2018 Ann Ferren Conference Archive

Friday, January 12, 2018


Sylvia Burwell, President, American University
Sylvia M. Burwell is American University’s 15th president and the first woman to serve as president. A leader with experience managing large and complex organizations in the public and private sectors, President Burwell brings to AU a commitment to education and research, a record of spurring innovation, and experience helping to advance solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Burwell served as the 22nd secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 2014 to 2017, was director of the Office of Management and Budget from 2013 to 2014, and spent 11 years at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, including roles as chief operating officer and president of the Global Development Program.

She earned undergraduate degrees in government from Harvard University and in philosophy, policy, and economics from the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. Sylvia and Stephen Burwell are the parents of two young children.

Bruce Reed, Co-Chair, Future of Work, The Aspen Institute
Bruce Reed, Co-Chair of the Aspen Institute Future of Work Initiative, served for more than a decade as a top White House policy adviser in both the Clinton and Obama administrations.

As President Clinton’s chief domestic policy advisor, he oversaw a host of domestic and social policies, including education, crime, and welfare reform. In the Obama White House, he served as Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to Vice President Joe Biden, working on economic, fiscal, and tax policy, education, and gun violence. He previously served as executive director of the Bowles-Simpson deficit reduction commission.

Reed is now CEO and Co-Founder of Civic, a bipartisan policy ideas company. Previously, Reed was the first president of the Broad Foundation. At the Aspen Institute, he is also a member of the Aspen Economic Strategy Group.

Reed began his career as chief speechwriter for Sen. Al Gore, policy director for Gov. Bill Clinton at the Democratic Leadership Council, and deputy campaign manager for policy of the 1992 Clinton-Gore campaign. He is a longtime contributor to Slate and the New Republic and co-authored The Plan: Big Ideas for Change in America with Rahm Emanuel. He graduated from Princeton and Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.