Russell Lehmann at MIT Management Executive Education

2019 Graduate
"Leadership in the Digital Age"
MIT Sloan School of Management

Disability quote on living with autism

Click here to view Russell's One Sheet


What began as an impassioned pursuit of spreading autism and mental health awareness around communities worldwide has grown into a multi-faceted effort to encourage all people to simply be their very bests. Russell has become one of the most sought-after speakers of his generation through his motivational and encouraging presentations. He is relentless in his craft and prioritizes the importance of connection whether in education, relationships, business, and everything in between. His speeches invite audience members to journey along as he illustrates through experience that life is truly what we make of it. Russell takes care to leave each group with thoughtful action items and tangible tools they can bring back into their own communities, schools, and businesses as they push on toward greatness.


From a young age Russell found comfort, solace, and internal inspiration through his writing. From poetry and rhymes to spoken word and fiction, the written word became a tool for him to express his inner most self with a world that otherwise might never witness it. His book "Inside Out" garnered critical acclaim from Temple Grandin herself. It would be his writing that invited others to explore his story more... eventually motivating Russell to publicly share his experience with small groups around his community before becoming a prominent nationwide speaker.

Russell continues to write on the road in between events and in reflection once home again. Having spent a great deal of time writing on his own experience, he aims to expand his work to include more of the popular educational, motivational, and leadership themes found in many of his presentations.


Russell believes that changing the mental health stigma comes through action. He is a council member for the Autism Society of America, a founding member of the Kulture City Speaker's Bureau, was appointed by the governor of Nevada to serve on the Council for Developmental Disabilities, sits on the board for the Autism Coalition of Nevada and chairs their statewide Youth Advisory Committee, and is the Youth Ambassador for Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve. He also holds other positions to encourage change across national communities. 

As Russell demonstrates through his leadership in advocacy, the steadfast pursuit of our best selves is the most valuable way we can uplift and inspire the communities around us.

Elevate Your Next Event!

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Unwavering Advocacy

"In recognition of your unwavering advocacy and work to educate our citizens about autism, I commend your dedication to sharing your story through public speaking, poetry, and inspiring stories. I thank you for your commitment to ensuring no one feels alone."

Brian Sandoval

Former Nevada State Governor

Governor Brian Sandoval praises Russell for his advocacy in autism

Poignant, Raw, Real

"Russell's presentation is not to be missed! Russell's story is poignant, raw, and real with an uplifting message that lets everyone know that whatever you are coping with it can be overcome with the right support, a lot of faith, and much love..."

Donna Meltzer

National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD)

Donna Meltzer of the NACDD calls Russell's presentation on life with autism poignant and raw.

The Power of Story

"The power of story! Russell's keynote address to our 6th annual Autism Conference moved and inspired 160 parents, professionals, and adults on the spectrum. Standing ovation! Our conference planning for next year has begun and we want Russell back!"

Bill Weismann

Lewis Country Autism Coalition

Bill Weismann had Russell Lehmann join him at the 6th Annual Autism Coalition

Moving Disability Rights Forward

"Inspirational speaker who shares the ups and downs of his life journey while embodying strong self-advocacy and the will to move us all forward in the disability rights movement"

Ed Holen

Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council 

Ed Holen of Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council calls Russell Lehmann's advocacy in autism moving
Russell Lehmann and David Apkarian


In 2017 Russell made international headlines when he wrote a heartwarming Facebook post about a meltdown he had at an airport and the kind airline employee who went above and beyond to  help him work through it. The story quickly went viral and was featured on Yahoo! News, USA Today, Autism Speaks and countless other media platforms. Everybody everywhere was encouraged to #BeLikeDavid!

Follow Russell on Social Media!


Are you ready to join Russell on his mission?

For more information on booking Russell for an event, learning more about autism advocacy, or tips for getting involved in your community, please contact us!