NSBA 2023 Annual Conference | Orlando | April 1-3

Keynote Speakers

Janelle James

ABC TV's "Abbott Elementary" Star; Actress, Comedian

Janelle stars in the scene-stealing role of Principal Ava Coleman on the hit ABC TV sitcom "Abbott Elementary." For her performance, she's won Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy from the Hollywood Critics Association and Black Reel Awards, as well as nominations from the Primetime Emmy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Critics Choice Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, and Independent Spirit Awards.

A popular performer at comedy venues and concerts nationwide, her half-hour stand-up special is featured in Netflix's “The Standups.” Previously, James served as both a writer and actor for Showtime's "Black Monday," and she voices Fran, the park ranger, on the Apple TV+ animated series "Central Park." Janelle has toured with Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, and David Cross, among others. She took over the reins of the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, now The Janelle James Comedy Festival, in Brooklyn.

She was a "New Face" at the Just For Laughs Festival Montreal, named one of The 50 Most Funny People in Brooklyn, and featured as one of Variety's Top Ten Comedians to Watch. James' debut comedy album, "Black and Mild," was released on all major streaming platforms in 2017 to rave reviews. Her podcast, You In Danger Gurl, was listed as one of Spotify's top comedy podcasts for 2020.

Jenna Hager
Co-Host, NBC's TODAY; Bestselling Author

Jenna Bush Hager is the co-host of the fourth hour of NBC’s “Today” show with Hoda Kotb and the founder of the “Read With Jenna” book club featured on “Today.” She is the co-author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Ana’s Story: A Journey of Hope, which she wrote after traveling to Latin America in 2006 as an intern with UNICEF. Ana’s Story is based on the life of a 17-year-old single mother with HIV who struggles to shield her child from the life she had of abuse and neglect. Jenna remains involved with UNICEF and is currently the chair of its Next Generation initiative, which is dedicated to reducing childhood deaths worldwide.

Jenna also is the co-author of two #1 New York Times bestselling children’s books that she wrote with her mother, Laura—Our Great Big Backyard and Read All About It—as well as the #1 New York Times bestseller Sisters First, written with her sister, Barbara, and published in both adult and children’s editions. Jenna’s most recent book, Everything Beautiful in Time, shares moving, funny stories about her beloved grandparents and the wisdom they passed on that has shaped her life.

Jenna holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin. She is the daughter of former U.S. President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush.

Adam Cheyer
Founder of Siri, Engineer, Entrepreneur

Adam Cheyer is an inventor, entrepreneur, engineering executive, and pioneer in artificial intelligence (AI) and computer-human interfaces. He is co-founder and vice president of engineering of Viv Labs, a startup whose goal is to simplify the world by providing an intelligent interface to everything. In October 2016, Samsung acquired Viv. Previously, Adam was co-founder and vice president of engineering at Siri, Inc. When Apple acquired Siri in 2010, Adam became a director of engineering in the iPhone/iOS group. As a startup, Siri won the South by Southwest Innovative Web Technology award and was chosen a Top Ten Emerging Technology by MIT Technology Review. Apple’s version of Siri earned Best Technical Achievement at the 2011 Crunchies Awards and is now available on hundreds of millions of devices.

Adam also is a founding member and advisor to Change.org (the world’s largest petition platform) and a co-founder of Sentient.ai (which uses massively distributed machine learning to solve the world’s hardest problems). As a researcher, Adam has authored 60 publications and 25 issued patents. At SRI International, he was chief architect of CALO, the AI and machine learning project supported by the U.S. government through its Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Adam graduated with highest honors from Brandeis University and received the “Outstanding Master’s Student” award from the UCLA School of Engineering.