2022 Featured Speakers

David Epstein
Diversity Session Speakers
James Kvaal
Richard Cordray
David Epstein
Diversity Matters
James Kvaal
Richard Cordray

Opening Session Keynote Speaker: David Epstein

Sunday, June 26, 2022: 4:00 p.m. -5:30 p.m.
Ballroom DEFG

Author and science writer David Epstein has made it his mission to uncover the keys to achieving high performance in any domain, and to debunk popular myths along the way. His New York Times best-seller, "The Sports Gene," took readers inside the surprising science of extraordinary athletic performance. In his latest book, "Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World," — which made The New York Times' top 10 bestsellers list and was named one of Amazon's best business books of 2019, as well as one of Inc.'s 2019 "Must-Read Books for Entrepreneurs" — Epstein examines the world's top performers, from professional athletes to artists, scientists, entrepreneurs, and Nobel laureates. 

Epstein brings bold new insights on the best approach to career development. His conclusion: In most fields, especially those that are complex, unpredictable, and difficult to automate, generalists — not specialists — are primed to excel. Epstein has spoken on the science of high performance and novel uses (and misuses) of data on five continents, to organizations from NASA to the Pat Tillman Foundation and at a diverse array of events, from the World Knowledge Forum in Seoul to the open-source software community's Hadoop Summit. In 2014, his main stage TED Talk was one of the 20 most viewed of the year and has since been viewed over 12 million times. It was recently touted by Bill Gates.

Epstein's writing has appeared in numerous national and international publications, from The New York Times and The Atlantic to National Geographic. He was previously an investigative reporter at ProPublica, where his work ranged from an investigation into the DEA's complicated pursuit of Chapo Guzman's rivals, to a This American Life episode about a woman with muscular dystrophy who discovered that she shares a mutated gene with an Olympic medalist.

A former Sports Illustrated senior writer, Epstein authored or co-authored several of their most high-profile investigative pieces, including the 2009 revelation of Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez's steroid use. He has master's degrees in environmental science and journalism from Columbia University, and was twice NCAA All-East as an 800-meter runner.

Merging stories from the worlds of sports, business, medicine, and education, Epstein sheds light on the paths to peak performance. From how to best prepare for our specialized world to how to optimally incorporate AI into our workplaces, Epstein unpacks the science of success — leaving audiences with actionable takeaways to improve how they live, work, and prepare for the future.

Diversity Sessions Speakers: Diversity Matters

Sunday, June 26, 2022: 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Meeting Room 16

This unusual duo of tuba and piano present events containing musical performances as well as opportunities to discuss diversity in many of its forms — gender, race, cultural, ideological, and textural. Richard and Pamela have spent years dedicating themselves to their art as soloists and collaborators in traditional, classical settings.

Hailing from two of the top musical institutions, Indiana University's Jacob School of Music and The Juilliard School, most of their careers have been focused on performing and teaching music at the highest level. The two met after both accepting positions at the University of New Mexico. In 2006 they created their duo, Diversity Matters, and began sharing their passion for music education and concertizing throughout the Americas. They now reach new audiences as they explore the collaborative opportunities that evolve when all voices are heard.

Diversity Matters aims to accomplish something quite unusual: speaking to social issues through discussion and musical performance. As a duo, in addition to embodying obvious differences — gender, race, choice of instruments — they tackle questions regarding diversity of thought, opinion, and style, revealing how the collaborative process, as it occurs in musical preparations, results in a unified experience for the listener. Their unique collaborative style provides innovative tools and techniques to guide others toward creative solutions that can assist in creating an ideal, collaborative environment.

Reinvigorated by the DEI movement, Diversity Matters added to their academic portfolios by earning certificates in diversity and inclusion from Cornell University. Through their unique experiences as performers and academics, they are excited to contribute new perspectives to the discussion of creating an optimal cultural climate.

U.S. Department of Education Session: Under Secretary James Kvaal

Monday, June 27, 2022: 2:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
Ballroom DEFG

Department of Education Under Secretary James Kvaal will sit down with NASFAA President Justin Draeger to discuss the administration's higher education priorities and hear from financial aid administrators about their top concerns as we continue to transition out of the pandemic. Topics will include student loan forgiveness and repayment, forthcoming regulations, institutional quality and gainful employment, college affordability, and more.

James Kvaal was confirmed by the Senate as the under secretary on September 14, 2021. He was formerly the president of the Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS), a research and advocacy nonprofit dedicated to affordability and equity in higher education. 

Kvaal served in the Obama Administration as the deputy domestic policy adviser at the White House and deputy under secretary at the Department of Education. He led efforts to cut student loan monthly payments, make community colleges tuition-free, and helped organize the White House Summit on College Opportunity, which featured more than 100 college presidents and other leaders committing to actions to help more students graduate from college. He also has served in senior roles in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Kvaal taught at the University of Michigan's Ford School of Public Policy, and graduated with honors from Stanford University and Harvard Law School.

General Session: Chief Operating Officer of Federal Student Aid Richard Cordray

Tuesday, June 28, 2022: 8:15 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
Ballroom DEFG

Richard Cordray is the current chief operating officer of Federal Student Aid (FSA). Prior to FSA, Cordray served for six years as the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). During his tenure, CFPB brought enforcement actions that returned over $12 billion to 30 million Americans. Before joining CFPB, Cordray served as Ohio's attorney general from 2009 to 2011. He also served as Ohio treasurer, as a state representative in Ohio, and as the state's first solicitor general. 

Since taking the helm at FSA, Cordray has led the office through the transition of millions of student loan borrowers to new servicers, an overhaul of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, and the continued overhaul of the student loan servicing system. During the general session, Cordray will bring his perspective on federal student aid programs as well as an update on the initiatives FSA is pursuing, ahead of the Department of Education's Federal Update presentation.

Publication Date: 3/31/2022

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