Ronan Farrow Sets the Stage and Tone for Convening Leaders

The Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist — who reported on sexual misconduct allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein — on fighting our fears and trusting our inner voices.

Author: Curt Wagner       

ronan farrow

Journalist Ronan Farrow, whose bestselling book Catch and Kill, about sexual misconduct in Hollywood, was turned into a podcast and HBO documentary, will speak Monday on the Main Stage at Convening Leaders 2022. (HBO)

Investigative journalist Ronan Farrow, who helped energize a national conversation with his reporting on allegations of sexual misconduct against film producer Harvey Weinstein for The New Yorker, will speak at 9 a.m. Jan. 10 on the Main Stage at Convening Leaders 2022. Farrow is replacing Dan Levy who was scheduled to be Monday’s keynote speaker but had to cancel due to the extension of a previous contractual obligation.

In his keynote, “The Fight for and Transformative Power of the Truth,” Farrow will discuss how the challenges of misinformation impacts our ability to generate meaningful dialogue and transformative change when bringing people together face to face.

Farrow’s past speeches hint at what’s in store for the CL22 audience. Previously, he has honored his sources for their courage in reliving traumatic events for his reporting, for getting the truth out there, and thus helping change a culture that covers up the misconduct of powerful people.

“Right now we are surrounded by a culture that tells us to take the easy way out, that tries to tip the scales in favor of getting paid rather than protesting, that tells us to kill the story instead of poking the bear — a culture that tells us not to trust that voice that says to fight,” he said during his 2018 commencement speech at Loyola Marymount University. “We look around and we see people taking the easy way out and doing the immoral thing or the selfish thing, and getting rewarded for it. … You will face a moment in your career where you have absolutely no idea what to do … Trust that inner voice because more than ever we need people to be guided by their own sense of principle.”

In 2018, Farrow earned the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for his stories about the now twice-convicted sex offender Weinstein, sharing the honor with Jodi Kantor and Meghan Twohey at The New York Times for their reporting on the #MeToo movement. His work also earned the National Magazine Award, the George Polk Award, and other honors.

Subsequent stories in The New Yorker exposed misconduct allegations against CBS executives, including then-CEO Leslie Moonves, and gave detailed accounts of payments made by the National Enquirer’s parent company to suppress stories about Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Farrow’s best-selling book, Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators, recounts his experiences while reporting the sexual misconduct stories, including individuals’ efforts to suppress his stories. The companion podcast won a Peabody Award and topped the Apple Podcast charts. “Catch and Kill: The Podcast Tapes,” a documentary series that expands on the podcast and the book with never-before-seen interviews, debuted on HBO in July.

A graduate of Yale Law School and a member of the New York Bar, Farrow recently completed a Ph.D. in political science at Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. Prior to his career in journalism, he served as a State Department official in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He recently updated his 2018 book, War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence, which he dedicated to his mother, Mia Farrow.

Convening Leaders 2022 takes place in person at CAESARS FORUM in Las Vegas and online.

Curt Wagner is digital editor at Convene.