Robert D. Ballard – is Founder and President of the Ocean Exploration Trust; Director of the Center for Ocean Exploration and Professor of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. He is an Explorer-In-Residence at the National Geographic Society, Commissioner for the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, and a Senior Scientist Emeritus at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He served in the U.S. Navy for more than 30 years and continues to work with the Office of Naval Research. A pioneer in the development of deep-sea submersibles and remotely operated vehicle systems, he has taken part in more than 140 deep-sea expeditions. In 1985, he discovered the RMS Titanic, and has succeeded in tracking down numerous other significant shipwrecks, including the German battleship Bismarck, the lost fleet of Guadalcanal, the U.S. aircraft carrier Yorktown, and John F. Kennedy’s boat, PT-109. He has also discovered hydrothermal vents and “black smokers” in the Galapagos Rift and East Pacific Rise in 1977 and 1979. The author of numerous books, scientific papers, and articles, he has been featured in several National Geographic television programs, including “Secrets of the Titanic” and a more recent five-part mini-series, “Alien Deep with Bob Ballard.” He was a special advisor to Steve Spielberg on the futuristic television show seaQuest DSV.  His honors include 21 Honorary Doctorates, National Geographic’s highest award, the Hubbard Medal, and a National Endowment for the Humanities Medal. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014.

The Pursuit of Discovery

Famous for discovering iconic ships the Titanic and the Bismarck, Dr. Ballard will share his experiences of exploration; past, present and futures.  Experience remarkable stories and imagery of iconic navigation history and a journey into the little known underwater world that makes up 70% of our planet. Further, he will discuss his “Guiding Principles” of Leadership such as having passion as the most important driving engine, embracing the risk of failure, as well as the importance of learning how to follow before you can lead. Dr. Ballard believes that the way to form a team is by showing people what they are truly capable of, and knowing what they have the capacity for by challenging and pushing.