FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  September 24, 2019

General James N. Mattis to Serve as Speaker for the 74th Annual
Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner

September 24, 2019 (New York) -General Jim Mattis, USMC (Retired) and 26 th United States Secretary of Defense, will be the speaker at the 74th annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner which will be held on Thursday, October 17, 2019 in the Grand Ballroom of New York’s Hilton Hotel MidtownGeneral Mattis will join the ranks of political dignitaries, cultural leaders, and presidential candidates who have served as speakers at the annual gala since the dinner’s inception in 1945, including last year’s speaker Ambassador Nikki R. Hailey, United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

General Mattis’ distinguished 46 years of military and civilian service have encompassed the most dynamic and rapidly evolving chapters of United States (“U.S.”) history. He served as an infantry officer in The United States Marine Corps, NATO Supreme Allied Commander, and Commander of U.S. Central Command. He oversaw 250,000 U.S. and allied troops in combat across the Middle East until his retirement in 2013, when he accepted a post as Davies Family Scholar at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.  Most recently, General Mattis heeded the call to serve his country, yet again, as the 26 th United States Secretary of Defense, an office he held from January 2017 to December 2018. In September 2019, he published the New York Times bestseller Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead, an autobiographical account of leadership and strategy in a rapidly changing world.

General Mattis will share the dais at this year’s dinner with Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, and deliver the evening’s address in the spirit of conviviality and good humor that has become the hallmark of the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner. For over seven decades the country’s most prominent civic, business, and religious leaders have gathered at the city’s signature fundraising event to support the mission of a foundation which sponsors a wide-range of charities committed to serving New York’s neediest children.  

This year’s Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner will highlight Alfred E. Smith’s Legacy of Empowerment with a focus on the contribution of women. This legacy includes Governor Smith’s passage of groundbreaking labor reform legislation that transformed the lives of working, immigrant women and children in the early 20th century, as well as the work of the foundation’s women leaders today, and their enduring commitment to improving the quality life of underserved families and children throughout the city.

The Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner honors a cause that transcends partisan politics of the day and advances the vision of four-term New York governor and presidential nominee Governor Alfred E. Smith, who was known as “The Happy Warrior” for his ability to maintain a positive disposition even as he tackled the most pressing social issues of his day. Each year the Foundation carries on the tradition of the “Happy Warrior” by recognizing an individual who exemplifies the character and values of Alfred E. Smith. This year, the Happy Warrior Award recipient will be Mary Ann Tighe, chief executive officer of the New York Tri-State Region of CBRE, the world’s largest commercial real estate services firm. She is the first woman to receive the award.

Emmy-award winning actor and SNL alumnus, Martin Short will serve as Master of Ceremonies at this year’s dinner.

The Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation has raised hundreds of millions in support of charities and educational institutions devoted to serving the children of New York who are most in need.

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CREDENTIALS ISSUED BY THE ALFRED E. SMITH MEMORIAL FOUNDATION WILL BE REQUIRED FOR JOURNALISTS WISHING TO COVER THE DINNER. TO APPLY FOR YOUR CREDENTIAL, KINDLY SUBMIT YOUR REQUEST BY EMAIL TO: MERCEDES.ANDERSON@ARCHNY.ORG NO LATER THAN WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9. 

PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT SPACE IS LIMITED AND AN APPLICATION FOR A CREDENTIAL DOES NOT NECESSARILY GUARANTEE ONE WILL BE PROVIDED.