2018 Conference Keynote Spotlight: Doris Kearns Goodwin

The popular historian and author returns to the annual conference stage as keynote speaker for the Monday, September 24, plenary at 8:30 a.m.

ARTICLE | May 9, 2018

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin returns to ICMA’s keynote stage for our 104th annual conference, September 23-26, in Baltimore, Maryland. Goodwin last joined us back in 2014, when she drew from her book The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism. She used that book to weave a dynamic story for conference attendees of the first decade of the Progressive era in American history, a tumultuous time of reform that ushered in the modern age and witnessed the development of professional local government management and the formation of ICMA.

During this year’s conference, Goodwin will draw upon her newest book, Leadership in Turbulent Times (due to be published on September 18), which focuses on the lives of four presidents—Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson. Through this perspective, she will explore the unique journey each individual took to recognize themselves as leaders: their early development, growth through adversity, and ultimately their exercise of leadership. Although set apart in background, abilities, and temperament, these men shared a fierce ambition and a deep-seated resilience that enabled them to surmount uncommon adversity. At their best, all four were guided by a sense of moral purpose. At moments of great challenge, they were able to summon their talents to enlarge the opportunities and lives of others. In today’s polarized world, these stories of authentic leadership in times of apprehension and fracture take on a singular urgency.

Doris Kearns Goodwin is the author of several other critically acclaimed and New York Times best-selling books, including Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, an epic tome that earned the prestigious Lincoln Prize, the inaugural Book Prize for American History, and the Lincoln Leadership Prize from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation. She received the Pulitzer Prize in history for No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II, and is also the author of the best sellers Wait Till Next Year, Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream, and The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys: An American Saga, which was adapted into an award-winning, five-part TV miniseries.

Well known for her appearances and commentary on television, Goodwin is seen frequently on television network news programs as well as Meet the Press and many late-night talk shows.

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