Romney set to headline Desert Town Hall Series

Former Republican Presidential candidate to speak in valley

Indian Wells - Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will headline next year's Desert Town Hall speakers series in Indian Wells, it was announced Tuesday.  

Also scheduled to take part in the series are astrophysicist and television host Neil deGrasse Tyson, photographer Platon Antoniou and Pulitzer Prize-winning political columnist Charles Krauthammer, according to organizers.  All talks are at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa.

Romney, who will speak Jan. 19, 2015, lost to Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election. He was governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007, and president and CEO of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. He co-founded Bain Capital, where he worked until 1998.

Tyson, who will speak Feb. 12, is the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and author of 10 books. He hosted a reboot of Carl Sagan's television series ``Cosmos'' on Fox and was appointed by President George W. Bush to space exploration and aerospace commissions. He has a doctorate in astrophysics from Columbia.

Antoniou -- known as Platon -- will speak March 1. He has taken portraits for several well-known publications and has provided photos for more than 20 Time magazine covers. His photo of Vladimir Putin for Time's ``Person of the Year'' cover in 2007 won the top prize at the World Press Photo Contest.  In 2008, he became the staff photographer for The New Yorker, and published a book, ``Power,'' of photos of world leaders.

Krauthammer, who speaks March 25, is a Washington Post columnist, Fox News commentator, author and physician. His weekly Post column is syndicated to more than 400 newspapers around the world, and he won a Pulitzer for distinguished commentary in 1987. He has has written two books, ``Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics,'' and ``Democratic Realism: An American Foreign Policy for a Unipolar World.''

Past Desert Town Hall speakers include former presidents George W. and George H.W. Bush, neurosurgeon and health expert Sanjay Gupta, former U.S. defense secretary and CIA director Leon Panetta, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Pakistan President Musharraf, former Britain Prime Minister Tony Blair, retired Army general and former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, diplomat Henry Kissinger and ocean explorers Bob Ballard and Jean-Michel Cousteau.

The series is sponsored by local companies, organizations and philanthropists. The nonprofit Desert Forum produces Desert Town Hall.   Tickets for all four lectures are $2,000 for center seating with dinner and invite to meet and take a photo with the speaker, $1,150 for a reserved seat with dinner, $500 for a reserved seat and $250 for an unreserved seat. Any available individual tickets are sold a few weeks beforehand.

For information and tickets, call (760) 610-2852 or go to www.deserttownhall.org.

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