HarperCollins Speakers Bureau

Allison Gilbert

Speaker on Cancer Prevention, Workplace Rebounds, Parentless Parents, and Loss & Recovery; Emmy Award-winning Journalist


  • Cancer Once Removed: My Journey to Prevent Breast & Ovarian Cancer
  • Turning Obstacles into Opportunities: How Setbacks in Life Can Spell Success at Work
  • Using Those Bumps in the Road: How Hardships of Any Kind Make You a Better Parent, and Help Teach Important Lessons to Your Children
  • Parentless Parents: How the Loss of Our Mothers and Fathers Impacts the Way We Raise Our Children
  • Connecting Generations One Idea at a Time


New York

Allison Gilbert is an Emmy award-winning journalist, critically acclaimed author, and sought after keynote speaker. Her work has been honored by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Associated Press, and the Society of Professional Journalists. She's been featured in the New York Times, ABC, CBS, CNN, and was named a "Lifechanger" by the nationally syndicated television show Extra. She is the author of Parentless Parents: How the Loss of Our Mothers and Fathers Impacts the Way We Raise Our Children (Hyperion), a follow-up to her critically acclaimed book Always Too Soon: Voices of Support for Those Who Have Lost Both Parents. She is also co-editor of Covering Catastrophe: Broadcast Journalists Report September 11, a book that was turned into a documentary by the U.S. State Department and distributed to embassies and consulates around the world. Gilbert is the founder of Parentless Parents, a nationwide network of parents who have experienced the loss of their own mothers and fathers. She has spoken to diverse groups such as Time Warner, NAFE (National Association of Female Executives), New York City's 92nd Street Y, the JCC in Manhattan, Women's Enterprise Development Center Inc., Gilda's Club, and the Cancer Support Community. She is a perfect speaker for cancer organizations, business associations, Jewish groups, women and parenting organizations, and genealogical associations.

Gilbert is a frequent contributor to The Huffington Post where she explores the ups and downs of motherhood and has chronicled her courageous decision to surgically remove her ovaries in her series "My Journey to Prevent Ovarian Cancer." She also writes her popular Keeping Their Memory Alive blog at www.allisongilbert.com.

In her presentations, Gilbert uses her own story as a prism to reveal the unique anxieties and challenges we all face, and how to turn those obstacles into tools for success at home and at work. She speaks about how her mother's early death from ovarian cancer led her to radical measures to prevent breast and ovarian cancer and how we can all take our health into our own hands. As a parentless parent, she talks about the unique issues of raising a family without the help and guidance of ones parents. By sharing insights from both respected experts in the field as well as parentless parents she has interviewed, Gilbert offers specific guidance on how to manage feelings of grief while exploring fun and creative ideas to help children remember their grandparents.

Gilbert's Parentless Parents is the only book to show that for the first time in U.S. history, as the average age of women giving birth continues to rise, millions of children are at risk of having fewer years with their grandparents than ever before. While grandparents are living longer, they're not living long enough to compensate for these staggering delays. This sweeping demographic shift is affecting every member of the American family, and has never been reported, until now: Parents are raising kids without the help and support of their own parents, and children don't have grandparents with all the recognized social and cognitive benefits associated with these grandparent/grandchild relationships.

Gilbert is actively engaged with a number of charitable organizations including the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, LUNGevity, Bright Pink, and the Cancer Support Community. Through her work on Covering Catastrophe, she is an active consultant to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

As a journalist, Gilbert has covered nearly every major news story in the last 20 years - including 9/11, where she was on the job for WNBC-TV and nearly killed by falling debris, the recovery efforts following Hurricane Katrina, and the historic election of President Barack Obama. She has written for numerous newspapers and magazines including the New York Times. She graduated from Georgetown University and lives in New York with her husband and their two young children.

Praise for Allison Gilbert's Talks:

"I attend and oversee dozens of events for women in corporate America every year, and I find Allison an unusually warm, informative, and funny speaker. She brilliantly applies her own hard-won lessons and insights to the business and professional issues that others face. Our members loved her!"
-- Betty Spence, Ph.D., President, National Association for Female Executives (NAFE)

"What a fabulous evening! The room was packed. The crowd was happy. Everyone walked away thrilled they made the time to come. Let's do it again soon."
-- Susan Engel, Director, Lectures, 92nd Street Y

"I have been planning events at the JCC for over nine years and have worked with many authors. From beginning to end, Allison was not only flexible and accommodating; she was simply a pleasure to work with. By all accounts, her recent event was a great success!"
-- Susie Kessler, Program Director, JCC in Manhattan

"From the bottom of my heart, thank you for leading such an important program. Our members learned so much from you, and feel stronger from having listened to your warm and insightful talk. Let us know when you'd like to come back. Please consider our red door always open."
-- Migdalia Torres, Executive Director of Program and Satellite Expansion, Gilda's Club New York City

"As you were speaking, I could see women leaning forward in their chairs. Not only were we captivated by your message, because of your exceptional good humor and warmth, we all felt generously embraced. Your speech was deeply moving. More importantly, though, it keeps us all talking."
-- Anne M. Janiak, founder and Executive Director of the Women's Enterprise Development Center Inc.

"Thanks again for taking the time away from your busy family life to share in our Third Annual Remembering Mom Luncheon Celebration. Your keynote presentation was awesome! I'm looking forward to watching the video so I can hear you all over again!"
-- Regina Franklin-Bayse, MS, CT -- Founder & President, Remembering Mom: The Barbara Franklin Foundation

"On behalf of Support Connection, thank you for the wonderful program. The opportunity to develop through pain and tragedy was poignantly expressed in both what you had to say and your intimacy with the audience. Thank you for sharing your time, talent, and passion with the women of Support Connection."
-- Andrea Karl, Support Services and Counseling Coordinator, and Robin Perlmutter, Clinical Director, Support Connection

"Your presentation was excellent - thoughtful, profound, educational, and heartfelt. You connected with everyone in the room, even though none of us look the same, share the same background, or even work in similar professions. How do you do that?! Forget writing books, just keep speaking!"
-- Carolyn Glickstein, Organizer, Westchester Women's Leadership Connection Luncheons