As the first woman to cross the ice to both the North and South Poles, Ann Bancroft leads audiences of all ages on a variety of historic journeys with interpersonal stories of leadership and adventure combined with historic film and still imagery. Whether Ann is sharing stories from the recent Bancroft Arnesen Expedition – a 1,717 mile journey on foot to become the first women to cross the continent of Antarctica (2001), she translates her challenges and accomplishments to everyday life and empowers each person to work individually or as a team to reach their goals.
In her 17 years of speaking, Ann has experienced the power that sharing her stories can create. Ann and Liv´s Antarctic expedition helped shape Bancroft Arnesen Explore, designed to share Ann and Liv´s stories with audiences around the globe through multi-media presentations, short films, workshops, curricula andlectures as a way to motivate people to reach for their own dreams, particularly women and girls. Bancroft Arnesen Explore recently launched No Horizon Is So Far, which Ann and Liv co-authored with Cheryl Dahle, telling the story of Ann and Liv´s crossing of Antarctica.
Having made the transition from educator to polar explorer and expedition leader, Ann is expert in understanding the shifting dynamics of a team, leadership and personal growth, perseverance and adapting to adverse, changing conditions which relate so closely with challenges of daily life.
The tenacity and courage that define her character have earned Bancroft worldwide recognition as one of today´s most influential role models. Ann has been named among Glamour magazine´s “Women of the Year” (2001); featured in the book Remarkable Women of the Twentieth Century (1998); inducted into the National Women´s Hall of Fame (1995); named Ms. magazine´s "e;Woman of the Year"e; (1987); and honored with numerous other awards for her accomplishments.
Bancroft also founded and leads the Ann Bancroft Foundation, a non-profit that has programs that celebrate and ignite the potential in adolescent girls in Minnesota.
An internationally known speaker, Bancroft´s expeditions have been followed by BBC, CNN, National Public Radio, NBC Nightly News and NBC´s Today show. She also has been featured in Time, People, USA Today, Ms., McCall´s, Ladies Home Journal, Vogue, Good Housekeeping, Glamour, Health, National Geographic, Outside, Sports Illustrated, O, the Oprah Magazine, and Working Mother.
Bancroft lives outside of Minneapolis in Scandia, Minn. and is 50.