On October 25, 2011, while on a routine field mission in Somalia, working as the Education Advisor for her non-governmental organization, Jessica Buchanan was abducted at gunpoint and held for ransom by a group of Somali pirates for 93 days. Forced to live outdoors in deplorable conditions, starved, and terrorized by more than two dozen gangsters, Jessica’s health steadily deteriorated until, by order of President Obama, she was rescued by the elite SEAL Team VI on January 25, 2012.
Jessica’s ordeal is detailed in her New York Times bestselling book, Impossible Odds: The Kidnapping of Jessica Buchanan and Her Dramatic Rescue by SEAL Team Six.
Jessica has been named one of the ‘150 Women Who will Shake the World’ by Newsweek, and her story was the most highly viewed 60 Minutes episode to air, to date. Jessica is a highly sought after inspirational speaker and her TEDx Pearl Street talk, ‘Change is Your Proof of Life’ has been the foundation for which she travels the world, inspiring audiences to access their resilience by identifying their own autonomy and chance in the middle of their own life-changing event.
Jessica also co-hosts the popular women’s conversational podcast, We Should Talk About That where she and Jessica Kidwell attempt to unpack the uncomfortable topics that nobody is talking about, but definitely should. As a podcast that ranks in the top 1% of the 2.6 million airing shows, Jessica has the privilege of working with women from all walks of life, experiences and gleaning from their expertise.
Jessica also works as a family liaison volunteer for the non-profit organization, Hostage US, supporting former hostages and their families during captivity and eventual return, and also continues to serve as a dedicated Ambassador for the Navy SEAL Foundation, which works to support families of fallen SEALs.
Jessica is currently working on her second book, Deserts to Mountaintops: Our Collective Journey to (re)Claiming our Voice – a collection of memoirs from Jessica and 21 other amazing women who have experienced hardship and are journeying from the desert of survival, back to finding themselves.