Eric Spiegel President and CEO
Dorothy Robyn Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Installations & Environment
U.S. Department of Defense
Kai Ryssdal Host
American Public Media's Marketplace
Inspired by The Atlantic's enduring partnership with the Aspen Ideas Festival, the third-annual Washington Ideas Forum gathers an audience of 600 people, including government officials, top business executives, global thought leaders, academics, and celebrities. It is the place to hear - and meet - the most prominent thinkers of our time.
This October 5 and 6, the Forum will once again bring the best and brightest to the table for debate, conversation, and idea-sharing.
Robert Atkinson is the founder and president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a Washington, DC-based technology policy think tank.
He is also author of the forthcoming book, The Global Race for Innovation Advantage, and Why the U.S. is Falling Behind (Yale, 2011), the book, The Past And Future Of America's Economy: Long Waves Of Innovation That Power Cycles Of Growth (Edward Elgar, 2005), and the State New Economy Index series.
He has an extensive background in technology policy, he has conducted ground-breaking research projects on technology and innovation, is a valued adviser to state and national policy makers, and a popular speaker on innovation policy nationally and internationally.
Dorothy Robyn became the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Installations and Environment in July 2009. In this position, she provides management and oversight of military installations worldwide and manages environmental, safety, and occupational health programs for the Department. The Department's installations cover some 28 million acres, with 539,000 buildings and structures valued at more than $800 billion. Her responsibilities include the development of installation capabilities, programs, and budgets; installation-energy programs and policy; base realignment and closure; privatization of military housing and utilities; and integration of environmental needs into the weapons acquisition process. She is also responsible for environmental management, safety and occupational health; environmental restoration at active and closing bases; conservation of natural and cultural resources; pollution prevention; environmental research and technology; fire protection; and explosives safety. Dr. Robyn also serves as the Department's designated Senior Real Property Officer and the DoD representative to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.
Before her appointment to the Department of Defense, Dr. Robyn was a principal with The Brattle Group, an economic consulting firm that specializes in competition and antitrust, energy and the environment. She focused principally on economic analysis of public policy issues related to the aviation and telecommunications sectors, including such issues as: proposed changes in the governance and financing of the U.S. air traffic control system; antitrust issues affecting international airline alliances; and mechanisms for FCC allocation of vacant radio spectrum. Prior to joining The Brattle Group in 2002, she was a Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution.
From 1993 to 2001, Dr. Robyn served as Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and a senior staff member of the White House National Economic Council. She managed interagency coordination on high-priority issues in aviation and transportation, aerospace and defense, science and technology, and competition policy. Most relevant to her current job, she oversaw the development and implementation of the Clinton Administration's Defense Reinvestment and Transition Initiative, which encompassed adjustment programs for workers and communities hurt by defense downsizing; a comprehensive strategy to accelerate reuse of closing military bases; and efforts such as housing privatization, defense acquisition reform and "dual-use" R&D that were designed to allow for greater DoD reliance on commercial markets.
Prior to joining the White House staff, Dr. Robyn was with the Joint Economic Committee of Congress and the congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA). From 1983-1987, she was an assistant professor at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, where she taught courses in public management, policy analysis and the business-government relationship.
She is co-author (with William Baumol) of Toward an Evolutionary Regime for Spectrum Governance: Licensing or Unrestricted Entry? (Brookings Press, 2006) and author of Braking the Special Interests: Trucking Deregulation and the Politics of Policy Reform (University of Chicago Press, 1987). Dr. Robyn has served as an associate editor for the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management (1991-93) and as book editor for Issues in Science and Technology (1986-89). She wrote the 1995 White House report, Second to None: Preserving America's Military Advantage through Dual-Use Technology and co-authored the 1988 OTA report, Commercializing High-Temperature Superconductivity. She has a B.A. from Southern Illinois University and a Ph.D. and M.P.P. in public policy from the University of California at Berkeley. She is a native of St. Louis, Missouri.
Kai Ryssdal is the host of Marketplace, a business program that airs weekdays on U.S. public radio stations. Marketplace is produced and distributed by American Public Media. He took over in August 2005, replacing David Brown. Before hosting Marketplace, he was host of the Marketplace Morning Report, a 10-minute business roundup.
Eric Spiegel is the President and CEO of Siemens USA and is responsible for growing the U.S. business in the company’s largest market. With $19.2 billion in revenue, $6 billion in exports and approximately 53,000 employees in the U.S., Siemens provides solutions for more affordable and efficient healthcare, the growing demands of cities and the nation's infrastructure needs, cleaner sources of energy production, and industrial productivity. Siemens has over 130 manufacturing sites across the U.S. and is represented in all 50 states.
Dorothy Robyn, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Installations and Environment, discusses how the Department of Defense can advance green technology. "We are uniquely positioned to play a role as a test bed for next generation energy technology," says Robyn. "If we try ten new technologies and five of them fail, the other five we can deploy at hundreds of places and make a lot of money."