Political and Business Leaders, Award-winning Artists, Scientists, and Innovators to Speak at 2015 Aspen Ideas Festival

May 4, 2015

Contacts: Jennifer Myers
The Aspen Institute
(202) 736-2906/jennifer.myers@aspeninst.org

Sydney Simon
The Atlantic

(202) 266-7338/ssimon@theatlantic.com

Political and Business Leaders, Award-winning Artists,  Scientists, and Innovators to Speak at 2015 Aspen Ideas Festival
Speakers Include Gen. John Allen, Paul Ryan, Ron Klain, Philippe Cousteau, Elizabeth Alexander, Richard Dawkins, Vivek Murthy, and Katie Couric

Washington, DC, May 4, 2015 More than 400 groundbreaking thinkers and leaders from around the country and the world will gather at the 11th annual Aspen Ideas Festival from June 25 through July 4, 2015, in Aspen, CO. Featured speakers include: poet Elizabeth Alexander; Gen. John Allen, Special Presidential Envoy, Global Coalition to Counter ISIL; Arthur C. Brooks, President, American Enterprise Institute; Barbara Bush, CEO and Co-Founder, Global Health Corps; Katie Couric, Global Anchor, Yahoo News; Philippe Cousteau, Founder and CEO, EarthEcho International; ethologist and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins; Susan Desmond-Hellmann, CEO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; actress Sally Field; US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker; US Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.); IsaacBougie” Herzog, Chairman, Israeli Labour Party; Gwen Ifill, Co-Anchor and Managing Editor, “PBS NewsHour”; Cristina Jiménez, Co-Founder, United We Dream; Ashley Judd, actress and Board Member, Population Services International; Ron Klain, former Ebola Response Coordinator, Executive Office of the President; United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngucka; US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy; US Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI); PayPal Co-Founder Peter Thiel; and seven former secretaries of the US Department of Health and Human Services. A full list of speakers is available at www.aspenideas.org/speakers

The public dialogue, which will feature one-on-one interviews, panel conversations, film screenings, and demonstrations, will begin with Spotlight Health, June 25-28, a three-day deep dive into global and domestic health. Spotlight Health will gather innovators in health fields to discuss topics from Ebola, climate change, and genetically modified organisms, to cancer, personalized medicine, and death with dignity. The remainder of the Festival, running June 28-July 4, will delve into topics that include the “endangered American dream,” art, violence in America, technology, faith and conflict, the environment, democracy, and the beauty of math. For a list of all program tracks, please visit www.aspenideas.org/festival/track.

Leading up to this year’s Aspen Ideas Festival, TheAtlantic.com will feature an Ideas Special Report highlighting the trailblazing new ideas shaping progress in areas like business, technology, politics, science, and the arts. The report coincides with The Atlantic magazine’s annual July/August Ideas issue, which this year will focus on the future of work, energy, and the most significant ideas, trends, and phenomena shaping the world for better or worse. During the Festival, TheAtlantic.com will also showcase daily on the ground coverage, reporting and analysis, along with photography and videos.

Over the course of 10 days, a festival audience of more than 4,000 is expected in Aspen, CO. Many more will join the conversation by viewing video and audio clips on www.aspenideas.org, the Aspen Institute’s YouTube channel, iTunes, and The Atlantic’s Events Channel. Regular updates from the Festival in the run-up, during the event, and after can be found on Facebook and Twitter. Aspen Ideas can be followed on Twitter at @aspenideas and @Atlantic_LIVE with the hashtags #SpotlightHealth and #AspenIdeas. Additionally, the Festival discussions can be followed all year on the Aspen Ideas Festival blog.  

EDITOR’S NOTE: A limited number of press passes remain available. To apply, please fill out the form here: http://www.aspenideas.org/festival/press.

Presenting underwriters for the 2015 Aspen Ideas Festival include Allstate, Booz Allen Hamilton, HP, Mount Sinai, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Shell, Southern Company, Toyota, U.S. Trust, and Walton Family Foundation. Supporting underwriters include American Federation of Teachers, Ernst & Young, Genworth, and Pearson. The MacArthur Foundation and PBS are contributing underwriters.

Presenting underwriters for 2015 Aspen Ideas Festival Spotlight Health are Anschutz Medical Campus, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Booz Allen Hamilton, Health Care REIT, Mayo Clinic, Mount Sinai, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Supporting underwriters include American Medical Association, Autism Speaks, and Children’s National Medical Center. Association of American Medical Colleges, the CDC Foundation, Consumer Reports, and Genentech 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, TheAtlantic.com and CityLab.com 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 Atlanticis the flagship property of Washington, D.C.-based publisher Atlantic Media. Its co-presidents are Editor in Chief James Bennet and Chief Operating Officer, Bob Cohn.

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 www.aspeninstitute.org.


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