(Banner graphic of PRSA 2017 International Conference logo)

PRSA 2017 International Conference

Oct. 8–10 | Boston

Keynote Speakers

(Photo of Derreck Kayonogo.)

Human Rights Advocate Derreck Kayongo

Derreck Kayongo draws on his own childhood experiences as a Ugandan refugee living in Kenya to propel his work as a human rights advocate and demonstrate how to “Tap Your Power To Create Change.” Using his gifts as a storyteller and his passion for life, Kayongo will highlight the power of simple ideas and creativity to address global problems.

On Sunday, Oct. 23, Kayongo will lead off the International Conference with his inspiring life story and the ways he has put his own experiences to work for the good of millions of people. Now the CEO of the Center for Civil and Human Rights, Kayongo recalls that upon arriving in America at the age of 22, he was struck by how many different kinds of cleansers were provided, for free – and ultimately left behind – in hotel rooms. He decided to find a way to collect partially used soap from hotels, recycle it into sanitized cleansing bars and redistribute them to vulnerable populations around the world to help combat disease.

Read more about Derreck Kayongo here.


(Photo of Mark Emmert.)

NCAA President Mark Emmert

For almost six years, Mark Emmert has served as president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the membership organization for more than 1,100 colleges and universities that participate in college sports. Emmert has worked in a number of key leadership roles during his career in higher education, and has championed greater support for the academic success and health and safety of college athletes.

On the morning of Monday, Oct. 24, Emmert will discuss how recent advances in college sports are creating a pathway to opportunity for student-athletes – and the critical role clear, concise and targeted communications play in sharing that information.

Read more about Mark Emmert here.



Marketing Maverick Scott Stratten

Nonconformist Scott Stratten will challenge your approach to marketing and social media when he addresses the International Conference on Tuesday, Oct. 25 at 9:30 a.m. In his humorous, plainspoken manner, Stratten will help you re-examine the commonly held wisdom about branding and relationship building to enhance customer engagement and build better relationships.

With more than 175,000 Twitter followers, Stratten has been named one of the top five social media influencers in the world by Forbes.com. His clients’ viral marketing videos have been viewed over 60 million times and he was selected as one of “America’s 10 Marketing Gurus” by Business Review USA.

Read more about Scott Stratten here.


Cybersecurity Expert Theresa Payton

Former White House Chief Information Officer Theresa Payton will deliver a compelling wake-up call regarding the world of cybersecurity during the Monday morning General Session at the Public Relations Society of America 2016 International Conference in Indianapolis, Oct. 23-25.

In the aftermath of headline-making, debilitating cyberattacks at Anthem, Sony Pictures, Home Depot and Target, Payton will spotlight ways that PR professionals can address the risks of data breaches and communicate proactively on this key subject.

Read more about Theresa Payton here.


Scott Kelly

NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly

Pioneering NASA Astronaut Capt. Scott J. Kelly (USN, Ret.) will launch the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) 2016 International Conference with a thrilling account of his record-breaking odyssey aboard the International Space Station. In Capt. Kelly’s Opening Keynote Address on Sunday, Oct. 23, he will remind us all that “The Sky Is Not the Limit: Lessons from a Year in Space.”

Capt. Kelly, who also served as a fearless U.S. Navy test pilot, will inspire us with his account of these truly out-of-this-world adventures. Drawing on the challenges of spending a year in zero gravity, orbiting 229 miles above the Earth's surface, he will share valuable advice on pushing one’s own limits.

Read more about Scott Kelly here.