James Comey, Gloria Steinem, Jay Leno set for 2018-2019 Baltimore Speaker Series

Former FBI Director James Comey will kick off the 13th Baltimore Speaker Series on Oct. 2.

Former FBI Director James Comey, women’s rights legend Gloria Steinem and comedian Jay Leno will be appearing locally as part of the 2018-2019 Baltimore Speaker Series.

The series’ 13th season begins Oct. 2 with an address from Comey, who was fired from his post as head of the FBI in May 2017 by President Donald Trump, as the investigation into possible Russian tampering with the 2016 presidential election, and whether there had been any collusion with the Trump campaign, was heating up. Comey had come under fire the previous November after he announced, just two weeks before the election, that the FBI was reopening its investigations into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails.


The series continues on Oct. 23 with neuroscientist Lisa Genova, author of the book “Still Alice.” That book was turned into an Oscar-winning movie, starring Julianne Moore as a woman dealing with early-onset Alzheimer’s.

Steinem, co-founder of Ms. magazine and champion of the feminist cause since the 1960s, will speak on Nov. 27. She will be followed on Jan. 29, 2019, by former Florida Governor and GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush.


Ian Bremmer, founder of the global political risk research firm Eurasia Group and a frequent commentator on CNN and the BBC, will speak on March 5, followed on March 26 by social justice advocate Bryan Stevenson, author of the memoir “Just Mercy.”

The series concludes on April 23 with actor and stand-up comic Leno, host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show” from 1992-2014 (except for the seven months Conan O’Brien hosted in 2009-2010) and current star of CNBC’s “Jay Leno’s Garage.”

All appearances are scheduled for 8 p.m. at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. Tickets for the series are available via subscription only; tickets to individual speakers are not offered for sale. Subscription prices range from $315-$455.