Kristin Romey

Kristin Romey

Kristin Romey is National Geographic’s archaeology writer. The former executive editor of Archaeology Magazine, Romey’s award-winning work has covered topics ranging from Paleolithic re-enactors in Ohio to the legacy of Alexander the Great in Uzbekistan. She has a degree in ancient Greek from Vassar College and a graduate degree in nautical archaeology from Texas A&M University, where she specialized in Greek colonization of the ancient world.

A Fellow of the Explorers Club, Romey was one of the first westerners to survey and excavate in the former Soviet regions of the Black Sea, and served as field operations for a National Geographic–sponsored archaeological project in Lake Issyk Kul, Kyrgyzstan.

Her most recent exclusive for National Geographic, on the opening of the tomb of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, made international headlines.


Seth Shostak

Seth Shostak

Seth Shostak is the Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute in California, and is part of the research team using large radio telescopes to search for evidence of intelligent life elsewhere. His educational background includes a BA in physics from Princeton University and a PhD in astronomy from the California Institute of Technology. His research work on galaxies, using radio telescopes around the world, included 13 years at the State University of Groningen, in The Netherlands.

Other activities include a software startup in the San Francisco Bay Area, and a computer animation company in Holland.

For most of a decade, Seth was a Distinguished Lecturer for the International Academy of Astronautics, and for ten years was chair of the IAA’s SETI Permanent Committee.

In addition to publishing more than 60 papers in refereed research journals, Seth is heavily involved in science outreach. He has appeared on hundreds of national and international TV and radio shows, and is host of the SETI Institute’s weekly, one-hour radio show, “Big Picture Science,” now broadcast on more than 100 stations in the U.S. and Canada. He has penned more than 500 popular articles on science, technology, photography and film. He is the author of four books, including a college textbook on astrobiology.


Mark Siddall

Mark Siddall

Dr. Mark Siddall is Curator and Professor at the American Museum of Natural History in New York where he is principal investigator in the Institute for Comparative Genomics. His research focuses on the evolution of parasite diversity, from microbes and malaria to bed bugs, but especially his beloved leeches and their hemotoxic venoms.

With over one hundred and fifty publications and thirty years of fieldwork that spans all continents, Siddall has been central to leveraging genomic technologies for the study of biodiversity and its conservation. A defender of charismatic microfauna, Mark also is engaged with President Carter’s efforts to drive neglected diseases to extinction while still capturing knowledge about their life cycles, ecology, and genomics.

In addition to being co-curator of the iconic Hall of Ocean Life, Siddall’s award-winning exhibitions include “Life at the Limits,” “Countdown to Zero,” “Picturing Science,” and “Power of Poison,” which led to his popular book Poison: Sinister Species with Deadly Consequences.


Gary Small

Gary Small

Gary Small, M.D. is Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, the Parlow-Solomon Professor on Aging at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Director of the UCLA Longevity Center, and Director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Division at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior. Dr. Small’s team has developed brain imaging technologies that detect the first signs of brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease years before patients show symptoms and have led to expanded Medicare coverage for brain PET scanning.

In addition to testing medicines that might delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, Dr. Small has studied and developed healthy aging lifestyle and memory training programs that are available throughout the U.S. in senior centers, community hospitals, and assisted living facilities. Dr. Small has authored over 400 scientific works and received numerous awards and honors. Scientific American magazine named him one of the world’s top 50 innovators in science and technology.

He is the author of eight popular books, including The New York Times bestseller, The Memory Bible, and his most recent book, 2 Weeks to a Younger Brain.

For more information, visit www.drgarysmall.com.


Jeremi Suri

Jeremi Suri

Jeremi Suri is the author and editor of nine books on politics, history, and foreign policy. His most recent book, published in September 2017, is The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America’s Highest Office. Previous books include a history of American nation-building and a biography of Henry Kissinger.

Suri’s writings have received numerous awards, including recognition from Smithsonian Magazine as one of America’s “Top Young Innovators.” Suri writes frequently for newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, the Atlantic, Fortune, Wired, and others.

He also frequently appears on television and radio, and in numerous speaking venues. Suri teaches at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is a professor of history and public affairs, and holder of the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs. He received his Ph.D. from Yale University, his M.A. from Ohio University, and his B.A. from Stanford University.

Professor Suri’s professional webpage is: http://jeremisuri.net.
He is also on Twitter: @JeremiSuri.


Taelen Thomas

Taelen Thomas

Taelen Thomas creates and performs biographical dramas in which he “brings to life” historical personalities including Mark Twain, Theodore Roosevelt, Jack London, John Steinbeck, Robert Burns, Robert Louis Stevenson, Dylan Thomas, and Ogden Nash. A master of the oral tradition, he has performed in theatres, universities, public schools, banquet halls, and private homes throughout America. The most recent edition of Taelen’s own poetry is entitled “Inside of a Galloping Buffalo”. He has also recorded a powerful CD of the poetry of Robinson Jeffers.

Taelen was officially honored as a “Living Legend” in the excellent and well-researched book, “Legendary Locals of Carmel-by-the-Sea”.


Trish Tillman

Trish Tillman

Trish Tillman has 30 years of experience as a theater arts teacher, actor, director and improviser.

In addition to five years as the director of the Artistic Learning Department at California Shakespeare Theater, she has led highly successful and engaging sessions in board retreats and inter-departmental planning meetings on how to effectively communicate the mission and passion of a company.

A graduate of Northwestern University in Performance Studies, Trish studied the psychological and cultural aspects of performance in society. She later studied in New York with the renowned film director Mike Nichols and the founder of Chicago’s famous Second City, Paul Sills in earning a Masters in Dramatic Performance and Teaching Theater from Antioch University/New Actors Workshop. Trish’s experience with a variety of personalities and abilities is based on years of coaching communication skills with classroom teachers, MFA students, elder care workers, senior citizens and disabled young adults. She ignites a performer’s abilities and confidence by finding the riches in complex texts and linking them to moments of spontaneous, personal discovery.


Robert Weiner

Robert Weiner

Robert Weiner is Lecturer in political science in the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School. His research and teachings focus on Japanese, Korean, and broader East and Southeast Asian politics, political parties and elections, democratic institutions and governance, and general research methods (game-theoretic, quantitative, and qualitative).

His publications and research projects examine anti-competitive institutions and strategies in nominally competitive party systems, the effects of public and party influence on security policy, electoral competition patterns and the development of opposition parties, the politics of overseas U.S. military bases, and Japanese and Asian democratic politics in general.

He earned his Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley and taught at the Government Department of Cornell University before joining NPS. He has held research fellowships at Harvard University’s Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, Stanford University’s Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC), and the Law Department of Keio University (Tokyo), and is an affiliate of Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC).