For Immediate Release

Washington, February 26, 2019 – Shankar Vedantam, acclaimed journalist, author, social science correspondent and host of NPR’s “Hidden Brain,” will speak at the NAFSA 2019 Annual Conference & Expo in Washington, D.C. The focus of Vedantam’s program is on human behavior and the social sciences and how research in those fields can get listeners to think about the news in unusual and interesting ways. He will address the conference on Friday, May 31, 2019.

“Vedantam’s blend of social science rigor and journalistic story-telling creates fascinating explanations of how people interact with the societies around them, which should be very interesting for international educators,” said NAFSA Executive Director and CEO Esther D. Brimmer.

Before joining NPR in 2011, Vedantam spent 10 years as a reporter at The Washington Post. From 2007 to 2009, he was also a columnist, and wrote the “Department of Human Behavior” column for the Post.

Throughout his career, Vedantam has been recognized with many journalism honors including awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors, the South Asian Journalists Association, the Asian American Journalists Association, the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association, and the American Public Health Association.

Vedantam has served as a lecturer at many academic institutions including Harvard University and Columbia University. In 2010, he completed a two year-term as a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington.

Vedantam is the author of the non-fiction book, “The Hidden Brain: How our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars and Save Our Lives.” The book, published in 2010, describes how unconscious biases influence people.

Additionally, Vedantam has written fiction and plays. His short story-collection, “The Ghosts of Kashmir,” was published in 2005. The previous year, the Brick Playhouse in Philadelphia produced his full-length, comedy play, “Tom, Dick and Harriet.”

This closing plenary session featuring Shankar Vedantam is sponsored in part by Virginia Technic Institute and State University. Learn more about all the plenary speakers as

About the NAFSA Conference

NAFSA’s 71st Annual Conference & Expo is the world’s largest gathering of professionals in international education with an expected 10,000 attendees from more than 100 countries. The conference offers a wide array of learning and networking opportunities for international educators and features more than 200 sessions and workshops focusing on the most crucial topics in international education and exchange and global learning.

A major highlight of the conference is the International Education Expo Hall, which features more than 400 exhibitors representing hundreds of organizations from around the world, including colleges and universities; study abroad and intensive-English programs; embassies and government agencies; and more. The conference theme for 2019 is “Global Leadership, Learning, and Change.” It will be held in Washington D.C., May 28 - 31, 2019.

Learn more at

About NAFSA: With more than 10,000 members, NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the world's largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education. Visit us at To learn more about our advocacy efforts on behalf of international education, visit and @ConnectOurWorld on Twitter. Resources to guide our members on these issues can be found at