SPEAKERS

Elmira Bayrasli is the author of From the Other Side of the World: Extraordinary Entrepreneurs, Unlikely Places, a book that looks at the rise of entrepreneurship globally. She is also the co-founder of Foreign Policy Interrupted and a professor at NYU and Bard College's Global and International Affairs program. She has lived in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina where she was the Chief Spokesperson for the OSCE Mission. From 1994-2000 she was presidential appointee at the U.S. State Department, working for Madeleine Albright and Richard Holbrooke, respectively. Elmira is a regular contributor on global entrepreneurship for Techcrunch. She also provides analysis on foreign policy, particularly on Turkey. Her work has appeared in Reuters, Foreign Affairs, Washington Post, Quartz, Fortune, Forbes, CNN, NPR, BBC, Al Jazeera, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. Elmira sits on several boards, including Invest2Innovate and Turkish Women's International Network. 

Elmira Bayrasli

Author and Co-Founder of Foreign Policy Interrupted

Lee C. Bollinger became Columbia University’s nineteenth president in 2002. Under his leadership, Columbia stands again at the very top rank of great research universities, distinguished by comprehensive academic excellence, historic institutional development, an innovative and sustainable approach to global engagement, and unprecedented levels of alumni involvement and financial stability. President Bollinger is Columbia’s first Seth Low Professor of the University, a member of the Columbia Law School faculty, and one of the country’s foremost First Amendment scholars. His most recent book, Uninhibited, Robust, and Wide-Open: A Free Press for a New Century, has placed Bollinger at the center of public discussion about the importance of global free speech to continued social progress. As Columbia’s president, Bollinger conceived and led the University’s most ambitious expansion in over a century with the creation of the Manhattanville campus in West Harlem, the first campus plan in the nation to receive the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest certification for sustainable development. An historic community benefits agreement emerging from the city and state review process for the new campus provides Columbia’s local neighborhoods with decades of investment in the community’s health, education and economic growth. Columbia’s growth during Bollinger’s tenure has reflected a commitment to excellence in architecture, from Renzo Piano’s master plan for Manhattanville, to Rafael Moneo’s design for the Northwest Corner Building on the historic Morningside campus, to the new Campbell Sports Center at Baker Field Athletics Complex designed by Steven Holl. As president of the University of Michigan, Bollinger led the school’s historic litigation in Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger. These Supreme Court decisions that upheld and clarified the importance of diversity as a compelling justification for affirmative action in higher education were reaffirmed in the Court’s 2016 ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas. He speaks and writes frequently about the value of racial, cultural, and socio-economic diversity to American society through opinion columns, media interviews, and public appearances around the country.

Lee C. Bollinger

President, Columbia University

Leon Botstein, conductor, music historian, and leader in education reform, has been president and Leon Levy Professor in the Arts and Humanities of Bard College since 1975. The author of Jefferson’s Children: Education and the Promise of American Culture, he has published widely in the fields of music, education, and history and culture. Founder of Bard High School Early College, he has been a pioneer in linking American higher education to public secondary schools. He has also overseen the establishment of Bard undergraduate and dual degree programs worldwide, with campuses in Russia, Germany, East Jerusalem, and Kyrgyzstan among others. Botstein is also a renowned international conductor who has served as the music director and conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra since 1992. He is music director and conductor the American Symphony Orchestra (1992- ), artistic codirector of SummerScape and of the Bard Music Festival, and The Orchestra Now (TŌN), as well as conductor laureate of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. His honors include the Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and Harvard University’s Centennial Award, as well as the Cross of Honor from the Republic of Austria.

Leon Botstein

President and Leon Levy Professor in the Arts and Humanities of Bard College

JELANI COBB writes about the enormous complexity of race in America. In 2015, he received the Sidney Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis Journalism for his New Yorker columns. He teaches in the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and is also a staff writer at The New Yorker. Cobb was formerly Associate Professor of History at the University of Connecticut, where he was director of the Africana Studies Institute. He has received Fellowships from the Fulbright and Ford Foundations and is the author of Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress, To the Break of Dawn: A Freestyle on the Hip Hop Aesthetic, and The Devil & Dave Chappelle and Other Essays.

Jelani Cobb

Author and Staff Writer, The New Yorker

Matthew Continetti is editor in chief of the Washington Free Beacon. Prior to joining the Beacon, he was opinion editor of the Weekly Standard, where he remains a contributing editor. The author of The K Street Gang: The Rise and Fall of the Republican Machine (Doubleday, 2006) and The Persecution of Sarah Palin: How the Elite Media Tried to Bring Down a Rising Star (Sentinel, 2009), Continetti’s articles and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post.

Matthew Continetti

Editor in Chief of the Washington Free Beacon

Jamil Dakwar is a lawyer and human rights expert. He is the Director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Human Rights Program. He leads a team of lawyers and researchers who use a human rights framework to complement existing ACLU legal and legislative advocacy and advise ACLU national programs and affiliates across the country on international law. The Human Rights Program conducts human rights research, documentation and public education, as well as engages in litigation and advocacy before U.S. courts and international human rights bodies. Before joining the ACLU, he worked at Human Rights Watch and before coming to the United States he worked at Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel. He is an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY) and a graduate of Tel Aviv University and NYU School of Law.

Jamil Dakwar

American Civil Liberties Union

John Dean served as Counsel to the President of the United States from 1970 to 1973 and recounted his days at the Nixon White House and Watergate in two bestselling books: Blind Ambition and Lost Honor. After retiring from a business career as a private investment banker doing middle-market mergers and acquisitions, he returned to full-time writing and lecturing. His books include Conservatives Without Conscience, Broken Government: How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches and his most recent bestseller, The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It, is currently being developed by Entertainment One and ABC Television into an eight or ten-hour miniseries entitled “Watergate.”

John W. Dean

Author and Former Counsel to President Nixon

Yaël Eisenstat is a geopolitical and global security expert. She has spent 16 years working at the intersection of political, social and security issues, as a CIA analyst, a diplomat, the senior intelligence officer at the National Counterterrorism Center, a national security advisor to Vice President Biden, a corporate social responsibility strategist for a Fortune 5 company, and the head of a global political risk firm.

Yaël Eisenstat

Geopolitical and Global Security Expert

Derryck Green is theologian and a member of Project 21 – a Leadership Network of Black Conservatives. He is a contributor to the National Center for Public Policy Research, covering issues such as economics, education, culture, racial identity politics, abortion, capital punishment, faith, and immigration. Additionally, he contributes his ideas and analysis with respect to race and religion to the Institute on Religion and Democracy. Derryck writes regularly on his website, derryckgreen.com, and aggregates cultural, political, religious and theological news and commentary for his latest website, Theolitics.com

Derryck Green

Theologian and a Member of Project 21

Mollie Ziegler Hemingway is an American journalist and political commentator. She is currently a senior editor at the online magazine The Federalist. Previously, her work has appeared in publications including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, The Washington Post, CNN, RealClearPolitics, National Review, and Christianity Today. She has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business, CNN, MSNBC, and Newsmax TV.

Mollie Ziegler Hemingway

American Journalist and Political Commentator

Hendrik Hertzberg is an American liberal journalist, and the principal political commentator for The New Yorker magazine. He has also been a speechwriter for President Jimmy Carter and editor of The New Republic, and is the author of ¡Obamanos! The Rise of a New Political Era and Politics: Observations & Arguments. In 2003, Harvard Magazine termed him "the most stylish liberal political essayist in America", while in 2009, Forbes named Hertzberg one of the "25 Most Influential Liberals in the U.S. Media.”

Hendrik Hertzberg

Staff Writer, The New Yorker and Editorial Director, The Nation Institute

Jhoshan Jothilingam is Director of International Markets at The Huffington Post Media Group (AOL) in New York where he manages the HuffPost’s existing 16 international editions and expansion into new markets including most recently South Africa and Mexico. He has a diverse background in business and government having recently worked for The Office of Tony Blair as consultant/advisor to Prime Ministers and Cabinets in Asia and Europe on the path of reform. Prior to this, Jhoshan was a management consultant at Bain & Company in London and Johannesburg, and served as a diplomat for the Australian Government based in South-East Asia. Jhoshan holds Bachelor’s degrees in Engineering (Hons) and Commerce; and a Master’s degree in Business Law from the University of Sydney, Australia.

Jhoshan Jothilingam

Director, International Markets at The Huffington Post Media Group

James Ketterer is dean of international studies at Bard College and director of the Bard Globalization and International Studies program in New York City. Prior to coming to Bard he served as Egypt Country Director for AMIDEAST, a large educational NGO represented across the Middle East and North Africa. He was at the State University of New York for several years, serving as Vice Chancellor for Policy and Planning, Deputy Provost and Director of the Center for International Development. He has also worked in government, including at the National Security Council, the New York Senate and the New York Commission on Higher Education.

James Ketterer

Director, Bard Globalization and International Studies program

Simon Longstaff's distinguished career includes being named as one of AFR Boss’ True Leaders for the 21st century. He began his working life on Groote Eylandt (Anindilyakwa) in the Northern Territory where he worked in the Safety Department of the then BHP subsidiary, GEMCO. He is proud of his kinship ties with members of the island’s Indigenous community. He studied law in Sydney before undertaking postgraduate studies in philosophy as a Member of Magdalene College, Cambridge. He became Executive Director of The Ethics Centre in 1991 and is a Fellow of CPA Australia and in June 2016, was appointed an Honorary Professor at the Australian National University – based at the National Centre for Indigenous Studies. Formerly serving as the inaugural President of The Australian Association for Professional & Applied Ethics, he serves on a number of boards and was formerly a Fellow of the World Economic Forum.

Dr Simon Longstaff AO

Executive Director, The Ethics Centre

David Marcus is a writer and theater artist based in Brooklyn, NY. He is a Senior Contributor to The Federalist, and his work has additionally appeared in National Review Online, City Journal, PJ Media, Narratively, and the New York Post. A Philadelphia native, David is co-founder and artistic director of Blue Box World, most notably known for its Sticky, small batch short play series. Since 2004, Sticky has presented over 300 original shorts in New York, from writers around the country and the globe. @blueboxdave

David Marcus

Senior Contributor to The Federalist

Lachlan is an investigative reporter and political commentator. He is currently the White House correspondent for The Daily Beast and a regular guest on cable television and radio news programs. He recently moved to the Beast from the Washington Free Beacon, and was previously the first investigative reporter at the conservative Heritage Foundation. He is a graduate of Hamilton College, a native of the Hudson Valley, and a middling musician.

Lachlan Markay

White House Reporter for The Daily Beast

Walter Russell Mead is the James Clarke Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs and the Humanities at Bard College, the Distinguished Scholar in American Strategy and Statesmanship for the Hudson Institute, and the Editor-at-Large for The American Interest, where he directs the popular Via Meadia blog. He previously served as the Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. The author of God and Gold: Britain, America, and the Making of the Modern World (2008), Professor Mead is a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal and the United States book reviewer for Foreign Affairs. His next book, The Arc of a Covenant: The United States, Israel, and the Fate of the Jewish People, will be published by Knopf in early 2017.

Walter Russell Mead

Professor of Foreign Affairs and Humanities at Bard College

Paola Mendoza, was a national organizer and the Artistic Director of the Women’s March on Washington. She was recently named one of Filmmaker Magazine 25 New Faces of Independent Film. Her film, ENTRE NOS, went on to win over twenty awards at film festivals around the world. Most recently she directed a short documentary series for Refinary29 about immigration. Her short, BROKEN TAIL LIGHT, currently has over 14 million views on Youtube. FREE LIKE THE BIRDS, premiered at Tribeca Film Festival, and her documentary Z FOR ZENDAYA, starred Disney superstar Zendaya Coleman. Her animated series, 11 Million Stories, about a dystopian future where mass deportation is law in the US were commissioned by Mark Zuckerberg’s foundation FDW.Us. Ms. Mendoza is also the author of the novel, THE ONES WHO DON’T STAY.

Paola Mendoza

Artistic Director of the Women’s March on Washington

Chadwick Moore is a journalist and public speaker and the former Editor-at-Large for Out magazine and The Advocate, the nation's largest LGBT publications, as well as contributing writer to The New York Times, The New York Post, and Playboy. He writes features on people and communities, subcultures, politics, and crime and has a background in literary book publishing in London and New York. In a recent feature in the New York Post, Moore--a lifelong Liberal--came out as a gay Conservative. Born in Tennessee, he lives in Brooklyn.

Chadwick Moore

Journalist and Contributor to The New York Times

Sana Mustafa, is a 25-year-old community development professional with a specific focus on refugees, youth, women's empowerment and social development. Mustafa is a Syrian refugee since 2013 after fleeing the war in Syria and is currently living in the United States. In 2016 she completed her second undergraduate degree in Political Science as a full scholarship recipient from Bard College.

Sana Mustafa

Syrian Refugee and Community Development Professional

Tom Nichols is a professor at the U.S. Naval War College and at the Harvard Extension School. He is also the author of several works on foreign policy and international security affairs including his most recent, The Death of Expertise. In addition to his academic posts, he has been a fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Relations, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is a former aide in the U.S. Senate and a five-time undefeated Jeopardy! Champion.

Tom Nichols

Author and Professor at the U.S. Naval War College

John Podhoretz is the editor of Commentary Magazine and is He was one of the founders of the Weekly Standard, and still serves as the magazine's movie critic. A Fox News Channel contributor and founder of Insight magazine. The author of four books, including the bestselling Bush Country, Podhoretz was the lead political columnist for the New York Post for ten years where he also served as the paper's editorial page editor and arts editor. He won the JC Penney- Missouri Journalism Award in 1990. He was a speechwriter to President Reagan, and has worked at Time, the Washington Times, and U.S. News and World Report. He was also a five-time Jeopardy! champion.

John Podhoretz

Author and Editor, Commentary Magazine

Salman Rushdie is the multi award-winning author of twelve novels including: Midnight’s Children (which was awarded the Booker Prize in 1981), The Satanic Verses, The Moor’s Last Sigh, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, Fury, and Luka and the Fire of Life. His most recent novel is, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights, and Joseph Anton – A Memoir, among other works of non-fiction. He is the co-editor of Mirrorwork, an anthology of contemporary Indian writing, and of the 2008 Best American Short Stories anthology. Between 2004 and 2006 he served as President of PEN American Center and for ten years served as the Chairman of the PEN World Voices International Literary Festival, which he helped to create.

Salman Rushdie

Author and former PEN President

After completing both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the University of Michigan, Adi was elected Vice Chair of the Michigan Republican Party at the age of 24. He has managed​ and advised numerous successful political campaigns at the local, state, and federal level and served as the Executive Director of the Association of Big Ten Students, representing over 540,000 students. Most recently Adi was a 2016 Fellow in the Michigan Political Leadership Program through Michigan State University’s Institute of Public Policy and Social Research and is currently an APAICS Legislative Fellow in the Office of Senator Orrin ​G. ​Hatch who serves as both the President Pro Tempore of the ​U.S. ​Senate as well as the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

Adi R. Sathi

Political Strategist and Public Policy Professional

Erin Schrode is a citizen activist, social entrepreneur and storyteller. She is a leading voice on sustainability, social impact and millennials and a vocal advocate for environmental action, public health and equal justice. She ran an unprecedented campaign for US Congress in California and since co-founding Turning Green in 2005, she has developed eco education and action platforms to inspire, educate, and mobilize millions of students and the global public. As The White House said, Erin “is a dynamic, passionate and ambitious young woman committed to creating big change everywhere she goes.” She has launched a youth education project in Haiti, writing a curriculum for an eco center for Palestinian, Israeli, and Jordanian students, developing recycling infrastructure in Ghana, and telling the stories of Syrian, Iraqi and Afghan refugees, as well as Native Americans at Standing Rock.

Erin Schrode

Citizen Activist and Social Entrepreneur

Michael Skolnik is a movement-builder, activist, storyteller and proud father. He is co-founder of The Soze Agency, a creative company focused on social impact campaigns and triple bottom line companies. He is a respected leader in the new social justice movement who, among other topics, helped ignite conversations around America’s relationship with race, the death of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown and Eric Garner, and the Obama presidency. He is a prolific voice on social media, with more than 250,000 followers, and a regular commentator on outlets such as CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, NPR and HLN. From 2009-2015, Michael served as the President of GlobalGrind.com, a millennial driven news website founded by hip-hop impresario, Russell Simmons.

Michael Skolnik

Entrepreneur and Activist

Anne-Marie Slaughter is President & CEO of New America and the Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professor Emerita of Politics & International Affairs at Princeton University. From 2009-2011 she served as director of Policy Planning for the US State Department, the first woman to do so. Prior to government, Dr. Slaughter was Dean of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs from 2002–2009 and the J. Sinclair Armstrong Professor of International, Foreign, & Comparative Law at Harvard Law School from 1994-2002. She has written or edited seven books including “The Chessboard and the Web: Strategies of Connection in a Networked World” and “Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family”, and is a frequent contributor to a number of publications including The Atlantic and Financial Times. In 2012 she published “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” in The Atlantic, which quickly became the most read article in The Atlantic’s history and helped renew national debate on the continued obstacles to full gender equality.

Anne-Marie Slaughter

Author and President & CEO of New America

Oz Sultan is a Big Data and Counterterrorism Strategist who focuses on Analytics and Counterterror (CT) research across social media. He is an advisor to the Center for the Study of Civil Military Operations at Westpoint and is adjunct faculty at CUNY Baruch. During the election cycle he worked with the Trump Pence Campaign of Big Data analysis of voter segmentation and advised on Syria, CT and Social Media issues.

Oz Sultan

Big Data and Counterterrorism Strategist

Brandon Washington is a life long native of Brooklyn NY and in 2015 he assumed the position of President of the Brooklyn Young Republican Club. In the years following, Washington used his office to promote more diversity and critical thinking within the Republican party. As a community activist he has help spread awareness of school choice for low income families, championed free enterprise for struggling entrepreneurs and encouraged civic engagement among fellow millennials. In 2016, Washington was voted by NBC BK as being among the top 28 youngest "Game Changers" in America. Brandon has mentored numerous college activists, Club Presidents and political candidates and is widely regarded by many within the GOP as being a leading voice within the national conservative movement.

Brandon Washington

President of the Brooklyn Young Republican Club