Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speakers from the 2013 ULC

Check back soon for the 2015 Keynote Speakers.


Courtney Gregoire – Microsoft attorney and recently appointed to Seattle Port Commission:

Gregoire@145--130315-043-(1).jpgCourtney Gregoire has been appointed to the Port of Seattle Commission. Gregoire is the daughter of former Washington state Gov. Chris Gregoire and an attorney at Microsoft in the company’s worldwide sales group. She previously worked as deputy chief of staff to Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and was legislative director for Sen. Maria Cantwell.

Deborah Wilds – College Success Foundation:

wilds.jpgDeborah Wilds is the President and Chief Operating Officer of College Success Foundation (CSF).

The Foundation has over 12 years of proven experience inspiring underserved, low-income students to finish high school and providing the unique integrated system of supports and scholarships they need to graduate college and succeed in life.

Prior to 2006, Dr. Wilds was a senior program officer for education at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she led efforts for the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, Gates Cambridge Scholars and Washington State Achievers Program. She also oversaw the early college initiative creating 250 new early college high schools.

Dr. Wilds served as the deputy director of the American Council on Education's (ACE) Office of Minorities in Higher Education, in Washington, D.C. She has co-authored several books, written more than 20 articles, and co-authored ACE’s Annual Status Report on Minorities in Higher Education. She was the co-founder and chair of the Board of Directors of New Era Education, an independent school and pre-school located in Baltimore, Maryland.

In 2013, she was appointed to the Washington State Board of Education, and also currently serves on the boards of College Success Foundation - DC, Washington State Mentors, Philanthropy Northwest, College Spark, The Corporation for Enterprise Development, UW Bothell Advisory and the Seattle University Board of Regents.

Dr. Wilds has a Ph.D. in Education Policy, Planning and Administration from the University of Maryland at College Park; a master's degree from Howard University and a bachelor's degree from California State University, San Diego.

Howard Behar – Former President and CEO of Starbucks International:

howardbehar.gifMr. Behar is the former president of Starbucks North America and Starbucks International. He joined Starbucks in 1989 as vice president of sales and operations, and grew the retail business from 28 stores to more than 400, by the time he was named president of Starbucks Coffee International in 1995. Under Mr. Behar’s leadership, Starbucks opened its first location in Tokyo in 1996, then introduced the Starbucks brand across the Middle East, Asia and the United Kingdom. He retired as president of Starbucks North America in January 2003 and continues to serve in an advisory capacity and to coach leaders at all levels. He is a retired member of the Board of Directors serving from 1996 to 2008. Since his retirement he has written a book "It's Not About the Coffee" that describe his leadership principles. Mr. Behar serves on several boards, including Anna’s Linens, Washington State Budget and Policy Center, University of Washington Foundation and Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership.

Larry Gossett – King County Council Member:

Gossett-web-ashx.jpgKing County Council Chair Larry Gossett is serving his seventh term on the Metropolitan King County Council. In 2013, he will serve on the following committees:

  • Committee of the Whole
  • Law, Justice, Health and Human Services, Vice Chair
  • Government Accountability, Oversight, Vice Chair
  • King County Ferry District Board of Supervisors
  • Flood Control District Board of Supervisors

Born and raised in Seattle, Larry Gossett has been a dedicated servant of the people for over 40 years. Gossett’s Council district represents an area where he has lived and worked on issues his entire life.

After graduating from Franklin High School, after two years he became a VISTA volunteer in Harlem (1966-1967) and worked with poor youth. After completing his service obligation to VISTA, he returned to the University of Washington where he was one of the original founders of the Black Student Union (BSU). As a respected student activist, he fought to eliminate racial discrimination and increase the enrollment of African Americans and other students of color at the University. After graduation, he became the first supervisor of the Black Student Division, in the Office of Minority Affairs.

Councilmember Gossett is a highly respected community leader who has long advocated for the underrepresented and underprivileged in King County for his entire career. He has long been an advocate for programs that help inner-city youth and reduce racial and class disparities in our local criminal justice system. He has also spearheaded efforts to eliminate black-on-black violence and other manifestations of self-hatred by poor and disenfranchised populations.

Councilmember Gossett is a dynamic speaker, prolific writer, administrator and political activist. He has the ability to motivate and inspire people of all races and walks of life. He is dedicated to the cause of equal rights and economic freedom for all people.

He is married with three adult children and three beloved grandchildren.

Martin Coles – CEO of Halosource and former President of Starbucks:

martin-coles.pngMartin Coles joined HaloSource as a member of the board in July 2011 and was appointed president and chief executive officer in October 2011. Prior to joining HaloSource, he held the positions of chief operating officer and later president of Starbucks Coffee International. His career also includes 35 years of serving in a variety of senior executive and board positions at Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, Nike and Reebok. He also served as a non-executive director at Levi Strauss. Mr. Coles began his career at Procter & Gamble UK in 1977 as a graduate-entry production manager. He currently serves on the not-for-profit International Education Advisory Boards of the University of Washington Business School at Bothell and Seattle University, where he is a fellow of the Albers Business School. He previously served as chairman of the UW Foster Business School Advisory Board.

He is a graduate of the University of Wales at Swansea, where he received a BSc Hons in Biochemistry, is married with 4 children (21, 19, 15 and 13) and is an avid SeaHawks supporter and Lacrosse parent.

Sheila Edwards Lange – VP of Diversity and Minority Affairs in UW Seattle:

sheilaedwardslange.jpgSheila Edwards Lange is the Vice President for Minority Affairs and Vice Provost for Diversity at the University of Washington (UW). Prior to heading the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity at the UW, Dr. Lange held positions in academic and student affairs at Seattle Community College, Western Washington University, and University of California at Irvine. She served as the lead evaluator on the UW National Science Foundation ADVANCE grant, and is currently the project manager for the Pacific Northwest Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation. She is president of the board of directors of the Women in Engineering and ProActive Network (WEPAN) and serves on the board of directors for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation.

As the University’s chief diversity officer, Dr. Lange works to improve recruitment and retention of diverse students, faculty and staff on campus. She is currently leading an effort to improve diversity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at UW. In addition to student programming, Dr. Lange oversees the Office for Faculty Advancement whose role is to ensure that the UW recruits, promotes, and retains an excellent and diverse faculty.

Her research and teaching interests include higher education policy, diversity in higher education, assessment and program evaluation, under represented student access to STEM careers, mentoring, work/life and family friendly policies in higher education, graduate education reform, and faculty recruitment/retention.
Dr. Lange holds a doctor of philosophy in educational leadership and policy studies and a master of public administration from the University of Washington. She received her bachelors of social ecology from the University of California at Irvine.