2017-2018 Speakers Announced! [SOLD OUT]

A sold-out audience at The Richmond Forum program with actor and director Ron Howard also got their first look at the big names who will take the stage at the nationally recognized forum during the 2017–2018 season. The Richmond Forum’s 32nd season will kick off in November with an address by President Barack Obama.

The 44th President of the United States will join the ranks of Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, who have all appeared at the venerable series, along with many other world leaders. President Obama will deliver an address and participate in a Q&A.

“President Obama is, by far, the speaker most requested by our subscribers for next season,” commented Forum Executive Director Bill Chapman. “We are extremely proud to be able to announce that President Obama will be coming to The Richmond Forum so soon after leaving office.”

Glenn CloseIn January 2018, award-winning stage, television, and movie actress Glenn Close will come to The Richmond Forum. She is expected to discuss the characters in her life, both those she has inhabited in her powerful roles as an actress and those in her personal life. Known for her infamously psychotic character in the movie Fatal Attraction, Close has also become a leading advocate for public conversation about mental illness following the revelation that her sister suffered from mental illness for many years, unknown to her own family.Peter Diamandis

In February, technology entrepreneur and founder of the X-Prize Foundation, Peter Diamandis, will discuss artificial intelligence, robotics, synthetic technology and other advances that are changing our world at an exponential rate. Diamandis is also co-founder of Singularity University with Ray Kurzweil, and co-founder of Human Longevity, Inc., Planetary Resources, and other ventures. Diamandis is known for saying, “The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself.”

Samantha PowerFormer U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power will address The Forum in March, delivering a speech entitled “Why America Can’t Afford to Look Away.” Power is a leading voice internationally for principled American engagement in the world, global cooperation, and human rights. Prior to becoming the youngest-ever U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Power was a Pulitzer Prize winning author, war correspondent, and Harvard professor.

Joe ScarboroughThe season will conclude in April with an appearance by MSNBC Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough, a former Republican Congressman from Florida. Scarborough will bring his signature off-the-cuff commentary to the Forum stage, offering a dynamic and fast-paced perspective on the political and media landscape and the headlines of the day.

For over 30 seasons, The Richmond Forum has been bringing leaders from the world stage to our stage in Richmond—to expand horizons, stimulate conversation and inspire our community. With 4,500 attendees at each program, The Richmond Forum is the largest and most-respected non-profit speaker series in America, able to attract some of the biggest names in the world to its stage year after year.

Past Forum speakers have included filmmaker Steven Spielberg; former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto; Robert Redford; Archbishop Desmund Tutu; Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson; Anderson Cooper; B.B. King; Alan Alda; Mexican President Vicente Fox; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; former Secretaries of State Albright, Baker, Powell, and Rice; and three former U.S. Presidents: George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.

Current subscribers have until May 27th to renew their subscriptions for next season. Seats not purchased by current subscribers by the deadline will go on sale to the public through a lottery. Anyone interested in learning more about becoming a season subscriber can learn more here.

The Richmond Forum is a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization. All programs are held at the Altria Theater in Richmond, Virginia.