Veteran NPR journalist to open 2024 annual conference

Jul 10, 2024

Register by July 18 to receive $50 off your registration

By Cal Cities Education Staff

Award-winning journalist, radio host, bestselling author, and TEDx Talk speaker Celeste Headlee will open the 2024 Annual Conference and Expo with a keynote conversation on communication and civility.

Bad communication and incivility — internally or externally — can sink critical projects. As an NPR host and journalist, Headlee has interviewed hundreds of people from all walks of life. In a time when conversations are often minimized to a few words in a text message, Headlee will shed much-needed light on the lost and essential art of conversation, providing actionable strategies for doing things differently.

In her 20-year career in public radio, Headlee has been the executive producer of “On Second Thought” with Georgia Public Radio and anchored programs like “Tell Me More,” “Talk of the Nation,” “All Things Considered,” and “Weekend Edition.” She co-hosted the national morning news show “The Takeaway,” from PRI and WNYC, and anchored presidential coverage in 2012 for PBS World Channel.

Headlee frequently provides insight and commentary on the best research in neuro and social science to increase our understanding of how we relate with one another and can work together in beneficial ways. As a mixed-race journalist of Black and Jewish descent, Headlee speaks candidly on how to talk about race and other difficult subjects.

She is a member of Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global Thought Leader group and a regular host of the podcast “Women Amplified.” She serves as an advisory board member for and The Listen First Project and in 2019, received the Media Changemaker Award. A Whittier native, Celeste now lives in the Washington, D.C., area with her rescue dog, Samus.

Early bird registration closes July 18

Early bird registration ends soon! Anyone who registers by Thursday, July 18 will get $50 off their full conference registration. Full conference registration includes access to general and concurrent sessions, the expo, CitiPAC and diversity caucus receptions, and Wednesday’s host city reception.

Before July 18, registration for all three days starts at $650 for city officials from any member city. After July 18, full conference registration for city officials is $700.

There are several hotels surrounding the convention center and a limited number of hotel rooms are available at reduced rates for registered attendees and exhibitors. After registering, attendees will receive a confirmation email with a link to the hotel reservations page where they can access discounted hotel room rates and manage their reservations, including modifications and cancellations. Hotels often sell out before the Sept. 20 deadline, so reserve yours early!

Cal Cities strives to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals to engage fully. For accommodation requests or accessibility inquiries, please contact Conference Registrar Megan Dunn. Every effort will be made to honor requests submitted.

Scammers may attempt to contact you claiming to be the housing bureau/service for the conference. Cal Cities has contracted with LiveCon as the official housing bureau/service for the 2024 Annual Conference and Expo. Official emails regarding the conference will come from addresses ending in or, or the actual hotel. Neither party will call you directly without prior communication.