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Speaker: Ken Budd
Fee: $5,000 fee range

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Ken Budd

  • Author of The Voluntourist
Traveling From
Virginia
Fee Range
$5,000 fee range

Categories:
Inspiration · Motivation · Politics/World Affairs

About Ken

Ken Budd is the author of the memoir The Voluntourist: A Six-Country Tale of Love, Loss, Fatherhood, Fate, and Singing Bon Jovi in Bethlehem (Morrow Avon), the story of his quest to fight grief with generosity, and to determine if we live better when we live for others — even if it’s only two weeks at a time. An experienced speaker, Budd has made over 40 appearances on TV and radio, including NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, CNBC’s Power Lunch and Street Signs, and ABC News Now, plus Martha Stewart Living Radio, Bloomberg Radio, and The Joan Hamburg Show. Budd has spoken at the AARP member event, the Alaska Media Roadshow, the Educational Travel Conference, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland, and... » read more

Ken Budd is the author of the memoir The Voluntourist: A Six-Country Tale of Love, Loss, Fatherhood, Fate, and Singing Bon Jovi in Bethlehem (Morrow Avon), the story of his quest to fight grief with generosity, and to determine if we live better when we live for others — even if it’s only two weeks at a time. An experienced speaker, Budd has made over 40 appearances on TV and radio, including NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, CNBC’s Power Lunch and Street Signs, and ABC News Now, plus Martha Stewart Living Radio, Bloomberg Radio, and The Joan Hamburg Show. Budd has spoken at the AARP member event, the Alaska Media Roadshow, the Educational Travel Conference, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland, and George Mason University. He has also spoken at writers’ conferences such as Travel Classics and Writers & Editors/One-on-One, and at sessions hosted by the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Society of American Travel Writers, and the Society of National Association Publications. His speeches covering everything from global volunteering to travel to living a fulfilling life resonate with a broad range of audiences.

Budd’s journey as a global volunteer began in 2005, when his father died from a heart attack after 18 holes of golf. By that point, Budd was already questioning his life: His 40th birthday was looming, and it seemed he’d never be a father himself. As grieving friends wrote to say how his father had changed their lives, Budd’s own life took on a new urgency. He compared his achievements with those of his father — his dad rose from poverty, he influenced the lives of countless colleagues and friends — and found himself lacking. Budd wondered: What is my purpose? What am I doing that matters? Determined to help others, Budd volunteered around the world, working in New Orleans nine months after Hurricane Katrina, in Costa Rica as an English teacher, in China at a special needs school, in Ecuador collecting data for climate change researchers, in Palestine assisting refugees, and in Kenya caring for orphans at a children’s home.

Budd has written for such publications as The Washington Post, Smithsonian, The Miami Herald, Stuff, McSweeney’s, Might, and Worldview; his work as editor of AARP The Magazine’s Navigator section was nominated for a National Magazine Award in 2005. He has also won honors from the American Society of Association Executives and the Society of National Association Publications, and in 2010 was named George Mason University’s English Alumnus of the Year.

A lifelong Virginian, Budd and his wife live near Fairfax. He holds degrees in English from George Mason University and is one of the founders of the university’s Robert M. Budd scholarship endowment.

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Books

Speaker Programs

The Voluntourist
A Six-Country Tale of Love, Loss, Fatherhood, Fate, and Singing Bon Jovi in Bethlehem
Feeling Stupid Is Good
How Escaping Your Comfort Zone Can Make You Smarter, Happier, Healthier
Turning Your Vacation into a Life-Changing Experience
Two Weeks of Volunteering is All It Takes

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