The University of San Francisco’s Silk Speaker Series Welcomes Kal Penn on April 14

SAN FRANCISCO (April 10, 2023) – The Silk Speaker Series at the University of San Francisco (USF) will welcome Kal Penn, actor, writer, producer, and former associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement under President Barack Obama, for an in-person event moderated by USF Associate Professor Sadia Saeed on Friday, April 14 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The event is open to the public (registration is required).

Penn is known for his starring roles in Designated Survivor, House, and the Harold & Kumar franchise. From 2009 to 2011, Kal took a sabbatical from acting to serve in the Obama/Biden administration, where he was the President’s Liaison to Young Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and the Arts community. In these roles, he worked on a range of issues, including the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the Affordable Care Act, and the DREAM Act.

Funded by a transformational gift to USF by investment expert Jeff Silk ’87 and his wife, Naomi, the Silk Speaker Series at the University of San Francisco brings international thought leaders in business, finance and global issues to USF students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the university. Now in its seventh year, the Silk Speaker Series has featured speakers including Robin Roberts of Good Morning America, NBA star Stephen Curry and Head Coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors, soccer champion and equality activist Megan Rapinoe, tennis legend and equality champion Billie Jean King, 66th Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice, NBA great Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr., and Former Chair of the Federal Reserve and recently appointed United States Treasury Secretary Dr. Janet L. Yellen.

Event Details:

Friday, April 14, 2023 - 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

In-person. Registration is required.

War Memorial Gym at the Sobrato Center on the University of San Francisco campus

2335 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco, CA 94118


About the University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco is a private, Jesuit Catholic university that reflects the diversity, optimism, and opportunities of the city that surrounds it. USF offers more than 230 undergraduate, graduate, professional, and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, law, education, and nursing and health professions. At USF, each course is an intimate learning community in which top professors encourage students to turn learning into positive action, so the students graduate equipped to do well in the world — and inspired to change it for the better. For more information, visit