Speakers

Celeste Headlee

Internationally recognized journalist and communciation expert

Celeste Headlee is an award-winning journalist and radio host, professional speaker and author of the bestselling book "We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations That Matter" and the recently released "Do Nothing: How to Break Away from Overworking, Overdoing, and Underliving." Her TEDx Talk, 10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation, has been viewed over 23 million times. Close to 50,000 talks have been given at 10,000 events since the TED program launched in 2009. Celeste’s talk is one of the 10 most-watched talks posted on TED’s homepage.

In her 20-year career in public radio, Celeste has been the Executive Producer of On Second Thought at Georgia Public Radio and anchored programs including Tell Me MoreTalk of the NationAll Things Considered, and Weekend Edition. She also served as co-host of the national morning news show, The Takeaway, from PRI and WNYC, and anchored presidential coverage in 2012 for PBS World Channel. As an NPR host and journalist, Celeste has interviewed hundreds of people from all walks of life. Through her work, she has learned the true power of conversation and its ability to both bridge gaps or deepen wounds. In a time when conversations are often minimized to a few words in a text message and lack of meaningful communication and dialogue abounds, Celeste sheds a much-needed light on the lost and essential art of conversation.

Celeste is a communication and human nature expert, reclaiming common humanity and finding well-being. She frequently provides insight and commentary on what is good for all humans and what is bad for us, focusing on the best research in neuro and social science to increase understanding of how we relate with one another and can work together in beneficial ways in our workplaces, neighborhoods, communities and homes. As a mixed-race journalist of black and Jewish descent, Celeste also speaks candidly about how to converse on race and other difficult subjects. People respond to Celeste because she connects the dots, explaining the "why" of our behavior in clear terms and providing actionable strategies for doing things differently.

Celeste is a member of Arianna Huffington's Thrive Global Thought Leader group and is a regular host of Women Amplified, a Conferences for Women podcast. She serves as an advisory board member for ProCon.org and The Listen First Project and in 2019, received the Media Changemaker Award. Celeste lives in the DC area with rescue dog, Samus.

Uncaring: How the Culture of Medicine Kills Doctors and Patients
Doctors Are Taught How To Cure People. But They Don’t Always Know How To Care For Them.

Learn more >

Robert Pearl, MD

Stanford University professor, Forbes contributor, bestselling author

Dr. Robert Pearl is the former CEO of The Permanente Medical Group (1999-2017), the nation’s largest medical group, and former president of The Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group (2009-2017). In these roles he led 10,000 physicians, 38,000 staff and was responsible for the nationally recognized medical care of 5 million Kaiser Permanente members on the west and east coasts. 

Named one of Modern Healthcare’s 50 most influential physician leaders, Pearl is an advocate for the power of integrated, prepaid, technologically advanced and physician-led healthcare delivery.

He serves as a clinical professor of plastic surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine and is on the faculty of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he teaches courses on strategy and leadership, and lectures on information technology and health care policy.

He is the author of "Mistreated: Why We Think We’re Getting Good Healthcare—And Why We’re Usually Wrong," a Washington Post bestseller that offers a roadmap for transforming American healthcare. All proceeds from the book go to Doctors Without Borders. His next book, Uncaring: How the Culture of Medicine Kills Doctors and Patients, will be published spring 2021.

Dr. Pearl hosts the popular podcasts Fixing Healthcare and Coronavirus: The Truth. He publishes a newsletter with over 12,000 subscribers called Monthly Musings on American Healthcare and is a regular contributor to Forbes. He has been featured on CBS This Morning, CNBC, NPR, and in TIME, USA Today and Bloomberg News. He has published more than 100 articles in medical journals and contributed to numerous books. A frequent keynote speaker at healthcare and medical technology conferences. Pearl has addressed the Commonwealth Club, the World Healthcare Congress, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s National Quality Forum and the National Committee for Quality Improvement (NCQA).

Board certified in plastic and reconstructive surgery, Pearl received his medical degree from the Yale University School of Medicine, followed by a residency in plastic and reconstructive surgery at Stanford University. 

From 2012 to 2017, Pearl served as chairman of the Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP), which includes the nation’s largest and best multispecialty medical groups, and participated in the Bipartisan Congressional Task Force on Delivery System Reform and Health IT in Washington, D.C.

Connect with Dr. Robert Pearl on Twitter @RobertPearlMDLinkedIn and at his website robertpearlmd.com

The Honorable David J. Shulkin, MD

Physician, Ninth Secretary of U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Author

The Honorable Dr. David J. Shulkin was the ninth Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in the Trump Administration and VA's Under Secretary of Health in the Obama Administration.  As such, Secretary Shulkin was the only member of the Cabinet to have served both Presidents and to have been confirmed by the U.S. Senate by a vote of 100-0.  

As Secretary, Dr. Shulkin represented the 21 million American veterans and was responsible for the nation’s largest integrated health care system with over 1,200 sites of care, serving over 9 million Veterans. VA is also the nation's largest provider of graduate medical education and major contributor of medical research and provides veterans with disability payments, education through the GI bill, home loans, and runs a national cemetery system.

Secretary Shulkin is a widely respected healthcare executive having served as chief executive of leading hospitals and health systems including Beth Israel in New York City, Morristown Medical Center in Northern NJ, and currently advises leading health systems.  Secretary Shulkin has held numerous physician leadership roles including the Chief Medical Officer of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University Hospital, and the Medical College of Pennsylvania Hospital. Secretary Shulkin has held academic positions including the Chairman of Medicine and Vice Dean at Drexel University School of Medicine.  As an entrepreneur, he founded and served as the Chairman and CEO of DoctorQuality one of the first consumer orientated sources of information for quality and safety in healthcare. Secretary Shulkin has served on boards of managed care companies, technology companies, and health care organizations.  

Secretary Shulkin is a board-certified internist. He received his medical degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania, his internship at Yale University School of Medicine, and a residency and Fellowship in General Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Presbyterian Medical Center. He received advanced training in outcomes research and economics as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania.

Over his career Secretary Shulkin has been named "One Hundred Most Influential People in American Healthcare" by Modern Healthcare.  He continues to advocate on behalf of the country's veterans by serving on the board of numerous nonprofits that serve veterans and is the author of the recent book, It Shouldn’t Be This Hard to Serve Your Country: Our Broken Government and the Plight of Veterans.

Follow him on Twitter @DavidShulkin.