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News | April 1, 2010

Keynote Speakers for IRA's 55th Annual Convention in Chicago


The 2010 IRA Annual Convention in Chicago offers a variety of presenters you just won't want to miss.  The following keynote speakers are confirmed to appear at the general sessions:


Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan

Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan

Opening General Session
Monday, April 26, 2010
8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Graciously presented by Disney Hyperion Books.


Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah was born Rania Al Yassin on August 31, 1970. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the American University of Cairo in 1991, later pursuing a career in banking in Jordan, followed by a brief career in the information technology sector.

Her Majesty’s core concerns include:

  • Improving the quality of Jordanian family life;
  • Promoting quality, access, excellence, and innovation in education in Jordan;
  • Advocating for access to quality, global education;
  • Championing cross-cultural and inter-faith dialogue;
  • Encouraging sustainability throughout the public and private sectors;
  • Tackling issues affecting youth.

Queen Rania married then Prince Abdullah bin Al Hussein on June 10, 1993. They have four children: Prince Hussein; Princess Iman; Princess Salma; and Prince Hashem.



Al Gore

Al Gore
Former Vice President and co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize

General Session
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Graciously presented by Penguin Young Readers Group.

Former Vice President Al Gore is chairman of Current TV, an Emmy award winning, independently owned cable and satellite television nonfiction network for young people based on viewer-created content and citizen journalism. He also serves as chairman of Generation Investment Management, a firm that is focused on a new approach to sustainable investing. Al Gore is a member of the board of directors of Apple, a senior adviser to Google, and a partner with the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. He is a Visiting Professor at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and chairs the Alliance for Climate Protection, a non-profit organization designed to help solve the climate crisis.

Al Gore was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976, 1978, 1980 and 1982 and the U.S. Senate in 1984 and 1990. He was inaugurated as the forty-fifth vice president of the United States on January 20, 1993, and served eight years.



Dr. Johnetta B. Cole

Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole
Director of the National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C.

Closing General Session
Wednesday, April 27, 2010
8:30 a.m.- 10:00 a.m.

Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, educator, visionary scholar, and newly appointed director of the National Museum of African Art is the speaker for this year’s closing general session. Dr. Cole is the author of several textbooks used in classrooms throughout the United States. In addition to many scholarly articles and a regular column in McCall’s magazine, her latest of several books is Gender Talk: The Struggle for Women’s Equality in African American Communities. She has been awarded 55 honorary degrees from colleges and universities, and has served as president of Bennett College for Women and Spelman College. With her Global Diversity and Inclusion Institute, Dr. Cole reaches thousands through education, training, and research. Let her powerful message of cultural awareness inspire your return to the classroom. You will leave feeling as if you can move mountains.



The full list of confirmed authors and speakers for the IRA 55th Annual Convention is available at http://www.iraconvention.org/education-featured-authors.php.