From the website of Keppler’s Speakers, a Washingon-area speakers bureau:

Why you should host leadership speaker Mayor Ray Nagin:

  • * First-person insight into the effective crisis management needed to lead New Orleans to recovery.
  • * Specific expertise on revitalization, including economic development, education, healthcare, and green construction.
  • * The inspirational story of New Orleans and how it relates to your life, your community, and your organization


As he suggested in one of his many farewell interviews, it looks like former New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin is embarking on a career in public speaking.

Keppler Speakers in Arlington, Va., boasts an exclusive relationship with the former two-term mayor. The agency rates begin at just over $5,000 a pop, and for that you can book Chuck D., founder of Public Enemy, or “legendary” wrestler Mick Foley. The rates go up to more than $50,000 for speakers such as baseball great Cal Ripken and broadcaster Bob Costas.

Nagin’s rate is not available on the company’s website, and calls to Keppler were not returned.

Other notable Keppler speakers include Gen. Russel Honore, Sen. Robert Dole and Pat Buchanan.

It would seem that Nagin has a fondness for colors. In the list of available speeches is  “New Orleans Revival: Rainbow after the Storm.” That sounds similar to the infamous “coat of many colors” speech he gave in the spring of 2007, which left many scratching their heads.

Recently released e-mails show Nagin was meeting in D.C. with Keppler executive John Truran in early March, apparently while Nagin was there testifying before Congress about revamping federal regulations regarding disaster recovery. He must have taken a break to plan for his future on the rubber-chicken circuit.

It’s an interesting choice of careers for a guy who said little in the face of an escalating murder rate – and even less about scandals in his administration.

Let’s hope he doesn’t close by challenging his audience to kiss his chocolate buttocks.

Karen Gadbois

Karen Gadbois co-founded The Lens. She now covers New Orleans government issues and writes about land use. With television reporter Lee Zurik she exposed widespread misuse of city recovery funds and led...