The Washington Ideas Forum To Be Held November 14 and 15, 2012

October 24, 2012  • Institute Contributor


The Washington Ideas Forum To Be Held November 14 and 15, 2012 

In Its Fourth Year, Forum Expands Its Size and Scope

Washington, D.C. (October 24, 2012)—The Atlantic, in partnership with the Aspen Institute and the Newseum, will present the fourth annual Washington Ideas Forum on November 14 and 15, 2012. The week after Election Day, the event will draw together leading voices from government, business, and media for two days of conversation and debate on the challenges facing the President and Congress, and what lies ahead for the country.

An early sample of confirmed participants includes: Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft; Timothy Geithner*, treasury secretary; Representative Nancy Pelosi, Democratic leader; Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.); Peggy Hamburg, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration; Lawrence Summers, former treasury secretary; Robert Kimmitt, former undersecretary of state and deputy treasury secretary; Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office; Jon Huntsman, former U.S. ambassador to China; Heather Bresch, CEO of Mylan; Kevin Madden, senior advisor to Mitt Romney; Bill Burton, senior strategist for Priorities USA; Trevor Potter, former commissioner and chairman of the Federal Election Commission; Joel Klein, former chancellor of the New York City Department of Education; Scott Davis, president and CEO of UPS; Steve Case, co-founder of AOL and chairman and CEO of Revolution; David Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlyle Group; Michael Porter, professor at Harvard Business School; Walter Isaacson, CEO of the Aspen Institute and author of Steve Jobs: A Biography; James Duff, CEO of the Newseum; and David Bradley, chairman of Atlantic Media Company.

*Some speakers’ participation is pending the outcome of the election on November 6, after which additional participants will also be announced.

Participating journalists include: Jonathan Alter, contributing correspondent for NBC News; James Bennet, editor in chief of The Atlantic; Margaret Carlson, Bloomberg columnist and editorial director of the Washington Ideas Forum; Steve Clemons, Washington editor at large of The Atlantic; Candy Crowley, anchor of CNN’s State of the Union; James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic; Mark Halperin, co-author of Game Change; Jonathan Karl, ABC News’ senior political correspondent; David Leonhardt, Washington bureau chief of The New York Times; Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s Hardball; Michele Norris, host of NPR’s All Things Considered; Norah O’Donnell, co-host of CBS’ This Morning; and Martha Raddatz, ABC News’ senior foreign-affairs correspondent.

Expanding the breadth of its political coverage in 2012, the Washington Ideas Forum is pleased to announce a partnership with Harvard University’s Institute of Politics. The collaboration will feature special “Election Insights” programming, exploring the major themes driving the campaigns—from the influence of new media to the rise of super PACs.

For the first time, the Washington Ideas Forum will originate from the Newseum’s Annenberg Theater, allowing for a significantly larger in-studio audience and an expanded footprint at the museum. Additionally, all mainstage programming will be live-streamed on, and after the event, programming will be available via ForaTV.

“Regardless of which party claims the White House, the Senate, or the House in November, when the Washington Ideas Forum gathers this year, the country is going to be facing urgent questions about both domestic and foreign matters,” said James Bennet, editor in chief of The Atlantic. “In drawing together leading thinkers from different ideologies and backgrounds, we’ll be aiming to make some news, of course, and also to identify some ideas about the best way forward.”

“For too long, our nation’s public conversation has been hijacked by partisan rancor, often-meaningless sound bites, and fear tactics. The Washington Ideas Forum and its forerunner, the Aspen Ideas Festival, allow us to break through the din, hopefully in a lasting way, and reintroduce civil dialogue, timeless wisdom and values, and common-sense solutions to society’s most vexing problems,” said Walter Isaacson, CEO of the Aspen Institute. 

Elizabeth Baker Keffer, president of AtlanticLIVE, added, “The Washington Ideas Forum has established itself as a destination event for leaders from government, business, and media to debate and discuss the serious challenges facing the country. We’re delighted to once again partner with the Aspen Institute and the Newseum, and we look forward to this year’s conversations.”

The editorial board for the 2012 Washington Ideas Forum comprises David Bradley, James Bennet, Shelby Coffey, Margaret Carlson, and Steve Clemons. Presenting underwriters include Allstate, Altria, Bank of America, Comcast, Emirates ExxonMobil, Thomson Reuters, and United Technologies, with underwriting support from the American Federation of Teachers and the Center for Audit Quality.

 In the lead-up to and throughout the forum, join the conversation on Twitter at and, and by following the hashtag #IdeasForum.

For press credentials, please contact The Atlantic’s Natalie Raabe at

About The Atlantic
Since 1857, The Atlantic has played a central role in shaping the national debate on current affairs and cultural trends. Dedicated to bold, independent, diverse, and highly reasoned perspectives, its writers, bloggers, and critics represent the best in American journalism.  The Atlantic’s award-winning commentary and coverage can be found in its magazine, on its Web site at, and at more than 60 events a year produced by its industry-leading events division, AtlanticLIVE.

About the Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy-studies organization based in Washington, D.C. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with 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.

About the Newseum

The Newseum champions the freedoms of the First Amendment in innovative and educational ways to inspire a knowledgeable and engaged citizenry. A 250,000-square-foot museum of news, the Newseum blends 500 years of news history, up-to-the-second technology, and hands-on exhibits for a one-of-a-kind museum experience, featuring seven levels of galleries, theaters, retail spaces, and visitor services taking visitors behind the scenes to experience how and why news is made.

Media Contacts

Natalie Raabe, The Atlantic Jennifer Myers, The Aspen Institute
202.266.7533 202.736.2906 





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