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Honored Speakers for High School Summit Scholars

General Colin Powell

Few, if any, people in history can match General Powell’s resume and leadership experience. With over 50 years of public service, General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) has held senior military and diplomatic positions across four presidential administrations, serving as National Security Advisor under Ronald Reagan, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for both George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and secretary of State under George W. Bush.

During his time as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Powell oversaw 28 crises including the Panama intervention of 1989 and Operation Desert Storm. As secretary of State, he led the State Department in major efforts to address and solve regional and civil conflicts and to advance economic and social development worldwide.

In addition to his wealth of knowledge and experience with military strategy and geopolitical issues, General Powell currently serves on several boards, including Bloom Energy,, Leeds Equity Partners, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Smithsonian Institute’s African American Museum of History and Culture. He is chair of the board of visitors of the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at the City College of New York and chairman of the Eisenhower Fellowships, a cross-cultural program for emerging international leaders. General Powell is also a NY Times best-selling author, world-class educator about life and leadership, father of three, and a highly acclaimed inspirational public speaker -- making him possibly, by our standards, the most interesting man in the world.

Spike Lee

Spike Lee

Spike Lee is an award-winning writer, director, actor, producer, author & influencer. Widely regarded as a premiere African-American filmmaker, Lee is a forerunner in the “do it yourself” school of independent film and the founder of 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, a production company that has produced over 35 films.

The outspoken filmmaker has never shied away from sharing his opinions, whether controversial or widely accepted. Lee’s films have showcased his ability to tackle provocative socio-political critiques that challenge cultural assumptions, not only about race, but class and gender identity as well. 

Lee’s work has been nominated for four Academy Awards and four Emmys, of which he has won three. He has also received a Peabody Award, an Honorary Oscar for Lifetime Achievement, and his film, She’s Gotta Have It, earned him the Prix de Jeunesse Award at the Cannes Film Festival. 

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai is a nineteen-year-old human rights activist who campaigns for the rights of everyone to receive an education, and co-founder for an international fund—the Malala Fund—which is dedicated to helping promote education for girls throughout the world.

Malala Yousafzai grew up in the Swat Valley in northern Pakistan and in October 2012, she was shot by the Taliban while traveling home from school on the bus with her friends.

Since the attack, Malala has become internationally known for her courage in refusing to be silenced and continuing her fight for the right of everyone to receive an education. Malala has been granted one of the world’s highest honors: the Nobel Peace Prize. She became the youngest recipient of this prestigious award in 2014. Malala was also named one of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2013 by TIME magazine. She is the winner of Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize, the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought and Conscience, the International Children’s Peace Prize, the 2012 Tipperary International Peace Award, the Premi Internacional Catalunya Award of Catalonia, the Simone de Beauvior Prize, The Oklahoma City Reflections of Hope Award, and has been honored with Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience award and Glamour’s Woman of the Year Award 2013.

She is also the author of the international bestseller I Am Malala, which has been published in over 27 territories.

*Malala will be speaking to scholars via satellite.

Ziauddin Yousafzai

Ziauddin Yousafzai is an educator, human rights campaigner, and social activist. He hails from Pakistani’s Swat Valley where, at great personal risk among grave political violence, he peacefully resisted the Taliban’s efforts to shut down schools and kept open his own school. He also inspired his daughter, Malala Yousafzai, to raise her voice to promote the rights of children to an education.

Ziauddin is the co-founder and serves as the Chairman of the Board for the Malala Fund. He serves as the United Nations Special Advisor on Global Education and also the educational attaché to the Pakistani Consulate in Birmingham, UK.

Abby Wambach

Abby Wambach is the all-time leading scorer in international soccer history with 184 career goals. She was the United States’ leading scorer in the 2007 and 2011 Women’s World Cup tournaments and the 2004 and 2012 Olympics. (She missed Beijing 2008 due to a broken leg.) Her ability to wear down defenses with her physical play, aerial game and hard running has long been a key to the USA’s success. After winning the Women’s World Cup in 2015, Wambach retired as one of the most dominant players in the history of women’s soccer. A true leader on and off the field, Wambach is dedicating the next chapter of her career to fighting for equality and inclusion across industries. She is the youngest of 7 children and claims she got her toughness from her 4 older brothers. She loves coffee, cooking, music and playing golf.

Candidate Panel

Two former presidential candidates, Governor Martin O'Malley and Carly Fiorina, will share stories from the campaign trail and insights on what it's like to run for the highest office.

This dynamic panel will be moderated by Anne Compton.

Governor Martin O'Malley

Governor O’Malley is a former 2016 presidential candidate with nearly 25 years of experience in state and local government. Prior to his two terms as governor of Maryland, he served the city of Baltimore as councilman from 1991 until 1999 and mayor from 1999 until 2007.

During his time in office, Governor O’Malley passed major political milestones that impacted the economy, education, the environment and many social causes. As mayor, his policies helped the people of Baltimore achieve the greatest crime reduction of one of America’s largest cities. As governor, he led the fight to restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay, to reduce greenhouse gas, to protect the dignity of every child’s home, and to ensure equal rights under the law for all Marylanders.

Governor O’Malley is a charismatic speaker who inspires and empowers next generation leaders to make an impact in their future and their world. 

Carly Fiorina

Carly Fiorina is a tested leader in the technology industry and conservative movement. Carly famously started as a secretary in a 9-person real estate firm before joining AT&T in an entry-level sales position, and then, fifteen years later, leading AT&T’s spinout of Lucent Technologies.

In 1999, Fiorina was recruited to Hewlett-Packard, where she became the first woman to lead a Fortune 50 business. In her six years as chairman and CEO, Hewlett-Packard not only survived the dot-com bust—they became the leader in every market segment and every product category and grew from the 28th to 11th largest company in the United States.

Carly has always believed in giving back to the community and has been an active participant in government and politics. In the 2016 primary, she was credited for changing the landscape of the Republican field, winning debates, and fighting for conservative principles. Fiorina’s lifetime of experience has taught her that the highest calling of leadership is to unlock the potential in others.

Ann Compton

Ann Compton joined ABC News in 1973. Just a year later, she became the first woman assigned to cover the White House on a full-time basis by a network TV news organization. During her 41 years at ABC, Compton traveled around the globe and through all 50 states with presidents, vice presidents and first ladies. 

Few journalists have had such extended and exclusive access to the White House as Compton. On Sept. 11, 2001, she was the only broadcast reporter allowed to remain aboard Air Force One during the dramatic hours when President Bush was unable to return to Washington. 

Compton’s coverage of the September 11 events was recognized in ABC News’ Emmy and Peabody Awards. She has also served as president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, was a panelist for two presidential debates, and was inducted to the Museum of Broadcasting’s Radio Hall of Fame and the Journalism Hall of Fame.

Point/Counterpoint Presenters

Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala, two political figures well-versed in the current political climate, will share the stage to give scholars exclusive insights from opposite sides of the political spectrum. 

Tucker Carlson

Tucker Carlson is a veteran journalist and political commentator. He is currently the co-host of Fox and Friends Weekend and the Editor-in-Chief of, one of the largest and fastest growing news sites in the country. Previously he was the co-host of Crossfire on CNN, where he was the youngest anchor in the history of that network. During the same period, Carlson also hosted a weekly public affairs program on PBS.

A longtime writer, Carlson has reported from around the world, including dispatches from Iraq, Pakistan, Lebanon, and Vietnam. He has been a columnist for New York Magazine and Reader's Digest. He currently writes for Esquire and The New York Times Magazine.

Paul Beglala

Paul Begala

Paul Begala is a commentator for CNN, where he is part of the political team that has won both an Emmy Award and a Peabody Award. Previously, after helping engineer Bill Clinton's presidential campaign with his partner, James Carville, Mr. Begala served as counselor to the President and was one of Clinton's closest aides.

In the 2012 campaign, Mr. Begala was a senior adviser for the pro-Obama Super PAC, making him one of the few people to play a critical role in electing two different presidents. Mr. Begala has also consulted for political campaigns across the country and around the world, including advising politicians in Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa.

Mr. Begala is an affiliated professor of Public Policy at Georgetown University and previously taught at both the University of Texas and the University of Georgia. Along with James Carville and GOP strategist Karl Rove, he was a recently inducted into the American Association of Political Consultants' Hall of Fame. Mr. Begala also helped his friend John F. Kennedy, Jr. launch the political magazine George, wrote the "Capitol Hillbilly" column, and is the author of several New York Times best-selling political books.