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PRSA 2019 International Conference

Innovate. Inspire. Engage. Influence.

Oct. 20–22 | San Diego

Keynote Lineup

Academy Award-Winning Actor Richard Dreyfuss to Headline at PRSA International Conference


Academy Award-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss has joined the extensive roster of keynote speakers at PRSA’s 2019 International Conference.

Dreyfuss, known for leading roles in blockbuster movies like “Jaws,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” American Graffiti” and “Book Club,” has also been working diligently to ensure that the study of civics becomes a priority in U.S. schools.

In fact, Dreyfuss will be the inaugural recipient of the PRSA National Award for Civic Engagement during his keynote on the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 22.

Dreyfuss earned his Oscar for “The Goodbye Girl” in 1978, which made him the then-youngest recipient of a Best Actor statuette. Dreyfuss was again nominated in 1995 as Best Actor for the title role of “Mr. Holland’s Opus.”

Opening Keynote Speaker: Pulitzer Prize-Winning Reporter & Best-Selling Author Bob Woodward


Bob Woodward will pull the curtain back on Washington and its leaders to share stories that are sometimes surprising, sometimes shocking and always fascinating.  He blends stories that are both up to the minute and from the past to provide historical context.  Woodward helps people go behind the scenes to understand what’s really going on in the halls of power in an age of 24-hour news, social media and snarky politics.

All 19 of Woodward’s books have been national bestsellers, with movie versions made of three, including “All the President’s Men.”  

Woodward, an associate editor at The Washington Post, has won nearly every major journalism award in America.

Former President of Mexico and First Lady to Share Perspectives on Public Service

Vicente Fox photo
Marta Sahagun de Fox photo

Former President of Mexico, Vicente Fox, and First Lady Marta Sahagún de Fox will discuss their leadership journeys, the critical role of communications, and their philanthropic endeavors to advance civic engagement, leadership and equity among youth and the underserved in a keynote address at PRSA’s 2019 International Conference.

On Monday, Oct. 21, this power couple will speak about the founding of Centro Fox, considered Mexico’s first presidential library. This organization is dedicated to contributing to the formation of leaders based on social values through a platform that promotes equity. Centro Fox’s “President for a Day” program hosts up to 60,000 children a year to hear messages of hope and an opportunity to go home saying, “I can be President” or whatever they dream of for their future.

Fox served as president of Mexico from 2000 until 2006, after a successful career at Coca-Cola and terms in the national Congress and as governor of his home state of Guanajuato.

Sahagún de Fox has also dedicated her life to public service, including an impressive career in communications. She served as the governor’s spokesperson and was press secretary for Fox’s presidency prior to their marriage in 2001.

Laura Ling, Award-Winning Broadcast Journalist, to Keynote on Sunday, Oct. 20


Award-winning broadcast journalist Laura Ling will share her wide-ranging global insights at PRSA’s 2019 International Conference on the afternoon of Sunday, Oct. 20.

While reporting on the trafficking of North Korean women, Ling’s personal story became international news in March 2009 after she was captured by North Korean soldiers along the China-North Korea border and held captive for 140 days. Ling documented her experiences in the memoir, “Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home.”

Luncheon Keynoter: Microsoft Corporate Vice President, Communication, Frank X. Shaw

Frank X Shaw Photo

An accomplished communications professional with more than 20 years of experience, Frank X. Shaw will address the topic of “Thriving in the Next Communications Age” during the Conference luncheon on Monday, Oct. 21.

Shaw was recently ranked No. 5 on PRWeek’s “U.S. Power List 2019” of the 50 most powerful people in the communications industry. 

Corporate Keynote to Include Top Executives From Influential Global Brands

Five speaker head shots

Global Agency Panel to Feature Leading Communication Executives

Four Panelist Head Shots on Glabal Agency Panel

Conference Wrap-up With the San Diego Zoo

Photo of Debra Erikson, San Diego Zoo

Wrap up the Conference on a high note at a Keynote from one of our host city’s most famous attractions, San Diego Zoo. You’ll learn about San Diego Zoo Kids television channel, and meet some of its animal stars live and in person. 

San Diego Zoo Kids TV, a 24-hour, commercial-free channel for children’s hospitals, offers a welcome distraction and comfort to kids and their families when they need it most. 

It debuted in 2013 at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego. Since then, it’s been installed in 250+ children’s hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses across the U.S. and in Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Pakistan, South Africa, Qatar and Curacao.