Aspen Ideas Festival Announces Initial 2023 Speaker Lineup

May 1, 2023

Leaders and innovators from around the globe to gather in Aspen, CO, to explore bold ideas & engage in deep discussion of the issues shaping our world.

NBCUniversal News Group returns to the festival as part of a multi-year, multi-platform partnership and programming collaboration.


Contact: Jon Purves
Associate Director, Media Relations
The Aspen Institute


Washington, DC and Aspen, CO, May 1, 2023 — The Aspen Institute today announced the first group of speakers participating in the 2023 Aspen Ideas Festival. The Aspen Institute’s signature summer festival returns to  Aspen, Colorado in partnership with NBCUniversal News Group, with hundreds of speakers and thousands of attendees set to participate. The Aspen Ideas Festival runs from June 24-June 30, 2023; passes to attend are available now, while members of the media are invited to request credentials here.

Speakers will continue to be announced in the coming weeks. More than 300 are ultimately set to attend, including leaders and innovators spanning policymaking, business, the arts, science, education, and more. A complete list of speakers confirmed to date is available here. Among the speakers confirmed to attend:

John Mather, Senior Astrophysicist and Goddard Fellow; Senior Project Scientist, James Webb Space Telescope, NASA
Eric Schmidt, co-founder, Schmidt Futures; former CEO, Google
Angela Williams, CEO, United Way
Ryan Gellert, CEO, Patagonia
Eddie Glaude Jr., James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor and Department Chair, African American Studies, Princeton University
Imani Perry, Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies, Princeton University
Chris Evert, former World No. 1 Tennis Player
Pamela Karlan, Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law; Co-director, Supreme Court Litigation Clinic, Stanford University
HRH Ambassador Reema Bandar, Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States
Rainn Wilson, Actor
Sal Khan, Founder, Khan Academy
Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation
Justin Crow, US Representative (D), Colorado
Tony Gonzales, Representative (R), Texas
Sir David Frank Adjaye, Designer, National Museum of African American History and Culture
Jill Tiefanthaler, CEO, National Geographic Society
Katie Couric, Journalist; Founder and Executive Producer, Katie Couric Media
Jim Farley, President and CEO, Ford Motor Company
James Ijames, Playwright; Director; Associate Professor of Theater, Villanova University; Co-Artistic Director, Wilma Theater
Christine Emba, Opinion columnist and Editor for the Washington Post; Author
Doug Ducey, Former Governor of Arizona
Yohanan Plesner, President, Israel Democracy Institute
Tristan Harris, Founder, Center for Humane Technology; Writer
Jendayi Frazer, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
Kate Bowler, Professor, American Religious History
Martin Indyk, US Special Envoy for Israeli–Palestinian Negotiations; Former US Ambassador to Israel
Simon Goodwin, Artistic Director, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and National Director, Anti-Defamation League
Neal Katyal, Paul and Patricia Saunders Professor of Law, Georgetown University; Partner, Hogan Lovells US LLP
Oskar Eustice, Artistic Director, The Public Theater
Baratunde Thurston, host of “America Outdoors” on PBS and the “How to Citizen” podcast
Brian Greene, director of the Center of Theoretical Physics at Columbia
Annie Murphy Paul, science writer and author of The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain
Dan Savage, “Savage Love” columnist; writer, TV personality, and activist
Lisa Damour, Clinical psychologist; Co-Host of the “Ask Lisa” podcast and author of The Emotional Lives of Teenagers
David Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of The Carlyle Group
Alexis Nikole Nelson, TikTok star “The Black Forager”
John McWhorter, Linguist; Professor, English and comparative literature, Columbia

Now in its nineteenth year, the 2023 Aspen Ideas Festival will explore seven substantive themes: We the People, The Edge of Intelligence, Age of Uncertainty: Imagining a New World Order, Life Well Lived, Driving the Economy Forward, Powering the Future, and The Mind.

Attendees will have opportunities to participate and engage with speakers in venues that make the most of the Rocky Mountain landscape and bring the outdoors in, through workshops, roundtables, field trips, and seminars, as well as more night-time programming taking place in-town. 

The Aspen Ideas Festival and NBCUniversal News Group are now in the second year of a multi-platform partnership that includes an editorial and programming collaboration to jointly create engaging and informative festival content and even further extend the reach of the festival’s on-the-ground events, partners and sponsors to audiences across NBCUniversal News Group’s wide-reaching broadcast, cable, digital, audio and streaming platforms.

Top anchors and journalists from NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC and Noticias Telemundo participating in the festival this year include co-host of TODAY with Hoda & Jenna Jenna Bush Hager, anchor of NBC News NOW’s Top Story Tom Llamas, co-host of 3rd Hour of TODAY Sheinelle Jones, NBC News NOW anchor and co-host of Stay Tuned Savannah Sellers and CNBC’s Squawk Box anchors Becky Quick and Andrew Ross Sorkin.

Joining headline speakers and participating in the Aspen Ideas Festival will be fellows from all over the United States and around the world, selected for their work, accomplishments, and ability to transform ideas into action.

Presenting Underwriters for the 2023 Aspen Ideas Festival are Allstate, Amazon, Comcast NBCUniversal, Danone, Deloitte, Meta, Mount Sinai Health System, Walton Family Foundation, Wells Fargo, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Supporting Underwriters are Google, IBM, Prudential Financial, and Ralph Lauren.


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

NBCUniversal News Group – comprised of NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC – is the #1 most-watched news organization in the U.S., reaching more Americans across linear television and digital than any other news organization in the world. Seven out of 10 U.S. adults access NBCU News Group content each month, totaling an average of 180 million people per month. NBC News’ leading and award-winning television news broadcasts include TODAY, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, Meet the Press with Chuck Todd and Dateline NBC. MSNBC is the #2 network across all of cable delivering breaking news, award-winning content, in-depth analysis and informed perspectives. CNBC is the recognized world leader in business news and provides real-time financial market coverage, business and general news content. Across digital, NBCU News Group is the #1 news organization in the U.S. with 134 million monthly users. It includes the fastest-growing streaming news network in the U.S., NBC News NOW, offering viewers best-in-class reporting and breaking news from the country’s most-trusted journalists, as well as streaming networks TODAY All Day, Dateline 24/7 and MSNBC on Peacock. Additionally, the organization’s award-winning audio unit is a top five podcast publisher in the U.S. and NBC News’ Stay Tuned, a first-of-its-kind social newscast, is the premier destination for the Gen Z audience.

The NBCUniversal News Group, a division of NBCUniversal, is owned by Comcast Corporation. For more information about NBCUniversal, please visit

View Comments