Search Institute Keynotes

Search Institute experts can give customized keynotes on a range of topics. Fill out the Search Institute Keynotes & Workshops Intake Form, and a Search Institute representative will contact you to discuss your keynote needs.


Professional Overview

James Conway

James (Jim) Conway is a veteran trainer and speaker with over 25 years experience providing training and consultation to youth serving professionals and volunteers in educational and community-based organizations in the US and abroad. He has designed and delivered major training for Search Institute since 1995. For the last decade he also served as a lead trainer and presenter for Vision Training Associates. Conway has also served as a member of the national training team, National Institute on Out-of-School Time, Wellesley College, MA. Prior to beginning his career as a trainer and speaker on positive youth development, Jim served for 15 years in leadership roles of various programs for children and young adolescents.

Kent Pekel, Ed.D.

President and CEO Kent Pekel is an educator and administrator who has worked at the school, district, state, federal, and university levels. Prior to joining Search Institute in 2012, Kent served as the founding Executive Director of the University of Minnesota’s College Readiness Consortium and as the Executive Director of Research and Development in the Saint Paul Public Schools. Kent also held several senior staff-level positions in the Clinton Administration, including White House Fellow assigned to the Director of Central Intelligence, Special Advisor to the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, and Special Assistant to the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education. Kent has taught at the high school level in Minnesota and at the college level in China. He holds a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Yale University, a Master’s in Education from Harvard and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Minnesota. He serves on the boards of MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership and Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest.

Eugene C. Roehlkepartain, Ph.D.

As Vice President of Research and Development, Roehlkepartain provides leadership for Search Institute’s research and development projects as well as serving as part of the nonprofit organization’s leadership team. Working with colleagues, he designs and implement major projects and partnerships aligned with Search Institute’s strategic priorities. He also represents the organization through consultations, presentations, and workshops. Roehlkepartain joined Search institute in 1991 and, prior to assuming his current position, has had a number of roles, including acting CEO, executive vice president, senior advisor to the president, and director of publishing.

Theresa K. Sullivan, Ed.D.

As Director of Applied Qualitative Research and Community Mobilization, Sullivan works on major projects with field partners ready to break new ground together, documenting and sharing lessons with others along the way. She rejoined the Search Institute team in 2011, after completing her Doctorate in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she focused on learning what it takes to mobilize communities to make sure all kids get what they need to succeed. She first joined Search in the late 1990s as a researcher and senior consultant with a focus on statewide asset-building initiatives.

Amy Syvertsen, Ph.D.

Amy Syvertsen, PhD, is Director of Applied Quantitative Research and a Senior Research Scientist at Search Institute. Her program of research blends the themes of developmental theory, adolescent civic engagement, and positive youth development. Her research focuses on understanding the core values and behaviors that promote social responsibility and participatory citizenship in young people. Her work seeks to advance our understanding of the contextual (family, school, community) and developmental underpinnings of thriving in childhood and adolescence.


For more information about our keynotes, contact Mary Shrader:
Call: 800-888-7828, Ext. 526
Fax: 612-692-5553
Mail: 3001 Broadway St NE, Suite 310
Minneapolis, MN 55413

Or fill out the Search Institute Keynotes & Workshops Intake Form, and a Search Institute representative will contact you.