Former NBC Universal CEO Bob Wright Headlines Autism Lecture

October 20 2015
Category: Academics

OCTOBER 22, 2015

21st Century Cures: Advances in Autism
Bob Wright
Co-founder of Autism Speaks
Peterson Chapel, Cowles Hall, 6:00 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public.  

Bob Wright served as Vice Chairman and Executive Officer of the General Electric Company and also Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NBC Universal.  He had one of the longest and most successful tenures of any media company chief executive, with more than two decades at the helm of one of the world’s foremost media and entertainment companies. Bob Wright has a strong history of philanthropy and community service, for which he has received numerous awards and accolades. One of his most significant accomplishments is the establishment of Autism Speaks with his wife, Suzanne.  Bob and Suzanne founded Autism Speaks in 2005 after their grandson was diagnosed with autism, and in ten years it has grown into the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization.

Under the Wrights’ leadership, Autism Speaks has raised and invested more than $550 million in science and medical research, advocacy, awareness and family service programs.  In addition, Autism Speaks has helped secure autism insurance coverage in 42 states and $3 billion in federal funding for autism research.  The organization has forged partnerships in more than 70 countries on five continents to foster international research, services and awareness.  In the United States, Autism Speaks is credited with raising autism awareness by nearly 50 percent among parents of young children.  And each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in nearly 100 cities across North America.  Working with member countries, the Wrights helped establish the UN-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day, celebrated each year on April 2nd.  In 2015, more than 18,000 buildings, landmarks and monuments on all seven continents illuminated the sky blue as part of Autism Speaks’ annual Light It Up Blue campaign on World Autism Awareness Day.  The Wrights have also begun worldwide outreach to the faithful following the first ever Vatican Conference on Autism in November 2014, where they gave remarks, and then met and were inspired by Pope Francis.

Bob Wright serves on the boards of Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation, AMC Networks Inc., and is a Trustee of the New York Presbyterian hospital. He is also Chairman and CEO of the Palm Beach Civic Association and Senior Advisor of THL Capital, and is the former member of the Executive Committee of Rand Corporation and a former Board of Director of EMI Group Global Ltd. Bob Wright is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and of the Law School of University of Virginia.

Bob and Suzanne Wright have three children and six grandchildren.