Close Menu

Retired Gen. Colin Powell to Speak at Whitworth University’s President’s Leadership Forum Oct. 12

March 20, 2018

Whitworth University is pleased to announce retired U.S. Army General and former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell will be the featured speaker at Whitworth University’s fall President’s Leadership Forum, to be held Friday, Oct. 12, from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Spokane Convention Center. Powell’s planned address is titled “Diplomacy: Persuasion, Trust & Values.”

For more than 50 years, the former secretary of state has devoted his life to public service. He served in the U.S. Army for 35 years, rising to the rank of four-star general, and has held senior military and diplomatic positions across four presidential administrations.

From 1987-89, Powell served as President Ronald Reagan’s national security advisor. He served from 1989-93 as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for both Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and was not only the youngest officer to serve in the position, but was also the first African-American to do so. Under President George W. Bush, Powell was appointed the 65th secretary of state and was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the nation’s first African-American in the role.

“I am pleased that General Powell has accepted Whitworth’s invitation to visit our city during this important and contentious time in our nation’s history,” says Whitworth President Beck A. Taylor. “General Powell’s experience, insights, and unique perspectives will provide the context for what I’m sure will be an enlightening and thought-provoking appearance.”

The son of Jamaican immigrants, Powell grew up in the South Bronx and earned a bachelor of science degree in geology from the City College of New York. He is currently the chair of the board of visitors of the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at his alma mater and a strategic adviser at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the renowned Silicon Valley venture capital firm. He also serves on the board of directors of Bloom Energy, is on the board of directors of, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Powell lives with his wife, Alma, in McLean, Va. They have three children and four grandchildren.

Whitworth’s President’s Leadership Forum draws key national leaders to the Inland Northwest to provide wisdom and insight on a variety of contemporary issues. The event costs $75 per person or $750 for a corporate table (10 seats per table). Additional sponsorship opportunities are still available. Advance online registration is required. Please click here.

Whitworth invites the public to attend the spring President’s Leadership Forum on April 24 from 7:30-9 a.m. at the Spokane Convention Center, where Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and author Katherine Boo will be the featured speaker. For ticket information, please click here:

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Michelle Drennen, assistant director of development, advancement events, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3449 or

Trisha Coder, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or