Conference Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Opening General Session
10:15-11:30 a.m. | Monday, January 25
Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek

Optimist and Author of "Start With Why" and "The Infinite Game"


Conversation with Simon Sinek
Moderated by Kevin Brown, TASA Executive Director

Infinite Game: How can we win a game that has no end? The simple answer is we can’t.

However, that’s exactly what so many organizations are trying to do. The problem is, there is no such thing as “winning education.” In a game with no finish line and no agreed upon rules or metrics it is impossible to “be number one” or “be the best.” In this Infinite Game, there is only ahead and behind.

Leaders of organizations must understand the rules of the Infinite Game. Failure to do so dramatically increases the chance that they will set themselves on a path that eventually drains them of the will and resources to play at all. Eventually they will drop out of the game and no one will care. The game will go on without them.

In his talk, Simon explores how understanding the rules of the Infinite Game is essential if any leader wants to stay ahead forever.

Opening General Session Sponsor
Second General Session
9-10:15 a.m. | Tuesday, January 26
Mike Morath

Mike Morath

Texas Commissioner of Education


Conversation with Mike Morath

The second general session will feature a conversation between TASA officers and Commissioner of Education Morath on the state of Texas public education. 

Commissioner Morath has led the Texas Education Agency since January 2016, when he was appointed to the post of commissioner of education by Gov. Greg Abbott. Prior to that, he served on the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees for more than four years. 

Morath graduated from Garland High School in Garland ISD. And thanks to the great public school education he received in Texas, he went on to earn a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, summa cum laude, from George Washington University in two-and-one-half years.

Closing General Session
11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. | Wednesday, January 27
Dr. Chris Howard

Dr. Chris Howard

President, Robert Morris University


8 Ways to Accelerate Your Leadership Odyssey

Dr. Chris Howard, the eighth president of Robert Morris University, will speak about “8 Ways to Accelerate Your Leadership Odyssey” during his keynote remarks. This is his playbook for developing character-based leadership skills applicable to anyone, in any field, at any time.

Dr. Howard will share personal and professional life lessons that he has learned throughout his athletic, intelligence, military, corporate, nonprofit, and higher education experiences. Never have these lessons been more relevant, given the crises that every organization has faced in 2020, from the pandemic to the recession to the struggle for social justice.

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