The Atlantic Festival Announces New Interviews: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Bill Gates, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan

Anna Deavere Smith to perform Festival opening. Virtual festival happening September 21–24 also features conversations with Hillary Rodham Clinton, Anthony Fauci, José Andrés, Padma Lakshmi, and Billy Porter

The Atlantic Festival, taking place virtually September 21-24, will open with a performance by actress and playwright Anna Deavere Smith, and include featured interviews with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi; Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky; Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan—joining dozens of previously-announced events and newsmaker conversations.

Also just announced: NBC News senior business correspondent and MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle will moderate an interview during the festival with Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian.

The Atlantic Festival events are free to attend and will take place across all four days, culminating in nightly 90-minute headliner programs that will be streamed live at The Atlantic and other platforms. To register as press, please contact Anna Bross and Helen Tobin ( A full mainstage schedule will be announced next week.

As the United States looks to rebuild amid the coronavirus pandemic and our racial reckoning, The Atlantic Festival will explore the events of 2020 and venture to understand who we are as a nation and what we might become. It will also include forums on race and justice, education, small business, the future of work, and health equity, along with the annual “Women of Washington” event.

A full list of events and speakers are at the festival site, and include:

  • Samantha Bee, host of Full Frontal With Samantha Bee

  • Ayesha Curry,  best-selling author and the founder of Eat. Learn. Play.

  • Chris Evans, actor and producer

  • Hugh Evans, co-founder of Global Citizen

  • Priyanka Chopra Jonas, actor, producer, activist, and Global Citizen ambassador

  • Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter

  • Ethan Hawke, actor and star of the television adaptation of Good Lord Bird

  • Mark Kassen, co-founder of the civic-engagement website A Starting Point

  • Ibram X. Kendi, contributing writer of The Atlantic, and the director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research

  • Joe Kiani, co-founder of the civic-engagement website A Starting Point

  • Padma Lakshmi, host and producer of Taste the Nation

  • James McBride, National Book Award winner and Good Lord Bird author

  • Billy Porter, actor

For Women of Washington, September 21, 1:30-2:30PM ET

  • Suzanne Clark, President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

  • Weijia Jiang, CBS News White House Correspondent

  • Rachel Scott, ABC New White House Correspondent

  • Kelly O’Donnell, NBC News White House Correspondent

For Race & Justice, Thursday, September 24, 3-4PM ET

  • Chesa Boudin, District Attorney, San Francisco

  • Garrett Bradley, Filmmaker, Time

  • Larry Krasner, District Attorney, Philadelphia

  • Janeé Harteau, Former Chief of Police, Minneapolis

The Atlantic’s editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg will moderate conversations across the festival, and there will be appearances by many of The Atlantic’s journalists, including executive editor Adrienne LaFrance; managing editor Gillian White; staff writers Anne Applebaum, McKay Coppins, Emma Green, Adam Harris, Annie Lowrey, Alexis Madrigal, Tom McTague, Peter Nicholas, and Ed Yong; senior editors Ross Andersen, Ronald Brownstein, Nora Kelly Lee, Vann R. Newkirk II, Prashant Rao, Lauren Williams; and contributing editor Alex Wagner.

The Atlantic Festival is supported by Facebook as the Founding Level Underwriter; Genentech and the Walton Family Foundation as the Presenting Level Underwriters; Allstate, Eli Lilly and Company, and U.S. Bank as Supporting Level Underwriters; and AARP, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ExxonMobil, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Nestlé Waters North America, and PayPal as Contributing Level Underwriters.