2016 Aspen Ideas Festival Scholars

The Aspen Ideas Festival is pleased to announce the 2016 Aspen Ideas Festival Scholars, a diverse group of 300 leaders from all over the United States and 30 different countries selected for their work, accomplishments, and ability to transform ideas into action.

They were nominated by senior members of the Institute's staff, Festival advisors, past scholars, and many others within the Institute's broad network. The scholars' presence at the Festival is made possible by a group of patrons whose purchase of special patron passes directly funds this important program. The Aspen Institute is proud to host these distinguished scholars and grateful to the patrons for their crucial support.

Another set of scholars who will attend the Aspen Ideas Festival is the Bezos Scholars. Thirty high school students and exceptional educators from across the US and the African Leadership Academy were selected to attend as part of a leadership development program. Read more about the program and see a list of scholars.

2016 Aspen Ideas Festival Scholars

Tanisha Abernathy Brand Specialist, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Nana Adae Managing Director, JP Morgan
Erica Adams Executive Director, Galveston Sustainable Communities Alliance
Berto Aguayo Hoops in the Hood Coordinator, Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council (Ricardo Salinas Scholarship Recipient)
Jennifer Aguirre Regional Director, TEACH
Regine Alexandre PPP Specialist, SSG Advisors
Shalimar Alio Public Relations and Corporate Communications Graduate Student at Georgetown University; Account Supervisor, Comunicad, LLC
Lashon Amado National Coordinator of Opportunity Youth United CATs, YouthBuild USA
Rahesha Amon - Harrison Superintendent, New York City Department of Education
Clark Anderson CEO/Founder, Community Builders
Nikhil Arora Co-Founder, Back to the Roots
Sarah Babineau VP Development, Comedy Central
Ruth Barajas Director of Workfore, BACR
Irwan Bello Graduate Student, Stanford University
Marla Bilonick Executive Director, Latino Economic Development Center
Abigail Bishop Director, Corporate Affairs Strategy & Planning, Pearson
Miguel Blancarte, Jr. Writer and Founder of Toward180.com
Rich Bland National Director, Save the Children
Garreth Bloor Head Economic Development and Tourism, City of Cape Town
Claire Blumenson Executive Director & Co-Founder, School Justice Project
Catherine Bracy Executive Director, The TechEquity Collaborative
Karla Breceda Founder, El Buen Socio
Khari Brown Chief Executive Officer, Capital Partners for Education
Brandon Buskey Staff Attorney, American Civil Liberties Union
Regina Ann Campbell Managing Director, Place-based Entrepreneurship, TechTown Detroit
Tony Caravano Principal, Business Development & University Relations, Amazon Campus
Marcus Carey CTO & Founder, vThreat, Inc
Melvin Carter Executive Director, Minnesota Children's Cabinet
Gonzalo Casals Vice President of Programs and Community Engagement, Friends of the High Line
Asha Castleberry Captain, US Military
Anais Cayo Sr. Web Production Manager, PBS Digital, PBS
Rabia Chaudry Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow, United States Institute of Peace
Zak Cheney-Rice Senior Staff Writer, Mic
Francella Chinchilla Director, The Raben Group
Lauren Claffey Executive Communications Manager, Southern Company
Michael Collins AVP, Postsecondary State Policy, Jobs for the Future
Marta Colon Founder, Buena Gente
Jessica Contreras Student and Activist, United 4 The Dream (Ricardo Salinas Scholarship Recipient)
Julie Costanzo Independent Producer
Arnaldo Cruz Director of Research, Center for Integrity and Public Policy/ABRE Puerto Rico
Mike De la Rocha Founder / CEO, Revolve Impact
Henry De Sio Global Chair, Framework Change, Ashoka; Former COO 2008 Obama Presidential Campaign
Thomas Debass Deputy Special Representative and Managing Director, Secretary of State's Office of Global Partnerships
Claire DiMattina Executive Director, Food Policy Action
Amit Dodani Founder and CEO, My Name My Story
Jimmy Dula Founder, Colorado Soil Systems
Bill Durbin Chief of Schools, DSST Public Schools
Christian Ebersol Associate, Comcast Ventures
Seth Ehrlich Executive Director, SOS Outreach
Shira Engel Holistic Educator, Horace Mann and Harlem Yoga Studio
Jude Chisom Erondu Student Advisory Board Member, Pearson
Mónica Feliú-Mójer Vice-Director, Ciencia Puerto Rico; Program Manager, iBiology
Thomas Flahive Partner, CrossBoundary
Elizabeth Foley Associate Director, Mobilization, Consumer Reports
James Ford President and CEO, Golden Technologies
Venessa Fuentes Communications Program Manager, Bush Foundation
Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend President and CEO, Philadelphia Youth Network
Bill Fulton Executive Director, The Civic Canopy
Anjelica Gallegos Artist/Architect, University of Colorado Denver
Sil Ganzó Founder/Executive Director, ourBRIDGE (Ricardo Salinas Scholarship Recipient)
Rodrigo Garcia Board Chairman, Student Veterans of America
Padmashree Gehl Sampath Chief, TIR Unit, United Nations
Bianca Giaever Independent Public Radio Producer and Filmmaker
Tracey Giang Director, Workforce Diversity & Inclusion, Comcast
Matt Gianneschi Chief Operating Officer, Colorado Mountain College
Maria Cristina Gonzalez SVP, Global Public Affairs, Estee Lauder Companies
Caroline Gonzalez Independent Strategy Consultant
Rajeev Goyal Co-founder, KTK-BELT
Sydney Gray Manager of Grants and Development, Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation
Rebecca Gray Military Strategy and Relations Manager, Southern Company
Jessica Greer Morris Executive Director and Co-Founder, Girl Be Heard
Milan Griffin VP, Marketing & Outreach, HomeFree-USA
Alison Grigonis Senior Director for Cabinet Affairs, White House
Crystal Hall Assistant Professor, University of Washington
Nicole Harp Educator / Professor, University of Georgia
Trene Hawkins Program Associate, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Brook Hazelton President, Americas, Christie's
Alexandra Heckler Lead Associate, Booz Allen Hamilton
Mark Henry Colonel, US Air Force
Denise Herrera Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Jordan Hochenbaum Chief Creative Officer / VP Engineering, Kadenze, Inc.
Vinny Hoxha Director, Security Assurance, General Motors
Dominique Izbicki Director, Strategy and Planning, Business Affairs, Comcast Cable
La Trina Jackson Student, Georgia State University
Nick Jacobson Computational Designer, PARA LABS
Sucheta Jawalkar Physics Faculty, Santa Clara University
Jonathan Jayes-Green Co-Creator, UndocuBlack Network (Ricardo Salinas Scholarship Recipient)
Island Jean Agronomist, IDEHALE : Initiative de Développement Efficient pour une Haïti Largement Evoluée
Ayana Johnson Principal, Ayana Elizabeth Consulting LLC
Jenna Johnson Executive Editor, HMH
Bobby Jones Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Peace First
Saeed Jones Journalist, BuzzFeed
Michele Kahane Associate Dean and Professor, The New School University
Jenna Kalin School Director, DSST: Green Valley Ranch High School
Samar Kaukab Executive Director, Arete; University of Chicago
Vivek Khasat Relationship Manager, SEI Investments
Margaret Koli Corporate Affairs and Partnerships Coordinator, Human Needs Project (Winner of the 2015 Aspen Ideas Award)
Maria Teresa Kumar CEO, Voto Latino
Guneet Lamba Director, US Strategy and Member Engagement, Catalyst
Farhan Latif President, El-Hibri Foundation
Robert Lawrence Attorney, Holland & Hart LLP
John Leckey Physicist, NASA
Marisa Lee Managing Director, My Brother's Keeper Alliance
Damion LeeNatali Executive Director, Teach For America-Colorado
Anne Leonard Assistant Professor, University of Nevada, Reno
Terry Levine Associate, Tiffany & Co
Christina Lewis Halpern Founder & Executive Director, All Star Code
Tara Libert Executive Director, Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop
Marcus Littles Senior Partner, Frontline Solutions
Elizabeth Losch Chief Operating Officer, Global Citizens Initiative
Cathie Mahon CEO, National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions
Sabeen Malik Senior Advisor, US Department of State
Angela Manso Senior Advisor, U.S. Department of State
Michael McAfee Vice President for Programs, PolicyLink
Erin McGuire Policy Director, National Farm to School Organization
Henry McKoy Founding Partner, Fourth Sector Capital Advisors
Megan McTiernan Senior Vice President, EARN
Kaitlyn Meirs Program Associate, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Khari Menelik CEO, #IGottaMakeIt
Tanya Menendez CMO and Co-Founder, Maker's Row
Oliver Merino Latino New South Coordinator, Levine Museum of the New South (Ricardo Salinas Scholarship Recipient)
Skippy Mesirow CEO, Real World Reporting; Chair, Aspen Next Generation Advisory Commission
Nicholas Miller TDA, TRAC, & TCUV Marketing Manager, Toyota, USA
Jonas Mok VP, Finance & Operations, Global Citizen Year
Mamadou Ndiaye Associate Director, Jobs for the Future
Nasim Novin Associate, Endeavor
Yorman Nunez Program Manager, MIT CoLab
Brandan Odums Visual Artist, 2-Cent Entertainment
Kim Oliver Director of Youth Services, Capital Workforce Partners
Juan Otero Vice President and Public Policy Counsel, Comcast NBC Universial
Jerry Paffendorf CEO, LOVELAND Technologies
Amber Pankonin Founder, Stirlist
Shuma Panse Senior Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson
Natalye Paquin Chief Transformation Officer, Girl Scouts of the USA
Kathy Park CEO, National Council on Crime and Delinquency
Nealin Parker Chief of Staff, Housing and Urban Development
Jessica Parsons Guide, Aspen Art Museum
Vanessa Perry Professor of Marketing, Strategic Management and Public Policy, The George Washington University
Marlon Peterson Founder/Chief Re-Imaginator, The Precedential Group
Carlos Pierre Senior Manager, Kiva.org
Liz Plank Senior Correspondent, Vox.com
Elizabeth Pollman Professor of Law, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
Lesley Poole CEO, The SEED Foundation
Raghav Raghunathan Head-Operations, RamRahim Pragati Producer Company Ltd
Deepak Ravindran CEO, Lookup
Armin Rezaiean-Asel Computer Engineering Student, University of British Columbia; Pearson
Earl Robinson CEO, P^2 Investment Management & PowerMoves
Denisse Rodriguez Chief Operating Officer, Codetrotters
Carmen Rojas CEO, The Workers Lab
Greg Rucks Principal, Rocky Mountain Institute
Gina Rudan Cultural Alchemist, solveforx.com
Ebonne Ruffins Vice President, Local Media Development, Comcast
Khanh Russo Dir. of Strategic Partnerships, Khanh Russo
Rikk Salamat Economist, Case Lab
Tania Saldana Specialist, Corporate Communications/Social Innovation, Toyota USA
Imran Sarwar Co-founder & CEO, Rabtt
Amber Schleuning Deputy Director, US Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Innovation (VACI)
Kelvin Sealey CEO, Teaching Systems (China) Project, Teachers College
Shruti Shah Co-Founder and Head of Special Projects and Expansion, MoveLoot
Yajaira Sierra-Sastre Research Scientist and Edupreneur
Kierra Sims Co-Director of Programs, Highlander Research and Education Center
Eshauna Smith CEO, Urban Alliance
Katie Smythe CEO and Artistic Director, New Ballet Ensemble and School
Stephanie Speirs Co-Founder & President, Solstice Initiative
Ty Stiklorius Founder, Artist Manager, Friends At Work
Dameun Strange Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellow, Community Innovation Program Associate, Bush Foundation
Raiyan Syed Founder, ReImagine America Forward
Kelli Taylor Co Founder, Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop (Winner of the 2015 Aspen Ideas Award)
Larry Thomas Director of Professional & Leadership Development - Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars, American University
Kathryn Ticknor Associate, Booz Allen Hamilton
Melisa Tien Playwright, Theater Masters
Gustavo Torres Executive Director, CASA
James Tyler Playwright, Theater Masters
Shannon Vacca Senior Director, Strategic Integration, Comcast
Jonathan Valdez Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Healthfirst
Stephanie Valencia Strategic Partnerships and Outreach, Google
Kory Vargas Caro Founder, Connectiva
Alejandro Velez Co-Founder, Back to the Roots
Elise Viebeck National Reporter, Washington Post
Chris Vogliano Clinical Research Associate, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Diane Wetzel Geologist, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation
Jeremy Wickenheiser Director of Entrepreneurial Studies, DSST Public Schools
Junious Williams CEO, Urban Strategies Council
Keith Witham Assistant Professor, Temple University
Riddhima Yadav Undergraduate Student, Yale University
Jenny Zetah English Language Learner Teacher, Garfield Re 2 School District
Jeremy Zipple Executive Editor, America Media
Adam Zuehlke Program Assistant, Aspen Community Foundation


Lori Alvord Chief of Surgery, Banner Page Hospital
Bradford Bates Head of School, Dublin School
Susan Bauer-Wu President, Mind & Life Institute
Brian Bridges Vice President, Research & Member Engagement, UNCF
Amy Butler Senior Minister, The Riverside Church
Gregory Cajete Director of Native American Studies, University of New Mexico
Garikai Campbell Provost, Morehouse College
Alonzo Emery Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School
Michael Filanowski Operational Planner, United States Army
Stefan Gorsch Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Virginia
Max Holmes Deputy Director and Senior Scientist, Woods Hole Research Center
Charles Iacovou Dean, School of Business, Wake Forest University
Hari Kumar Director of Instructional & Curricular Design Services, Amherst College
Nadia Malik Co-founder, The Global Partnership for Women and Girls
Audrey Moran SVP, Social Responsibility, Baptist Health
Jane Nelson Director, Corporate Responsibility Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University
Moses Pava Dean, Yeshiva University
Will Perreault Executive Staff | Special Asst. to the CEO, Self-Help Ventures Fund
Georgette Phillips Dean, College of Business and Economics, Lehigh University
Stephen Prothero Professor, Department of Religion, Boston University
Rachel Reiser Assistant Dean, Questrom School of Business, Boston University
Donald Senior Chancellor and President Emeritus, Catholic Theological Union
Dena Simmons Director of Implementation, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence
Erika Walker Assistant Dean, Undergraduate Programs, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley
Kristi Walters Special Counsel and Chief Talent Officer, Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP
Caitlin Werrell Co-Founder & President, Center for Climate and Security
Katharine Wilkinson Senior Scholar & Writer, Project Drawdown


Anuradha Acharya CEO, Mapmygenome India Ltd
Gil Addo Co-Founder and CEO, RubiconMD
Camille Ahearn Account Coordinator, GYMR
Isra Ahmad Young Activism Fellow, Truth Initiative
Rakiah Anderson Young Activism Fellow, Truth Initiative
Heather Armstrong Blogger, Dooce
Liany Arroyo Senior Director, Health Equity
Satchit Balsari Chief, Global Emergency Medicine
Sarah Bayer Lead Business Process Manager, Kaiser Permanente
Raymond Besiga CEO, Sparkplug
Tyrone Beverly Executive Director, Im'Unique
Jay Bhatt President, Midwest Alliance for Patient Safety; Staff Physician, Erie Family Health Center
Andre Blackman Founder and CEO, Pulse + Signal
Cindy Bo Chief Strategy & Business Development Officer, Nemours Children’s Health System
Sarah Brittain Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapist, Boulder Brain Recovery
Jamie Bussel Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
David Cheng Programs Intern, The SCAN Foundation
Julia Corvalan Strategy Advisor, Fundacion Paraguaya
Canan Dagdeviren Postdoctoral Associate, MIT
Jennie Day-Burget Communications Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Anuj Desai Vice President Market Development, New York eHealth Collaborative
Yarine Fawaz Researcher (Economics), CEMFI
Anna Fernandez Senior Associate, Booz Allen Hamilton
Joseph Fitchett Knox Fellow, Harvard University
Vanessa Garrison Co-Founder and COO, GirlTrek
Allison Gertel-Rosenberg Director, National Practice and Prevention, Nemours Children’s Health System
Esnatt Gondwe Alumna, Global Health Corps
Alicia Gonzalez Executive Director, Chicago Run
Sivan Goobich Product Manager, Yerdle
Monika Goyal Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine, Children's National Health System
Jayne Greenberg District Director, Physical Education and Health Literacy, Miami-Dade County Public Schools
Rachel Griffith Account Supervisor, GYMR
Giovanna Guerrero-Medina Executive Director, Ciencia Puerto Rico; Director, Yale Ciencia Initiative at Yale University (Ricardo Salinas Scholarship Recipient)
Steven Hafner Doctoral Candidate, Harvard School of Public Health
Mark Hanis Consultant, Clinton Foundation
Joanna Hejl Youth Activism Fellow, Truth Initiative
Phyllis Heydt Vice President, Frontline Delivery
Dana Hibbard Senior Manager, HIT/EMR Marketing
Jaiwen Hsu Children's National Health System, Junior Scholar
Gail Hornstein Professor of Psychology, Mount Holyoke College
Annie Housman 5th Grade Teacher, Basalt Middle School
Andrea Ippolito VA Innovators Network Lead, Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Innovation
Shannon Jaccard CEO, NAMI San Diego
Olivia Jones Children's National Health System, Junior Scholar
Lorraine Kabunga Manager, Access to Medicines and Diagnostics, Clinton Health Access Initiative
Michelle Kelly Vice President – Business Development, Welltower Inc.
Kaylyn Koberna Consultant, Aspen Global Health and Development
Ellen Kourakos Product Manager, UltraLinq
Kiersten Kugeler Epidemiologist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Isabel Kumwembe Fellow, Global Health Corps 2013-2014
Erika Kurt CEO and President, Small World Initiative
Mark Laichena Management Partner, Kenya, Aspen Management Partnership for Health
Wendy Leonard Executive Director, The Ihangane Project
Janice Lintz CEO, Hearing Access & Innovations
Migdalia Loyola Director of Education and Outreach, Planned Parenthood
Andres Lozano Business Development Manager USA, Medtep
Kopano Mabaso DPhil Student, University of Oxford; Ona Mtoto Wako (Winner of the 2015 Aspen Ideas Award)
Paolo Maculotti Lawyer, Total Angola
Vivian Maduekeh Managing Principal, Food Health Systems Advisory (FHS Africa)
Jacqueline Maffucci Research Director, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America
Marcelo Malakooti Physician and Director of Innovation, Pediatric ICU
Veronica Manzo Volunteer, Global Oncology
Jenny Marder Senior Online Editor, "PBS NewsHour"
Amanda Merrell Children’s National Health System, Junior Scholar
Rebecca Miller Director of Primary Care Transformation, NYC Health + Hospitals
Bahbak Miremadi Founder, Red & Yellow
Aaron Miscenich President, New Orleans BioInnovation Center
Gruschenka Mojica Pathology Resident/Physician, University of Maryland Medical Center
Maureen Monaghan Assistant Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Health, Children's National Health System
Lincoln Mondy Account Coordinator, BerlinRosen; Youth Activism Fellow, Truth Initiative
Justin Morgan Research Assistant, Urban Institute
Mujobu Moyo Fellow, Center for Global Development, International Development Research Centre
Benon Mugulusi Program Operations Manager, Action for Community Development
Anne Muindi-Shemenski CEO, Amini Management Consulting
William Nestor Supply Chain Leader, Mount Sinai Health System
Mari Nicholson Director of Communications, The SCAN Foundation
Daniela Nunez Social Media Program Manager, Consumer Reports
Oby Nwankwo Executive Director/Diplomat, Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC)
Jane Odongo Founding Director, Polycom Development Project
Oluseun Onigbinde Founder, BudgIT
Alexis Ortega Digital Engagement Manager, Desert AIDS Project
Tamaan Osbourne-Roberts Executive Consultant and Principal, Daybreak Health Enterprises
Cate Oswald Policy and Partnerships Director, Partners In Health
Dapo Oyewole Founding Director, Policy Development Network
Ann-Gel Palermo Chief Program Officer, Office for Diversity & Inclusion, Mount Sinai Health System
Kavita Parikh Assistant Professor, Children's National Health System
Mary Peeler Medical Student, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Daniel Penn Co-Founder, Shift Health
Joshua Phelps President/Clinical Research Associate, Capital BioPharma
Alexandra Popma Associate Director, Imaging Core Laboratory, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Ranjitha Puskur Senior Policy Advisor, Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research
Gregory Raskin Vice President, Technology Development, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Rylie Richards Children’s National Health System, Junior Scholar
Becca Rodriguez Osteopathic Physician, American Osteopathic Association
Mark Ross Senior Vice President, Senior Star
Jessica Rothman Research Assistant, American University
Viveka Rydell CEO, PDI Surgery Center
Arjun Sachidanand Founder Chairman, SAS Poorna Arogya Healthcare Pvt. Ltd.
Wesley Sapp Undergraduate, Florida State University; Youth Liaison, Truth Initiative
Anjali Sarker Team Leader, BRAC
Jordan Savold Communications and Research Fellow, Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition
Amanda Schwartz Project Manager, Treat the Pain, American Cancer Society
Molly Secor-Turner Associate Professor, North Dakota State University
Maisha Simmons Senior Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Manpreet Singh Senior Project Manager, Dalberg Global Development Advisors
Sydney Streimer Physical Education Teacher, Chapin School
Kena Swanson Senior Principal Scientist, Pfizer Vaccine Research
Eric Thai Director of Finance, The SCAN Foundation
Megan Thielking Journalist, STAT
Alison Thompson Director of Public-Private Partnerships, CDC Foundation
Jennifer Toone ER Physician, Swedish Medical Center
Jason Triplett Assistant Professor, Children's National Health System
Muntaqa Umar-sadiq CEO, Private Sector Health Alliance
Nora Vargas Vice President, Community and Government Relations, Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest
Monica Vinluan Senior Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Travis Walker Resident Physician, University of Nevada School of Medicine
Pia Wanek Director, Humanitarian Assistance, Global Communities
Chris Watts Executive Director, National Foundation on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition
Ellie Wheeler Student and Advocate, The Superhero Project
Kate Wheeler Director of Partnerships, Crystal Cove Alliance; The Superhero Project
Oktawia Wójcik Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Shamim Wu President and COO, Silverado
YiDing Yu Founder and Chief Medical Officer, Twiage
Laurie Zephyrin Director of Reproductive Health, Department of Veterans Affairs