The NIRSA Annual Conference Program Committee is excited to announce that Michelle Poler and Greg Bell will be the opening and closing keynote speakers at NIRSA 2020!

Michelle Poler

Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, Michelle Poler is a creative and passionate social entrepreneur, keynote speaker, fear facer, and branding strategist. She’s the founder of Hello Fears, a social movement empowering millions to step outside of their comfort zones and tap into their full potential. Her numerous speaking engagements have included talks at TEDx, Google, INBOUND, Facebook, ESPN, Netflix, Procter and Gamble, Microsoft, Toyota, World Domination Summit, and the Festival of Media Global among others. Michelle is also the creator of the project 100 Days Without Fear. Her work has been featured on CBS, CNN, Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Fox News, Telemundo, Glamour, Elle, The Rachael Ray Show, Refinery29, and Daily Mail among many others. In 2017, she started speaking to a younger generation. Since then, she has empowered over 20,000 students at schools and universities around the world to live with courage, find their authenticity, and embrace their growth paths.

Michelle Poler will speak during the Opening General Session & Honor Award Presentation taking place on Saturday, April 18 from 5:00pm–7:00pm at the Phoenix Convention Center.

Greg Bell

More than just a motivational speaker, Greg Bell is a thought leader, business consultant, and leadership seminar trainer. His popular books—Water The Bamboo®: Unleashing The Potential Of Teams And Individuals and What’s Going Well? The Question That Changes Everything—have inspired an array of organizations, from Fortune 500 companies like Nike, Disney, ManpowerGroup, Kaiser Permanente, and Comcast to athletic teams like the Portland Trailblazers, Oregon Ducks Football, and the Gonzaga Bulldogs Basketball.

As an innovator and keen observer of highly-successful leaders and teams, Greg has learned that the key to success is having the courage to use the skills you already have to achieve a result greater than you previously imagined.

Inspiring and energizing audiences with his engaging storytelling, Greg shares his knowledge with excitement and passion. His ability to masterfully blend insight and encouragement with just the right dose of reality makes him the consistently top-rated keynote speaker at major conferences. A Certified Speaking Professional (the highest-earned designation from the National Speakers Association), Greg influences thousands of individuals and entrepreneurs each year with his innate ability to connect personally with audience members.

Greg holds political science and law degrees from the University of Oregon and currently serves on the UO Foundation Board of Trustees. He is also the force behind Coaches vs. Cancer—a campaign for the American Cancer Society that has raised over $100 million for cancer research. In addition to his corporate leadership experience, Greg is a TEDx Talk alum and serves on the advisory board for the Portland TEDx conference series.

Greg Bell will speak during the Closing General Session taking place on Tuesday, April 21 from 4:00pm–5:30pm at the Phoenix Convention Center.

About NIRSA’s Keynote Speaker Program

NIRSA’s Program Committee invites keynote and invited speaker ideas from NIRSA leadership groups and membership throughout the year. Through the keynote and invited speaker program, the committee seeks speakers from outside NIRSA’s membership to provide unique expertise, motivation, and new insights. If you have a speaker idea for  a future NIRSA event, you can submit your idea online.


  • For more information, please contact NIRSA Director of Professional Development Kristen Gleason.
Director of Professional Development at | NIRSA Profile

Kristen Gleason is currently the Director of Professional Development at NIRSA