Nobel Peace Prize Winner Maria Ressa Selected as Fall Colgate University Global Leaders Speaker

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Nobel Peace Prize-winning journalist, free press advocate, and CEO of Maria Ressa will visit Colgate on Oct. 28 as the speaker for the Kerschner Family Series Global Leaders at Colgate.

In addition, Ressa’s How to Stand Up to A Dictator, will be Colgate’s Summer Reading selection — the first opportunity for new students to engage in dialogue with faculty and staff members on questions that transcend disciplinary interests and that require independent analysis. The shared summer reading also provides a foundation for a variety of related events throughout the year at Colgate.

Ressa earned the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021 in recognition of her efforts to safeguard freedom of expression in the Philippines. Her numerous awards include being named Time’s 2018 Person of the Year, and she is listed among its 100 Most Influential People of 2019. Ressa has been named one of Time’s 100 Women of the Year, BBC’s 100 Women of 2019, and Prospect magazine’s World’s Top 50 Thinkers in 2019. Ressa’s expertise is routinely called upon as an adviser for organizations and corporations on corporate governance, values, and strategy. 

Ressa’s success and commitment to journalism have come with legal peril in the Philippines, where she is facing 10 charges related to exposing corruption within President Rodrigo Duterte’s government. In June, she was convicted of violating that country’s cyber libel laws, and she has vowed to continue fighting the charges while currently out on bail. 

A journalist for more than 35 years, Ressa was CNN bureau chief in Manila before working as the network’s lead investigative reporter focusing on terrorism. In 2012, she co-founded, an online news platform with an ethos of a small tech start-up, starting with a team of 12 young reporters and developers. Through the power of social media, Rappler has grown into the fourth-largest news website in the Philippines with more than 100 journalists. 

Ressa is also author of Seeds of Terror: An Eyewitness Account of Al-Qaeda’s Newest Center of Operations in Southeast Asia and From Bin Laden to Facebook, and she was featured in the 2020 documentary A Thousand Cuts, which profiles her fearless reporting on the abuses of Duterte’s presidency, while also illustrating social media’s capacity to deceive and entrench political power.

Launched in 2007 and sponsored by Colgate’s Parents’ and Grandparents’ Fund, Colgate’s Global Leaders Series has brought to campus notable individuals whose work has had a global impact. Encounters with these world leaders help students prepare for lives of leadership — to contribute to the advance of local community and global society alike. Details of Ressa’s visit, and ticket information, will be available online this summer at