Previous Leadership Series Speakers

Rudolph W. Giuliani was born in Brooklyn, New York, and attended Manhattan College and New York University Law School. After joining the office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Giuliani became chief of the narcotics unit at age 29.

In 1981, he was named associate attorney general. Two years later, Giuliani was appointed by President Ronald Reagan as the U.S. attorney for the Southern district of New York where he spearheaded successful efforts against organized crime, white-collar criminals, drug dealers and corrupt elected officials.

In 1993, he was elected mayor of the City of New York, focusing on reducing crime, reforming welfare, and improving quality of life. He was re-elected in 1997. Under his leadership, overall crime was cut by 56 percent, murder was cut by 66 percent, and New York City—once considered the crime capital of the country—became the safest large city in America according to the FBI.

On September 11, 2001, America suffered the worst attack in its history when terrorists crashed planes into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. Giuliani led the recovery of the city as it faced its darkest hour. He was widely lauded for his steady hand during challenging times, and was named “Person of the Year” by TIME magazine, knighted by the Queen of England, and dubbed “Rudy the Rock” by French President Jacques Chirac.

Following his time in office, Giuliani founded Giuliani Partners and is also a partner in the law firm of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was the keynote speaker for the Rockhurst University Leadership Series on March 4, 2015. She shared insights drawn from her expertise on global issues, national security and education. Rice served as the first African-American female and second female U.S. Secretary of State from 2005-09. She has proven to be an influential and effective leader during a time of unprecedented world affairs, recognized for her courageous efforts to foster worldwide freedoms for all people. Her great love of America and her faith in its core values are the foundational strength of her work in the arenas of foreign policy, education and the empowerment of women. Rice is the author of two New York Times best-sellers, Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family and No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington.

A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Rice is also an accomplished pianist and an avid golfer, one of only two women admitted as members to the Augusta National Golf Club. In October 2013, Rice was selected to be one of the 13 inaugural members of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee. She is professor of political science at Stanford University. She also is the Denning Professor in Global Business and the Economy at the Graduate School of Business and the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution.

Longtime CBS News Anchor Dan Rather was the second speaker in the Rockhurst University Leadership Series on November 11, 2013. His presentation, “Dan Rather: Leadership Principles From the World’s Most Powerful Leaders,” drew on his considerable experience interacting with world leaders to explore the traits of successful leadership.  Former CBS News anchor and 60 Minutes correspondent Dan rather has covered all the major news stories throughout the past 60 years, from every presidential election since 1952 to the Watergate scandal to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and beyond. Known for his in-depth interviews and his love of investigative reporting, Rather is a living legend in his field.

The Rockhurst University Leadership Series welcomed George F. Will - America's foremost political commentator and columnist - as the first speaker within the new Rockhurst University Leadership Series on September 27, 2012.  He presented commentary on the Washington political scene, offered a glimpse into what the future holds for political affairs, public policy and leadership and ethics in American society.  Will, a nationally recognized syndicated columnist addressed a crowd of more than 600 at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown and covered topics including the 2012 Presidential election and the many issues facing the country. Will also privately addressed a group of Rockhurst University students.