Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie grew up in Nigeria. Her work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared in various publications, including The New Yorker, Granta, The O. Henry Prize Stories, the Financial Times, and Zoetrope. She is the author of the novels Purple Hibiscus, which won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and Half of a Yellow Sun, which won the Orange Prize and was a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist, a New York Times Notable Book, and a People and Black Issues Book Review Best Book of the Year; and the story collection The Thing Around Your Neck. Her latest novel Americanah, was published around the world in 2013, and has received numerous accolades, including winning the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and The Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for Fiction; and being named one of The New York Times Ten Best Books of the Year.
Anant Agarwal is the CEO of edX, an online learning destination founded by Harvard and MIT. Anant taught the first edX course on circuits and electronics from MIT, which drew 155,000 students from 162 countries. He has served as the director of CSAIL, MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and is a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT. He is a successful serial entrepreneur, having co-founded several companies including Tilera Corporation, which created the Tile multicore processor, and Virtual Machine Works.
Dmitri Alperovitch is the Co-Founder and CTO of CrowdStrike Inc., leading its Intelligence, Technology and CrowdStrike Labs teams. A renowned computer security researcher, he is a thought-leader on cybersecurity policies and state tradecraft. Prior to founding CrowdStrike, Dmitri was a Vice President of Threat Research at McAfee, where he led company’s global Internet threat intelligence analysis and investigations.
Dr. Annese is a computational neuroanatomist whose formal training stems from a wide background in the biological sciences and the neurosciences. He is particularly experienced in neuroanatomical and histological techniques, as well as computer-aided microscopy and morphometry by image analysis. He has designed novel techniques for the quantitative study of neurological structures with MRI and histology.
In 2005 he founded The Brain Observatory and in 2009 the laboratory was charged with the postmortem brain examination of one of the most famous medical cases in the history of neurology.
Senator John Barrasso was sworn in to the United States Senate in 2007 having represented the people of Natrona County in the Wyoming State Senate. Barrasso was then elected to the United States Senate on November 4, 2008 and reelected in 2012 to his first full term. Barrasso is known by many as Wyoming’s Doctor. He has a long and recognized career in both medicine and public service.
Rita Benson LeBlanc
As Owner/Vice Chairman of the Board of the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans, Rita Benson LeBlanc is the second-highest ranking executive overseeing management alongside Tom Benson.
LeBlanc’s concentration is focused on the overall governance and the financial and civic impact of the Saints and Pelicans in New Orleans, both regionally and on an international level. Through relationships and collaborations with community partners, LeBlanc has led the organizations as host of multiple Super Bowls and the 2014 NBA All-Star Weekend, where she served as a Host Committee co-chairman.
Cole Bolton is Editor at The Onion.
David Brooks's column on the Op-Ed page of The New York Times started in September 2003. He has been a senior editor at The Weekly Standard, a contributing editor at Newsweek and the Atlantic Monthly, and he is currently a commentator on "The Newshour with Jim Lehrer." He is the author of "Bobos In Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There" and “On Paradise Drive : How We Live Now (And Always Have) in the Future Tense,” both published by Simon & Schuster.
Warren Brown is the founder and owner of CakeLove bakery. In 2000 Mr. Brown left a career practicing law to pursue his passion for baking. He has been recognized for his entrepreneurial spirit by local and national media outlets including the Oprah Winfrey show, the Today show, People magazine, NPR, and was featured in national advertisement campaigns for American Express and Dell computers. He is the author of three cookbooks, CakeLove, United Cakes of America, and CakeLove in the Morning and was the host of “Sugar Rush” on the Food Network. He resides in Washington, DC with his wife and two daughters.
Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog. He is also an MSNBC contributor, appearing regularly on Morning Joe and other dayside programs. Prior to joining The Post in 2007, Capehart was the deputy editor of New York Daily News’s editorial page from 2002 to 2005. He worked as a policy adviser to Michael Bloomberg in his successful campaign for mayor of New York City, he was a national affairs columnist for Bloomberg News from 2000 to 2001, and he was a member of the Daily News editorial board from 1993 to 2000. Capehart and the Daily News editorial board won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing for their series on the Apollo Theater in Harlem.
Steve Case is a Founder and Partner of Revolution Growth. Steve Case is one of America's best-known and most accomplished entrepreneurs, and a pioneer in making the Internet part of everyday life.
As Chairman and CEO of Revolution LLC, a Washington, D.C.- based investment firm he co-founded in 2005, Steve partners with visionary entrepreneurs to build significant ‘built to last’ new businesses. The mission is to establish Revolution as the premier firm outside of Silicon Valley.
Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.
Shelby Coffey III is a journalist and business executive who is now a senior fellow of the Freedom Forum and a trustee of the Newseum in Washington, D.C. He was editor and executive vice president of the Los Angeles Times from 1989 to 1997
David S. Cohen
David S. Cohen was confirmed by the United States Senate to serve as Treasury’s Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence on June 30, 2011. As Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Cohen leads the Treasury Department’s policy, enforcement, regulatory, and intelligence functions aimed at identifying and disrupting the lines of financial support to international terrorist organizations, proliferators of weapons of mass destruction, narcotics traffickers, and other illicit actors posing a threat to our national security. He is also responsible for overseeing the Department’s efforts to combat money laundering and financial crimes. In this role, Cohen serves as a member of the Obama Administration’s national security team in developing financial strategies to combat these wide ranging threats and protect the U.S. and international financial systems from abuse.
Charlie Cook is considered one of the nation’s leading authorities on American politics and U.S. elections. He founded The Cook Political Report in 1984 and became a columnist for Roll Call in 1986. In 1998, he moved his column to National Journal. Mr. Cook has served as a political analyst or election night analyst for CBS, CNN and NBC News and has been a frequent political analyst for all three major broadcast news networks and has appeared on Meet the Press and This Week.
Since becoming President and CEO of NRG Energy in 2003, David has led its transformation from a regional wholesale generation business to a national, Fortune 250 diversified energy company. NRG is the nation's largest competitive power generator, with enough generating capacity to power nearly 1/3 of the U.S. population. The company is also a major competitive energy retailer that serves nearly 3 million recurring retail customers (principally through NRG Home Retail) and is one of the country's largest owners and operators of solar power facilities.
Dr. Crocker is CEO and co-founder of Shinkuro, Inc., a start-up company focused on dynamic sharing of information across the Internet and on the deployment of improved security protocols on the Internet.
Chad Dickerson leads Etsy in its mission to reimagine commerce in ways that build a more fulfilling and lasting world. Etsy believes that business interests and social and environmental responsibility are interwoven and aligned, and that the power of business should be used to strengthen communities and empower people. To measure success against this commitment, the company became a Certified B Corporation in 2012. Prior to Etsy, Dickerson led Yahoo’s Advanced Products team and created the Yahoo! Hack Days program. An early advocate of the Internet as a disruptive platform, he began his career in media, holding positions at InfoWorld, Salon.com, CNN, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and The News and Observer.
Mick Ebeling is Founder and CEO of Not Impossible Labs.
Thomas A. (Tom) Fanning is chairman, president and chief executive officer of Southern Company, one of America's largest producers of electricity.
Dr. Fauci was appointed Director of NIAID in 1984. He oversees an extensive research portfolio of basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose, and treat infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, influenza, tuberculosis, malaria and illness from potential agents of bioterrorism.
Michael Froman was sworn in as the 11th United States Trade Representative (USTR) on June 21, 2013. As USTR, he is President Obama’s principal advisor, negotiator and spokesperson on international trade and investment issues.
Ambassador Froman leads the Office of the United States Trade Representative in its work to open global markets for U.S. goods and services, enforce America’s rights in the global trading system, and foster development through trade. Key initiatives ongoing under his leadership are negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement in the Asia Pacific; the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union; negotiation of agreements on services, information technology and trade facilitation at the World Trade Organization; and monitoring and enforcement U.S. trade rights, including through the Interagency Trade and Enforcement Center (ITEC).
Chuck Hagel was sworn in as the 24th Secretary of Defense on February 27, 2013 becoming the first enlisted combat veteran to lead the Department of Defense.
John Harwood is an American journalist who is the Chief Washington Correspondent for CNBC and a writer for The New York Times. He writes a weekly column entitled "The Caucus" that appears on Monday about Washington politics and policy.
Eric Himpton Holder, Jr. is the 82nd Attorney General of the United States, in office since 2009. Holder, serving in the administration of President Barack Obama, is the first African American to hold the position of U.S. Attorney General.
Walter Isaacson is the president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan educational and policy studies institute based in Washington, DC. He has been the chairman and CEO of CNN and the editor of TIME magazine.
Allan Jones is the Chief Executive Officer of the Allen Institute. Jones joined the Allen Institute in 2003 and has been instrumental in building a multidisciplinary team of engineers, scientists and managers, setting industry standards to create a systematic approach to answer questions in neuroscience.
Boisfeuillet Jones, Jr. was president and chief executive officer of MacNeil/Lehrer Productions in Arlington, Virginia.
Dean Kamen is an inventor, an entrepreneur and a tireless advocate for science and technology. His roles as inventor and advocate are intertwined -- his own passion for technology and its practical uses has driven his personal determination to spread the word about technology’s virtues and by so doing to change the culture of the United States. His vast knowledge of the physical sciences, combined with his ability to integrate the fundamental laws of physics with the most modern technologies, has led to the development of breakthrough processes and products.
As an inventor, he holds more than 400 U.S. and foreign patents, many of them for innovative medical devices that have expanded the frontiers of health care worldwide. While still a college undergraduate, he invented the first wearable infusion pump, which rapidly gained acceptance from such diverse medical specialties as chemotherapy, neonatology and endocrinology. In 1976 he founded his first medical device company, AutoSyringe, Inc., to manufacture and market the pumps. At age 30, he sold that company to Baxter International Corporation. By then, he had added a number of other infusion devices, including the first insulin pump for diabetics. Following the sale of AutoSyringe, Inc., he founded DEKA Research & Development Corporation to develop internally generated inventions as well as to provide R&D for major corporate clients. Recent projects have included the HomeChoice™ dialysis machine, developed for Baxter (Design News’ 1993 Medical Product of the Year), and the INDEPENDENCE™ IBOT™ Mobility System, also developed for Johnson & Johnson.
A decade ago Dean founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), and ever since has remained its driving force, its guiding spirit, and, in the eyes of thousands of school children across the country, its personal embodiment. FIRST uses wholesale marketing and media techniques to motivate the next generation to want to learn about science and technology. He has personally recruited scores of the top leaders of American industry, education and government in this crusade. As a result, each of the past three national championships of the FIRST robotics competition, which teams up professional engineers with high school students from across the country, has set a new record as the largest non-Disney event ever held at Walt Disney World’s Epcot Center.
In addition to his own attempts to master science and technology, he has received significant public recognition for his crusade on behalf of science and engineering. He was, for example, labeled by Smithsonian Magazine "the Pied Piper of Technology" and profiled by the New York Times as "A New Kind of Hero for American Youth".
Among the honors received by Kamen: The Kilby Award, which celebrates those who make extraordinary contributions to society; the Heinz Award in Technology, the Economy and Employment; and the National Medal of Technology, awarded by President Clinton in 2000 for inventions that have advanced medical care worldwide, and for innovative and imaginative leadership in awakening America to the excitement of science and technology.
Lesa France Kennedy, named “The Most Powerful Woman in Sports” by Forbes, serves as Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairperson of the Board of Directors for International Speedway Corporation (“ISC”), a motorsports entertainment company. She also serves as a Vice Chairperson of NASCAR.
On February 1, 2013, John Forbes Kerry was sworn in as the 68th Secretary of State of the United States, becoming the first sitting Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman to become Secretary in over a century.
Secretary Kerry joined the State Department after 28 years in the United States Senate, the last four as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Alex Kotlowitz is the author of three books, including the national bestseller There Are No Children Here, which the New York Public Library selected as one of the 150 most important books of the twentieth century. It received the Helen Bernstein Award, the Carl Sandburg Award and a Christopher Award, and was adapted as a television movie produced by and starring Oprah Winfrey. It was selected as a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times.
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) was sworn into the United States Senate on November 15, 2010 to fill the seat left vacant by the late Senator Robert C. Byrd. For Senator Manchin, serving as West Virginia’s Senator is truly an honor and a privilege.
When he took office in 2009, Governor Jack Markell inherited a record budget shortfall, rapidly rising unemployment, and a stagnant economy. Since then, he worked to create and keep Delaware jobs in a range of industries, including re-opening a shuttered oil refinery in Delaware City and attracting new manufacturing to the site of the old Chrysler plant in Newark. The list of companies that have re-located or expanded their operations in Delaware under the Governor’s leadership include Amazon, Kraft Foods, Atlantis Industries, Citigroup, Capital One, Johnson Controls, JP Morgan Chase, Sallie Mae, Barclays, Miller Metal, Mountaire Farms, Baltimore Aircoil, Calpine, ILC Dover, PTM Manufacturing and Testing Machines, Inc. His administration has also provided grants and loans to help Delaware’s vital small businesses expand and grow.
Morgan Marquis-Boire is a hacker, privacy advocate, and security researcher. Marquis-Boire's research on security, surveillance and censorship has been featured on the front pages of the New York Times
Chris Matthews is the host of “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” on MSNBC and the host of NBC’s “The Chris Matthews Show.” Over the last 15 years, he has become known for his powerful and influential political commentary. Matthews is an author, international journalist, and no-nonsense political commentator.
Mike McCue is a technology entrepreneur, who founded or co-founded such companies as Paper Software, Tellme Networks and Flipboard.
Jim McKelvey is a co-founder of Square and a St. Louis native. He has started and now owns several businesses in the city and has become one of the region's most active venture capital investors and philanthropists.
Ernest J. Moniz is the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics and Engineering Systems, Director of the Energy Initiative, and Director of the Laboratory for Energy and the Environment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has served on the faculty since 1973. He served as Head of the Department of Physics and as Director of the Bates Linear Accelerator Center. His research focus is energy technology and policy, including a leadership role in MIT multidisciplinary technology and policy studies addressing pathways to a low-carbon world.
Dr. Moniz served as Under Secretary of the Department of Energy from 1997 until January 2001 and, from 1995 to 1997, as Associate Director for Science in the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President. At DOE, he had oversight of the science and energy programs, led a comprehensive review of nuclear weapons stockpile stewardship, and served as the Secretary’s special negotiator for Russian nuclear materials disposition programs. He is currently a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and of the Department of Defense Threat Reduction Advisory Committee, and recently served on the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future.
Dr. Moniz received a Bachelor of Science degree summa cum laude in physics from Boston College, a doctorate in theoretical physics from Stanford University, and honorary doctorates from the University of Athens, the University of Erlangen-Nurenberg, and Michigan State University. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and received the 1998 Seymour Cray HPCC Industry Recognition Award for vision and leadership in advancing scientific simulation.
Joseph O'Neill is an Irish novelist and non-fiction writer. O'Neill's novel Netherland was awarded the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.
Annise Parker is mayor of Houston, where she is a second-generation native. Sworn in to her first term in 2010, she is Houston’s 61st mayor, one of only two women to hold the city’s highest elected office. As the city’s chief executive officer, she is responsible for all aspects of the general management of the city and for seeing that all laws and ordinances are enforced. Prior to her election as mayor, Parker served for six years as Houston city controller and six years as an at-large member of Houston City Council. She is the only person in Houston history to hold the offices of council member, controller, and mayor. In the private sector, Parker spent 20 years working in the oil and gas industry, including 18 years with Mosbacher Energy Company. She also co-owned a retail bookstore for 10 years.
T. Boone Pickens
Mr. Boone Pickens is the founder of BP Capital.
Pickens is active in the management of both the BP Capital Equity Fund and the BP Capital Commodity Fund. Specifically, Pickens is principally responsible for the formulation of the energy futures investment strategy of the BP Capital Commodity Fund and the BP Capital Equity Fund.
Pickens frequently utilizes his wealth of experience in the oil and gas industry in the evaluation of potential equity investments and energy sector themes. He also participates in the marketing of the BP Capital Equity Fund to certain groups of potential investors. Pickens was the founder of Mesa Petroleum in its various forms beginning in 1956. Pickens' career at Mesa spanned four decades.
Under his leadership, Mesa grew to become one of the largest and most well-known independent exploration and production companies in the U.S.
Penny Pritzker has served as the 38th U.S. Secretary of Commerce since being sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden on June 26, 2013. As Secretary of Commerce, she is focused on providing American businesses and entrepreneurs with the tools they need to grow and hire.
Susan E. Rice
Susan Elizabeth Rice is the United States National Security Advisor. Rice is a former U.S. diplomat, former Brookings Institution fellow, and former United States Ambassador to the United Nations.
Walter Robb joined Whole Foods Market in 1991 operating the Mill Valley, CA store until he became president of the Northern Pacific Region in 1993 where he grew the region from two to 17 stores. He became Executive Vice-President of Operations in 2000, Chief Operating Officer in 2001 and Co-President in 2004. In 2010, Robb was named Co-CEO along with John Mackey and joined the Whole Foods Market Board of Directors at that time. An avid organic advocate, Robb is on the Advisory Board for the Organic Center for Education and Promotion. He is also on the Board of Regents for the University of the Pacific. Robb is on the Board of Directors for both the Whole Planet Foundation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association. He serves as Chairman of the Board for the Whole Kids Foundation.
David M. Rubenstein is a Co-Founder and Co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest private equity firms. Mr. Rubenstein co-founded the firm in 1987. Since then, Carlyle has grown into a firm managing more than $200 billion from 40 offices around the world.
Gary Shteyngart was born in Leningrad. His novels include "Absurdistan" and "Super Sad True Love Story," which won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize; excerpts from both books were published in The New Yorker. His début novel, "The Russian Debutante's Handbook," won a Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction and a National Jewish Book Award for fiction.
David J. Skorton
President, Cornell University
In September 2014, President Obama named Megan Smith the United States Chief Technology Officer (CTO) in the Office of Science and Technology Policy. In this role, she serves as an Assistant to the President. As U.S. CTO, Smith focuses on how technology policy and innovation can advance the future of our nation.
Shane Smith is a Canadian journalist and web entrepreneur. He is the co-founder and CEO of the international media company VICE.
Deborah Ann "Debbie" Greer Stabenow is the junior United States Senator from Michigan and a member of the Democratic Party.
Jeremy Stoppelman is an American business executive. He is the CEO of Yelp, Inc., which he co-founded in 2004.
American entrepreneur, hedge fund manager, and venture capitalist. With Max Levchin, Thiel co-founded PayPal and was its CEO. He currently serves as president of Clarium Capital Management LLC, a global macro hedge fund with more than $6 billion under management, and a managing partner in The Founders Fund, a $275 million under management venture capital fund he launched with Ken Howery and Luke Nosek in 2005. He was an early investor in Facebook, the popular social-networking site, and sits on the company's Board of Directors.
Chris Van Hollen
Congressman Chris Van Hollen was elected to Congress in 2002 and quickly earned a reputation as an active, engaged, and effective member of the House of Representatives. He is working to advance policies that support job creation and economic growth, reduce the deficit, and put America on a path to fiscal sustainability and broadly-shared prosperity. Throughout his career, he has been a champion of education, veterans, energy, the environment, health care, civil rights, and small business.
J. Craig Venter
J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., is regarded as one of the leading scientists of the 21st century for his numerous invaluable contributions to genomic research. He is Founder, Chairman, and CEO of the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), a not-for-profit, research organization with approximately 300 scientists and staff dedicated to human, microbial, plant, synthetic and environmental genomic research, and the exploration of social and ethical issues in genomics.
Dr. Venter is also Founder and CEO of Synthetic Genomics Inc (SGI), a privately held company dedicated to commercializing genomic-driven solutions to address global needs such as new sources of energy, new food and nutritional products, and next generation vaccines.
About this conference
Now in its sixth year and hosted in partnership with the Aspen Institute, the Washington Ideas Forum has developed a reputation for fostering creative thinking about the critical issues affecting our national identity, politics, and core values. This year, we will be relaunching our flagship program at the stunning Harman Center of the Arts. A mix of programming on multiple stages, preview sessions, and custom events will cover topics ranging from energy and technology to health care and urban renewal.
*Agenda & speakers are subject to change
About The Atlantic
Since 1857, The Atlantic has helped shape the national debate on the most critical and contentious issues of our times, from politics, business, and the economy, to technology, arts, and culture. Through in-depth analysis in the monthly print magazine, complemented by up-to-the-minute insights delivered throughout the day on theatlantic.com, The Atlantic provides the nation’s thought leaders and professional class with forward-looking, fresh perspectives that provoke and challenge, define and affect the lives we’re living today, and give shape to the lives we will live tomorrow.