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Ron  Suskind

Ron Suskind

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist, Author


No one maps the future better than Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Ron Suskind. His books on Bush and Obama revealed, during the terms of both Presidents, all the key conclusions that now define both administrations and their eras. He did the same with his seminal New York Times opus—appearing the weekend before the election—defining the Trump Presidency and predicting the "inciting of insurrection" by Trump that ransacked Congress and horrified the world. Rachel Maddow calls Suskind's insight and reporting "intensely prophetic." The legendary journalist, with sources atop both parties, the U.S. government, Corporate America and foreign leaders, provides actionable information—about where we stand and where we're headed—that is unmatched.

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As an author and journalist, Ron Suskind has chronicled the financial world for more than 25 years, covering the last three presidencies, the inner workings of Wall Street, and the ways in which financial decisions and government actions drive economies and shape everyday lives. During that time, he has gained the acclaim and trust of Wall Street and Beltway insiders. He is the author of six best-selling books, including Confidence Men—considered the definitive work on the Obama presidency and the 2008 financial crisis—and The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House and the Education of Paul O’Neil. Currently, he serves as the co-host of Freak Out and Carry On, a WBUR podcast that addresses the urgent political issues of our time through a historical lens.

Suskind’s works are frequently characterized by his passion for giving a voice to the voiceless. This is evident in his most recent best-seller, Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes and Autism, which was adapted into an Academy Award-nominated documentary and recently won three News and Documentary Emmy's. Life, Animated tells the story of his youngest son, Owen, who, after being diagnosed with autism, found a way to reengage with the world around him. Seizing upon Owen’s love of animated Disney movies, the Suskind family re-enacted the films with him, pioneering a now-widely acknowledged method of emulative communication known as Affinity Therapy.

When not writing and speaking, Ron Suskind is a Senior Fellow at Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, where he serves as a lecturer on narrative and justice. He is also the Founder and CEO of Sidekicks for Autism, which provides a free education app that helps parents deeply connect and communicate with their autistic children. Suskind holds an MA from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Appealing to both corporate audiences and the education community, Ron Suskind’s inspirational keynotes artfully blend monologue with reportage, providing insightful analysis on everything from ethics and leadership to the rise and fall of the U.S. economy to our current political landscape. He also works with clients to creatively and collaboratively customize content to the themes and messages of an event. As one investor forum member commented, “Ron Suskind’s passionate delivery had the audience drawn in from the first word. He is an intelligent, knowledgeable, and extremely dynamic speaker.” Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

TEDTalk: The Worthwhile Life

What Trump’s “Special Bond” With Supporters Means Now – and Beyond His Presidency | PBS NewsHour

Confidence Men: Obama and Bipartisan Leadership

Jewish Values for Challenging Times

Character Driven Leadership

Summoning Heroes in Each of Us

What Can I Do?

Presenting the World: Gender and Finance

Life Animated Trailer

Speech Topics

“Suskind &…” Unforgettable Conversations with Leaders

This unique live speaking program pairs Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Ron Suskind with former Deputy Treasury Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin or Morgan Stanley Chief Global Strategist Ruchir Sharma. Combining high-level financial forecasting with revealing behind-the-scenes stories and insightful political and cultural context, these two powerful conversations challenge, inform and provide invaluable perspectives on economies and markets. Ron Suskind’s legendary gifts as a moderator, interviewer and captivating conversationalist are perfect for panel discussions and CEO/Leadership interviews at large events.

Managing Financial Risk: The Scoop on the American Economy

In this presentation tailored but not exclusive to the FIRE professions—the Financial, Insurance and Real Estate sectors, Ron takes the audience on an edgy, humorous ride through the history of the management of money from risk. From the halls of the Medicis in Florence to the backroom deals of J.P. Morgan to the Wall Street of today, Ron shows how risk became underpriced over time. This, in turn, created the "bubble and bust" cycles so commonplace in today's economic climate. Through tips and stories rarely shared with audiences until now, Ron offers a way out of this recurring trap, arguing for a restoration of sustainable values in the private and public sector.

Life, Animated: A Tale of Autism & Hidden Potential

Ron's sixth book, Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes and Autism, examines his family's twenty-year journey with youngest son, Owen. Having lost his speech at the age of three, Owen used animated Disney movies to make sense of himself and the world. By memorizing these iconic movies and parroting their dialogue, he learned how to communicate and express himself, prompting his family members to create elaborate stage sets to re-enact these films and “speak Disney” along with him. Owen emerged into adulthood with a unique skillset; along the way, he created a method to help other parents and medical experts reach kids with autism. This deeply personal but universally resonant presentation, in which Ron shares stories of Owen's unique journey from quiet solitude to animated communication, showcases an adventure of the human heart — culminating in a memorable father/son appearance on Comedy Central’s annual autism fundraiser, Night of Too Many Stars. The Suskind motto–your passion is your pathway–now guides educators, therapists and parents in tapping the deep potential in all of us.

Building a Stronger Community Through Philanthropy & Volunteerism

In troubled times, when political turmoil creates deep divides and uncertainty tempts us to retreat into our ourselves, Pulitzer-Prize-winning author and Harvard Ethics Senior Fellow Ron Suskind calls on all of us to take action. Instead of stepping back, step up. Instead of staying silent, speak out. Instead of pulling back, reach out to help. Don’t retreat from civic life—reinvigorate it with your passion for justice. Through powerful storytelling and insightful narratives, Suskind emphasizes the importance of volunteerism, philanthropy and civic engagement. Reflecting a career spent in the service of the voiceless, he brings the stories of those in need to life. He also connects the vulnerable of today with those who came before them, creating an inspiring, informed and deeply moving call for action and involvement.

Imaginative Caregiving: Follow the Patient's Lead

In this companion presentation to Life, Animated: A Tale of Autism & Hidden Potential, Ron delves deeper into Affinity Therapy, the unique method of emulative communication that the Suskinds developed to help Owen, their youngest son, emerge from the shadows of autism. Owen, despite limited speech, memorized fifty animated Disney movies. Throw him a line, he’d throw back the next one. When the Suskinds realized this, they began speaking in Disney dialogue, turning their house into a stage set where they would play out scenes. Over the years, their son’s speech returned. What’s the lesson? Listen to the patient and let them guide you. Ron focuses on the perspectives of both the caregiver and the patient, addressing the importance of a shared language of imagination and demonstrating how myth, fable and legend still remain humanity’s best pathway to healing. Read More >

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