Iraq war veteran and LGBT advocate
Author, "Confessions of a 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Soldier: How a Black, Gay Man Survived the Infantry, Coming Out, and the War in Iraq"
Multimedia Journalist with work featured on CNN, USA Today, MSN, AOL, The Advocate, Salon, The New York Post, NBC News and more.
“Rob’s speech was a firm reminder of why we do what we do. He is one of the most powerful speakers I have ever heard.” – Natalie Unger, President of Rainbow Alliance, University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh
Rob Smith served for five years in the United States Army as an Infantryman and deployed to both Kuwait and Iraq, earning the Army Commendation Medal and Combat Infantry Badge in the process. He is the author of Confessions of a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Soldier: How a Black, Gay Man Survived the Infantry, Coming Out, and the War in Iraq. He was arrested at the White House with 12 other LGBT activists in protest of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law which barred lesbian, gay, and bisexual soldiers from serving openly, and he was later a guest of President Barack Obama at the ceremony that repealed the law.
A sought-after keynote speaker, Rob Smith has spoken about diversity and inclusion, veteran’s issues, and LGBTQ rights at dozens of companies and college campuses across the United States, including Google, Deutsche Bank, Yale University, Vanderbilt University, and the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender and Allies College Conference among many others.
In 2014, Rob Smith served as the Grand Marshal of the Key West Pride Parade, and was a featured speaker at the NYC Pride Rally. He’s been featured on HLN’s The Daily Share, Huffpost Live, Dr. Drew On Call, and CNN. He is a recipient of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) award for Excellence In Blogging and the 2016 Gay City News LGBT Impact Award for multimedia coverage of issues impacting the LGBT community. The original publication of his memoir won the National Indie Excellence Book Award for LGBT Nonfiction and was a nominee for a Lambda Literary Award for Memoir.Rob Smith holds an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University.
For availability and speaker fees, please contact Rob Smith’s speaking agent at Chartwell here, or call +1 972 385 1021 for U.S. inquiries or +44 207 293 0864 for international inquiries.
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