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Julie Lythcott-Haims    

Former Dean at Stanford University & Bestselling Author of "How to Raise an Adult"

Julie Lythcott-Haims believes in humans and is deeply interested in what gets in our way. Her work encompasses writing, speaking, mentoring, and activism.

She is the New York Times bestselling author of the anti-helicopter parenting manifesto "How to Raise an Adult" which gave rise to a popular TED Talk. Her second book is the critically-acclaimed and award-winning prose poetry memoir "Real American," which illustrates her experience as a Black and biracial person in white spaces. A third book, "Your Turn: How to Be an Adult," has been called a “groundbreakingly frank” guide to adulthood.

Lythcott-Haims is a former corporate lawyer and Stanford dean, and she holds a BA from Stanford, a JD from Harvard, and an MFA in Writing from California College of the Arts. She currently serves on the boards of Common Sense Media and the Black Women’s Health Imperative, and on the advisory board of LeanIn.Org and Parents magazine.

She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her partner of over thirty years, their itinerant young adults, and her mother.

Speech Topics


Want To Make A Difference? Become Your Self

Julie began her career as a litigator in Silicon Valley. She then became a Stanford dean, and now she’s a writer. From her own life trajectory and from working with tens of thousands of our nations best and brightest young adults, Julie has a clear sense of how we become the humans we want to be, and of what gets in our way. Julie’s style of storytelling moves people. They feel she “gets” them. They laugh, they contemplate, and sometimes they even get emotional. After the talk they're motivated to invest in their own growth and development.

Throw Out the Checklisted Childhood

The prime audience for this talk is teenagers and young adults living in environments where grades and scores and other external measures of achievement appear to be the primary measure of a human’s worth. Julie takes her audience through an alternative set of goals – be kind; try hard; learn to think and do for yourself; have a wider mindset about colleges; and study what you love – that lead to true success.

How to Raise an Adult

Based on her New York Times bestselling book by the same name, in this talk Julie draws on her own insights as a mother and as a student dean to highlight the ways in which overparenting harms children, their stressed-out parents, and society at large. While empathizing with the parental hopes and, especially, fears that lead to overhelping, Lythcott-Haims inspires audiences to examine their behaviors and join the growing movement to allow children to develop the resourcefulness, resilience, and inner determination necessary for success.

Real American

People say Julie Lythcott-Haims is a “secular preacher” because her oratory opens hearts and inspires action.

She can:

  • Give a stirring keynote speech: "How I learned to Love My Black and Biracial Self in a Country where Black Lives Weren’t Meant to Matter,” followed by Q&A
  • Deliver a 30-40 minute oration, performing selections from her prose poetry memoir and rendering the problem of whiteness and the treatment of Black boys and men with the anguish of a Black mother
  • Be in conversation with someone from your community on race, identity, and the issues we face in our country today, including a short reading from her memoir, followed by Q&A

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