Friday, Sept. 27th - 5:00 p.m. - 6:15 p.m. (Doors Open at 4:30 p.m.) - Keller Center Tent

The Day One Keynote Address is the premier event of new student orientation and Welcome Week.

The Keynote aims to bring local, national, and worldly conversations to Harris Public Policy through a dynamic lecture exclusively for the Harris community. The address will challenge you to contemplate your role in complex global and social issues and craft a vision for the future of policy leadership and social change.

The address focuses on the crossroads of leadership, social change, and policy. Incoming students can expect to hear more about Harris’ commitment to providing students with the resources and experience to drive effective social change and policy leadership, how they can enact smarter policy solutions, and personal and professional examples of commitment to rigor, fearlessness, and impact.  The 2019 speaker will be selected in early summer.

2018 Keynote Speaker: Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi

Raja is the child of immigrants and was reared in Peoria, Illinois.  He attended public schools in Peoria and was a valedictorian of his high school class.  Scholarships and student loans allowed Raja to graduate summa cum laude from Princeton University with a degree in mechanical engineering and a certificate from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy.  He then graduated with honors from Harvard Law School and clerked for a federal judge before practicing law in Chicago.

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi
Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi

Raja pursued public service while practicing law and was appointed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan as a Special Assistant Attorney General to help start the state’s Public Integrity Unit created to root out corruption in Illinois.  As a member of the Illinois Housing Development Authority, Raja chaired its Audit Committee, helping to provide thousands of low and moderate-income families across the state with affordable housing.  Raja also served as Illinois Deputy Treasurer.  There, he oversaw the state's technology venture capital fund and helped revamp programs such as the state's unclaimed property program to become leaner and more efficient.

After his time in the Illinois Treasurer’s Office, Raja returned to the private sector, serving as president of research-oriented small businesses developing technology in the national security and renewable energy industries.  Raja also served as the Vice-Chair of the Illinois Innovation Council and co-founded InSPIRE, a non-profit that provides inner-city students and veterans with training in solar technology.  Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi was elected in November 2016 to represent the 8th District of Illinois, which includes the west and northwest suburbs of Chicago.  

Previous speakers include:

Valerie Jarrett (2017)

David Axelrod (2016)