PrezFest 2019 / Speakers

Speakers

Engage with a bipartisan group of former White House officials, journalists, presidential scholars, and other experts

The Presidential Ideas Festival will be moderated by CBS News' John Dickerson. Attendees will also hear from presidential experts from across the political spectrum and a variety of backgrounds: former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; former Chiefs of Staff Mack McLarty and Andy Card; former National Security Advisors Tom Donilon and Stephen Hadley; former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius; historians Jon Meacham and David Kennedy; and many more. Check back here often to find out about new speakers as they are confirmed.

Madeleine albright

Madeleine Albright

Albright was the 64th U.S. secretary of state under President Bill Clinton. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, from President Obama in 2012. 

Yoni Appelbaum

Yoni Appelbaum

Appelbaum is senior editor for politics at The Atlantic. He holds an A.B. from Columbia University and a PhD in history from Brandeis University.

Don Baer

Donald Baer

Under President Bill Clinton, Baer served as assistant to the president and White House director of strategic planning and communications and, before that, as chief speechwriter and director of speechwriting and research. 

Melody Barnes

Melody Barnes

Barnes was assistant to President Barack Obama and director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. She is now a senior fellow at the Miller Center. 

Andrew Card

Andrew Card

Card was chief of staff under President George W. Bush. Prior to that, he managed and ran the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia. 

Mary Kate Cary

Mary Kate Cary

Cary served as a speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush, authoring more than 100 of his presidential addresses and ghostwriting several books about him. Cary is now a senior fellow at the Miller Center. 

Dale Copeland

Dale Copeland

Copeland is a professor of politics at the University of Virginia and a faculty senior fellow at UVA's Miller Center. He is an expert on security studies and international political economy.

John Dickerson

John Dickerson

Dickerson, a UVA alumnus, will serve as PrezFest 2019's emcee. He is co-host of CBS This Morning and was previously CBS News' chief Washington correspondent and anchor of Face the Nation.

Tom Donilon

Thomas Donilon

Donilon served as national security advisor to President Barack Obama, overseeing the U.S. National Security Council staff and providing the president’s daily national security briefing.

Eric Edelman

Eric Edelman

Edelman, Anne C. Strickler Practitioner Senior Fellow, served in senior positions at the Departments of State and Defense as well as the White House, and was U.S. Ambassador to the Republics of Finland and Turkey. 

Katie Beirne Fallon

Katie Beirne Fallon

Fallon was senior advisor and director of legislative affairs for President Barack Obama, playing a lead role in negotiating major bipartisan legislation. 

Stephen Hadley

Stephen Hadley

Hadley was the principal White House foreign policy advisor to President George W. Bush, directed the National Security Council staff, and ran the interagency national security policy process.

David M. Kennedy

David M. Kennedy

A renowned professor of history at Stanford University, Kennedy is known for integrating economic and cultural analysis with social and political history. 

David Leblang

David Leblang

Leblang is the Ambassador Henry J. Taylor and Mrs. Marion R. Taylor Endowed Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia and Dorothy Danforth Compton Professor at the Miller Center. 

Chris Lu

Chris Lu

Lu worked in all three branches of the federal government, including seven years in the Obama administration, and is now a practitioner senior fellow at the Miller Center

Chris Matthews

Chris Matthews

A veteran journalist, Matthews hosts MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, which features interviews and debates with prominent politicians, newsmakers, and leaders. 

Denis McDonough

Denis McDonough

McDonough served as White House chief of staff for President Barack Obama, managing the 4,000-member White House staff, as well as cabinet secretaries and agency leaders.

Guian McKee

Guian McKee

McKee is an associate professor of presidential studies at the Miller Center. He works in the Presidential Recordings Program and is an expert on health care policy, Medicare, Medicaid, urban policy, the War on Poverty, and the Great Society.

Mack McLarty

Thomas "Mack" McLarty

McLarty has held various top-level roles, including White House chief of staff, Counselor to the President, and Special Envoy for the Americas during the administrations of three U.S. presidents: Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter. 

Jon Meacham

Jon Meacham

Meacham is a Pulitzer Prize–winning author of books about Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, George H. W. Bush, and other U.S. presidents. 

John Negroponte

John Negroponte

Negroponte is the Schlesinger Distinguished Professor at the Miller Center. Among other things, he has served as Director of National Intelligence and Deputy Secretary of State under President George W. Bush.

Mike Nelson

Michael Nelson

Nelson is the Fulmer Professor of Political Science at Rhodes College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Miller Center. He is an expert on the presidency, elections, federalism, and political parties. 

Barbara Perry

Barbara Perry

Perry is the Gerald L. Baliles Professor at the Miller Center. She also serves as director of presidential studies and the co-chair of the Presidential Oral History Program. She is an expert on the presidency, the Supreme Court, and the Kennedys.

Saikrishna Prakash

Saikrishna Prakash

Prakash is the James Monroe Distinguished Professor of Law and the Paul G. Mahoney Research Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law. He is also a faculty senior fellow at the Miller Center.

Russell Riley

Russell Riley

Riley is the White Burkett Miller Center Professor of Ethics and Institutions at the Miller Center, where is also serves as co-chair of the Presidential Oral History Program.

Larry Sabato

Larry Sabato

Sabato is the founder and director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. He directs the Center for Politics’ Crystal Ball website, a leader in accurately predicting elections since its inception.

Kathleen Sebelius

Kathleen Sebelius

Sebelius served in President Barack Obama’s cabinet as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, where she worked to pass and implement the Affordable Care Act.

Marc Selverstone

Marc Selverstone

Selverstone is associate professor of presidential studies and chair of the Presidential Recordings Program at the Miller Center. He is an expert on the Vietnam War, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon.

Marc Short

Marc Short

Short, former White House director of legislative and intergovernmental affairs and assistant to President Donald J. Trump, is also a practitioner senior fellow at the Miller Center.