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Tim  Shriver

Tim Shriver

Chairman, Special Olympics

Tim Shriver

Chairman, Special Olympics


Shriver is a social leader, educator, author, film producer and entrepreneur. As the Chairman of Special Olympics, he serves over 4.9 million athletes with intellectual disabilities from 172 countries around the world.

Shriver has been a part of an amazing team that has created exciting new Special Olympics programs in athlete leadership, cross-cultural research, health, education, and family support. Among them, Special Olympics Healthy Athletes® has become the world’s largest public health examination and education program for people with intellectual disabilities, and Special Olympics Project Unify has become a powerful new program promoting school-based social inclusion and unified leadership. In addition, he has worked to garner more government support for issues of concern to the Special Olympics community, testifying before the United States Congress and challenging government leaders worldwide to respect the dignity and possibilities of people with intellectual disabilities.   

As part of his passion for promoting the gifts of the marginalized, Shriver has harnessed the power of Hollywood to share stories of inspiration and change, co-producing DreamWorks Studios’ 1997 release, Amistad, and Disney Studios’ 2000 release, The Loretta Claiborne Story.  He is Executive Producer of The Ringer, a Farrelly Brothers’ film, and Front of the Class, a Hallmark Hall of Fame television movie. He has produced or co-produced shows for ABC, TNT, and NBC networks, and made broadcast appearances on The Today Show, Good Morning America, Meet the Press, CNN, the Stephen Colbert Show, and Real Time with Bill Maher. In 2014, Shriver wrote Fully Alive: Discovering What Matters Most, where he shares the life-changing impact of people with intellectual disabilities and their capacity to inspire others to find out about what matters most. 

Before joining Special Olympics in 1995, Shriver was and remains a leading educator focusing on the social and emotional factors in learning. He co-founded and currently chairs the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), the leading research organization in the field of social and emotional learning. 

Shriver earned his undergraduate degree from Yale University, a Master's degree in Religion and Religious Education from Catholic University, and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Connecticut. He is the recipient of numerous honors, including honorary degrees from Loyola University, New England College, Albertus Magnus College, University of Connecticut, Niagara University, University of Illinois, and Villanova University; the Medal of the City of Athens, Greece; the Order de Manuel Amador Guerrera of the Republic of Panama; the Connecticut Citizen of the Year Award; the U.S. Surgeon General’s Medallion; the Lions Humanitarian Award, the Quincy Jones Humanitarian Award, the Children’s Hospital Health System’s Friend of Children Award, and the “Bammy” Special Achievement in Education Award. In 2011 he was recognized by The Huffington Post as one of the top 100 Game Changers. He has authored articles in many leading publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, and Commonweal Magazine. 

Shriver is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and serves on the Board of the WPP Group, LLC. He and his wife, Linda Potter, reside in the Washington, D.C. area and have five children.

Speaker Videos

How the Special Olympics Redefined the Definition of Winning

The Kennedy/Shriver Legacy and a Look at the Athens Special Olympics

The Need for Social Emotional Learning in Education

On the Meaning Behind the Special Olympics

Speech Topics

Revealing the Champion In All of US

Fully Alive: Discovering What Matters Most