The Aspen Institute Announces 2014 Summer Speaker Series Line-Up

June 11, 2014

Contact: Cristal Logan
Director, Aspen Community Programs
The Aspen Institute
Tel. 970-544-7929

The Aspen Institute Announces 2014 Summer Speaker Series Line-Up
Features Madeleine Albright, Robert Gates, General Raymond Odierno, and others 

Aspen, CO, June 10, 2014 –– The Aspen Institute is pleased to announce its lineup of distinguished guests who will be featured in the summer speaker series of 2014. Thanks to generous underwriting from our sponsors, the McCloskey Family Charitable Foundation, the Hurst Family Foundation, Gina and Jerry Murdock, and Steve and Ellen Susman, these events are all open to the public at a modest ticket price.  

Tickets ($20 each) will be made available at, (970) 920-5770, or through the Wheeler Opera House two weeks prior to each event. Society of Fellows reservations may be made by calling (970) 544-7980. As full-capacity audiences are expected for this series, early ticket purchasing is encouraged. Doors will open 45 minutes prior to the start of the event, and unclaimed tickets will be on sale at the door.

Tuesday, July 8
Mindfulness and the Psychology of Possibility
Murdock Mind, Body, Spirit Series
This event features social psychologist and Harvard University professor, Ellen Langer, Ph.D.  Dr. Langer is the author of 11 books including Mindfulness; The Power of Mindful Learning; On Becoming an Artist: Reinventing Yourself Through Mindful Creativity; and Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility. Her upcoming book, the Wiley Mindfulness Handbook, is an anthology that integrates research from Langer’s western scientific theoretical base of mindfulness with eastern forms of meditation. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, three Distinguished Scientist Awards, and the Staats award for Unifying Psychology.
Paepcke Auditorium, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
Fee: $20. Tickets on sale June 24 at

Thursday, July 10
The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
McCloskey Speaker Series 
President and CEO of the Aspen Institute Walter Isaacson will speak about his forthcoming book, set to be released in October, 2014 by Simon & Schuster.  Mr. Isaacson is the author of Steve Jobs; Einstein: His Life and Universe; Benjamin Franklin: An American Life; and Kissinger: A Biography, and the coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made.
Greenwald Pavilion, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Fee: $20. Tickets on sale June 26 at

Thursday, July 17
Executive Power and the Constitution
The Susman Conversation on the Constitution and the Courts
Underwritten by Ellen Susman in honor of her husband, Steve Susman
During the 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama expressed the intention to address social issues using all the tools of his office, including executive orders, if needed. What are the powers of the president to effect policy change through executive action? What role do the judiciary and Congress play in relationship to an assertive executive branch? The conversation, moderated by CNN Senior Legal Analyst and New Yorker Staff Writer Jeffrey Toobin, will feature Charles Ogletree Jr., Harvard Law School Jesse Climenko professor of law, and Miguel Estrada, partner at Gibson, Dunn, and Crutcher.
Paepcke Auditorium, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Fee: $20. Tickets on sale July 3 at

Friday, July 18
Conversation with US Representative John R. Lewis
McCloskey Speaker Series
Congressman John R. Lewis (D-GA), civil rights leader, and co-author of the bestselling graphic memoir March: Book One (Top Shelf Productions), is the recipient of numerous awards from eminent national and international institutions, including the United States’ highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. As chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), he was the youngest speaker at the 1963 March on Washington and a leader of the 1965 Selma–Montgomery March (known as “Bloody Sunday”), where police brutality spurred national outrage and hastened passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. His new graphic memoir trilogy, March, is a vivid first-hand account of Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis’ personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement. Book One, released last year, spans Lewis’ youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall.
Greenwald Pavilion, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Fee: $20. Tickets on sale July 3 at 

Wednesday, July 23
The Challenge of Today’s Army in an Increasingly Unstable World: How to do More with Less?
Hurst Lecture Series
In collaboration with the Aspen Security Forum 
US Army Chief of Staff General Raymond T. Odierno previously served as the commander of United States Joint Forces Command and commanding general of the United States Forces – Iraq. In his role as assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he was the primary military advisor to Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. In 2009, he was the recipient of the Naval War College Distinguished Graduate Leadership Award.
Greenwald Pavilion, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Fee: $20. Tickets on sale July 7 at

Thursday, July 24
A Conversation with Republican Governors
McCloskey Speaker Series
Republican governors hold forth on their priorities for their states on the big issues of education, jobs and the economy, health care, and other pressing areas on their respective agendas. The Republican Governors featured on the 2013 panel included Chris Christie of New Jersey, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Pat McCrory of North Carolina, Mike Pence of Indiana, and Scott Walker of Wisconsin.
The event will be moderated by Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson.
Greenwald Pavilion, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Fee: $20. Tickets on sale July 10 at

Saturday, August 2
A Conversation with Democratic Governors
McCloskey Speaker Series
Democratic governors will discuss how their policies are making a difference and the challenges that lie ahead. The Democratic Governors featured in the 2013 panel included John Hickenlooper of Colorado, Jay Inslee of Washington, Jay Nixon of Missouri, and Peter Shumlin of Vermont.
The event will be moderated by Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson.
Greenwald Pavilion, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
Fee: $20. Tickets on sale July 18 at

Wednesday, August 6
Social Justice: What’s Philanthropy Got to Do with It?
Hurst Lecture Series
This event features Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, the second largest philanthropy in the United States with over $11 billion in assets and $500 million in annual giving. The foundation is based in the US and operates worldwide, with 10 offices in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Central and South America.
Paepcke Auditorium, 5:00-6:00 p.m.
Fee: $20. Tickets on sale July 23 at 

Friday, August 8
The Crisis with Russia:  Implications for the US and Europe
McCloskey Speaker Series
In collaboration with the Aspen Strategy Group
Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and former Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Madeleine Albright will sit in conversation with former US Ambassador Nicholas Burns, professor at the Harvard Kennedy School. 
Greenwald Pavilion, 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Fee: $20. Tickets on sale July 25 at

Thursday, August 14
The Past, Present and Future of Humor
McCloskey Speaker Series
This event features a conversation with Robert Mankoff, Cartoon Editor of The New Yorker. More than 950 of his cartoons have been published in the magazine, including its best-selling cartoon captioned “No, Thursday’s out. How about never – is never good for you?”. The line also serves as the title to his newest book, a memoir released in March 2014.  Mankoff wrote The Naked Cartoonist: A New Way to Enhance Your Creativity (2002) and edited The Complete Cartoons of The New Yorker (Black Dog Leventhal), the best-selling coffee-table book featuring all 68,647 cartoons published in The New Yorker since its debut in 1925.
Paepcke Auditorium, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Fee: $20. Tickets on sale July 31 at

NOTE: Event details subject to change.  For more information on Aspen Institute events open to the public, please contact Jillian Scott at 970-544-7914 or, call the information hotline at 970-544-7970, or visit the Institute’s website at

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 discussing and acting on critical issues. The Institute has campuses in Aspen, Colorado, and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also maintains offices in New York City and has an international network of partners. For more info, visit


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