Dear ____ ,

Thank you for the kind invitation to speak at ________, but I am afraid I will have to decline.

I am taking a hiatus from all external commitments, including speaking engagements, for at least a year, so that I can concentrate more fully on important work here at MIT.  Given the topic, I think _______ or _______ (names of relevant folx who don’t usually get these invites, but should) might be excellent choices for a keynote at your event.

Best of luck,



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