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Amanda Lindhout

New York Times Bestselling Author, Expert on Resilience, Survival & Optimal Mindset

Amanda Lindhout is a sought-after inspirational speaker, trusted by big brands to deliver a life-changing, transformational keynote experience. Her New York Times bestselling memoir, A House in the Sky, is being developed into a Hollywood motion picture by heavyweight production company Annapurna, with 2x Oscar-nominated actress Rooney Mara playing Amanda.

Calgary, Alberta, Canada


A House in the Sky
Raised by a poor single mom in a small city, Amanda Lindhout escaped the violence of her childhood home by paging through old issues of National Geographic magazine and imagining herself in its exotic locales. As a young woman, her wanderlust led her to some of the world’s most beautiful and remote places, and its most imperiled and perilous countries.

Insatiably curious about human potential, Amanda became a journalist based in war ridden Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 2008 she travelled to Somalia to report from “the most dangerous place on earth.” Abducted by a group of masked men along a dusty road, Amanda would spend 460 days as a hostage, moved between a series of abandoned houses in the desert, surviving on strategy, fortitude and hope.

Her story of survival builds suspense and momentum to reveal life changing insights into mind conditioning. Amanda’s physical and mental pain led to a pivotal moment where she understood that despite everything, she still had choice and control over the mindset with which she faced each day. Using conviction, affirmation, gratitude, and positive thinking, Amanda survived the unimaginable. With astonishing clarity and self-reflection, she teaches through her powerful example that the stories we tell ourselves become our experiences, and that changing our narrative can transform our struggles into opportunities for growth.

Amanda outlines how coping strategies like mindfulness, visualization, and self-talk strengthen resilience. She describes what qualities enable not only survival, but also the capacity to thrive in the face of adversity.

A captivating, unforgettable speaker, Amanda facilitates a shift in consciousness, leaving the audience with actionable takeaways to develop new thought habits, deeply inspired to take on challenges with a new perspective, and empowered to transform stories of pain into stories of power.

Strength in Pain, Intentional Living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 
In 2008, Amanda Lindhout was kidnapped by a group of extremists while traveling as a freelance journalist in Somalia. She was held captive for more than 15 months, released only after her family paid a ransom.

Amanda’s experiences as a hostage, her astonishing struggle for physical and mental survival, and her life after being freed provide an example of resilience in the face of severe, extended trauma to anyone with an interest in mental health; professionals, researchers, clinicians, and survivors alike.

In this eloquent and focused keynote, Amanda discusses her experiences in captivity. Amanda outlines the techniques that she employed to survive in the early aftermath of her capture, and how coping strategies like mindfulness, visualization, and self-talk strengthened as her captivity lengthened. She describes what qualities enable not only survival, but also the capacity to thrive in the face of trauma and severe adversity.

During the 460-day kidnapping, Amanda employed critical components of resilience, including optimism, cognitive flexibility, adaptive coping skills, and utilizing a strong personal moral compass.

Following her dramatic release, Amanda experienced the challenges of transitioning home and living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She describes her experiences with mental health professionals and the wide range of therapies that she has engaged since her release and what she has found most beneficial

Amanda’s remarkable example can be used to further explore the ways that a survivor’s active and empowering choice to heal is central to resilience during and after trauma.



Libris Award
Doctor of Laws, honouris causa from the University of Lethbridge

  • She was PHENOMENAL...you could hear a pin drop in the room this morning. I'm proud to say that Ottawa did not disappoint...she ended her keynote with a standing ovation from all 300 people in attendance. It was truly a pleasure, for me personally, to have met Amanda. While I may never completely understand what she endured during her captivity, I can say that her story has left an indescribable mark on my life and will never forget her message.

    - Marketing & Events Coordinator, Salvation Army
  • Amanda Lindhout is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable people I have ever had the honour of hearing speak. Her groundbreaking peace building work in Somalia is made all the more extraordinary by her willingness to work alongside former extremists and exemplifies the true meaning of forgiveness. Her message of peace deserves to be heard by all.

    - Google Ideas' Against Violent Extremism Network
  • She was amazing, spectacular, lovely, uplifting, articulate...the list goes on and on. She is in my humble opinion the best speaker we have ever had! Not sure how or if we will ever be able to top her.

    - Atlantic Psychiatric Conference
  • Amanda is an inspiring speaker with a message that is absolutely vital for our times.

    - Eckhart Tolle Best-selling author of The Power of Now
  • She was amazing as promised- the room of 1500 was silent- you could have heard a pin drop- she has an amazing story and its told in such an authentic manner- Wow- thank you so much for helping make this happen for us
    - President & CEO YMCA of Greater San Antonio
  • Amanda is an inspiration! Her messages of hope, forgiveness, peace and reconciliation are an example for us all.

    - President of the United Nations Association in Canada
  • Amanda is someone to look up to. Someone who instils a sense of hope and goodness in humanity.

    - PCMA 2013 Attendee
  • I just want to let you know that we have had an overwhelming number of positive responses to Amanda’s speaking engagement. I must tell you, once she started speaking, no one in the audience moved; their total attention was on Amanda - you could hear a pin drop. She received a standing ovation, which is a first for our Leadership Series. I don’t think people will easily forget what she had to stay.

    - Director, Annual Programs, University Hospitals Kingston Foundation

Summary Profile

A publishing phenomenon, A House in the Sky, has remained a Top Ten bestselling book since it’s release in 2013. Raised by a single mom in a small city, Amanda escaped the violence of childhood by imagining herself in the pages of National Geographic magazine. As a young woman, Amanda’s curiosity led her to some of the world’s most beautiful and remote places, its most imperiled and perilous countries and then into 15 months of harrowing captivity. Working as a journalist in Somalia, she was abducted by a group of masked men along a dusty road. Amanda spent 460 days as a hostage, surviving on strategy, fortitude and hope in the face of unimaginable adversity.

Amanda’s unique experiences give her credibility to discuss important issues ranging from countering terrorism to supporting the women’s movement and she regularly appears in the media with her opinion. She has been featured in Vogue, New York Times Magazine, Dateline, The Today Show, Morning Joe and Anderson Cooper.

Amanda’s keynote presentations are for audiences of all sizes- from Richard Branson’s living room to an arena of 20,000- she creates intimacy with the women and men in the room through her emotional, powerful storytelling. Her tale of survival builds suspense and momentum to reveal life-changing insights into mind conditioning, including actionable takeaways about reframing stories of pain into power.

Amanda has travelled to nearly 90 countries. She lives in Calgary, Canada.