Most Recent Forums
April 9, 2019
Jonathan Capehart is a member of the editorial board of The Washington Post and a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, focusing on politics, social issues, and cultural shifts nationally and globally. He is a regular contributor to the blog PostPartisan and hosts the podcast Cape Up. He is a commentator on MSNBC and a moderator at the Aspen Ideas Festival, the Center for American Progress, the Atlantic Dialogues conference, and the Brussels Forum. Earlier in his career, he was an editorial page editor and editorial board member for the New York Daily News, and he served as a national affairs columnist for Bloomberg News. He is a recipient of the Esteem Award, which honors individuals for their ongoing efforts to support African-American and LGBTQ communities in entertainment, media, civil rights, business, and art. He grew up in Newark, New Jersey, attended St. Benedict’s Preparatory School, and is a graduate of Carleton College.
March 19, 2019
David Hogg is a survivor of the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. He is among twenty Parkland students who founded Never Again MSD, a gun-control advocacy group, and he is a founding member of March for Our Lives, one of the largest youth-led movements in the world. In his advocacy for ending gun violence, he has traveled the country calling for voter participation, civic engagement, and social activism. He and his younger sister, Lauren, are co-authors of the bestselling book #NeverAgain: A New Generation Draws the Line and contributors to the book Glimmer of Hope: How Tragedy Sparked a Movement, a compilation of writings from the founders of March for Our Lives. A recent graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, he has received letters of acceptance from several universities, but he has chosen to take a year off to work on the 2018 midterm elections and to continue his activism on gun policy reform.
February 12, 2019
Art Cullen is editor and co-owner of The Storm Lake Times, a flourishing, family-owned, twice-weekly newspaper founded in 1990 in Northwest Iowa. In 2017, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing for a series of columns indicting corporate agri-business for polluting the rivers and lakes in the most-intensively farmed land in the world. His recently published book, Storm Lake, chronicles his 40-year career in journalism and describes changes in politics, agriculture, climate, and immigration in his rural community. A graduate of the University of St. Thomas, he has been a reporter and editor with newspapers in Algona, Ames, Mason City, and Storm Lake, Iowa. His commentaries have been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and the StarTribune. His brother John is publisher of The Storm Lake Times, his son, Tom, is a reporter, and his wife, Dolores, is a feature writer and photographer.
November 13, 2018
Michael Beschloss is an award-winning author of nine books on presidential history. He is the presidential historian for NBC News and a contributor to PBS NewsHour. A graduate of Williams College and Harvard Business School, he has served as a historian for the Smithsonian Institution, as a Senior Associate Member at St. Antony’s College, Oxford, and as a Senior Fellow of the Annenberg Foundation. His books on the presidency include, among others, The Crisis Years: Kennedy and Khrushchev, 1960-1963; The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Truman and the Destruction of Hitler’s Germany; and Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America, 1789-1989. His most recent book is Presidents of War. He is the recipient of the Harry S. Truman Public Service Award, the New York State Archives Award, and the Rutgers University Living History Award. He is a trustee of the White House Historical Association and the National Archives Foundation and a former trustee of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation.
October 16, 2018
Mona Hanna-Attisha is an associate professor of pediatrics at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and a pediatrician at Hurley Children’s Hospital in Flint, Michigan. She has been recognized internationally for her research exposing elevated levels of lead in the blood of the children of Flint. She directs the Michigan State University and Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative, a public health program committed to researching, monitoring, and mitigating the impact of the Flint water crisis. The daughter of Iraqi immigrants, she is the author of What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City. She received her Bachelor and Master of Public Health degrees from the University of Michigan and her medical degree from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.
September 25, 2018
Clint Watts is a former FBI agent with expertise in electronic espionage operations, disinformation campaigns, fake news, and the manipulation of social media. In 2017 and 2018, he testified before four Senate committees on Russia’s information warfare campaign in advance of the 2016 presidential election. Currently, he is a Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at George Washington University. His research and writings focus on terrorism, counterterrorism, the influence of social media, and Russian disinformation. He served as an Army infantry officer, an FBI special agent, an executive officer for the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, and a counterterrorism analyst for the U.S. Intelligence Community and U.S. Special Operations Command.
May 22, 2018
Richard Stengel is a journalist, author, and former managing editor of Time. He has written for numerous publications, including The New Yorker, New Republic, Spy, and The New York Times, and he appears regularly on television as a political commentator. In 2013, he accepted the position of Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs in the Obama administration. He served as the president and CEO of the National Constitution Center, which was established by Congress to increase awareness and understanding of the Constitution. He collaborated with Nelson Mandela on Mandela’s autobiography, The Long Walk to Freedom. He was a producer of the documentary film Mandela, and he is the author of the book Mandela’s Way.
May 17, 2018
Honey Thaljieh is recognized internationally for promoting the role of sports in empowering women and girls in the Arab world and beyond. She is a co-founder of women’s football (soccer) in Palestine, and she served as the first captain of the Palestinian national football team. Following her career in football, she joined FIFA, the International Federation of Association Football, where she leads its efforts to promote diversity, gender equality, integration, and peace-making in sports. She has been recognized as a Champion for Peace by the organization Peace and Sport, and she serves as an ambassador for the sports organizations Save the Dream, Homeless World Cup, and Football for Peace.
May 1, 2018
Steve Schmidt is a political strategist, public relations executive, and political analyst on MSNBC. He was an advisor in the George W. Bush administration and served as the top strategist for the president’s re-election campaign. In 2008, he was the senior advisor to the John McCain presidential campaign. He is a vice president at Edelman, a global communications marketing firm, where he advises politicians and business executives on technology, financial services, energy, healthcare, and more. He serves on the board of the nonprofit research organization JUST Capital, which ranks companies on their commitment to fair pay, equal treatment of all workers, community-building, and sustainability. With David Plouffe, he founded the Center for Political Communication at the University of Delaware.
April 10, 2018
Nadine Burke Harris is a pediatrician and advocate for children’s health. She is the founder of the Center for Youth Wellness, which researches the impact of adverse childhood experiences on long-term health, behavior, and learning. She has shared her findings at the Mayo Clinic, American Academy of Pediatrics, Google Zeitgeist, and Dreamforce. An advisor to the Too Small to Fail initiative, which promotes the importance of early brain and language development in children, she is the author of the new book The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity. She is the recipient of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation’s Humanism in Medicine Award and the Heinz Award for the Human Condition.