Nation; and Stacy Leeds, a professor at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. They will be interviewed by Makalika Naholowa’a, president of the National Native American Bar Association; and their program will be followed by the release of a study by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession and the National Native American Bar Association tentatively titled, “Excluded and Alone: Examining the Experiences of Native American Women in the Law and a Path Towards Equity.”

  • Nov. 9: Ivan Fong, former general counsel of the Department of Homeland Security; Miriam Vogel, chair of the National AI Advisory Committee; Daniel Ho and Trooper Sanders, members of the National AI Advisory Committee; Michelle Lee, former director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; and Seth Waxman, former U.S. solicitor general, will be interviewed by Lucy Thomson, chair of the ABA Task Force on the Law and Artificial Intelligence.

  • Dec. 7: ABA Task Force for American Democracy co-chairs Johnson and Luttig will be interviewed by David French, an opinion columnist for the New York Times.

For more information about these speakers and their conversations, visit the ABA Presidential Speaker Series website.

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