Washington Ideas Forum

September 28 – 29, 2016
Washington, DC

Hosted in Partnership With

The Aspen Institute

For the eighth year, the Washington Ideas Forum convened the nation’s premiere thought leaders for two days of idea sharing and deep conversation. From the heart of the nation’s capital, the Forum tackled issues from politics and policy, to race and justice, to education and technology and beyond.

Watch full session videos

This year, the Forum expanded across the week. With events happening all around DC, participants could watch the Presidential debate with beltway insiders, catch a film screening or enjoy networking nights with some of the nation's top minds and industry leaders. Visit the Washington Ideas Week page to learn more about these Forum-adjacent events.

Presented by

Atlantic Live



Note: All times are ET

  • Wednesday, September 28
  • 9:00 a.m.Welcome RemarksMargaret Low, President, AtlanticLIVE
  • 9:10 a.m.Lonnie Bunch, Director, National Museum of African American History and CultureWith Ta-Nehisi Coates, National Correspondent, The Atlantic
  • 9:30 a.m.Vanita Gupta, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of JusticeWith Mary Louise Kelly, Contributing Editor, AtlanticLIVE
  • 9:50 a.m.Whitney Wolfe, CEO and Founder, BumbleWith Derek Thompson, Senior Editor, The Atlantic
  • 10:20 a.m.Anthony Fauci, Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and Anne Schuchat, Principal Deputy Director, Centers for Disease Control and PreventionWith Jeffrey Goldberg, National Correspondent, The Atlantic
  • 10:40 a.m.Sen. Lindsey Graham, (R-SC)With Margaret Carlson, Columnist, Bloomberg View
  • 11:00 a.m.Sec. Anthony Foxx, Department of TransportationWith Ron Brownstein, Senior Editor, The Atlantic
  • 11:20 a.m.Sec. Ernest Moniz, Department of EnergyWith Steve Clemons, Washington Editor at Large, The Atlantic
  • 11:40 a.m.Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO, GEWith Walter Isaacson, President and CEO, The Aspen Institute
  • 12:00 p.m.LUNCH: Topical breakout lunch sessions to take place at the Harman Center and off-site
    Sessions will not be livestreamed
    Where We’re Going
    Who’s Winning the Election

    What the Kids Are Thinking
    What We’re Eating

    Are We Safe
    Where Will the Jobs Be
    Learn more about the breakout sessions and speakers here.
  • 2:00 p.m.Welcome BackElliot Gerson, Executive Vice President, The Aspen Institute
  • 2:00 p.m.John Brennan, Director, Central Intelligence AgencyWith Jeffrey Goldberg
  • 2:20 p.m.Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Author, AmericanahWith Mary Louise Kelly, Contributing Editor, The Atlantic
  • 2:45 p.m.John Krafcik, CEO, Self Driving Car Project, GoogleWith James Fallows, National Correspondent, The Atlantic
  • 3:05 p.m.Sec. Jeh Johnson, Department of Homeland SecurityWith Jonathan Karl, Chief White House Correspondent, ABC News
  • 3:25 p.m.David Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, The Carlyle GroupWith Alex Wagner, Senior Editor, The Atlantic
  • 3:45 p.m.Sec. Thomas Perez, Department of LaborWith Steven Rattner, Chairman, Willett Advisors
  • 4:05 p.m.John Hanke, Founder and CEO, Niantic; which designed Pokémon GoWith Amanda Ripley, Contributor, The Atlantic
  • 4:25 p.m.Sen. Mark Warner, (D-VA), Laura Tyson, Professor of Economics, University of California Berkeley and Rana Foroohar, Assistant Managing Editor, TIME; Author, Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American BusinessWith Steve Clemons
  • 4:50 p.m.Margaret Carlson, Columnist, Bloomberg View, Nia-Malika Henderson, Senior Political Reporter, CNN Mark Leibovich, Chief National Correspondent, The New York Times Magazine and Sam Stein, Senior Politics Editor, The Huffington PostWith Alex Wagner
  • 5:15 p.m.Day One Programming Concludes-
  • 5:45 p.m.Cocktail Reception-
  • 6:30 p.m.Panel DiscussionArica L. Coleman, Author and Historian
    Tom Goldstein, SCOTUSblog
    David Boaz, Executive Vice President, CATO
    With Matt Thompson, Deputy Editor, TheAtlantic.com
  • 7:00 p.m.Screening of "Loving"-
  • Thursday, September 29
  • 9:00 a.m.Welcome RemarksBob Cohn, President, The Atlantic
  • 9:05 a.m.Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Speaker of the HouseWith Ron Brownstein, Senior Editor, The Atlantic
  • 9:25 a.m.Jeffrey Bluestone, CEO, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy and William Dalton, CEO, M2Gen at the Moffitt Cancer CenterWith Ross Andersen, Senior Editor, The Atlantic
  • 9:55 a.m.Sec. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Department of Health and Human ServicesWith Jonathan Karl, Chief White House Correspondent, ABC News
  • 10:15 a.m.Slavery at Universities featuring:
    Drew Gilpin Faust, President, Harvard University and John DeGioia, President, Georgetown University
    With Ta-Nehisi Coates, National Correspondent, The Atlantic
  • 10:40 a.m.Robert Rubin, Former Secretary, Department of the Treasury; Co-Chairman, Council on Foreign RelationsWith David Leonhardt, Writer and Op-Ed Columnist, The New York Times
  • 11:05 a.m.Gen. Pervez Musharraf, Former President, PakistanWith Robert Siegel, Senior Host, All Things Considered, NPR
  • 11:25 a.m.Joseph Stiglitz, Professor, Columbia University and Author, The Euro: How a Common Currency Threatens the Future of EuropeWith Margaret Brennan, Foreign Affairs Correspondent, CBS News
  • 11:45 a.m.Sec. John Kerry, Department of StateWith Steve Clemons
  • 12:15 p.m.Sec. Tom Vilsack, Department of Agriculture and Michael Botticelli, Director, Office of National Drug Control PolicyWith Jonathan Allen, Sidewire
  • 12:35 p.m.Ezra Edelman, Filmmaker and Director, O.J.: Made in AmericaWith Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • 12:55 p.m.David Chang, Chef and Founder, MomofukuWith Jeffrey Goldberg
  • 1:15 p.m.Alex Castellanos, Republican Strategist and Chairman and Founding Partner, Purple Strategies and Hilary Rosen, Democratic Strategist and Managing Director, SKDKnickerbockerWith Steve Clemons
  • 1:30 p.m.Program Conclusion

    *This session was produced by an underwriter, and not by The Atlantic's editorial team.

Hosted in Partnership With


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