Session 1: 11:00am


Pam Melroy

Col. (USAF, ret) Pam Melroy was sworn in as the NASA deputy administrator on June 21, 2021.

As deputy administrator, Melroy performs the duties and exercises the powers delegated by the administrator, assists the administrator in making final agency decisions, and acts for the administrator in his absence by performing all necessary functions to govern NASA operations. Melroy is also responsible for laying out the agency’s vision and representing NASA to the Executive Office of the President, Congress, heads of federal and other appropriate government agencies, international organizations, and external organizations and communities.

One of only two women to command a space shuttle, Melroy logged more than 38 days (924 hours) in space. She served as pilot on two flights, STS-92 in 2000 and STS-112 in 2002, and was the mission commander on STS-120 in 2007. All three of her missions were assembly missions to build the International Space Station.


Jim Sciutto

Jim Sciutto is CNN’s chief national security analyst and anchor of CNN Newsroom with Jim Sciutto weekdays from 3-4pm ET on CNN Max and CNN International.

Sciutto reports and provides analysis on all aspects of U.S. national security including foreign policy, the military, intelligence community and the State Department.

Throughout his career, he has reported from more than 50 countries across the globe including dozens of assignments from inside Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran, as well as multiple assignments in Ukraine and the Middle East.

Sciutto is the author of four books, including the New York Times Bestseller, The Return of Great Powers: Russia, China and the Next World War.


Mykolai Sierga

Mykolai Sierga is the founder of "Cultural Forces" and "Cultural Forces of Ukraine," an officer in the 59th Separate Motorized Brigade of the Ukrainian Ground Forces, a public figure, musician, TV presenter, actor, and poet.

He was a resident of Comedy Club Odesa and won the 8th season of "Smikh bez pravyl" (Laughing Without Rules), subsequently becoming a resident of the comedic program "Zabijna liga" (Fight League). In 2009, he participated in "Fabryka Zirok 3" (Star Factory 3), reaching the finals and securing third place. In 2011, he represented Ukraine with the band "The Kolya Sierha" at "Nova hvylya" (New Wave) in Jurmala, winning the Audience Award and a special prize from Muz TV.

On February 26, 2022, Mykolai enlisted in the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Odessa region, where he established the Cultural Forces initiative. This endeavor united artists, musicians, poets, composers, and other individuals with a strong civic stance, all focused on uplifting the morale and mental well-being of Ukrainian soldiers. The Cultural Forces team tours across front lines, battlefields, occupied areas, and centers for military personnel rehabilitation.


Lt. General R. Scott Dingle

Lieutenant General R. Scott Dingle was the 45th Surgeon General of the U.S. Army and Commanding General, U.S. Army Medical Command. Prior to his appointment, he served as the Deputy Surgeon General and Deputy Commanding General (Support), U.S. Army Medical Command.

Dingle is a Distinguished Military Graduate of Morgan State University. His degrees include Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University, Master of Military Arts and Science from the School of Advanced Military Studies and a Master of Science in National Security Strategy from the National War College.

His awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal (Oak Leaf Cluster), Legion of Merit (two Oak Leaf Clusters), Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (seven Oak Leaf Clusters), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Army Commendation Medal (two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Achievement Medal (one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster), Humanitarian Service Medal, the Order of Military Medical Merit, Recruiters Medallion, the Order of Kentucky Colonels, the Army Surgeon General’s prestigious 9A Proficiency Designator, Expert Field Medical Badge, Parachutist Badge, and the Air Assault Badge.


Neşe Devenot

Neşe Devenot, PhD (they/she) is a Senior Lecturer in Writing at Johns Hopkins University who has contributed to the interdisciplinary field of Psychedelic Studies since 2010. They completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Bioethics at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and received their PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Pennsylvania. Neşe’s scholarship explores the intersections between health humanities, psychedelic bioethics, neuroethics, and comparative literature.

They were a 2015-16 Research Fellow at the New York Public Library’s Timothy Leary Papers and a Research Fellow with the New York University Psilocybin Cancer Anxiety Study, where they participated in the first qualitative study of participant experiences. Their psychedelic ethics research has appeared in the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, JAMA Psychiatry, the Journal of Psychedelic Studies, Frontiers in Psychology, and Anthropology of Consciousness.

Neşe’s book project on the role of narrative and literary devices in psychedelic experience is under contract with Columbia University Press. They are affiliated with Harvard Law School Petrie-Flom Center's Project on Psychedelics Law and Regulation (POPLAR), The Ohio State University's Center for Psychedelic Drug Research and Education (CPDRE), the Intercollegiate Psychedelics Network (IPN), and Psymposia.


Ben Colman

Ben Colman is the founder of Reality Defender, the leading provider of deepfake detection. Over the past 15 years, Ben has scaled multiple companies at the intersection of privacy, AI, and cyber security. Prior to this, Ben led cyber commercialization at Goldman Sachs, and was a graduate intern at Google. Ben holds a master's degree from New York University and a bachelor's degree from Claremont McKenna College.

Reality Defender is a deepfake detection platform for enterprises, governments, and platforms to detect AI-generated content and manipulations across audio, video, image, and text files.


Jennifer Golbeck

Dr. Jennifer Golbeck is a professor at the University of Maryland in College Park. She is an expert in social networks, social media, privacy and is a sought after speaker, expert, and science communicator.

Dr. Golbeck began studying social media from the moment it emerged on the web a decade ago and is one of the world’s foremost experts in the field. Her research has influenced industry, government, and the military. She is a pioneer in the field of social data analytics, discovering people’s hidden attributes from their online behavior, and a leader in creating human-friendly security and privacy systems. In addition to her work as a professor at the University of Maryland, she writes for top online news organizations, including Slate and The Atlantic, and appears frequently on NPR and commercial talk radio.

Dr. Golbeck also rescues special needs golden retrievers and shares their lives on social media as The Golden Ratio.

Session 2: 2:30pm


City of the Sun

City of the Sun is an American acoustic post-rock band from New York City. Formed in 2011, City of the Sun features guitarist John Pita and percussionist Zach Para. The band’s sound has an array of influences including indie rock, American folk, flamenco, and blues; it’s been called worldly, cinematic, a mix between Rodrigo y Gabriela and Explosions in the Sky.

In 2015, the band was signed to Chesky Records and released their full-length debut, to the sun and all the cities in between, in March 2016. It debuted at No. 12 on the Billboard jazz charts.

After completing a European tour in 2017, the band released their Untitled EP, with the track "Firefly" premiering on Billboard.
2020 saw the release of their second full-length album, City of the Sun.


Felipe Estefan

Felipe leads Luminate’s efforts in Latin America, managing grants and investments focused on advancing Civic Empowerment, Independent Media, Data & Digital Rights, and Financial Transparency in the region. He also oversees Luminate’s Narrative Change work.

Previously, as an Open Government Strategist at the World Bank, Felipe travelled to more than 40 countries around the world, advocating for and advancing efforts to make governments more open and to foster collaboration between state and non-state organisations.

Prior to this, Felipe was a founding member of the Open Contracting Partnership, a Planning Producer at CNN’s Washington bureau and was part of the Permanent Mission of Colombia to the United Nations in Switzerland.


Elizabeth Neumann

Elizabeth Neumann is a national security expert and author of Kingdom of Rage: The Rise of Christian Extremism and the Path Back to Peace.

With over two decades of experience, Elizabeth served across three Presidential Administrations - on the inaugural staff of The White House Homeland Security Council under President George W. Bush; advising the Office of the Director of National Intelligence during the Obama Administration; and as the Department of Homeland Security’s Deputy Chief of Staff and Assistant Secretary for Counterterrorism and Threat Prevention in the Trump Administration.

Elizabeth is the Chief Strategy Officer for Moonshot, an organization which supports governments and community partners to understand and prevent violence. She is also a national security contributor for ABC News; Board Chair for the National Immigration Forum; and a Fellow of the fourth class of the Civil Society Fellowship of The Aspen Institute, and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.


Clinton Johnson

Clinton Johnson is an accomplished and dedicated professional passionate about advancing social justice and equity through GIS mapping technology. As the Racial Equity & Social Justice Lead at Esri, he has been instrumental in connecting individuals and organizations across all sectors with geospatial data, technology, and methodologies to drive progress at the intersection of all systems of oppression.

In addition to his work at Esri, Clinton is the founder and leader of NorthStar of GIS, a 501c3 nonprofit committed to creating a more racially-just world through more racially-just GIS, geography, and STEM fields. Through this organization, he has leveraged his expertise and leadership skills to champion important causes and make meaningful contributions toward building a better future.

Clinton’s unwavering commitment to racial equity, social justice, innovation, collaboration, community-building, and compassion is evident in everything he does. He is a true trailblazer in his field who continues to inspire others through his tireless efforts to promote positive change on both a local and global scale.


Sara Minkara

Sara Minkara joins the U.S. Department of State as Special Advisor on International Disability Rights. The senior diplomat for disability rights, Special Advisor Minkara leads the U.S. comprehensive strategy to promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities internationally and across our foreign policy.

As a Lebanese-American Muslim woman who acquired her disability at the age of 7, Minkara incorporates her personal experience with disability in all of her work. She has dedicated her life to promoting inclusion as a value, and to empowering others to reach their potential. At college, Ms. Minkara founded a nonprofit service organization, Empowerment Through Integration (ETI), supporting children with disabilities through life skills training. She led and grew ETI while pursuing her undergraduate degree in math and economics at Wellesley College. Ms. Minkara continued her education at the Harvard Kennedy School, graduating with a Master’s in public policy. Ms. Minkara developed a unique approach, her In the Dark Methodology, to introduce concepts of adaptive design, leadership, and inclusion, and to address workplace and social challenges.

Ms. Minkara has advised and addressed numerous academic, government, and policy groups on issues related to disability, inclusion, adaptive leadership and social entrepreneurship.


Sunny Sumter

Sunny Sumter is President and CEO of the DC Jazz Festival (DCJF). DCJF's signature programs include the annual DC JazzFest, the year-round DCJF Education Program, and the Charles Fishman Embassy Series. DCJF is the recipient of the DC Mayor’s Art Award for Excellence in Creative Industries. Prior to her tenure at the DC Jazz Festival, Sumter held management/director positions with the Aspen Institute, National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Rhythm and Blues Foundation.

Sumter earned her bachelor’s degree in music business from Howard University where she minored in jazz voice. She is a recipient of a Howard University Benny Golson Award, the Sitar Arts Center Visionary Award, a DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Fellowship, and a Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award. As a professional vocalist, Sumter has performed at festivals, and clubs internationally. Sumter was awarded the Aspen Institute’s Staff Achievement Award for Excellence.

She was host of Jazz Central on the BETJ network. In 2019, she was selected to the prestigious DeVos Institute of Arts Management for a three-year fellowship at the University of Maryland Business School; and is one of the “exceptional leaders” selected for National Arts Strategies’ celebrated Chief Executive Program.


Chelsey Green

With performances often described as passionate, vivacious, electrifying, and innovative, Billboard-charting international recording artist Chelsey Green brings the vibrancy of violin and viola playing and unique, rich vocals to worldwide audiences in a whole new way.

A native of Houston, Texas, Dr. Chelsey Green was born into a family of jazz and funk musicians and started her performance career as a violinist at age 5. Dr. Green went on to receive a scholarship for classical viola studies at The University of Texas at Austin where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. Continuing her studies, she received a Master’s degree from The Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Maryland College Park. In August 2017, Dr. Green was appointed Associate Professor in the String Department at the prestigious Berklee College of Music and served as Acting Chair for the Spring 2021 term.

Dr. Chelsey Green and her ensemble, The Green Project, tear down stereotypes of the violin and viola by fusing traditional classical technique with popular favorites and enticing original songs in various genres– including R&B, Pop, Soul, Funk, Jazz, Alternative, Hip Hop, Gospel and more! Chelsey Green and The Green Project have released 5 studio projects independently and performed live shows, jazz festivals, masterclasses and educational workshops across America and in several countries throughout the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Japan and the Caribbean.

Session 3: 5:00pm


Peter Pomerantsev

Peter Pomerantsev is a senior fellow at Johns Hopkins University and co-director of the Arena Initiative. Born in Kyiv, Ukraine, Peter grew up in the U.K. He is the author of several books about Russian and other authoritarian propaganda; the third of these, How to Win an Information War: The Propagandist Who Outwitted Hitler, was published in 2024.

Pomerantsev was project chair for the Information Warfare Initiative of the Center for European Policy Analysis. He also led the Beyond Propaganda programme within the Legatum Institute's Transitions Forum, where he was a Senior Fellow. Pomerantsev has been at the fellow of the Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna.

Pomerantsev has given testimony on the subject of information warfare and media development to the US Congress Foreign Affairs Committee, US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and the UK Parliament Defence Committee.


Claire Atkin

Claire Atkin is co-founder of Check My Ads, the adtech industry's first watchdog. As a leading brand safety advocate, she is a trusted advisor to Fortune 500 brands, government officials, and national security researchers. Her work centers around building new sustainable standards in digital advertising while dismantling the ad-funded disinformation economy. As a brand safety advocate, she holds the surveillance adtech industry accountable for abuses against advertisers and consumers in the popular newsletter BRANDED. Her work intersects the economics of digital marketing, media, and disinformation to expose where ads end up online and guide advertisers on how to regain control over their ad campaigns to align their advertising dollars with their corporate values.

Claire is a vocal advocate for journalism, actively campaigning brands to directly support diverse voices in the media. Her work has appeared in Fortune, WIRED, DigiDay, FastCompany, AdWeek, Buzzfeed, CBC, and The Guardian. She has a certificate in International Election Observation from the Global Campus for Human Rights, and a Masters in Geography from the University of McMaster.


Carla Norrlöf

A Swedish national, born in Addis Abeba, Carla Norrlöf has lived in Stockholm, Gaborone, New York, Paris, Geneva and Toronto. Majoring in economics (B.A.) and political science (M.A.), she graduated from Lund University (Sweden). At the Graduate Institute of International Studies (Switzerland), she specialized in political economy and received a Diplôme d’Etudes Supérieures and a Ph.D degree in International Relations. Her research was supported by the Royal Swedish Academy and Handelsbankens Forskningstiftelser (Jan Wallanders and Tom Hedelius stiftelse). Adopting a game-theoretic perspective, her dissertation examined the political implications of new trade theories on multilateral cooperation.

Carla Norrlöf has published on hegemony, the international political economy of trade, monetary relations, international currencies, and security, as well as in the area of trade and the environment. She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses on the international political economy of trade, the international political economy of finance, international cooperation and institutions, international relations and rational choice.


Holly Dagres

Holly Dagres is a nonresident senior fellow specializing in Iranian affairs, the editor of the Middle East Programs’ IranSource and MENASource publications, and the curator for the weekly newsletter, The Iranist.

Before joining the Atlantic Council, Dagres worked as a freelance Iran analyst, regularly following traditional and social media in English and Persian. She also worked as the assistant editor at the Cairo Review of Global Affairs, associated with the American University in Cairo’s Global Affairs and Public Policy School. She regularly gives analysis for television, radio, and print, including BBC News, CNN, Fox News, NBC News, the New York Times, and the Telegraph. Her writing on Iranian affairs has appeared in numerous publications including Al Jazeera, Al-Monitor, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Foreign Policy, the Huffington Post, and Washington Post.

Dagres received a master’s degree in political science at the American University in Cairo, and a bachelor’s degree in political science and French from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Born in Los Angeles, Dagres spent her adolescent years in Iran, from 1999 to 2006, during which she graduated from Tehran International School. She is fluent in Persian.


David Hogg

Thrust into the world of activism by the largest school shooting in American history, Parkland survivor David Hogg has become one of the most compelling voices of his generation. His call to “get over politics and get something done” challenges Americans to stand up, speak out and work to elect morally just leaders, regardless of party affiliation. Passionate in his advocacy to end gun violence, David’s mission of increasing voter participation, civic engagement and activism embraces a range of issues.

On February 14, 2018, David’s life changed forever. As a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, he lost friends, classmates and teachers. A total of 17 people were killed when a lone teen gunman sprayed bullets from a high-powered military assault rifle. David’s eloquent responses to America’s largest school shooting immediately placed him in the national and international media spotlight.

Committed to becoming an agent for change, he resolved that no other young person should have to experience the tragic impact of gun violence. He joined with friends from high school to co-found March For Our Lives, now one of the world’s largest youth-led movements. Five weeks after the shooting, March For Our Lives mobilized one of the biggest demonstrations in the nation’s history. Speaking before an estimated 800,000 protestors in Washington, D.C., David declared, “The sun shines on a new day—and it is ours!” Since then, David’s activism has taken him around the country, meeting with impacted families and diverse communities to deepen his knowledge of gun safety and the politics of ending gun violence. With his younger sister, Lauren, also a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, he co-wrote #NeverAgain, a New York Times bestseller. David and Lauren also contributed to the best-selling book, Glimmer of Hope: How Tragedy Sparked a Movement, a compilation of writing from the founders of March For Our Lives.

In 2019, David headed to Harvard University and graduated in the spring of 2023. He recently co-founded Leaders We Deserve, a grassroots political organization dedicated to electing young progressives to Congress and State Legislatures across the country.


City of the Sun

City of the Sun is an American acoustic post-rock band from New York City. Formed in 2011, City of the Sun features guitarist John Pita and percussionist Zach Para. The band’s sound has an array of influences including indie rock, American folk, flamenco, and blues; it’s been called worldly, cinematic, a mix between Rodrigo y Gabriela and Explosions in the Sky.

In 2015, the band was signed to Chesky Records and released their full-length debut, to the sun and all the cities in between, in March 2016. It debuted at No. 12 on the Billboard jazz charts.

After completing a European tour in 2017, the band released their Untitled EP, with the track "Firefly" premiering on Billboard.
2020 saw the release of their second full-length album, City of the Sun.