Politics

McCloskey Speaker Series: Why Politics Are Getting in the Way of Having Real Discourse

July 16, 2021  • Aspen Community Programs

Featuring Will Hurd, former US representative for Texas’s 23rd congressional district and former CIA clandestine officer, in conversation with David Sanger, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times. Hurd will discuss his view of what the GOP’s top priorities should be including immigration, national security, and cybertechnology, among other topics.


Will Hurd is currently a managing director at Allen & Company and former member of Congress, cybersecurity executive, and undercover officer in the CIA. For almost two decades he’s been involved in the most pressing national security issues challenging the country whether it was in the back-alleys of dangerous places, boardrooms of top international businesses or halls of Congress.After stopping terrorists, preventing Russian spies from stealing our secrets, and putting nuclear weapons proliferators out of business, Will helped build a cybersecurity company that prepared businesses for the next domain of conflict – cyberspace. While in Congress, Texas Monthly and Politico Magazine called Will “The Future of the GOP,” because he put good policy over good politics at a time when America was often consumed with what divides us rather than what unites us. He was able to get more legislation signed into law in three terms than most congressmen do in three decades – substantive legislation like a national strategy for Artificial Intelligence. Will is a native of San Antonio and earned a Computer Science degree from Texas A&M University. Additionally, he is growing the US transatlantic partnership with Europe as a trustee of the German Marshall Fund, an OpenAI board member, and most recently served as a fellow at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics.

David E. Sanger is a White House and national security correspondent, and a senior writer. In a 38-year reporting career for The New York Times, he has been on three teams that have won Pulitzer Prizes, most recently in 2017 for international reporting. His newest book, “The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage and Fear in the Cyber Age,’’ and an HBO documentary by the same title, examine the emergence of cyberconflict and its role in changing the nature of global power. He is also the author of two Times best sellers on foreign policy and national security: “The Inheritance: The World Obama Confronts and the Challenges to American Power,” published in 2009, and “Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power,” published in 2012. For The Times, Mr. Sanger has served as Tokyo bureau chief, Washington economic correspondent, White House correspondent during the Clinton and Bush administrations, and chief Washington correspondent. A 1982 graduate of Harvard College, Mr. Sanger was the first senior fellow in The Press and National Security at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard. With Graham T. Allison Jr., he co-teaches “Central Challenges in American National Security, Strategy and the Press” at the Kennedy School of Government.