James Comey

Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation (2013–2017)
Tuesday, September 25, 2018 – Start time 7:30 p.m.
Chrysler Hall

James Comey led the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 2013 to 2017, appointed to the post by President Barack Obama. His tenure was tested by new forces within and outside America’s borders. Mr. Comey also worked to address key leadership, agility, and diversity issues within the Bureau. He oversaw the federal response to mass murders in San Bernardino and Orlando, which signaled a new phase in the country’s confrontation of domestic terrorism. And in the heat of one of the most closely contested presidential elections in history, Comey made a call that he would defend before Congress as one that prioritized the interests of the country he swore to serve above all else.

Prior to his service at the FBI, Comey worked as a federal prosecutor in New York and Virginia as well as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York and the U.S. deputy attorney general in the administration of President George W. Bush. In the private sector, he has worked at law firms and as the general counsel of Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest defense contractor, and Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund.

Comey recently published A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership. His lecture at The Forum will focus on his time leading the FBI through unprecedented times; he will share how his moral compass guided his decision-making and why he is issuing a clarion call for ethical leadership – no matter the circumstance.

Michael Lewis

Journalist and Best-selling Author of The Undoing Project, Flash Boys, Moneyball, and The Blind Side
Thursday, October 18, 2018 – Start time 7:30 p.m.
Ted Constant Convocation Center
In partnership with Old Dominion University President’s Lecture Series
and Presented by Signature Family Wealth Advisors

Financial journalist and New York Times best-selling author Michael Lewis has published sixteen books on subjects ranging from politics to Wall Street. In December 2016, Lewis released The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed Our Minds. In keeping with his unparalleled ability to tell stories about “quirky individuals who zig when everyone else zags” (as The New York Times puts it), the new book dives deep into the world of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, who founded the field of behavioral economics with their revolutionary theories on decision making and human errors in judgment.
Lewis’ other best-selling books include The Big Short, Liar’s Poker, Moneyball, Boomerang, The New New Thing, Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood, and The Blind Side. His books have gone on to inspire several Oscar nominated films, including 2009’s The Blind Side starring Sandra Bullock, and 2011’s Moneyball starring Brad Pitt.

Mr. Lewis is a columnist for Bloomberg News and a contributing writer to Vanity Fair. His articles have also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Gourmet, Slate, Sports Illustrated, Foreign Affairs, and Poetry Magazine. He has filmed and narrated short pieces for ABC-TV’s Nightline; created and presented a four-part documentary on the social consequences of the internet for the BBC; and recorded stories for the American public radio show, This American Life.

A sharp observer of politics, finance, and the evolution of American culture, Michael Lewis combines keen insight with his signature wit, making him one of today’s leading social commentators. Lewis’ program will take a fresh, hard look at the ever-changing value systems that drive our economic markets, political landscapes, and cultural norms.

Laura Bush

Father Patrick Debois

Catholic Priest, Vatican Consultant & Founder of “Yahad-In Unum”
Thursday, January 31, 2019 – Start Time: 7:30PM
The Sandler Center, Virginia Beach
In honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day & Sponsored by The Norfolk Forum, The United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and The Virginia Beach Forum

Father Patrick Desbois is the founder and president of Yahad-in-Unum, a French organization to seek and to give voice to The Holocaust by Bullets, a chapter of history that has remained silent for far too long. Through the work with Yahad-in-Unum, Father Desbois and his team identify each execution site and collect the testimonies of surviving witnesses. To date, Yahad-In Unum has recorded more than 5,300 witness testimonies and identified over 2,100 execution sites during the course of its research.

Father Desbois is a grandson of a French deportee to the Rawa Ruska Camp in the Ukraine and is motivated to locate the sites before all the witnesses have died, to “bring proof of these assassinations to the world” and to assure that history does not die with the witnesses.

He is the author of The Holocaust by Bullets: A Priest’s Journey to Uncover the Truth Behind The Murder of 1.5 Million Jews, winner of the 2008 National Jewish Book Award. His latest book, In Broad Daylight: The Secret Procedures Behind the Holocaust by Bullets, reveals the untold story of how the murder of more than two million Jews was carried out.

In 2016, Father Desbois joined the Center for Jewish Civilization at Georgetown University as a full-time professor with his appointment as the Braman Endowed Professor of the Practice of the Forensic Study of the Holocaust. Father Desbois has launched “Action Yazidis,” an initiative that collects evidence on the Yazidi genocide committed by ISIS and documented in his soon-to-be released book, The Terrorist Factory: ISIS, The Yazidi Genocide and Exporting Terrorism. He travels extensively for speaking engagements and has appeared twice on 60 Minutes.

Tickets available to Norfolk Forum Subscribers for the reduced rate of $25.
Please visit our Tickets page to purchase tickets.

Theresa Payton

Former White House CIO & Cybersecurity Authority
Thursday, February 28, 2019 – Start time 7:30 p.m.
Chrysler Hall

As the star of the CBS TV series, “Hunted,” Theresa Payton identifies emerging trends and techniques to help combat cyber threats, from the impact of the Internet of Things to securing Big Data.

The first female to serve as White House chief information officer, and named #4 on IFSEC Global’s list of the world’s Top 50 cybersecurity influencers in security & fire 2017, Theresa is one of America’s most respected authorities on Internet security, data breaches and fraud mitigation. With real-world strategies and solutions, she helps public and private sector organizations protect their most valuable resources.

Drawing from her experience as a veteran cybercrime fighter and entrepreneur of her successful and rapidly-growing cybersecurity firm, Fortalice, Theresa masterfully blends memorable anecdotes with cutting-edge insights to heighten awareness of the perils of our uber-connected world. As she delves into the cyber-underworld and the new kinds of threats that can lead to tomorrow’s breaches and insider risks, she offers a proven blueprint for audiences to stay a step ahead with practical steps for thinking like the adversary, while managing cybersecurity risk.

Theresa’s distinct approachability, combined with her visionary perspective and easy-to-implement strategies will educate and prepare The Forum’s audience for success in the ongoing battle against cybercrime.

Laura Bush

Laura Bush

First Lady of the United States (2001-2009)
Thursday, April 4, 2019 – Start time 7:30pm
Chrysler Hall

One of the most beloved and admired American First Ladies, for decades Laura Bush has championed key issues in the fields of education, health care, and human rights. She has traveled to more than seventy-six countries, including two historic solo trips to Afghanistan, and has launched groundbreaking education and healthcare programs in the U.S. and abroad. The author of the bestselling memoir, Spoken From The Heart, Mrs. Bush also founded both the Texas Book Festival and the National Book Festival in Washington D.C. Today, as the Chair of the Woman’s Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute, Mrs. Bush continues her work on global healthcare innovations, empowering women in emerging democracies, education reform, and supporting the men and women who have served in America’s military.

Recently, Mrs. Bush authored the foreword to We Are Afghan Women: Voices of Hope (March 2016). The book chronicles powerful stories of courageous women in Afghanistan and the risks they face on their journey to build peaceful communities in their country. Mrs. Bush is a leading voice for spreading freedom and promoting human rights across the globe. For more than a decade, she has led efforts through the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council to protect the hard-earned rights of women in that country. As First Lady, she made three trips to Afghanistan and in 2001 she delivered the President’s weekly radio address—a first for a First Lady—to direct international attention to the Taliban’s oppression of women.

During her keynote address, Mrs. Bush will discuss her time as First Lady of the United States, her reflections on 9/11, her passion for education, and the work of the George W. Bush Institute. Mrs. Bush was born in Midland, Texas, to Harold and Jenna Welch. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Southern Methodist University and a master’s degree in library science from the University of Texas. She served as First Lady of Texas from 1995 to 2000.

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event any announced speaker does not appear.