On Education with discussants William H. Gates, Sr., Gov. Tommy G. Thompson and Education Sec. Margaret Spellings speaking at the 2007 Aspen Ideas Festival. David Gergen moderates the discussion.
Some of the most inspired and provocative thinkers, writers, artists, business people, teachers and other leaders drawn from myriad fields and from across the country and around the world all gathered in a single place - to teach, speak, lead, question, and answer at the 2006 Aspen Ideas Festival. Throughout the week, they all interacted with an audience of thoughtful people who stepped back from their day-to-day routines to delve deeply into a world of ideas, thought, and discussion.
William H. Gates Sr.
Bill Gates Sr. was an attorney who co-founded his own firm and was on the board of Planned Parenthood. Since retiring from law in 1998, he has served as the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and as director for Costco Wholesale. He’s also the author of Showing Up for Life: Thoughts on the Gifts of a Lifetime as well as Wealth and Commonwealth: Why America Should Tax Accumulated Fortunes.
David Gergen is a professor of public service and director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School. In addition, he serves as a senior political analyst for CNN and contributes to Parade Magazine. In the past, he has served as a White House adviser to presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Clinton. He wrote about those experiences in his New York Times best-seller, Eyewitness to Power. In the 1980s, he also served as chief editor of US News & World Report. He serves on many boards, including Teach for America, City Year, the Schwab Foundation, and the Aspen Institute, and is chair of the advisory board for Elon University School of Law. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar, a veteran of the US Navy, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a member of the US executive committee for the Trilateral Commission.
Margaret Spellings serves as president and chief executive officer of Margaret Spellings & Company and will assume the role of president of the George W. Bush Foundation on September 1, 2013. She is also a senior adviser to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. She previously served as U.S. Secretary of Education from 2005 to 2009, White House Chief Domestic Policy Advisor from 2001-2005 and senior adviser to then-Governor George W. Bush of Texas. Ms. Spellings has also led governmental and external relations for the Texas Association of School Boards and served in key positions at Austin Community College and with the Texas Legislature.
Tommy G. Thompson
Tommy Thompson is a Senior Partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, a Washington, D.C., law firm, and is former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In his position as Secretary, he served as the nation's leading advocate for the health and welfare of all Americans.
He worked to modernize and add prescription drug coverage to Medicare for the first time in the program's history. A leading proponent of welfare reform, Secretary Thompson also focused on expanding services to seniors, the disabled and low-income Americans.
Additionally, he was Chairman of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and as such helped elicit unprecedented investment to stop the spread of these diseases worldwide. Prior to these positions, Secretary Thompson served as the Governor of Wisconsin, working to expand health care access across all segments of society. He earned his law degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is a Republican candidate for the 2008 presidential election.