2010-11 through 2019-20


  • Nyle DiMarco - Deaf Activist and Winner of “America’s Next Top Model” and “Dancing with the Stars”
  • Maggie Haberman - New York Times White House Correspondent and Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • Yusef Salaam* - Criminal Justice Advocate and Member of the Central Park Five
  • Daymond John - “Shark Tank” Investor, Entrepreneur and FUBU CEO
  • Jeff Corwin (Cancelled) - Host of “Ocean Mysteries,” Renowned Conservationist and Environmental Journalist


  • Joe Biden - 47th Vice President of the United States (2009-17)
  • Peter Diamandis - Executive Chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation
  • Lisa Genova - Neuroscientist and Bestselling Author of “Still Alice”
  • Angela Davis* - Social Equality Activist and Author
  • Ronan Farrow - Pulitzer Prize-Winning Investigative Reporter
  • Condoleezza Rice - U.S. Secretary of State (2005-09)


  • Malala Yousafzai - Girls Education Activist and Nobel Peace Prize Winner
  • Theresa Payton - Former White House CIO and Cyber Security CEO
  • Jesse Williams - Acclaimed Actor, Political Activist and Documentarian
  • Susan Rice* - Former U.S. National Security Advisor (2013-17)
  • James Balog - Global Expert on Climate Change and Founder of the Extreme Ice Survey (EIS)
  • Alan Alda - TV Icon and Science Communicator


  • Mark Kelly and Scott Kelly - Commander of Two NASA Shuttle Missions & America’s 1st Astronaut to Spend a Year in Space
  • Randi Zuckerberg - Founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media; Former Director of Marketing at Facebook
  • John Cleese - Famed Film and Television Comic Actor
  • Eric H. Holder, Jr.* - 82nd Attorney General of the United States (2009-15)
  • Roxane Gay - Bestselling Author, Cultural Critic and Professor
  • Brandon Stanton - Creator of “Humans of New York” (HONY)


  • Laverne Cox – Transgender Advocate and Award-Winning Actress
  • Liz Murray - Author of the 2016 UB Reads Selection "Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard”
  • John Legend – Academy Award-Winning Songwriter, Singer, Musician, Producer, Philanthropist and Entrepreneur
  • Charles Ogletree* – Internationally Renowned Legal Theorist
  • Siddhartha Mukherjee – Cancer Physician, Researcher and Author of the Pulitzer Prize-Winning “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer”
  • Kevin Spacey – Academy Award-Winning Actor, Star of "House of Cards," Producer, and Former Artistic Director of London's Old Vic Theatre


  • Cheryl Strayed - Author of the New York Times #1 Bestseller, "Wild"
  • Wes Moore - Youth Advocate and Combat Veteran; Author of the 2015 UB Reads Selection: "The Other Wes Moore"
  • John Oliver - Comedian, Political Satirist and Star of HBO's "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver"
  • Earvin "Magic" Johnson* - NBA Hall-of-Famer, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist
  • Robert Ballard - Oceanographer and Discoverer of the Titanic
  • Steve Wozniak - Cofounder of Apple Computer, Inc. and Chief Scientist of Primary Data


  • Hillary Rodham Clinton - Former Secretary of State and Former U.S. Senator from New York
  • Michio Kaku - Theoretical Physicist and Bestselling Author
  • Malcolm Gladwell - Best-selling Author and Staff Writer for The New Yorker; Author of the 2013 UB Reads Selection: "The Tipping Point"
  • Mary Frances Berry* - Author, Educator and Historian, AND
  • Diane Nash* - Civil Rights and Peace Activist
  • Sanjay Gupta - Chief Medical Correspondent for CNN
  • David Blaine - Endurance Artist and World Renowned Magician


  • David Brooks - OpEd Columnist, New York Times; Political/Social Analyst, "PBS NewsHour" and NPR's "All Things Considered"
  • Laura Bush - First Lady of the United States, 2001-2009; Advocate for Education, Health Care and Human Rights
  • Blake Mycoskie - TOMS Founder and Chief Shoe Giver; Author of the 2012 UB Reads Selection: "Start Something That Matters"
  • Walter Mosley* - Novelist and Social Commentator
  • Steven Pinker - World Renowned Cognitive Scientist
  • Steve Martin - Actor, Comedian, Author, Playwright, Producer and Musician


  • Robert Gates - U.S. Secretary of Defense (2006-11)
  • Michael J. Fox - Award-Winning Actor; Founder of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
  • Judy Shepard - Activist; Author of the 2011 UB Reads Selection - "The Meaning of Matthew"
  • Soledad O'Brien* - CNN Anchor and Special Correspondent
  • Mary Robinson - President of Ireland (1990-97); Past U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Lance Armstrong - Seven-Time Tour de France Winner; Founder of the Lance Armstrong Foundation


  • Arianna Huffington - Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief, The Huffington Post
  • Mary Matalin - Political Strategist; Contributor, CNN
  • Sylvia Earle - Oceanographer; Explorer; Author
  • Greg Mortenson - Co-Author of the Best-Selling, 2010 UB Reads Selection - "Three Cups of Tea"
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger - 38th Governor of California
  • Jhumpa Lahiri - Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author
  • Cory Booker* - Mayor of Newark, New Jersey
  • J. Craig Venter - Pioneering Genomic Researcher

* Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Speaker