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Past Speakers

Stuart Evey

Stuart Evey was the vice president of worldwide non-oil operations at Getty Oil company when he recommended that Getty invest in the launch of ESPN. He became ESPN's founding chairman, directing the network's growth and negotiating its sale to ABC television in 1984. He is the author of "Creating an Empire," a book about the early days of ESPN.

Ralph Cohen

Dr. Ralph Cohen, director of the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Va., received his doctorate from Duke University and went on to become a professor of English at James Madison University, where he won Virginia's award for outstanding faculty. He has directed more than twenty productions of Elizabethan plays and has written one book: ShakesFear and How to Cure It: A Handbook for Teaching Shakespeare.

Jane Mayer

Award-winning journalist Jane Mayer is the author of "The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals" as well as co-author of two other books. She has written for The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, the New York Review of Books, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and American Prospect.

The Right Honourable Lord Frederick Edward Robin Butler

The Right Honourable Lord Frederick Edward Robin Butler of Brockwell Butler had a distinguished career in the British civil service. He was Private Secretary to five prime ministers and from 1988 to 1998 served as Secretary of the Cabinet and Head of the Home Civil Service. In 1997 he became Master of University College, Oxford and was made a life peer. He chaired a commission that studied the British decision to go to war in Iraq.

Richard Freeman

Richard B. Freeman is the Herbert Ascherman Chair in Economics at Harvard University and serves as faculty director of the Labor and Worklife Program at the Harvard Law School. He directs the National Bureau of Economic Research/Sloan Science Engineering Workforce Projects and is Senior Research Fellow in Labour Markets at the London School of Economics' Centre for Economic Performance.

Sharon Squassoni

Sharon Squassoni is a senior associate in the Nonproliferation Program with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She has been analyzing nonproliferation, arms control and national security issues for two decades. Her research focuses on nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear energy.

Shannon Brownlee

A former Senior Research Fellow and Bernard L. Schwartz Fellow at the New America Foundation, journalist and U.S. health care expert Shannon Brownlee has written extensively about the rising costs and diminishing quality of health care in the United States. Her 2007 book Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer (Bloomsbury Press) was described by the New York Times as "the best description... of a huge economic problem that we know how to solve" and named best economics book of the year.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

Associate Justice Thomas was nominated to the Supreme Court by President George H.W. Bush and took his seat on October 23, 1991. He became the second African American to serve on the court following Thurgood Marshall, whom he replaced.

Roger Goodell

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell originally joined the league in 1982 as an intern in the NFL's New York offices. During his career with the NFL, Goodell has been involved in expansion, realignment, stadium development, international development, the launch of the NFL Network, and negotiations for the NFL's television agreements and collective bargaining agreement with the NFL Players' Association. He was named commissioner in August 2006.

James G. Blight and Janet M. Lang

James Blight and janet Lang, professors at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies, are trained psychologists who have written extensively about international relations and recent American foreign policy decisions, including the Cuban missile crisis, the collapse of d├ętente, the end of the Cold War and Vietnam. They collaborated with filmmakers on the Academy Award-winning documentary Fog of War: Lessons From the Life of Robert S. McNamara.

Liza Mundy

Liza Mundy is an award-winning journalist and author of "Michelle: A Biography," about Michelle Obama. Mundy has covered politics, popular culture and women's issues for more than 10 years at the Washington Post. In the summer of 2007 she wrote one of the first extended looks at Barack Obama. She is a regular contributor to "Slate" and participates in their women's blog XX Factor.

Richard Brookhiser

Richard Brookhiser, senior editor with the National Review, is the author of "Founding Fathers: Rediscovering George Washington," as well as other books on the founders of the United States including Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, his son John Quincy Adams and Gouveneur Morris. A frequent guest on the History Channel, he also wrote and hosted a film titled "Rediscovering George Washington," which aired on PBS in 2002.