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Don McPherson

Don McPherson

Keynote Speaker: Activist, Educator, Feminist, Entrepreneur, College Football Hall of Famer

Don McPherson Biography

Don McPherson is the author of You Throw Like a Girl: The Blind Spot of Masculinity, which chronicles 35 years of harnessing the power and appeal of sport to address complex social issues and focuses on a quarter century of work on gender-based violence prevention.

McPherson was an All-America quarterback at Syracuse University and is a veteran of the NFL and Canadian Football League. As captain of the undefeated 1987 Syracuse football team, McPherson set 22 school records, led the nation in passing and won more than 18 national “player of the year” awards, including the Maxwell Award as the nation’s best player, the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award and the inaugural Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. He was second in the Heisman Trophy voting. In 2008 McPherson was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. In 2013 Syracuse University retired his #9 jersey.

Since 1984 McPherson has delivered school and community-based programs addressing issues such as drunk driving, alcohol and substance abuse, bullying, youth leadership and mentoring. Upon retiring from pro football in 1994, he joined Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society as national director of Athletes in Service to America. In 2002 he founded the Sports Leadership Institute at Adelphi University, for which he served as executive director until 2007.

In 1995 McPherson turned his focus to the issue of “men’s violence against women,” as director of Sport in Society’s Mentors in Violence Prevention Program, taking over for the program’s founder, Jackson Katz. McPherson emerged as a national leader and advocate for the prevention of sexual and domestic violence. He has conducted workshops and lectures for more than 350 college campuses, community organizations and national sports and violence prevention organizations. His programs and lectures have reached more than 1 million people.

Don has twice testified before the United States Congress and has worked closely with the U.S. Departments of Education and Defense on issues of sexual violence in education and the military, respectively. He has provided commentary on numerous national news programs and was featured in O Magazine and appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Don also created and hosted “Training for Life” on MSG Varsity, a life-skills TV show that examined a myriad of social issues and sports. In 2012, Training for Life's episode on "Sports Parenting" was nominated for an Emmy Award.

McPherson has worked as a college football analyst for ESPN, BET and NBC and spent six seasons as the lead studio analyst for Sportsnet New York’s coverage of Big East and American Athletic Conference football. In 2000, while a board member of the Nassau County Sports Commission, McPherson created the John Mackey Award, which recognizes college football’s outstanding tight end.

Don McPherson has received several honors in recognition of his service, including the Frederick Douglas Men of Strength Award, given by Men Can Stop Rape, Champions for Change, presented by Lifetime Television, The Creative Vision for Women’s Justice, presented by the Pace University Women’s Justice Center, and a Leadership Award from the National Center for Victims of Crime. Most recently Don received the George Arents Award, Syracuse University's highest alumni honor and “Letter Winner of Distinction,” the highest honor bestowed a former student-athlete.

Don McPherson has served as a board member, consultant and advisor for several national organizations including the Ms Foundation for Women, the US National Committee for UN Women and the National Football Foundation. McPherson recently served as a member the NCAA Task Force on Sexual Violence and the NCAA Board of Governors Commission to Combat Sexual Violence. Currently he serves on the board of directors for the NYC Chapter of the National Football Foundation, the Advisory Board of the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities, at Stony Brook University and is a member of the board for Press Forward and the Solidarity Council of Vial Voices.

Contact a speaker booking agent to check availability on Don McPherson and other top speakers and celebrities.

Don McPherson Speaking Topics

Women’s Issues

"Men Have Gender Too!" For far too long "gender studies" and differences have been seen through the eyes of women. The lack of male perspective has led to a narrow view of men and how to communicate/work with them. As women assume a greater role in American business and culture, how they understand masculinity and their relationship with men become critically important to their success.

Work – Life Balance

“BE Where You Are” We have all been taught to identify where we want to "go;" to set our goals high and shoot for the stars. We've also been told to cherish the journey. With life's many distractions this delicate balance is often very difficult. This lecture helps people to identify, live and work in the moment. It's not where you want to go…it's where you want to BE that is important.

Overcoming Adversity

“Back to the Manual” The more difficult challenges become, the more important it is to consider the basics. From the basics we can see the road map to correction and we are reminded of our initial motivation.

“Disregard All Extraneous Stimuli” Focusing on your mission and goals is more difficult in today's instant gratification and highly saturated media/communication environment. Focus requires strategy and practice.

Transition Issues

“Life is Not an Event” It's hard to see "down the road" when there are sharp turns blocking your sight. And, no game is won or lost on game day. Sustained success comes from understanding that life is a process and success is measured in the aggregate of the span, not the glitz of a moment.

Motivational

“Spend Time with Your Dreams” Most teams and organizations fail to realize that their best ideas, synergy and work occurs when they are preparing to present their work to a client, in performance, etc. Our preparation is what makes us better and what strengthens our resolve and performance.

“Mastery in Practice” The little things we do everyday, in preparation for larger tasks are the foundation of success. Those minute skills that we take for granted because they were drilled in us and have become rote understanding, are also the ways in which we problem solve, create opportunities and ultimately achieve success.

Don McPherson Videos

Wrote His Book 20 Years Before Publishing It | Elvis Duran Show
Don McPherson – The Blind Spot of Masculinity
2016 MVP Student Leadership Summit Keynote- Don McPherson

How do I book Don McPherson to speak at my event?

Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Don McPherson for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Schedule button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Don McPherson, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Don McPherson or any other speaker of your choice.

How much does it cost to book Don McPherson for a speaking engagement?

Speaking fees for Don McPherson, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Don McPherson are $10,000 - $20,000 for live events and Below $10,000 for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Don McPherson, click the Check Schedule button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.

What topics does Don McPherson speak about?

Don McPherson is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics such as Football, Business, Work-Life Balance, Personal Growth, Feminism, Entrepreneurship, Social Justice, Social Activism, Hosts & Emcees, Mental Health and Health.

Where does Don McPherson travel from?

Don McPherson generally travels from New York, NY, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances.

Who is the agent for Don McPherson?

AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully secured keynote speakers like Don McPherson for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Schedule button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Don McPherson for your next private or corporate function.

What is a full-service speaker booking agency?

AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Don McPherson or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.

Why is AAE Speakers Bureau different from other booking agencies?

If you’re looking for the best speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.


Don McPherson is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics including Football, Business and Work-Life Balance. The estimated speaking fee range to book Don McPherson for live events is $10,000 - $20,000, and for virtual events Below $10,000. Don McPherson generally travels from New York, NY, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Tony Porter, Thomas Henderson and Mónica Ramírez. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Don McPherson for an upcoming event.

Don McPherson Speaking Topics

  • Women’s Issues

    "Men Have Gender Too!" For far too long "gender studies" and differences have been seen through the eyes of women. The lack of male perspective has led to a narrow view of men and how to communicate/work with them. As women assume a greater role in American business and culture, how they understand masculinity and their relationship with men become critically important to their success.

  • Work – Life Balance

    “BE Where You Are” We have all been taught to identify where we want to "go;" to set our goals high and shoot for the stars. We've also been told to cherish the journey. With life's many distractions this delicate balance is often very difficult. This lecture helps people to identify, live and work in the moment. It's not where you want to go…it's where you want to BE that is important.

  • Overcoming Adversity

    “Back to the Manual” The more difficult challenges become, the more important it is to consider the basics. From the basics we can see the road map to correction and we are reminded of our initial motivation.

    “Disregard All Extraneous Stimuli” Focusing on your mission and goals is more difficult in today's instant gratification and highly saturated media/communication environment. Focus requires strategy and practice.

  • Transition Issues

    “Life is Not an Event” It's hard to see "down the road" when there are sharp turns blocking your sight. And, no game is won or lost on game day. Sustained success comes from understanding that life is a process and success is measured in the aggregate of the span, not the glitz of a moment.

  • Motivational

    “Spend Time with Your Dreams” Most teams and organizations fail to realize that their best ideas, synergy and work occurs when they are preparing to present their work to a client, in performance, etc. Our preparation is what makes us better and what strengthens our resolve and performance.

    “Mastery in Practice” The little things we do everyday, in preparation for larger tasks are the foundation of success. Those minute skills that we take for granted because they were drilled in us and have become rote understanding, are also the ways in which we problem solve, create opportunities and ultimately achieve success.

Don McPherson Videos

Wrote His Book 20 Years Before Publishing It | Elvis Duran Show
Don McPherson – The Blind Spot of Masculinity
2016 MVP Student Leadership Summit Keynote- Don McPherson

Don McPherson Reviews

  • St. Paul's School - Apr 26 2022

  • Debbie was a wonderful colleague. She was very communicative, patient with me when I was not communicative, and extremely flexible when each of our respective offices had extreme weather events. I told Debbie that I've planned about 20 lectures in this job, and this was by far the easiest and most enjoyable experience we've had with an agency. Thank you!
    Tulane University - Sep 27 2018

  • We had a wonderful evening with Don. He gave a great talk to our laconic students, and dinner was delightful and full of good conversation.
    Tulane University - Sep 27 2018

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