Berkeley Forum announces fall 2022 lineup featuring current event experts (2023)

The Berkeley Forum announced its fall 2022 lineup of events for this semester Sept. 7, which will feature speakers talking about current events such as reproductive rights, data privacy and infectious disease.

For the first time since spring 2020, all events will be held in person, according to Ashley Kua, Berkeley Forum vice president of communications. All events will be free and open to the public, but the Berkeley Forum announcement noted that they are subject to change.

Bryan Kim, Berkeley Forum vice president of events, said the lineup is a testament to the creativity and perseverance of the forum.

“More than anything, I look forward to seeing all the events come to fruition and how this one small idea back in spring actually materialized into something that not only the forum can enjoy, but the rest of the UC Berkeley community as well,” Kim said.

Demi Adejuyigbe; comedian, writer, filmmaker and performer

First in the lineup is co-host of comedy podcasts “Gilmore Guys” and “Punch Up the Jam,” Demi Adejuyigbe. He is currently a writer and supervising producer on the Apple TV+ series “Strange Planet.” He also co-hosts a monthly comedy show called “Everything’s Great!” in Los Angeles.

Adejuyigbe will speak at the Berkeley Forum on Sept. 12 — the first event of the semester.

A panel on data privacy and ownership

Panelists will address the issue of how society should hold organizations accountable for capitalizing on personal data and provide ideas on how data should be regulated.

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Morgan Kyauk, partner at NightDragon; Debbie Reynolds, the founder, CEO and chief data privacy officer of Debbie Reynolds Consulting LLC; and Cameron Kerry, the former general counsel of the U.S. Department of Commerce, are all set to be panelists.

The panel is scheduled for Sept. 22.

Elise Loehnen Fissmer; writer and editor

Elise Loehnen Fissmer has co-written 11 books, including five New York Times bestsellers, and is currently working on her own. Prior to this, she served as the chief content officer of goop, a wellness and lifestyle brand. There, she co-hosted The goop Podcast and The goop Lab on Netflix and spearheaded content strategy and programming for the brand.

Loehnen Fissmer will speak at the Berkeley Forum on Sept. 28.

Monica Gandhi; infectious disease expert and UC Berkeley alumna

Monica Gandhi teaches medicine and is an associate division chief of HIV, infectious diseases, and global medicine at the UCSF/San Francisco General Hospital. She is also the director at the UCSF Center for AIDS Research and medical director at the HIV Clinic at San Francisco General Hospital.

Her research looks at finding simple, low-cost methods of measuring antiretroviral levels as well as preexposure prophylaxis and HIV treatment for women.

Gandhi will speak in person at the Berkeley Forum on Oct. 3.

Doug Hewitt and Evelyn Solis; 1951 Coffee Company leaders

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1951 Coffee Company is a coffee business with a mission to bridge the gap between coffee employers and U.S. refugees in need of a job. In six years, 1951 Coffee has helped over 275 refugees through barista training and employment counseling.

Doug Hewitt, the co-founder and CEO of 1951 Coffee Company, started the business following 15 years of barista experience and a desire to help U.S. refugees looking for employment. He has also served as an employment program manager at the Oakland office of the International Rescue Committee and the head of resettlement overseeing eight Bay Area counties for the International Rescue Committee.

Evelyn Solis, a participant of 1951 Coffee’s barista training program, is a lead barista who oversees training for new baristas. As someone who was granted asylum from Guatemala, she now invests in coffee trees to grow on her family farm in Guatemala.

Hewitt and Solis will speak in person at the Berkeley Forum on Oct. 6.

Anthony Scaramucci; entrepreneur and former White House communications director

Anthony Scaramucci has founded several firms including SkyBridge, a global investment firm where he acts as the managing partner, and SALT, a global leadership forum and venture studio. His past experience ranges from being the co-founder of investment partnership Oscar Capital Management to serving on former President Donald Trump’s 16-person Presidential Transition Team Executive Committee.

This year, Scaramucci was ranked 47 in Cointelegraph’s Top 100 Influencers in Crypto and Blockchain. He was also included in Worth Magazine’s ranking of the 100 most powerful people in finance and was named Ernst & Young’s New York Financial Services “Entrepreneur of the Year.”

Scaramucci will speak in person at the Berkeley Forum on Oct. 13.

Steven Smith; sneaker designer

Specializing in sneaker design, Steven Smith has worked with brands such as New Balance, Adidas, Fila, Reebok, Nike and more. He has served as the design director for Kanye West’s Yeezy brand and currently works as the head of industrial design for Donda.

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Smith will speak at the Berkeley Forum on Oct. 17.

A panel on housing for the formerly incarcerated

This panel will introduce speakers from different backgrounds to discuss the challenges and solutions in providing housing for the formerly incarcerated. Through this discussion, the panel hopes to analyze barriers formerly incarcerated people face while finding housingand expand the public’s knowledge on the issue. Panelists are yet to be announced.

The panel is scheduled for mid-to-late October.

Daniel Handler; author

The acclaimed author has written numerous books. Under the pseudonym Lemony Snicket, he wrote the popular children’s book series “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” which was adapted for television, stage and film, and awarded the Peabody and Writers Guild of America awards. Under the name Daniel Handler, he has written seven novels.

Handler will speak at the Berkeley Forum on Nov. 1.

Jay Xu; director and CEO of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco

Jay Xu is the director and CEO of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco — the first Chinese-American director at a major U.S. art museum. With about 40 years of museum experience as a researcher, curator and museum director, Xu advocates for the global cultural significance of museums as well as Asian and Asian-American art.

Xu will speak in person at the Berkeley Forum on Nov. 7.

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Jeanine Nicholson; 26th chief of the San Francisco Fire Department

As the first openly LGBTQ+ San Francisco Fire Department, or SFFD, chief, Jeanine Nicholson has spent more than 28 years working as a firefighter EMT, paramedic, lieutenant and captain of SFFD. Nicholson also serves on Firescope’s Board of Directors and is a member of California Fire Chiefs Association and California Metropolitan Chiefs Association.

Nicholson will speak in person at the Berkeley Forum on Nov. 10.

Alexis McGill Johnson; president and CEO of Planned Parenthood

For more than 10 years, Alexis McGill Johnson has been involved in Planned Parenthood’s leadership. She currently serves on the boards of Color of Change and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and is a founder of the Culture Group. She also co-founded and co-directed the Perception Institute to translate research on identity to solutions that reduce discrimination and promote belonging. She has taught political science at both Yale and Wesleyan universities.

McGill Johnson will speak at the Berkeley Forum in mid-to-late November.

A debate on Silicon Valley and the Global South

Silicon Valley is the birthplace for many revolutionary technologies and businesses. With many companies aiming to adopt social impact models that can help solve issues like poverty and hunger, this debate looks at whether their actions are promoting sustainable development or actually disrupting vulnerable communities in the Global South. Speakers have yet to be announced.

The debate is scheduled for Dec. 1.

Cindy Liu and Maya Jimenez contributed to this story.

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