NSBA 2023 Annual Conference | Orlando | April 1-3

Keynote Speakers

Sheryl Lee Ralph

ABC TV's "Abbott Elementary" Star Actress, Singer, Advocate

Sheryl Lee Ralph is an internationally acclaimed motivational and inspirational speaker and an award-winning actress who delivers empowering and thought-provoking keynotes on family, faith, love, and overcoming obstacles.

Ralph, who recently won an Emmy for her starring role as veteran teacher Barbara Howard in ABC TV’s “Abbott Elementary,” has showcased her exceptional abilities in feature films, concert halls, and the Broadway stage, in addition to television. She was nominated for a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award for creating the role of “Deena Jones” in the landmark Broadway musical “Dreamgirls.” She starred in films, including “The Distinguished Gentleman” with Eddie Murphy, “The Mighty Quinn” with Denzel Washington, “Mistress” with Robert De Niro, and “Sister Act 2” with Whoopi Goldberg. Ralph received the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in “To Sleep with Anger” with Danny Glover.

She found immense popularity on TV, starring in “It’s a Living,” “Designing Women,” and “Moesha,” as well as the Showtime cable series “Barbershop” and “Ray Donovan.” 

Ralph is an honored AIDS advocate and founder of The Diva Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing critical health challenges of HIV/AIDS through arts and advocacy. She also is a celebrity spokesperson for the National Minority AIDS Council.

A graduate of Rutgers College (at age 19), Ralph holds two honorary doctorates for her HIV/AIDS work.

She is the author of Redefining Diva: Life Lessons from the Original Dreamgirl.

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.