Past Speakers

For 47 years, the Forum Club has hosted a variety of thought leaders whose words and actions affect the world in which we live. Our impressive lineup includes past Presidents of the United States, a majority of the sitting U.S. Supreme Court Justices, an array of four-star generals, Presidential historians, and national media personalities, among others. The following are just a few examples of the caliber of speakers the Forum Club has attracted over its remarkable history.

U.S. President Jimmy Carter

The Forum Club’s inaugural speaker, President Jimmy Carter transformed the dream of providing a forum in West Palm Beach into reality. The then-candidate who would become the 39th President of the United States was also awarded the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

The first Hispanic and third woman to serve the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Sonia Sotomayor discussed how her life has evolved from a housing project in the Bronx to Princeton, Yale and finally a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. Justice Sotomayor was appointed in 2009 by President Barack Obama to fill a vacancy created by retiring Justice David Souter.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

Appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, Justice Scalia was characterized as the anchor of the court’s conservative majority. The Forum Club had the honor of hosting him in 2009, as he shared his impressive career and legal insights, which can also be found in his book, Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges, that he signed at the event.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld joined the Forum Club to discuss his experience as a top aide to four U.S. presidents. Among the stories he shared was his leadership in the response to the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder joined the Forum Club shortly after being appointed to the position. At the event, Holder discussed the role of the Attorney General in the Obama Administration – a position he held until 2015.

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright

At the Forum Club, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright shared her incredible journey from childhood memories in war-torn Czechoslovakia to reflections on serving as the first female U.S. Secretary of State. Dr. Albright currently serves as the Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group, a global financial strategy firm, and Chair of Albright Capital Management LLC, an investment advisory firm focused on emerging markets. In 2012, President Barak Obama presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

CIA Director Michael Morrell

Acting CIA Director Michael Morrell joined the Forum Club in 2013 to discuss the CIA’s role in meeting U.S. security challenges. He explained how intelligence is at the heart of every national security challenge and good intelligence is the foundation of how policies are handled throughout the world.

Massachusetts Governor and Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney

Former Massachusetts Governor and 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate, Mitt Romney, addressed a sold-out crowd of the Forum Club days after the release of his new book, NO APOLOGY: The Case for American Greatness.

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi

Democratic Leader and National Women’s Hall of Fame inductee, Nancy Pelosi, joined the Forum Club for an armchair discussion hosted by WPTV NewsChannel 5 anchor Michael Williams. Pelosi has led the House Democrats for more than decade and has represented San Francisco, California’s 12th Congressional District for almost 30 years.

Chris Matthews

The host of MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, Chris Matthews brought decades of political insights to the Forum Club, providing in-depth analysis into the 2012 Presidential Election. He also shared intimate stories about past President John F. Kennedy, who turned Palm Beach into both a playground and part-time family retreat.

Joe Scarborough & Mika Brzezinski

Together, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski co-host Morning Joe, which features interviews with top newsmakers and in-depth analysis of the day’s biggest stories. The two brought their repartee and off-the-cuff commentary to the Forum Club, where they debated whether Republicans or Democrats have the right approach to politics.

Tim Russert

NBC’s beloved host of Meet The Press, Tim Russert was the Forum Club’s 25th anniversary speaker. Prior to becoming host of Meet the Press, Russert worked as a special counsel, and later as chief of staff, to U.S. Senator Daniel Moynihan. He also served as counsel to New York Governor Mario Cuomo.

Chuck Todd

Moderator and managing editor of NBC’s Meet The Press and political director for NBC News, Chuck Todd has returned to the Forum Club for repeat performances. His competitors praise his “encyclopedic knowledge of politics,” which the Forum Club witnessed firsthand in his analysis of the 2012 Election.

Lester Holt

Anchor of the weekend editions of both NBC Nightly News and Dateline NBC, Lester Holt is another regular on the Forum Club stage. His journalistic experiences and insights are a favorite among our members.

Frank Abagnale

One of the world’s most respected authorities on forgery, embezzlement and secure documents, Frank Abagnale addressed the Forum Club in 2010. His amazing life as a brilliant young mastermind of international deception and fraud was captured in the Steven Spielberg movie Catch Me If You Can with Leonardo Dicaprio portraying Abagnale.

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Pulitzer Prize winning author, presidential historian and political news analyst Doris Kearns Goodwin joined the Forum Club to share her tales of Teddy Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and muckraking journalists. Named America’s Historian-in-Chief by the New York Times, Goodwin also signed copies of her book, The Bully Pulpit, at the event.

NBC’s Hoda Kotb

Hoda Kotb is the co-host of the fourth hour of NBC’s TODAY alongside Kathie Lee Gifford. When she joined the Forum Club in 2012, she provided an entertaining look back on her struggles to get into the television business, her career as an international correspondent and her journey with breast cancer – all of which were encapsulated in her self-titled New York Times bestseller.

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