Keynote Speakers

William F. Baker, Ph.D., directs the Bernard L. Schwartz Center for Media, Education, and Public Policy at Fordham University. He is a distinguished professor at IESE Business School and is president emeritus of Thirteen-WNET, New York's public media station.

During his 20 years as president and chief executive officer of WNET, America's flagship public broadcaster, Baker raised over $1 billion for the station. As a commercial broadcaster, Baker helped start many cable networks, launched both Oprah Winfrey and Charlie Rose, and helped start the Discovery Channel and the Disney Channel. He was president of Westinghouse Television and Chairman of Group W Satellite Communication.

He is the recipient of seven Emmy Awards, two duPont-Columbia Journalism Awards, and is the executive producer of the theatrical film and PBS documentary, The Face: Jesus in Art. He is co-author of the book Leading with Kindness: How Good People Consistently Get Superior Results (American Management Association, 2008) and hosts the series of the same name on public television. Baker is also the co-author of Every Leader is an Artist (McGraw Hill, 2012) and Down the Tube: An Insider's Account of the Failure of American Television (Basic Books, 1998).

He holds a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University, and seven honorary doctorates from universities in America and Europe. His interests include astronomy, horology, and polar science, and he is the eighth person in history to have stood on both the North and South Poles.

Full Bio

Mary Higgins Clark's books are worldwide bestsellers. In the U.S. alone, they have sold over 100 million copies. Her latest, I've Got You Under My Skin, was published by Simon & Schuster in April 2014.

She is the author of 33 previous best selling suspense novels, three collections of short stories, an historical novel, a memoir and two children's books. She is co-author, with her daughter Carol Higgins Clark, of five suspense novels. Two of her novels were made into feature films while many of her other novels and short stories were made into television films. The latest TV film from the My Gal Sunday collection of stories appeared on the Hallmark Channel in January 2014.

Clark has received numerous awards for her literary works and her efforts on behalf of Catholic and other charitable causes. In addition to her 21 honorary doctorates, she is a Dame of Malta, recipient of the Horatio Alger Award (1997) and Ellis Island Medal of Honor (2001), and was Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick's Day parade in 2011. She is an active advocate and participant in literacy programs.

Mary Higgins Clark is married to John Conheeney, the retired Chairman and CEO of Merrill-Lynch Futures. They live in Saddle River, N.J. Between them, they have 17 grandchildren—Mary's six and John's 11.

Full Bio