Council Fall Conference to Feature Political Analyst, Bestselling Author and Space Activist

  • Chuck Todd, a former moderator of Meet the Press; Isabel Wilkerson, the author of two New York Times bestsellers; and Katya Echazarreta, an activist for Todd space travel, will address the Council of the Great City Schools’ 68th Annual Fall Conference, Oct. 16-20 in Dallas, under the banner “Leading Innovation & Transformation, We Do Urban Education.” Dallas Independent School District is hosting the five-day conference at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel.

    Todd is NBC News’ chief political analyst, where he plays a key role in shaping the editorial content for all aspects of NBC's political coverage. From 2014 to 2023, he was moderator of Meet the Press, the flagship Sunday morning public affairs program and the longest-running broadcast in television history. He previously served as NBC News’ chief White House correspondent. Wilkerson

    Todd will deliver a keynote address before the nation’s urban school leaders. He will also moderate the Council’s national town hall, the pinnacle event of the Fall Conference, which will feature a panel of urban students from across the country.

    Wilkerson will also deliver a keynote address. She is the author of The Warmth of Other Suns, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, which inspired the 2023 movie Origin, directed by Ana Duvernay. A former journalist, Wilkerson made history in 1994 as the first black woman to win a Pulitzer Prize while serving as the Chicago Bureau Chief at the New York Times. Echazarreta

    Also addressing the conference is Katya Echazarreta, the first Mexican-born woman to travel to space after being selected by the nonprofit Space for Humanity out of 7,000 applicants. A former flight engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Echazarreta has created a foundation to encourage girls to enter the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields and pursue careers in the space industry.