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. 

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. 

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.

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. 

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.

Mack McLarty

Thomas "Mack" McLarty

McLarty has held various top-level roles advising 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. 

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 Short

Marc Short

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