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 ABA 2021 Annual Convention

Keynote Speakers | Annual Convention

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Keynote Speakers

Dr. Robert Ballard, Renowned Undersea Explorer, Archeologist and Best-Selling Author

Best known for his 1985 discovery of the TITANIC, Dr. Robert Ballard has succeeded in tracking down numerous other significant shipwrecks, including the German battleship BISMARCK, the lost fleet of Guadalcanal, the U.S. aircraft carrier YORKTOWN (sunk in the World War II Battle of Midway), and John F. Kennedy's boat, PT-109.

While those discoveries have captured the imagination of the public, Dr. Ballard believes his most important discoveries were of hydrothermal vents and "black smokers" in the Galapagos Rift and East Pacific Rise in 1977 and 1979 along with their exotic life forms living off the energy of the Earth through a process now called chemosynthesis.

In addition to being a National Geographic Society Explorer-In-Residence and a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, Dr. Ballard is the president of the Ocean Exploration Trust (OET). An explorer, discoverer and historian, Dr. Ballard's fascinating journeys can teach us a great deal about our past, and they have encouraged others to take tremendous strides in the survey of the undiscovered mysteries of the deep sea.

Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, President and CEO, Society for Human Resource Management

As a global leader on the future of employment, culture and leadership, Mr. Taylor is a sought-after voice on all matters affecting work, workers and the workplace. He is frequently asked to testify before Congress on critical workforce issues and authors the weekly USA Today column, "Ask HR."

Mr. Taylor's career spans over 20 years as a lawyer, human resources executive and CEO in both the not-for-profit and for-profit space. He has held senior and chief executive roles at IAC/Interactive Corp, Viacom's Paramount Pictures and Blockbuster Entertainment Group, McGuireWoods LLC, and Compass Group USA. Most recently, Mr. Taylor was president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

In 2020, Mr. Taylor received the Distinguished Executive of the Year Award from the Academy of Management, and in 2021 was named Professional Society CEO of the Year by CEO Update.

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Get updates on the Annual Convention as we develop this year's program. Contact Traci Leiva if you have any questions.