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Elizabeth D. Rockwell Lecture on Ethics and Leadership

The Elizabeth D. Rockwell Lecture on Ethics and Leadership at the University of Houston was established in 2004. Elizabeth D. Rockwell believed that the university should host important discussions about leadership and ethics for students and the university community. The lecture, which is held annually, brings to campus nationally-prominent speakers to discuss important issues of ethics and leadership. Speakers are chosen for their ability to discuss ethics and leadership with broad appeal to a diverse body of students, faculty, staff, and community members.

For 2022, the theme for the Elizabeth Rockwell Distinguished Lecture is “adapt.” We have all had to adapt to the new conditions posed by the pandemic over the last couple of years. This year’s Elizabeth D. Rockwell Distinguished Lecture invites reflection on the theme of adaptability with particular attention to ethics and leadership. What role does adaptability play in ethics and leadership? How can we adapt to new conditions in positive ways without losing our mooring. 

Past distinguished speakers include:

October 7, 2021 — Caroline Randall Williams, activist poet, author and chef.
September 10, 2020 - Baraki T. Sellers, an American attorney, political commentator, and politician
October 12, 2018 — Soledad O’Brien, Award Winning Journalist, Documentarian, News Anchor, Producer, Entrepreneur & Philanthropist.
February 9, 2018 — Johnny C. Taylor Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the world’s largest HR professional society.
October 22, 2015 — Jason Silva, TV personality, filmmaker, and public speaker.
November 7, 2013 — Mae C. Jemison, Astronaut, doctor, and founder of the Jemison Group 100 Year Starship project.
April 13, 2011 — Neil de Grasse Tyson, Astrophysicist and Director of the Haden Planetarium who explored the future of America in space.
April 26, 2010 — Nathan Wolfe, Virologist who explored viral forecasting and the hunt for the next killer virus.
November 17, 2008 — Thomas Friedman, (postponed due to Hurricane Ike) Journalist and author.
January 17, 2008 — Francis S. Collins & Christine Rosen, Physician-geneticist (Collins) and author (Rosen) who explored the DNA tampering and genetic discrimination (collaboration between UH & Holocaust Museum’s Medicine & Ethics Lecture).
February 7, 2006 — David Gergen, Political commentator and advisor who explored the 21st Century view of ethics and leadership.