Walter Issacson

Walter Issacson

Professor of History at Tulane, Advisory Partner at Perella Weinberg
Thursday October 10, 2019 – Start time 7:30 p.m.
Chrysler Hall

Walter Isaacson is a Professor of History at Tulane and an advisory partner at Perella Weinberg, a financial services firm based in New York City. He is the past CEO of the Aspen Institute, where he is now a Distinguished Fellow, and has been the chairman of CNN and the editor of TIME magazine.

Isaacson’s most recent biography, Leonardo da Vinci (2017), offers new discoveries about Leonardo’s life and work, weaving a narrative that connects his art to his science. He is also the author of The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution (2014), Steve Jobs (2011), Einstein: His Life and Universe (2007), Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (2003), and Kissinger: A Biography (1992), and coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made (1986). He is a host of the show “Amanpour and Company” on PBS and CNN, a contributor to CNBC, and host of the podcast “Trailblazers, from Dell Technologies.”

Isaacson was born on May 20, 1952, in New Orleans. He is a graduate of Harvard College and of Pembroke College of Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He began his career at The Sunday Times of London and then the New Orleans Times-Picayune. He joined TIME in 1978 and served as a political correspondent, national editor, and editor of digital media before becoming the magazine’s 14th editor in 1996. He became chairman and CEO of CNN in 2001, and then president and CEO of the Aspen Institute in 2003.

He is chair emeritus of Teach for America. From 2005-2007 he was the vice-chair of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, which oversaw the rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. He was appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate to serve as the chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which runs Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and other international broadcasts of the United States, a position he held from 2009 to 2012.He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society of the Arts, and the American Philosophical Society. He serves on
the board of United Airlines, the New Orleans City Planning Commission, the New Orleans Tricentennial Commission, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Society of American Historians, the U.S. Defense Department Innovation Board, the Carnegie Institution for Science, and My Brother’s Keeper Alliance.

Bill Browder

Bill Browder

Founder and CEO of Hermitage Capital Management
Wednesday November 6, 2019 – Start time 7:30 p.m.
Chrysler Hall

William Browder, founder and CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, was the largest foreign investor in Russia until 2005, when he was denied entry to the country for exposing corruption at Russian state-owned companies. In 2009 his Russian lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, was killed in a Moscow prison after uncovering and exposing a US$230 million fraud committed by Russian government officials.  Because of the impunity in Russia, Browder has spent the last eight years conducting a global campaign to impose visa bans and asset freezes on individual human rights abusers, especially those who played a role in Magnitsky’s false arrest, torture and death. The USA was the first to impose these sanctions with the passage of the 2012 “Magnitsky Act.” A Global Magnitsky Bill, which broadens the scope of the US Magnitsky Act to human rights abusers around the world, was passed at the end of 2016. Estonia and the UK also passed a Magnitsky amendment in December 2016 and April 2017 respectively. Magnitsky legislation in Canada and Lithuania is currently underway.

In February 2015 Browder published the New York Times bestseller, Red Notice, which recounts his experience in Russia and his ongoing fight for justice for Sergei Magnitsky.

Amy Webb

Amy Webb

Quantitative Futurist & Bestselling Author
Tuesday February 4, 2020 – Start time 7:30 p.m.
Chrysler Hall

Amy Webb is a quantitative futurist and a bestselling, award-wining author. She is a professor of strategic foresight at the NYU Stern School of Business and the Founder of the Future Today Institute, a leading foresight and strategy firm that helps leaders and their organizations prepare for complex futures. Webb was named to the Thinkers50 Radar list of the 30 management thinkers most likely to shape the future of how organizations are managed and led and won the 2017 Thinkers50 Radar Award. Webb is a Fellow in the United States-Japan Leadership Program, a Foresight Fellow in the U.S. Government Accountability Office Center for Strategic Foresight, and was a Visiting Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, where her research received a national Sigma Delta Chi award. She was also a Delegate on the former U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission, where she worked on the future of technology, media and international diplomacy. Webb’s research focus is artificial intelligence, and she has advised three-star generals and admirals, White House leadership and CEOs of some of the world’s largest companies on their futures. She is the bestselling author of The Signals Are Talking: Why Today’s Fringe Is Tomorrow’s Mainstream, which explains how to forecast emerging technology. It was a Washington Post Bestseller, won the Gold Axiom Award for business books, and was selected as one of the best books the year by Fast Company, Inc. Magazine and Amazon. Webb’s new book The Big Nine: How The Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity (Public Affairs / Hachette, March 5, 2019) is a call-to-arms about the broken nature of artificial intelligence, and the powerful corporations that are turning the human machine relationship on its head.

General James Mattis

General James Mattis

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense
Thursday April 9, 2020 – Start time 7:30 p.m.
Chrysler Hall

Jim Mattis was raised in Southeastern Washington and graduated from Central Washington State College.

He served over 40 years in the Marine Corps as an infantry officer, plus duty in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, as NATO Supreme Allied Commander, and as Commander of U.S. Central Command comprised of 250,000 U.S. and allied troops in combat across the Middle East and South Asia.

Retiring in 2013, he was a Davies Family Scholar at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

Subsequently he served as the 26th Secretary of Defense from January 2017 through December 2018.

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