Leadership Team

Heather Hankamer

Heather Hankamer - Director

A native of Dallas, Texas, Heather Hankamer grew up in the film business. For over 20 years Heather was the Managing Partner and Buyer for Dallas’ oldest and most successful independent movie rental store, Premiere Video.

From 2002 until 2003 she was on the Board of Directors for Women in Film.Dallas as Membership Chair and Topaz Coordinator. Heather Hankamer was also a founding Board Member of AFI DALLAS International Film Festival, which she served on from 2006 until 2009. Heather served for two years on the Festival’s Education Committee and one year as the Chair of the Programming Committee. In the third year of the Festival, Heather was named Chief Operating Officer for AFI DALLAS.

In December of 2009 Heather came to SMU as a consultant for the Hunt Institute of Engineering and Humanity which is housed in the Bobby B. Lyle Engineering School. Her role included coordinating several events for the Institute including the first Engineering and Humanity Week in April of 2011.

In the fall of 2011 she joined TEDxSMU as an Assistant Director. Since then her role has evolved and grown and in 2013 she was named Director. Heather has also been the Assistant Director for Special Programs for the Lyle School since 2012.

Heather is passionate about Dallas, reading and inspiring the next generation of thinkers and leaders.

Contact Heather @: hhankamer@lyle.smu.edu


Christie Pearson - Program Coordinator

Christie Pearson is a native Dallasite, who graduated from Southern Methodist University in 2011 with three Bachelor of Arts degrees in International Studies, French and Political Science. During her four years at SMU, Christie traveled throughout Europe and spent a semester in Washington D.C. where she interned for the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights in 2010.

Upon graduation, Christie was accepted into the Teaching Assistantship Program in France by the French Embassy in Washington D.C. Christie was assigned to a French high school in Châlons-en-Champagne, a small town in the Champagne Region of France, just outside Reims.

Christie returned state-side to begin her professional career and in 2013 joined TEDxSMU as the Program Coordinator. Christie has also been the Program Coordinator for the Lyle School of Engineering’s Special Programing since 2013.

Christie is passionate about finding ways to be creative whether that be through fashion, social media or graphic design. Her favorite part of her job is working with college students.

Contact Christie @: cmpearson@smu.edu