World Leaders in Politics, Business, Science, the Arts, and More to Speak during 2018 Aspen Ideas Festival

May 1, 2018

Speakers include Reddit CEO Steven Huffman, #MeToo Founder Tarana Burke, Hip Hop Artist Kiari “Offset” Cephus, Former US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario

Contacts: Zach St. Louis
The Aspen Institute
(202) 736-3526 |

Anna Bross
The Atlantic
(202) 266-7714 |

Washington, DC, May 1, 2018 — With cultural and political revolutions making waves at home, and watershed global events shaping America’s role abroad, more than 300 groundbreaking thinkers and leaders will gather at the 14th annual Aspen Ideas Festival to dissect the issues moving our world. Speakers joining the 2018 Festival include James R. Clapper, Former US Director of National Intelligence; Tarana Burke, Founder, #MeToo; Kiari “Offset” Cephus, Hip Hop Artist, Migos; Steven Huffman, CEO, Reddit; Rose Marcario, CEO, Patagonia; and many others.

This year’s Festival will run from June 24-30, 2018 in Aspen, CO, preceded by Spotlight Health from June 21-24, 2018. The Festival is presented by the Aspen Institute and co-hosted by The Atlantic.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A limited number of press passes are available. To apply, please fill out the form here: The Festival can accommodate both print and broadcast media; and Festival staff can assist in facilitating interviews on-site.

The Aspen Ideas Festival is an experience for the curious: bringing together the people leading their industries for in-depth and often intimate conversations about today’s most critical issues. The Festival’s ten tracks will dive into such areas as freedom of speech, globalization, the art of justice, the sexes, music, the genius of animals, climate change, and more.

Speakers at the Aspen Ideas Festival are influencing global politics and society, advancing science, technology and exploration, pushing the boundaries of entertainment and the arts, and revolutionizing business.

Speakers will continue to be added in the coming weeks. A complete list is available at Among the featured speakers are:

  • David Azerrad, Director, Heritage Foundation
  • Martin Baron, Executive Editor, The Washington Post
  • Janine Benyus, Co-founder, Biomimicry 3.8 + the Biomimicry Institute
  • Rachel Botsman, Visting Academic at the University of Oxford and Author of What’s Mine Is Yours & Who Can You Trust?
  • Victor Cha, Senior Adviser and Korea Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Raj Chetty, Professor of Economics, Stanford
  • Carol Christ, Chancellor, University of California, Berkeley
  • Chris Cox, Chief Product Officer, Facebook
  • Ray Dalio, Founder, Bridgewater Associates
  • Michelle De La Isla, Mayor, Topeka, Kansas
  • Angela Duckworth, Founder & CEO, Character Lab
  • Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, Framework Convention on Climate Change, United Nations
  • Eileen Fisher, Founder, Eileen Fisher
  • Atul Gawande, Professor, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Author, Being Mortal
  • Vijay Gupta, Artistic Director, Street Symphony; Violinist, Los Angeles Philharmonic Association
  • Frank Gehry, Architect
  • Tristan Harris, Co-founder, Time Well Spent
  • Kevin Hassett, Chairman, White House Council of Economic Advisers
  • Sal Khan, founder Khan Academy
  • Khalid Latif, Executive Director and Chaplain, Islamic Center at NYU
  • Robert Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative
  • Brock Long, FEMA Administrator
  • David Miliband, British Labour Party, CEO IRC
  • Anne Neuberger, Chief Risk Officer, National Security Agency
  • Kate Orff, Principal, SCAPE, MacArthur winner
  • Gaby Pacheco, Program Director, TheDream.US
  • Christina Paxon, President, Brown
  • Christian Picciolini, Author, White American Youth: My Descent into America’s Most Violent Hate Movement–and How I Got Out
  • Danica Roem, Delegate, District 13, Virginia House of Delegates
  • Kevin Rudd, Former Prime Minister of Australia
  • Carl Safina, President, The Safina Center; Co-Founder, Blue Ocean Institute; Author, Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel
  • Laurie Santos, Professor of Psychology, Yale University
  • Kori Schake, Deputy-Director General of the International Institute of Strategic Studies
  • Lawrence Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus, Harvard University
  • Arturo Vargas, Executive Director, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials

The Festival, which will feature one-on-one interviews, panel conversations, film screenings, and more, is a seven-day event that will explore a wide array of issues. The 2018 Aspen Ideas Festival will delve into global affairs and the new world order, American values and freedom of speech, the arts and music, science and technology, and more. More about this year’s program can be found at

Over the course of the Ideas Festival, a robust and diverse audience is expected in Aspen, CO, but many more will be able to join the conversation online. The Atlantic will on report and produce video from the Ideas Festival in a special report at All video and audio clips of on-stage conversations will be on and on, and on the Aspen Institute’s YouTube channel. Regular updates from the Festival, in the run-up and during the event, will be on and on Twitter at @AspenIdeas, @TheAtlantic and @AtlanticLive, and with #AspenIdeas. Additionally, discussions can be followed all year on the Aspen Ideas Festival blog and on the Aspen Ideas To Go podcast.

Presenting underwriters for 2018 Aspen Ideas Festival are Allstate, Audi of America, Comcast NBCUniversal, Facebook, General Mills, Google, McKinsey & Company, Mount Sinai Health System, PayPal, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Southern Company, and Walton Family Foundation. Supporting underwriters are Koch Industries, Microsoft, Nestlé Waters North America, and the Paul E. Singer Foundation. PBS, Skoll Foundation, Standard Industries, and The Wonderful Company 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 was the 2016 National Magazine of the Year. Bob Cohn is President of The Atlantic and Jeffrey Goldberg is Editor in Chief.

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

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