Aspen Institute’s virtual summer speaker series starts June 25 |

Aspen Institute’s virtual summer speaker series starts June 25

Staff report

The Aspen Institute’s summer speaker lineup will be held virtually on Zoom, free of charge, and kicks off Thursday with the Hurst Lecture Series.

Registration is required for all events and can be accessed at

The 2020 series schedule is as follows:

Thursday, 3 to 4 p.m., Hurst Lecture Series, “The Future of Higher Education: How Universities are Responding to COVID-19” with University of California President Janet Napolitano, State University of New York Chancellor Kristina Johnson, and University of Miami President Julio Frenk, in conversation with Dan Porterfield, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute.

July 8, 3 to 4 p.m., McCloskey Speaker Series, “Has Decadence Rendered Us Happy and Comfortable or Stagnant and Disappointed?” Ross Douthat — conservative political analyst, author, and New York Times columnist — will discuss his newest book, “The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success.”

July 9, 5 to 6 p.m., Murdock Mind, Body, Spirit Series, “Customized Care: A Path to Better Health,” with Dr. David B. Agus, professor of medicine and engineering at the University of Southern California whose most recent book is “The Lucky Years: How to Thrive in the Brave New World of Health.”

July 14, 4 to 5 p.m. McCloskey Speaker Series, “Looking Ahead to the 2020 Presidential Election,” featuring Rachel Bitecofer, senior fellow of elections at the Niskanen Center, and Tamara Keith, NPR White House correspondent, in conversation with Dan Glickman, executive director of the Aspen Institute Congressional Program.

July 15, 3 to 4 p.m., Hurst Lecture Series, “The Science of Well-Being,” with Laurie Santos, professor of psychology and head of Silliman Residential College at Yale University and host of “The Happiness Lab” podcast.

July 20, 3 to 4 p.m., McCloskey Speaker Series, “American Conservatism: Preserving the Idea of Perpetual Change,” with George Will of The Washington Post, and commentator for NBC News and MSNBC, in conversation with Susan Page, Washington Bureau chief for USA Today.

July 22, 3 to 4 p.m., Hurst Lecture Series, “Taking Stock: America at an Inflection Point” will include Melody Barnes, chair of the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions and Opportunity Youth Forum and former director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, and John Bridgeland, former director of the United States Domestic Policy Council and USA Freedom Corps, in conversation with Porterfield.

July 28, 3 to 4 p.m., McCloskey Speaker Series, “100 Years After the 19th Amendment: Where are Women Now?” Featuring Katherine Grainger, adjunct professor at the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at NYU and partner at Civitas Public Affairs Group; Ai-jen Poo, co-founder of Supermajority and co-founder and executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance; and Cecile Richards, co-founder of Supermajority and former president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in conversation with Peggy Clark, vice president of Policy Programs and executive director of Aspen Global Innovators Group at The Aspen Institute.

July 30, noon to 1 p.m., Murdock Mind, Body, Spirit Series, “Emotional Toolkit: How Do We Build Resiliency?” Speaker Guy Winch, PhD, is a licensed psychologist, keynote speaker and author of several books including “How to Fix a Broken Heart.”

Aug. 4, 3 to 4 p.m., McCloskey Speaker Series, “The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good,” with Michael Sandel, professor of political philosophy at Harvard University and author of “The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good,” in conversation with Elliot Gerson, executive vice president at the Aspen Institute.

Aug. 21, 11 to noon, McCloskey Speaker Series, “Criminal Justice Transformation in the Age of COVID and Beyond” featuring Anna Deavere Smith, actress, playwright and founding director of the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue at New York University, and Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation in conversation with Reverend Vivian Nixon, executive director of College & Community Fellowship and an Aspen Institute Ascend Fellow.

For more information on Aspen Community Programs’ virtual events open to the public, call 970-544-7970 or visit