43rd Simmons Leadership Conference to Feature Keynote Speakers Simone Biles, Brené Brown, Amanda Gorman, and More

Simons Biles, Brene Brown, and Amanda Gorman
The world's most decorated gymnast Simone Biles, researcher and bestselling author Brené Brown, and America's first youth poet laurate Amanda Gorman.

The mission of Simmons is to empower and educate the next generation of women leaders, and I am proud of the legacy and lasting impact of the conference. I look forward to participating in this year's event and engaging in lively, thought-provoking conversations with these inspiring speakers. - President Lynn Perry Wooten

The 43rd Simmons Leadership Conference Explores “Cultivating Connection & Courage” with World-Class Keynote Speakers Simone Biles, Brené Brown, Amanda Gorman, and More

Simmons University and the Simmons University Institute for Inclusive Leadership invite leaders throughout the U.S. and the world to attend the 43rd Simmons Leadership Conference on April 13, 2022. Registration is now open for the virtual event, which is a powerful opportunity to be inspired, hear the wisdom of world-class women leaders, build leadership skills, and network with experts from around the globe.

"We're on track to host our largest event ever," said Susan MacKenty Brady, CEO of Simmons University's Institute for Inclusive Leadership. "As we emerge from the pandemic and great resignation, we're realizing more than ever that women leaders are looking for inspiring ways to empower their teams. This conference will motivate leaders to arrive and thrive in positions of leadership and bring out the best in those around them."

The Simmons Leadership Conference is the longest-running women's leadership forum in the nation, inspiring more than 100,000 leaders from across the globe for 43 years. This year's event will feature some of the nation's top women leaders, including America’s first youth poet laureate, Amanda Gorman, the world's most decorated gymnast Simone Biles, and researcher and bestselling author Brené Brown, among others.

A portion of proceeds from the Simmons Leadership Conference funds student scholarships and educational programming.

"Since 1978, leaders who want to better themselves, their workplaces, and the world have been gathering at the Simmons Leadership Conference to explore diverse ideas and solutions to create a more equitable future," said Dr. Lynn Perry Wooten, president of Simmons University. "The mission of Simmons is to empower and educate the next generation of women leaders, and I am proud of the legacy and lasting impact of the conference. I look forward to participating in this year's event and engaging in lively, thought-provoking conversations with these inspiring speakers. "

This year's conference features the worldwide launch of Arrive and Thrive: 7 Impactful Practices for Women Navigating Leadership. Simmons University's own MacKenty Brady and Dr. Wooten co-wrote the book with Janet Foutty, Executive Chair of the Board, Deloitte US. The book is a practical guide to help women leaders thrive as their best selves, inspire excellence in their team by channeling their wellbeing, and lead a highly fulfilled life.

"I'm especially honored to be launching Arrive and Thrive with my co-authors," said MacKenty Brady. "The time is now for women and their allies to celebrate and fully step into our rightful place as leaders."

The recipient of the 2022 Helen G. Drinan Visionary Award will also be announced at the conference. The award honors a woman leader who embodies the values of inclusive leadership in her personal and professional life. Drinan served as President of Simmons University from 2008 to 2020.

Keynote Speakers

Simone Biles, the world's most-decorated gymnast, uses her platform to help advocate for mental health and support initiatives that provide education and assistance for children and young adults associated with adoption and foster care.

Susan MacKenty Brady is the CEO of Simmons University Institute for Inclusive Leadership and the Simmons University Deloitte Ellen Gabriel Chair of Women and Leadership. Susan ignites, inspires, and advises executives to foster a mindset of inclusion and create a culture of equity in their organizations.

Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work. She's also a visiting professor in management at The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business. Brené has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy and is the author of six #1 New York Times bestsellers.

Erica Dhawan is an internationally recognized leading authority, author, and advisor on 21st century teamwork, collaboration, and innovation. Named by Thinkers50 as the "Oprah of Management Thinkers," she is the author of Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence and Digital Body Language.

Molly Fletcher has been hailed as the "female Jerry Maguire" by CNN. She made a name for herself as one of the first female sports agents. During her almost two-decade career as president of CSE, Molly negotiated over $500 million in contracts and represented over 300 of sports' biggest names.

Janet Foutty is the Executive Chair of the Board of Deloitte US, the largest professional services organization in the US. Janet is committed to purposeful leadership and recognizes that business can and should make a broader societal impact that matters.

Amy Gallo is an author, podcast host, and expert in conflict and workplace dynamics. In all of her work, she combines the latest management research with practical advice to deliver evidence-based ideas on how to improve relationships and excel at work.

Amanda Gorman, America's first Youth Poet Laureate, captured the attention of the world with the recitation of her original poem "The Hill We Climb" at President Joe Biden's inauguration. Amanda is the Founder and Executive Director of One pen One Page, an organization that promotes literacy among youth through free creative writing programming for underserved youth.

Luvvie Ajayi Jones, New York Times bestselling author, podcast host, and professional troublemaker, thrives at the intersection of comedy, media and justice. Her debut book, I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual, hit the New York Times best-sellers list at #5 in its first week.

Second City Works has been performing sketch comedy in front of audiences for over 60 years, making it the standard by which comedy and improv is judged. Some of their most well-known alumni include Bill Murray, John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Amber Ruffin, Tina Fey, Keegan Michael Key, and Stephen Colbert.

Dr. Lynn Perry Wooten is the ninth president of Simmons University and the first African American to lead the university. A seasoned academic and an expert on organizational development and transformation, Lynn specializes in crisis leadership, diversity and inclusion, and positive leadership—organizational behavior that reveals and nurtures the highest level of human potential.

In addition, Simmons University alumna and Emmy award-winning journalist Joyce Kulhawik will co-host the conference with Kristen Palson, COO of the Simmons University Institute for Inclusive Leadership.

About the Conference

Now in its 43rd year, the Simmons Leadership Conference is the premier women's leadership forum in the country and annually attracts a global audience of thousands of business and professional women and men. This year's event will be fully virtual and interactive, with Q&As, networking sessions, and opportunities to visit sponsor organizations in a virtual exhibit hall. The conference has featured such notable speakers as Michelle Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Madeleine Albright, Christiane Amanpour, Carly Fiorina, Toni Morrison, Serena Williams, and Mindy Kaling.

2022 Corporate Sponsors

This year's sponsors include Dell, Cisco, Deloitte, Raytheon, 2U, Liberty Mutual Insurance, edX, MFS Investment Management, Moët Hennessy, Ipsen, Mercury Systems, TJX, and aws.

For the full conference schedule and registration information, please visit:

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