Speaker Line-Up Announced for Washington Ideas, September 26-28 in Washington, D.C.

Speakers Include: House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi - Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin - Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg - Senators Jeff Flake and Mark Warner - Madeleine Albright - CRISPR Co-Inventor Feng Zhang - SoulCycle CEO Melanie Whelan -  Gen. David Petraeus

Washington, D.C. (September 21, 2017)—Next week, The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute will descend on D.C.’s Penn Quarter for Washington Ideas, the annual must-attend event bringing together leaders from all fields to talk about the most consequential issues and ideas of our time. More than a dozen events are being held September 26-28, and include interviews with the people shaping politics, business, science, technology, arts, and journalism; film screenings; topical forums; and evening entertainment.

The cornerstone of Washington Ideas is “The Forum” at Sidney Harman Hall (610 F Street, NW), featuring newsmaker interviews and fascinating conversations on Wednesday, September 27 and Thursday, September 28.

Among the speakers joining The Forum at Sidney Harman Hall are Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Gen. (Ret.) David Petraeus, CRISPR co-inventor Feng Zhang, and Senators Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Mark Warner (D-VA).

(**Subject to Change, Additional Names to be Announced**)



  • Opening remarks by Margaret Low, President, AtlanticLIVE

  • (Underwriter perspective produced by American Federation of Teachers*)

    • Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers

  • Mitch Landrieu, Mayor, City of New Orleans

    • With: Jeffrey Goldberg, Editor in Chief, The Atlantic

  • Astro Teller, Captain of Moonshots, X

    • With: Derek Thompson, Senior Editor, The Atlantic

  • (Underwriter perspective produced by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation*)

    • Richard Besser, President and CEO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundatio

    • With: Martha Raddatz, Chief Global Affairs Correspondent, ABC News


  • Joelle Emerson, Founder and CEO, Paradigm

    • With: Liza Mundy, Contributor, The Atlantic

  • Christopher Ruddy, CEO, NewsMax Inc.

    • With: Steve Clemons, Washington Editor at Large, The Atlantic

  • (Underwriter perspective produced by Allstate*)

    • Tom Wilson, Chairman and CEO, The Allstate Corporation

  • Michele Norris, Founding Director, The Race Card Project


  • Adam Neumann, Co-Founder and CEO, WeWork

    • With: Derek Thompson, Senior Editor, The Atlantic

  • Dennis Muilenburg, Chairman, President, and CEO, The Boeing Company

    • With: David Bradley, Chairman, Atlantic Media

NOON: Food for Thought lunches


  • Walter Isaacson, President and CEO, The Aspen Institute   
  • David Ignatius, Opinion Writer, Washington Post, and Author, The Quantum Spy

    • With: Mary Louise Kelly, Contributing Editor, The Atlantic

  • (Underwriter perspective produced by Pfizer*)

    • Angela Hwang, Global President of Inflammation and Immunology, Pfizer

  • Guy Primus, Founder and CEO, The VR Company

    • With: Alexis Madrigal, Staff Writer, The Atlantic


  • Melanie Whelan, CEO, SoulCycle

    • With: Alison Stewart, Contributing Editor, The Atlantic

  • (Underwriter perspective produced by Booz Allen Hamilton*)

    • David Shulkin, U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs; and Kevin Vigilante, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Booz Allen Hamilton

  • William Schindler, Associate Professor Of Anthropology, Washington College

    • With: Ross Andersen, Senior Editor, The Atlantic

  • Martin Baron, Executive Editor, The Washington Post

    • With: Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic



  • Opening Remarks by The Atlantic’s president Bob Cohn

  • Senator Mark Warner (D-VA)

    • With: Steve Clemons, The Atlantic

  • Mark Bertolini, Chairman and CEO, Aetna

    • With: Matt Thompson, Executive Editor, The Atlantic

  • Spencer Rascoff, CEO, Zillow Group

    • With: Gillian White, Senior Associate Editor, The Atlantic


  • (Underwriter perspective produced by America’s Biopharmaceutical Companies*)

    • Matt Hiznay, Cancer survivor and PhD candidate; Ted Johnson, Biopharmaceutical researcher, Pfizer; and Lori Reilly, Executive Vice President, Policy, Research and Membership, PhRMA

  • General (Ret.) David Petraeus, Member and Chairman, KKR Global Institute

    • With: Moderator to be announced

  • Christina Tosi, Founder and CEO, Milkbar

    • With: Derek Thompson, The Atlantic

  • Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury

    • With: Major Garrett, Chief White House Correspondent, CBS News


  • Robert Costa, National Political Reporter, The Washington Post, and moderator, PBS’s Washington Week; Maggie Haberman, White House Correspondent, The New York Times; and Katy Tur, Correspondent, NBC News, and Author, Unbelievable: My Front-row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History

    • With: Margaret Carlson, Columnist, BloombergView

  • Feng Zhang, Co-Inventor, CRISPR; Core Institute Member, Broad Institute

    • With: Ross Andersen, Senior Editor, The Atlantic

12PM: Lunch Breakout Sessions


  • Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ)

    • With: McKay Coppins, Staff Writer, The Atlantic

  • Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), U.S. House Democratic Leader

    • With: Moderator to be announced.

  • Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), U.S. House Democratic Leader

    • With: Jonathan Karl, Chief White House Correspondent, ABC News

  • J. Craig Venter, Co-Founder, Executive Chairman And Head of Scientific Strategy, Human Longevity, Inc.

    • With: Matt Thompson, Executive Editor, The Atlantic

  • Lisa Melcher, CEO, and Tina Stride, President, The Hope Dealer Project

    • With: Alison Stewart, The Atlantic


  • (Underwriter perspective produced by Inova*)

    • Mirza Cifric, Co-founder and CEO, Veritas Genetics; and Todd Stottlemyer, CEO, Inova Center for Personalized Health

  • Madeleine Albright, Former U.S. Secretary of State

    • With: Moderator to be announced.

  • Stefanie Joho, Cancer Survivor and Patient Advocate, and Luis Diaz, Head of Solid Tumor Oncology, Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Department of Medicine  

    • With: Ross Andersen, The Atlantic


  • Rohit Prasad, VP and Head Scientist, Alexa Machine Learning

    • With: Alexis Madrigal, The Atlantic

  • David Isay, Founder and President, StoryCorps

    • With: Alison Stewart, The Atlantic

*Denotes sessions produced by our underwriters, and not by The Atlantic’s editorial team.

Among Atlantic journalists serving as moderators and speakers across the week are: Jeffrey Goldberg, Steve Clemons, Ross Andersen, Yoni Appelbaum, McKay Coppins, Megan Garber, Julia Ioffe, Mary Louise Kelly, Alexis Madrigal, Vann Newkirk, Rebecca Rosen, Derek Thompson, Matt Thompson, and Gillian White.

Washington Ideas will create a Penn Quarter campus on F Street, anchored by Sidney Harman Hall and neighboring restaurant Rosa Mexicano, which will serve as Washington Ideas HQ for daytime and evening events. The festival will branch out to other venues throughout the neighborhood, holding various gatherings at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, The Loft at 600 F, Hill Country BBQ, and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. A schedule of events across the week is below.

To request a media credential for Washington Ideas events, please contact The Atlantic’s Sydney Simon (ssimon@theatlantic.com; 202-266-7338). Tickets for the public are available for purchase here.

Presented by The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute
**All Timing Denoted in EST**

Tuesday, September 26:

Join The Atlantic for our next installment of the Women of Washington series as we showcase the stories of exceptional women in government, policy, leadership, and media. Underwritten by ExxonMobil.

Who will benefit from the evolution of work and who gets left behind? This Forum will convene entrepreneurs, scholars, thinkers, and activists to debate the big questions facing us all. Underwritten by WeWork.

Join The Atlantic for drinks and a showcase of local businesses including: Republic Restoratives Distillery, Steadfast Supply, Data Society, and Open Data Nation. Underwritten by the Washington, D.C., Economic Partnership.

Join Atlantic journalists Jeffrey Goldberg (editor in chief), Julia Ioffe (staff writer), Eliot A. Cohen (contributing editor), and Matt Thompson (executive editor) for a debate about one of the biggest foreign policy challenges of our time: Russia. Nearly a year after Trump’s election, what damage has his norm-breaking presidency had on America’s global standing, and particularly our relations with Russia? This will be a live taping of The Atlantic’s new podcast, Radio Atlantic, hosted by Goldberg and Thompson.

Animation, one of the oldest forms of visual storytelling, is bringing today's bold ideas to life in ways never before possible. Join Atlantic Studios’ Executive Producer, Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg, and art director and animator Jackie Lay for a conversation about the power of animated storytelling and a special screening reception.

Wednesday, September 27:

The Atlantic will gather perspectives from policy and science to explore the state and future of health care. From policy and economics to the future of medical research and innovation, we’ll bring together the brightest minds shaping health care today. Underwritten by America’s Biopharmaceutical Companies.

Join The Atlantic for a reception and conversation to explore the future of genomic medicine with Dr. Eric Green, the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) at the National Institutes of Health, and Atlantic Staff Writer, Ed Yong. Underwritten by Inova.

The Atlantic's David Sims describes Okja as a "sublime tale of the value of humanity," a "must-see" and an "impressive epic production worth seeing on a big screen." From director Bong Joon Ho, the film explores the bond between man and animal, and the way we relate to one another and our world. The Atlantic will host a special screening of Okja followed by a moderated conversation with the film's Academy Award® winning producer Jeremy Kleiner, led by contributing editor Alison Stewart.

Thursday, September 28:

Join The Atlantic for a discussion with author Sally Quinn about her new book, Finding Magic: A Spiritual Memoir.

Join Atlantic contributor Liza Mundy for a discussion and signing for her new book, Code Girls.

  • 12:30-2PM: Live Taping of CBS’ “The Takeout” podcast  (The Ideas HQ @ Rosa Mexicano)

  • 12:30-2PM: Author Talk: Derek Thompson (Sidney Harman Hall)

Join The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson for a discussion and signing for his book, Hit Makers.

Washington Ideas will host an exclusive screening of the final episode of Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s PBS series “The Vietnam War.” The screening will be followed by a conversation on stage with Ken Burns, Lynn Novick, Tim O’Brien, Vietnam veteran and author of The Things They Carried, and Mai Elliott, author of The Sacred Willow, which chronicles the experience of her own Vietnamese family throughout the war. The conversation will be moderated by The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg.

For more information, visit WashingtonIdeas.com, follow @WashingtonIdeas, and like Washington Ideas on Facebook.

Presenting Level underwriters for Washington Ideas include Allstate, America’s Biopharmaceutical Companies, the American Federation of Teachers, Booz Allen Hamilton, Inova, Pfizer, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Bank of America, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and ComcastNBCUniversal are Supporting Underwriters; and Aflac, ExxonMobil, Paypal, and the Washington DC Economic Partnership are Contributing Underwriters.

Community Partners for Washington Ideas include Best Face Forward, CakeLove, Compass Coffee, Design Foundry, General Assembly, Harper Macaw, IVY, Kramerbooks & Afterwords, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Occasions Caterers, One Eight Distilling, Port City Brewing Company, Republic Restoratives, Rosa Mexicano, Shakespeare Theatre Company, SoulCycle, UrbanStems, and Yoga District.