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Speaking to the World

Steve  Pemberton

Steve Pemberton

Senior Executive at Walgreens Boots Alliance, Best Selling Author & Child Advocate


Steve Pemberton’s story is about defying seemingly insurmountable odds— overcoming abuse and neglect as an orphan in foster care to become a trail-blazing corporate executive, enlightened diversity leader, visionary youth advocate and acclaimed speaker. His best-selling memoir, A Chance in the World, recounts his triumphant life journey and drive to become a man of resilience, determination and vision. Now an upcoming major motion picture, A Chance in the World further amplifies Steve’s highly motivational messages: Believe in your dreams, rise above obstacles, create opportunities for others, and most of all, persevere. Read More >

Determined to use his success as a platform to lift up others, Steve has made equality, access and opportunity pillars of both his professional and personal life. He currently serves as Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion and Global Chief Diversity Officer at Walgreens Boots Alliance, the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise in the world. He is the first person in Walgreens’ 100-plus year history to hold the position of Chief Diversity Officer, overseeing the company’s global efforts to create and maintain a diverse and inclusive environment that reflects the culture, people and perspectives of the many nations in which they do business. In his personal life, Steve is a passionate champion for disadvantaged youth, serving on several boards including The Home for Little Wanderers and UCAN. He established The Pemberton Fund for the Future at The Home for Little Wanderers to provide help and guidance to children aging out of foster care. Steve’s achievements have earned him national recognition, including the coveted Trumpet Award and the Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation Helping Hand Award. He was also awarded the prestigious Horizon Award by the United States Congress, presented to individuals in the private sector who have contributed to expanding opportunities for all Americans.

As a keynote speaker, Steve has earned high praise for his highly collaborative style, working closely with clients to seamlessly customize his content to the messaging goals for each event. A gifted communicator and powerful storyteller, Steve consistently receives stellar reviews for his ability to connect with a wide spectrum of audiences, ranging from business and healthcare organizations to education and community groups. As one client raved, “He was the best keynote speaker we could have gotten and I was sincerely praised for it.” Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

A Chance in the World Promo

A Chance in the World - Movie Trailer

A Chance in the World - Reunion

On Diversity and Inclusion

On Faith

Hope Is a Powerful Word

ICON MANN 28 Men of Change

Speech Topics

A Chance in the World: An Orphan Boy, a Mysterious Past & How He Found a Place Called Home

From Corrective Action to Competitive Advantage: How Diversity is Reshaping Our World

The Advantage of Disadvantage: How to Transform Adversity Into Action