Caitlyn Jenner, Buzz Bissinger, HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, and Anna Deavere Smith to Close 2016 Aspen Ideas Festival Spotlight Health

Speakers will address pressing health and related social issues during Spotlight Health closing session on June 26 in Aspen, CO

Washington, D.C. (May 17, 2016)— The closing session of Spotlight Health at the 2016 Aspen Ideas Festival will feature human rights advocate and retired Olympic athlete Caitlyn Jenner in conversation with Vanity Fair’s Buzz Bissinger; U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell in conversation with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg; and actress and playwright Anna Deavere Smith. This event will close out the third annual Spotlight Health, the three-day opening segment of the Aspen Ideas Festival focused on the cutting-edge health issues of our time. The Festival is a partnership of the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic.

More information about Spotlight Health 2016, including a full speaker list, can be found at: Limited passes remain; to register and purchase your pass, please visit To request press credentials, please fill out the application here:


WHO: Speakers at the Spotlight Health closing session will be:

  • Caitlyn Jenner, Star of “I Am Cait” on E!; former Olympic athlete; Human Rights Advocate
  • Buzz Bissinger, Contributing Editor, Vanity Fair
  • Anna Deavere Smith, Actress; Playwright; Professor, New York University; Trustee, The Aspen Institute
  • Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Secretary, US Department of Health and Human Services
  • Jeffrey Goldberg, National Correspondent, The Atlantic

WHEN: Spotlight Health runs from June 23-26, 2016, with this special closing session on the morning of Sunday, June 26.

WHERE: The Aspen Institute’s Aspen Meadows Campus in Aspen, CO.

Spotlight Health is an experience for the curious: bringing together fascinating people to address the most urgent of topics in global and domestic health, from artificial intelligence and technology breakthroughs, to the Flint water crisis, to food safety, to ethical conversations around organ donation, drug pricing and access, and genome editing. The event’s four tracks will focus on Breakthroughs, The Child, Future of Food: The Hype, Our Health, and Ethical Choices.

Among the 150+ speakers participating in panels, one-on-one interviews, film screenings, and intimate roundtable lunches hours across Spotlight Health are: Mona Hanna-Attisha, Director of the Pediatric Public Health Initiative, a public health program that is lead research on the drinking water in Flint, Michigan; Agriculture Sec. Tom Vilsack and Surgeon General Vivek Murthy talking about opioid abuse; Robert Califf, Commissioner, US Food and Drug Administration and six former FDA commissioners; and chefs from Bolivia, Peru and Brazil on respecting indigenous cultures in food.

Presenting underwriters for the 2016 Aspen Ideas Festival Spotlight Health are Booz Allen Hamilton, Mount Sinai Health System, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, SCAN Foundation, and Welltower. Supporting underwriters are Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Children's National Health System, and Consumer Reports. American Osteopathic Association, Annenberg Center for Health Sciences at Eisenhower, Bristol-Myers Squibb, CDC Foundation, Pfizer, The Rockefeller Foundation, and the Truth Initiative are contributing underwriters.

About The Atlantic:
Founded in 1857 and today one of the fastest growing media platforms in the industry, The Atlantic has throughout its history championed the power of big ideas and continues to shape global debate across print, digital, events, and video platforms. With its award-winning digital presence and on cities around the world, The Atlantic is a multimedia forum on the most critical issues of our times—from politics, business, urban affairs, and the economy, to technology, arts, and culture. The Atlantic is the 2016 National Magazine of the Year. Bob Cohn is President of The Atlantic.

About the Aspen Institute:
The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland's Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit

Media Contacts:
Douglas Farrar
The Aspen Institute
(202) 736-3848 |

Anna Bross
The Atlantic
(202) 266-7714 |