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Laura Schwartz

Laura Schwartz

    • Author of Eat, Drink & Succeed
    • Television Commentator
    • White House Director of Events for the Clinton Administration
Full Bio
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Laura Schwartz

Laura Schwartz

Laura Schwartz, the White House Director of Events for the Clinton Administration, created and executed more than 1,000 White House events including State arrival ceremonies and dinners, America’s Millennium Celebration, NATO’s 50th Anniversary, the Concert of the Century and many others. While producing the President’s events on the world stage, Laura demonstrated the ability to inspire a nation and the world through powerful events. She arrived at the White House at just 19 years old with no political connections and volunteered answering phones in the press office. Proving her value immediately Laura climbed her way up the ranks as a Staff Assistant, the Midwest Press Secretary, the Director of Television and ultimately the White House Director of Events. Following the Administration, Laura traveled the world with Former President Clinton for his Foundation and Global Initiative.  

In her first book, Eat, Drink & Succeed! Climb Your Way to the Top Using the Networking Power of Social Events, Laura shares the secrets to building powerful, effective partnerships in our companies, communities and beyond, adding color with personal anecdotes from her life and White House years. As a professional speaker she takes those same details to stages, boardrooms, classrooms and ballrooms around the world in her acclaimed speaking series to empower, motivate and inspire each audience to Eat, Drink & Succeed! 

Laura appears regularly as an international television commentator speaking about leadership, networking, domestic and foreign affairs, pop culture and special events. She covered the 2008 presidential campaign for the CBS Early Show, was the on-air political contributor for Fox News Channel from 2004 to 2007, and was the special correspondent to Larry King Live and CNN for the 2008 presidential primaries. Laura appears on the BBC World News, BBC Wales and was a regular on Sir David Frost’s Frost Over the World. Laura’s non-partisan commentary is well respected both domestically and internationally.

Laura is a well-known mistress of ceremonies for multi-day conferences and events including charity galas, sporting events, panel discussions and fashion shows. Whether addressing an intimate gathering of 30 or an audience of 30,000, Laura captivates audiences with her positive energy, expertise and enthusiasm. Laura is the annual emcee for several prominent charitable events and organizations, including the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk in Chicago’s Grant Park and the YWCA Annual Leader Luncheon, which honors women and mentors for outstanding achievement in their chosen career fields.

Laura is widely recognized for her civic, philanthropic and professional leadership and has won numerous awards and accolades.  She has been named one of the Best Keynote Speakers by Meetings and Conventions Magazine and is a member of the National Speakers Association.  She serves on the boards of the American Heart Association, the Clean the World Foundation, Common Threads and Event Solutions Magazine. She was named one of the “100 Most Influential Women in Chicago” by Today’s Chicago Woman Magazine and named one of Chicago’s “Most Bold and Beautiful” by Chicago Magazine. In 2009, the prestigious Oxford Union in England invited Laura to speak on the Foreign Policy Legacy of the United States and the role of Women in the World. 

Laura is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, where she founded White House Strategies in 2001. As Laura’s career transformed into predominantly live appearances – from keynotes and panel discussions to television and book signings – Laura Schwartz Live was established, a brand that truly reflects her core services. 

Laura travels extensively both domestically and internationally to work with Fortune’s Top 50 and 500 companies, independent businesses, industry associations, universities and nonprofit organizations, motivating people from all over the world to EAT, DRINK & SUCCEED! 

To book Laura Schwartz call Executive Speakers Bureau at 800-754-9404.

Eat, Drink & Succeed!
Based on Laura’s book  “Eat, Drink & Succeed! Climb Your Way to the Top Using the Networking Power of Social Events”

In her signature seminar, Laura inspires her audience to unleash their own networking power to achieve their goals and advance their career through building positive partnerships. Providing specific tools to maximize not only day-to-day business opportunities – but also how to turn overlooked “optional” social events into career opportunities – Laura provides a clear roadmap that motivates and empowers each audience to Eat, Drink & Succeed!

Through poignant and entertaining anecdotes from her behind-the-scenes experience at the White House, world travels and broadcast career, Laura shares the essential networking tools that helped her rise from Press Office Volunteer to Director of Events for the White House to where she is today. She shows how the same keys that fueled her success have worked for business powerhouses like Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, as well as CEOs, entrepreneurs, non-profit leaders and small businesses. Most importantly, she demonstrates how they work for the audience at hand.

Flipping the definition of networking on its side, Laura empowers her audience to continue growing in their careers by adopting the networking mantra of “What can I do for you?” instead of the more typical “What can you do for me?” mentality. Through building bridges for others, she explains how positive, powerful networking involves mentoring and leading inside and outside of the office resulting in beneficial outcomes on all sides. She shares useful techniques – including her insider tips about effective follow-ups and how to leverage the powers of preparation, introductions and conversations, among others – and provides attendees with the means to turn a brief meeting, break room conversation, lunch or social occasion into a valuable opportunity. Laura's ultimate goal is to share a finely tailored message with her audience and equip each attendee with the effective tools to help them succeed in their careers, impact their industry and reach their goals.

Get Ready to Eat, Drink & Succeed!
A Conference Kickoff

This high-energy, 30- to 45-minute presentation is the perfect way to energize the audience for the conference ahead, while also teaching them valuable tips about how to maximize their time there. 

Based on Laura’s philosophy that every social and planned interaction is an opportunity for career development, Laura will teach conference attendees proven tips they can immediately put to work to build partnerships and excel both during and in between conference events. Whether approaching registration, attending a class, walking the exhibit hall, enjoying conference happy hours or evening socials, attendees will feel empowered to take every facet of the conference and make it work to their full advantage.

Laura provides the tips, tools and techniques that motivate attendees to capitalize on all social and business interactions at the conference so that they too can turn relationships into partnerships and ideas into realities. She will incorporate your specific conference activities, initiatives and goals into her kick-off presentation, ensuring that the information is topical, relevant and valuable to your audience. Attendees will start the conference engaged, inspired and energized to Eat, Drink & Succeed!

Must be Present to Win
We must be present to win…because we can’t afford to miss a moment. 

A motivating and thought-provoking keynote based on Laura’s 2013 TED Talk, “Invented Here: The Present,” in which she focuses on the importance of being present in life, work, play, our communities and beyond instead of simply going through the motions in life. It’s easy to become distracted by current events, business, family and individual pressures, but when we work at being present, we are more valuable to our companies, organizations, families, relationships and ourselves.

Must Be Present to Win is both re-affirming and eye opening, as Laura shows how attendees can embrace and balance technology at the same time. She sheds new light on how being in the moment - from business meetings and conference calls to social events or the family dinner - will increase your value in your career and personal life.  Laura brings this talk to life using strong relatable examples based on her experience working for President Clinton and post-White House years to prove that we must be present to win…because we can’t afford to miss a moment. 

Empowerment Through Service
A motivating address that shows how giving back can play a key role in the foundation of success for an industry, organization and an individual 

The 19th century French social scientist Alexis de Tocqueville once stated that the defining characteristic of America is its commitment to service. In this moving keynote address, Laura puts a modern-day twist on de Tocqueville’s statement, showing how giving back today can make a difference in your world and in your organization. Regardless of their role in organization, Laura will empower the audience members to strengthen their commitment, whether that means working harder, becoming more involved or giving greater. As Laura explains, volunteer associations and service organizations are instrumental in our society because they can often do things more effectively than our own government. She communicates the power of service using colorful examples and entertaining anecdotes from her work both in the White House and afterward traveling around the world with the Clinton Global Initiative. Audience members will feel empowered to give and continue to give back through the sponsoring organization because they’ll see that their service not only affects the lives of those they help directly, but also their own personal and professional communities.

Laura tailors this keynote address based on the association’s objectives and the audience in order to create a completely unique presentation that is appealing, engaging and, most importantly, effective. This presentation has been successfully used to inspire organizations for their annual conference, to motivate donors and raise funds for new non-profit initiatives, and to kick-start membership drives and raise awareness in the community. Corporations have also used this keynote as a way to motivate their employees for their internal campaigns and company-wide philanthropy. Laura has presented customized versions of this address to organizations such as the United Way, YWCA, American Heart Association, Illinois Governor’s Conference, General Federation of Women’s Clubs, Emergency Nurses Association and the Junior League of Chicago. Each organization has reported stronger results with this keynote than in previous years.  

Setting the Bar
Explores the lives of strong, courageous women, both past and present,to inspire the women of today and tomorrow

This inspiring keynote focuses on the “bars” set by female leaders who have changed history and created the professional and community landscape women excel in today. Laura takes the audience on a journey that explores the lives of notable women from around the world and across a variety of fields – such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Margaret Thatcher, Rosa Parks, Hilary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and others – to better understand how women today are shaped by the skills, strength and struggles of those who came before them. By also looking at those who set the bar for these famous women, Laura shows the audience how they, too – as women who are leaders, mothers, spouses, sisters and friends – set the bar for themselves, their families and other women everyday, even if they don’t realize it.

This motivating message relates to women of all ages in every stage of their careers and lives. It can be specifically tailored for your organization. Whether it is a corporation, industry association, non-profit or other group, Laura will ensure her message relates to your audience. She can develop an even stronger connection with the audience by incorporating your organization’s own founders, leaders or other strong women to demonstrate how they “set the bar.” 

Lessons from the White House: Behind the Scenes of History

During Laura’s eight years at the White House, she produced more than 1,000 White House events, including major world events such as NATO’s 50th Anniversary, America’s Millennium and state dinners.

Being on the front lines for powerful celebrations, and moments of great gravity, determination and leadership, gave Laura rare insight into the private and public moments of first families and global leaders. In this unforgettable program, Laura draws upon that unique perspective to reveal the behind-the-scenes lessons she learned, at the White House. Using inspiring stories and visuals, she shares defining moments she witnessed firsthand during the Clinton administration, along with valuable takeaways from some of the earliest White House inhabitants—including Abigail Adams, Dolly Madison and President Teddy Roosevelt —to illustrate important lessons we all can use in our daily lives at work and at home.

Laura gives attendees a seat at the most powerful table in the world, as she shares the inner workings of a state dinner and gives a rare glimpse into the roles of the executive residence and its longtime career staff, the secret service, military, state department and presidential appointees. She demonstrates how the same attention to detail used to create an invitation, develop a plan and host an event worthy of the world stage can be used to make magical moments at a gala event, conference or dinner party at home.

This presentation especially appeals to event industry organizations and spousal programs.  Laura shows attendees how to create memorable moments on any budget, and how to effectively bring the White House to “your house.”

The Power of the Presidential Inauguration

Laura offers a sneak peak into the deep and colorful history of Presidential Inaugurations, their elements and details, including the swearing in, parade, and of course the Inaugural Balls. It’s one of the most coveted invitations in Washington. Laura discusses the power of an Inauguration, from how guests vie for an invitation to how they work the most powerful room in Washington. She also shares the traditional and sometimes unique locations as well as the planning and participation of the First Family that dates back to George Washington at the first Inauguration in New York City. Laura captures all the ceremony, significance, glamour—and power—behind these events that are so special they only happen every four years.  


In addition to keynoting, Laura also emcees conferences and events of all sizes, conducts interviews on stage with CEO's and organization leaders, and moderates expert panel discussions. Laura prepares for each event by conducting extensive research into the client’s brand, goals and audience. She tailors her role as an emcee to the tone and purpose of each specific conference, and works with the production team to ensure all technical requirements are met and rehearsals take place as needed. Through her effortless energy and humor, Laura can seamlessly keep any conference on track, on message and on time!

Laura is a well-known mistress of ceremonies for multi-day conferences and events including charity galas, sporting events, panel discussions and fashion shows. Whether addressing an intimate gathering of 30 or an audience of 30,000, Laura captivates audiences with her positive energy, expertise and enthusiasm. Laura is the annual emcee for several prominent charitable events, including the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk in Chicago’s Grant Park and the YWCA Leaders Luncheon. In 2013, she had the honor of moderating a panel of civil rights leaders for the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington.

Past clients include Financial and Insurance Conference Planners’ (FICP) four-day annual conference at LA Live, Essilor North America’s three-day annual sales conference at the Waldorf Astoria New York City, Connect Marketplace’s two-day conference at Navy Pier Chicago and Cathay Pacific’s announcement of its Chicago-to-Hong Kong gateway service at the Peninsula Chicago. 

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