US Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra & FDA Commissioner Robert Califf to Speak at Aspen Ideas: Health

May 26, 2023

Innovators and leaders across healthcare, public health, policymaking, tech, business, and the arts to participate in the renowned health event in Aspen, CO on June 21-24

Speaker lineup includes Xavier Becerra, Robert Califf, Meena Seshamani, Anthony Fauci, Chelsea Clinton, Bill Frist, Vivek Murthy, Jen Gunter, Seth Berkley, Iliza Shlesinger, and former HHS Secretaries

Contact: Ben Berliner​​
The Aspen Institute

Washington, DC and Aspen, CO, May 26, 2023Aspen Ideas: Health announced additional speakers who will engage in conversations about the urgent challenges, cutting-edge innovations, and big ideas shaping the future of health, medicine, and science at the 10th annual event, which opens the Aspen Ideas Festival from June 21-24, 2023. 

US Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra will join former HHS secretaries Alex Azar and Kathleen Sebelius to discuss their experiences leading the nation’s second largest executive department, overseeing Medicare, Medicaid, the National Institutes of Health, the FDA, the CDC, and more. Further, former US Senator and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist will join Anthony Fauci, Former Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to reflect on the 20th anniversary of the transformative U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and its lessons for future responses to global health crises.

Passes to attend Aspen Ideas: Health are available now, while members of the media are invited to request credentials here. 

This year’s program will feature 150 speakers across 60 sessions, which are built around seven core themes: Power of Design, Science of Tomorrow, The Healing Economy, Planet Health, Spotlight on Women’s Health, How to Thrive, and The Senses. The Aspen Ideas: Health speaker lineup is available to view here, which includes the newly confirmed speakers below. The agenda will be released in mid-June.   

  • Alex Azar, Adjunct Professor of Business and Senior Executive-in-Residence, University of Miami Herbert Business School; 24th Secretary, US Department of Health and Human Services
  • Xavier Becerra, Secretary, US Department of Health and Human Services
  • Shauna Carey, Chief Executive Officer,
  • Shanda Demorest, Associate Director for Climate Engagement and Education, Health Care Without Harm and Practice Greenhealth
  • Renee DiResta, Technical Research Manager, Stanford Internet Observatory
  • Dorit Donoviel, Executive Director, Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH), Baylor College of Medicine
  • David Fajgenbaum, Assistant Professor, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania; Author, Chasing My Cure
  • Bill Frist, Former US Senator and Senate Majority Leader
  • Cynthia Germanotta, President and Co-Founder, Born This Way Foundation
  • Maneesha Ghiya, Founder and Managing Partner, FemHealth Ventures
  • Jen Gunter, Obstetrician and Gynecologist; Author, The Vagina Bible and The Menopause Manifesto
  • Benjamin Jealous, Executive Director, Sierra Club
  • Frederick Johnson, Community Engagement Specialist, David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts
  • Barbara Mahon, Acting Director, CDC Coronavirus and Other Respiratory Viruses Division
  • Ebony Marcelle, Director of Midwifery, Community of Hope
  • Denise Pines, Co-Founder, Women in the Room Productions
  • Tara Ruttley, Chief Scientist for Orbital Reef, Blue Origin
  • Iliza Shlesinger, Comedian, Actor, and Author, All Things Aside
  • Chris Winter, Neurologist, Sleep Specialist and Owner, Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine and CNSM Consulting
  • Mary Ziegler, Martin Luther King Jr. Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law; Author, Roe: The History of a National Obsession 


In addition to the headlining speakers, over 100 fellows from 31 states and 7 countries, selected for their ability to transform ideas into action in pursuit of better health for all, will participate in Aspen Ideas: Health.

The presenting underwriters for Aspen Ideas: Health 2023 are Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, California Health Care Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, Mount Sinai Health System, and Pfizer. Supporting underwriters are American Hospital Association, Calm, The Commonwealth Fund, Guardant Health, and Takeda. The continuing education partner is Annenberg Center for Health Sciences at Eisenhower.

Editor’s Note: A limited number of press passes are available for media interested in attending as covering reporters. To apply, please fill out the form here. Aspen Ideas: Health can accommodate both print and broadcast media; and staff can assist in facilitating interviews on-site.


The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit

View Comments