2017 Featured Presenters
Paul Begala is a commentator for CNN, where he is part of the political team that has won both an Emmy Award and a Peabody Award. In the 2012 campaign, he was a senior adviser for the pro-Obama Super PAC, making Begala one of the few people to play a critical role in electing two different presidents.
After helping engineer Bill Clinton's presidential campaign with his partner, James Carville, Begala served as counselor to the President, one of Clinton's closest aides. Begala is an affiliated professor of Public Policy at Georgetown University. He has also taught at the University of Texas and the University of Georgia. Along with James Carville and GOP strategist Karl Rove, he was a recently inducted into the American Association of Political Consultants' Hall of Fame.
Award-winning science correspondent and TV journalist Ira Flatow is the host of "Science Friday," heard weekly on PRI and podcast on iTunes, iOS, Android, etc. He anchors the show each Friday, bringing radio and internet listeners worldwide a lively, informative discussion on science, technology, health, space and the environment.
Mixing his passion for science with a tendency toward being “a bit of a ham,” Flatow describes his work as the challenge “to make science and technology a topic for discussion around the dinner table.” He has shared that enthusiasm with public radio listeners for more than 35 years. His most recent book is Present At The Future: From Evolution to Nanotechnology, Candid and Controversial Conversations On Science and Nature.
Hugh Hewitt is the host of "The Hugh Hewitt Show" on the Salem Radio Network, heard nationally every weekday morning. Hewitt is also an NBC News analyst, a professor of law at Chapman University Fowler School of Law in Orange County, CA, and a partner with the Los Angeles law firm of Larson O’Brien LLP.
His broadcast career began in 1990 on Los Angeles radio and on television in 1992 as host of the public affairs program "Life & Times Tonight," for which he received three Emmy Awards. Hewitt is the author of a dozen books on politics, public policy, religion and happiness, and prior to joining NBC in the spring of 2016, was a regular on all networks’ Sunday shows, including "Meet the Press," "Face the Nation," "This Week" and "State of the Union." He was a panelist in all four of the 2015-2016 CNN-Salem GOP presidential debates from the Reagan Library and in Las Vegas, Houston and Miami. He is now a regular contributor on all NBC and MSNBC news programs.
Wendy Sue Swanson, M.D.
As the Chief of Digital Innovation at Seattle Children’s Hospital, Wendy Sue Swanson, M.D., leverages the wisdom of clinicians, patients, and researchers to transform health care delivery in the digital age. She points the way to the future of medicine — a world where health care providers and patients use new technology to collaborate more closely and build deeper relationships than ever before. Dr. Swanson is a practicing pediatrician, a weekly TV reporter, Huffington Post blogger and active thought leader online.
Dr. Swanson is currently piloting two innovative healthcare technologies at Seattle Children’s in addition to using social and traditional media in health care. Her online presence on her blog alone has touched the lives of 2 million people who would have been beyond her reach without social media and the Internet. She uses Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and various other platforms to educate and improve public health.
Abraham Verghese, M.D., MACP
Abraham Verghese, M.D., MACP, is Linda R. Meier and Joan F. Lane Provostial Professor and Vice Chair for the Theory and Practice of Medicine at the School of Medicine at Stanford University. He is also a critically acclaimed, best-selling author and a physician with an international reputation for his focus on healing in an era where technology often overwhelms the human side of medicine.
Today, as a popular invited speaker, he has more forums than his writing to expound on his views on patient care. He talks nationally and internationally on the subject, in addition to talks and readings from his books. He has also led the effort at the Stanford School of Medicine to establish the Stanford 25, where residents and students are taught techniques and skills to recognize the basic phenotypic expressions of disease that manifest as abnormal physical signs.