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Tara Westover

2020 Speaker
Photo credit: Paul Stuart

TARA WESTOVER is an American author. Born in Idaho to a father opposed to public education, she never attended school. She was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. After that first encounter with education she pursued learning for a decade, graduating magna cum laude from Brigham Young Univer­sity in 2008 and subsequently winning a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. She received an MPhil from Trinity College, Cambridge in 2009 and in 2014 was awarded a PhD in history. Currently, she is a senior research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School.

In 2018, she published her memoir, Educated, which explores her struggle to reconcile her desire for education and autonomy with her desire to be loyal to her family. Educated was an instant commercial and critical success, debuting at number one on the New York Times best-seller list and remaining on the list for more than a year. It was also a finalist for a number of national awards, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. The New York Times named Educated one of the 10 Best Books of 2018, and has now been on the NYT best-seller list for more than two years. The American Booksellers Association voted it the Nonfiction Book of the Year. To date, Educated has sold more than four million copies and is expected to be translated into forty languages. For her stag­gering impact, TIME Magazine named Westover one of the 100 most influential people of 2018. @tarawestover

Photo credit: Paul Stuart