Prize Winning Political Commentator
George Will is today's most widely read political commentator. His newspaper column has been syndicated by The Washington Post since 1974. The column appears twice weekly in approximately 500 newspapers in the United States and Europe. In 1976, he became a regular contributing editor of Newsweek magazine, for which he provided a bimonthly essay until 2011. In 1977, he won a Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for his distinguished commentary on a variety of topics. From 1973 through 1976, he was the Washington editor of National Review magazine. He was a long-time panel member on ABC’s This Week with David Brinkley, and he has also been a contributor for Fox News and a panelist on Meet the Press.
Guidebook Author and Travel TV Host.
Rick Steves is America's most respected authority on European travel. He has produced more than 50 guidebooks on European travel, and he hosts America's most popular travel series on PBS along with a weekly hour-long show on National Public Radio and a weekly syndicated column.
British Chef and Food-Writer Specializing in Chinese Cuisine
Dunlop has followed her passion for food and writing to become a popular cookbook author and Chinese food phenomenon.
Her award-winning cookbooks include Land of Fish and Rice: Recipes from the Culinary Heart of China (a collection of recipes from the Jiangnan or Lower Yangtze Region in eastern China) and Every Grain of Rice: Simple Chinese Home Cooking. Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China is an account of her adventures in exploring Chinese food culture. In addition to four James Beard awards, she is a regular guest on radio and television, and has appeared on Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown (2016). She is fluent in Mandarin Chinese, and she was the first Westerner to train as a chef at the Sichuan Institute of Higher Cuisine.
Archeologist and National Geographic Fellow
Parcak is the winner of the 2016 TED Prize which is an annual award that goes to just one exceptional person who uses the prize money to launch a high-impact project. She has been called a space archaeologist, as she uses satellite imagery beamed down from just outside Earth's orbit to see archaeological sites that have been lost to time. Her satellite mapping of Egypt unearthed 17 potentially unknown pyramids, as well as, more than one thousand tombs and three thousand settlements.
Long Distance Swimmer and Sports Broadcaster
At the age of 64, in her fifth and final attempt, Diana Nyad successfully fulfilled her lifelong dream of completing the 110-mile swim from Cuba to Florida in 2013. Upon completing her grueling 53-hour journey, a breathless Nyad told the world, “I have three messages. One is we should never ever give up. Two is you are never too old to chase your dreams. And three, it looks like a solitary sport, but it takes a team.” Her fame as a distance swimmer and fitness icon led to a career in sports broadcasting, journalism.
"Thank you to your wonderful Town Hall. We felt like we were with our own family...warm, welcome, truly delightful. If anyone had told me when I was a little girl in Egypt that I would be speaking to an audience in Yakima, Washington about peace I would never have believed it. Yet I'm so glad to have had the opportunity." - Madame Jehan Sadat, Egypt's First Lady