When not speaking, Tererai is a mother, consultant and is tirelessly working to establish groundbreaking developments in her home village in Zimbabwe to create sustainable quality education and community empowerment. Learn more at Tererai Trent International.

As a woman who grew up in rural Africa who overcame great obstacles to achieving her own success, Dr. Tererai Trent’s story is a striking example that anything in life is possible. Her picture book, The Girl Who Buried Her Dreams in a Can (Viking Books for Young Readers), is based on her story of perseverance.

Drawing from the precious wisdom of her cultural roots, and the valuable lessons of achieving success in present day America, Tererai is poised between the ancient and modern – offering a beautifully unique perspective, privilege to a rare few.

Gifted with natural charisma and humor, Tererai gracefully communicates her universal message of empowerment to audiences all over the world. Speaking straight from the heart on key themes such as leadership, social change, overcoming obstacles and the importance of quality education and women’s empowerment, she holds the capacity to inspire, encourage, reassure and energize all who hear her speak.

Tererai crafts her messages so every presentation is original, and directly addresses the heart of the organization or theme of the event, as well as the audience which is present. She has successfully worked with corporate and social businesses, non-profits, academic institutions, and community and service organizations. Her phenomenal life experiences combined with her powerful delivery has received overwhelming accolades from her international clients, colleagues and fans, time and time again. Read on to learn more…

Top 5 Reasons to Book Dr. Tererai Trent for your event:

  • Her message has inspired millions around the globe, including Oprah Winfrey who chose Dr. Trent her “All-Time Favorite Guest.”
  • With authentic presence, humility and a great sense of humor, she inspires audiences with her compelling story of overcoming adversity, and teaches how to dream with a purpose.
  • You want to hold a platform with one of today’s leading voices for quality education and women’s empowerment.
  • Tererai offers a unique global perspective as a woman who grew up in impoverished rural Africa – now in high demand to speak around the globe as an award-winning scholar and humanitarian.
  • You are seeking a speaker to highlight the cause of your organization with extraordinarily inspiring stories which touch people from all walks of life.

Following are some examples of Dr. Tererai Trent’s speaking topics:

  • Achieving Dreams Against All Odds
  • The Power of Great Hunger – How it Defines Us
  • The Three Powers of Inspired Women’s Leadership: Passion, Mentorship & Giving Back
  • Education is a Human Right: Turning Oppression into Opportunities
  • Empowering Girls Through Education
  • University Commencement Speeches
  • Two-time guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Tererai was chosen by Oprah as her “All-Time Favorite Guest”, one among over 30,000 individuals spanning 25 years of the syndicated show.
  • Tererai was interviewed on CNNNewsweek Daily BeastCNBC Africa and more…
  • Gayle King chose a quote from Tererai as her favorite motto (O Magazine): “Run away from toxic people. Instead, surround yourself with others who are positive, who support you and want you to succeed.” – Tererai Trent
  • Tererai was included in 2013 “O Power List” – honoring women who inspire others to follow and fulfill their purpose, as the truest version of themselves.
  • Tererai’s story was featured in the New York Times Besteller, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

“Dr. Trent’s speech – and her very presence – at the Texas Nonprofit Summit was moving, passionate, and overall inspiring. The nonprofit professionals that attend our conference could not stop talking about her and her story – she was the clear highlight of the whole event!”


Director of Education at Greenlights for Nonprofit Success

“Her incredible and fierce talent for motivating audiences—young and older—is even more impressive because it is matched by a genuine and warm spirit. Dr. Trent spoke at our Girls’ World Forum and there was not a dry eye in the place—she is the real deal! Thank you for being a class act and for being a true testament to the power of great talent, hard work, and unrelenting perseverance.”


“Tererai Trent was absolutely amazing last night!
She had our audience hanging on her every word, you literally could have heard a pin drop. She received two standing ovations and at least another four spontaneous outbursts of applause. Women laughed, cried, and thoroughly enjoyed the privilege of hearing her words. Many attendees came up afterwards to say she was “the best they’ve ever heard” – no small praise considering the caliber of speakers that have been featured over the past fifteen years.”

Women's Connection

Co-Executive Director

“I am deeply moved and inspired by what Dr. Trent said, and her experience.”

Ban Ki-Moon

UN Secretary General, United Nations

“Dr. Trent I think you’ve mastered the art of something that I’ve heard from a very young age… that your mind shapes your reality, and your reality does not shape who you are.”


CNBC Africa

“Your inspiring keynote was so beautifully shared… In my four years speaking for EY, I have never seen a standing ovation like the one given to you. What a testament to how you inspired our audience.”



“Dr. Trent’s passionate message about the power of education resonated with the graduate students during a critical time in their studies. Her moving story of hope and determination inspired our students to think differently, ask questions, and explore how they can effect positive social change within their professions, communities, and, quite possibly, the world. Dr. Trent is an eloquent speaker whose extraordinary story inspires audiences to believe they have the power to make a difference.”


“Dr. Trent gave a dynamic and moving keynote speech at the Chrysalis Foundation’s Annual Fundraising Event in September 2014. Her topic, “The 4 P’s of Women in Leadership,” provided pragmatic guidance on how to live life in a way that positively impacts both one’s personal future and also the lives of others.

Dr. Trent captivated an audience of roughly 500 people, who hung on to her every word. She weaved together anecdotes and observations in a manner that few speakers can. Dr. Trent also incorporated well-founded research about the Chrysalis Foundation into her message, which added a kind of personalization that resonated with the attendees. I highly recommend Dr. Trent for any event that seeks to inspire, motivate and empower both youth and adults.”

Shontavia Johnson

Dr. Trent’s comments at our 2016 undergraduate commencement were powerful and inspiring. From start to finish, our students, parents, alumni, faculty and staff were captivated.

Her comments completely resonated with everyone in the auditorium. There is amazing power in adversity, in hunger, and in education. Not only has she demonstrated that with the story of her own life’s choices, she is compelling in her passion and message to us all. Each person can see how they have power, like her. She makes you know, not just believe that you can use that power for a better future, for yourself first and then, just as importantly, for others.

Kenneth M. Macur

President, Medaille College


  • Transforming Journeys – Iowa Women’s Leadership Conference – Sioux City & Cedar Rapids IA (2015)
  • Catalyst University – Kalamazoo MI (2015)
  • EY Strategic Growth Forum – Palm Springs CA (2014)
  • Chrysalis Foundation Annual Fundraiser – Des Moines IA (2014 & 2012)
  • Girl Scouts National Convention, Salt Lake City UT (2014)
  • United Way Women’s Leadership Council “Power of the Purse” Event, Hartford CT (2014)
  • Inspiring Leadership Conference – ICC Birmingham, England (2014)
  • Rotary Club – Harare, Zimbabwe (2014)
  • AISEN Conference, Association of International School Educators – Lagos, Nigeria (2014)
  • UN Global Compact Leaders Summit: Architects of a Better World – NYC, (2013)
    – Opened the plenary session before Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General 
  • “Challenging Impossible” event sponsored by Sabanci Foundation – Istanbul, Turkey (2013)
    – Shared the platform with Princess Mabel van Oranje of Netherlands 
  • Idea Festival – Louisville KY (2013)
  • Women in the World Summit – NYC (2013)
    – Shared platform with Oprah and Hillary Clinton
  • Stanford University – Palo Alto CA (2013)
  • NAACP – MLK Jr. Day Celebration – Springfield MO (2012)
  • Girls World Forum, Girls Scouts – Chicago IL (2012)
  • United Way Community Leaders Conference – Nashville TN (2012)
  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Int’l Women’s Conference – Puerto Rico (2012)
  • United Way Anniversary – Panama (2011)
  • Yale University – New Haven CT (2010)
  • Heifer International 60th Anniversary – Little Rock AK (2006)
    – Shared the platform with President Bill Clinton & Jeffrey Sachs 


  • Loyola University – Chicago IL (2014)
  • Oklahoma State University – Stillwater OK (2014)
  • Wilmington Friends School – Delaware (2013)
  • Walden University – Minnesota (2013 & 2012)
  • Dr. Trent authors the picture book The Girl Who Buried Her Dreams in a Can, illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist (Release date: Oct 6,2015 on Viking Books, imprint of Penguin Random House)
  • Dr. Trent has completed her personal memoir, likely to be released in 2016.
  • Dr. Trent is working on various other children’s books and other publications, release dates to be announced.

Would you like Tererai to speak at your next event?