Speakers Series

Every year, ASL brings distinguished visitors to speak or perform at the School under the auspices of Speakers Series. Inaugurated during 2001-02, the School's 50th anniversary year, Speakers Series hosts eminent individuals from a wide range of fields and scholarship.

Speakers Series talks are generally held at school in the early evening and last for approximately 45 minutes, followed by a half-hour question-and-answer session.

Former guests include Jung Chang, co-author of Mao: The Unknown Story; Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation and Chew on This; folk singer Tom Chapin; journalist T.R. Reid; Sir Mark Tully, former BBC correspondent in India; Nicholas Hytner, artistic director of the Royal National Theatre; and author Bill Bryson.

Events for 2022-23:

  • Politics 
    25 October: US midterms political panel, comprising Chip Cummins of the Wall Street Journal, and ASL parents Jim Yardley of the New York Times, and Steve Coll and Eliza Griswold
  • History
    12 November: Parents of alumni and Washington Post journalist Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan in conversation with Interim Head of School Coreen R. Hester, on the war in Ukraine, and the death of Queen Elizabeth II
  • History
    15 November: Diana Greene History Lecture with former ASL Innovator-in-Residence Kwame Alexander
  • Writing
    15 March: Paul Yoon as the 2022-23 Bergeron Fellow, in conversation with former Bergeron Fellow Ralph Sneeden, while spending a week with high school English students
  • History
    23 March: Screening of Eva Schloss film, Eva’s Promise. Eva is a longtime friend of ASL, Holocaust survivor and Anne Frank’s stepsister, with the event including a Q&A and book signing
  • Tech and Innovation
    15 May: Panel discussion around AI, comprising: Tonik Matthews, Harvard-educated lawyer, specializing in the ethics of young programmers, Livia Piloto (computer science department head), Innovator-in-Residence Francesco Tamburrino, Ari Weinstein (principal scientist at Amazon and ASL parent), Chris Wolf (social studies department head) facilitated by Nadjib Aktouf, director of technology
  • Documentary journalism
    9 June: Alumna and former CIA agent Amaryllis Fox ’98, commencement speaker—a welcome reception, Q&A

Find out more about our different talks

Bergeron Writing Fellowship

The Bergeron Fellow delivers the Bergeron Lecture as part of ASL Speakers Series. The Bergeron Writing Fellowship is an annual writer-in-residence program, established in 1996, named for former high school English teacher Luke Bergeron (ASL 1973-91). The Bergeron Fellow spends a week working with a middle or high school English class on a particular genre of writing, as well as holding workshops for English teachers, and delivering the Bergeron Lecture to the community.

Past Bergeron Fellows include novelist Leah Hager Cohen, essayist Phillip Lopate, novelist and screenwriter Justin Haythe ’91, slam poet Taylor Mali, novelists Paul Watkins and Rosellen Brown, writers William Fiennes and Kamila Shamsie, former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins, and poets Mimi Khalvati and Daljit Nagra.

Diana Greene History Lecture

The lecture, given in honor of Diana Greene, a former trustee (1992-2002) with a passionate interest in history, forms part of Speakers Series. In April 2004, author Claire Tomalin inaugurated this lecture series. Subsequent speakers include Adam Nicolson; Hugh Pope; Al Gore, former US Vice-President and recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize; Sir Harold Atcherley; and Sarah Lyall.

Parent Education Series

ASL regularly welcomes educators and psychologists as speakers on parent education, including Robert Evans, Michael Thompson and Diane Frankenstein.