Two NYT bestsellers headline 2nd annual Warren Bennis Leadership Experience

White House insiders Doris Kearns Goodwin, David Gergen coming to University of Cincinnati to give perspectives on leadership

Doris Kearns Goodwin and David Gergen are among the most authoritative voices in American politics. A Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer, Goodwin has studied and chronicled the lives of numerous American presidents, while Gergen served as presidential adviser to four leaders of the free world. Few are better versed in the leadership lessons gleaned from the high-stakes world of White House decision-making.

The two New York Times best-selling authors will have a 90-minute discussion about leadership on Friday, Oct. 19, at 5 p.m., at the second annual Warren Bennis Leadership Experience, “Building a Culture of Fresh Ideas,” in the Great Hall at the University of Cincinnati’s Tangeman University Center. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Those interested in attending are encouraged to register here. 

Named in honor of UC’s 22nd president, the Warren Bennis Leadership Experience was founded to inspire students, faculty, and alumni to learn about the legacy, influence, and leadership lessons of Bennis and his contributions to UC and the world by way of an annual, student-planned leadership conference. This conference functions as a leadership development tool for UC leaders. This year’s conference is led by UC students at the undergraduate and graduate level and Loveland High School students, and advised by a board of faculty, administration, and business executives.

“By bringing together leaders and aspiring leaders through the Warren Bennis Leadership Experience, we will create a community committed to discussing, understanding and addressing modern-day challenges,” said Jack FitzGerald, the event’s founder. “Bennis’ teachings provide a roadmap for our community to move forward in our development.”

During his tenure at UC (1971-1977), Bennis led the university’s transformation from a municipal institution into a major state university. After departing UC, Bennis became widely regarded as the “Father of Leadership,” penning 30 books on the subject.

The students leading the Warren Bennis Leadership Experience have taken to heart UC’s new strategic direction Next Lives Here: to lead urban public universities into a new era of innovation and impact. Throughout the year the students have worked passionately to create this innovative event for the Cincinnati community. These experiences are not possible without the support of partner organizations. Those interested in sponsoring are encouraged to contact FitzGerald at

About Doris Kearns Goodwin

Doris Kearns Goodwin is a world-renowned presidential historian, public speaker and Pulitzer Prize-winning, New York Times #1 best-selling author. Her seventh book, “Leadership in Turbulent Times,” was published Sept. 18, 2018, by Simon & Schuster. It is available for sale now.

About David Gergen

David Gergen is a professor of public service and director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School, positions he has held for over a decade. In addition, he serves as a senior political analyst for CNN and works actively with a rising generation of new leaders. In the past, he has served as a White House adviser to four U.S. presidents of both parties: Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton. He wrote about those experiences in his New York Times best-seller, “Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton.”

Become Boldly Bearcat

Warren Bennis exemplified what it means to be Boldly Bearcat. He knew he was taking a risk when he led the University of Cincinnati's effort to become a state university, but his bold decision is now a big part of what defines UC. Bennis wrote his first two books on leadership while he served as UC's president, and he went on to advise countless leaders through his books, interviews, and consultations. Find out more about what it takes to be Boldly Bearcat.

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