Past Seminars

Over the years, seminar topics have included the economy, foreign affairs, immigration reform, health care, drugs and sports, climate change, education, the 9-11 Commission and more. Among the featured speakers were former U.S. ambassadors and high-level officials in the Department of State, Department of Treasury, Federal Reserve Board, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Congressional Budget Office, and political scientists from Harvard University, the University of Houston and The Brookings Institution. The list also includes journalists, federal judges and the former commissioner of the National Football League.

We cultivate the mind and spirit… When national thought leaders… came to Steamboat Springs… for the Seminars at Steamboat, KUNC broadcast their lectures and archived them on” -KUNC, community radio for Northern Colorado annual report


Stephen Klineberg
The Changing Face of America
Klineberg is a professor of sociology at Rice University.

Robert O’Harrow
Zero Day: The Threat in Cyberspace
O’Harrow reports on cybersecurity for the investigative unit of the Washington Post.

Robin Raphel
Pakistan and Its Difficult Neighbors
Raphel is U.S. Coordinator for Non-Military Assistance to Pakistan with the rank of ambassador.

Martin Feldstein and William Gale
Reforming Our Broken Tax System
Feldstein is a former director of the Council of Economic Advisors. Gale is the chair of economic policy at The Brookings Institution.


Christopher Hill
Foreign Policy after the Election: Challenges and Opportunities
Hill, former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, the Republic of Korea, Macedonia and Poland, is Dean of the School of International studies at the University of Denver.

John Pomfret
Everything You Wanted to Know about China in 90 Minutes
Pomfret, former Beijing bureau chief for the Washington Post, is the editor of the Post’s weekly commentary section.

Robert Reischauer
Adjusting to America’s New Fiscal Reality
Reischauer is formerly the Director of the Congressional Budget Office and President of the Urban Institute.

Richard Murray
Change and Continuity: The 2012 Presidential Race
Murray is a professor of political science and Director of Survey Research at the University of Houston.


Robin Wright
Rock the Casbah
Wright is a journalist and senior fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Seymour Hersh
Are Obama’s Foreign Policies Working?
Hersh is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter.

Tamar Jacoby
Still a Nation of Immigrants?
Jacoby is president of ImmigrationWorks USA.

Zalmay Khalilzad
Afghanistan and Iraq: An Insider’s View
Khalilzad is a former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the United Nations.

David Walker
Restoring Fiscal Sanity
Walker is a former U.S. Comptroller General.


David Sanger
The World and Challenges Obama Confronts
Sanger is the chief Washington correspondent for the New York Times.

Paul Volcker
Can We Make the Government and the Economy Work for Us?
Volcker is the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

Paul Peterson
Saving the American School
Peterson is a professor of government at Harvard University and a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

Joseph S. Nye, Jr.
Smart Power: America’s Global Position
Nye is a professor and former Dean of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.


Adam Liptak
The Roberts Supreme Court in the Obama Era
Liptak is the Supreme Court reporter for the New York Times.

Phil Sharp
Energy and Climate Policy: The Heat Is Rising in Washington about What to Do
Sharp, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Indiana, is the President of Resources for the Future.

Paul Tagliabue
Drugs and Sports: The Evolving Playbook
Tagliabue is the former Commissioner of the National Football League.

Alice Rivlin
The Future of Capitalism
Rivlin, a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution, was Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve Board.


Michael Osterholm
The Next Influenza Pandemic: A Harbinger of Things to Come?
Osterholm is Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at University of Minnesota.

Strobe Talbott
Why Foreign Policy Issues in the 2008 U.S. Election Matter So Much to the World
Talbott, President of The Brookings Institution, is a former Deputy Secretary of State.

Swanee Hunt
Women Waging Peace: Lessons from the BosnianWar
Hunt is Director of the Women and Public Policy Program at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Galia Golan
Israel, Palestine and the Chances for Peace
Golan, a founder of Peace Now, was professor of Soviet and East European studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


David Cole and Stuart Taylor
A Dialogue on National Security and Civil Liberties: Detention Interrogation and More
Cole is a professor at Georgetown University Law Center and author of books on civil liberties. Taylor is a National Journal columnist and senior fellow at The Brookings Institution.

Vali Nasr
The United States and the Middle East after Iraq: Taking Stock of Iran and the Shia Revival
Nasr is a professor of Middle East and South Asia politics at the Naval Postgraduate School.

Fred Hitz
The Deceptive Nature of Intelligence Reform
Hitz is a former Inspector General of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Steven Schroeder
Critical Issues Facing U.S. Health Care: Access, Availability and Cost
Schroeder is the former President of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


Linda Chavez
Facing Facts About Immigration Policy
Chavez, a syndicated columnist, is the Chairman of The Center of Equal Opportunity.

Steve Bell
The Media and Politics
Bell is a professor of telecommunications at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind.

Steve McCormick
Protecting the Environment: What We Can Do Nationally and Locally
McCormick is the President of the Nature Conservancy.

Robert Scales
What’s Going On in Iraq
Scales, a retired Army Major General, is a commentator on National Public Radio and Fox News.


David Brooks
Barbeque Grills and the Future of America: How Our Stratifying as a Society is Affecting Lifestyles and Politics
David Brooks is a New York Times columnist, PBS commentator, and author.

James MacNeill
Modern Environment Concerns and Sustainable Development
MacNeill was the Secretary General of the World Commission on Environment and Development.

John Kane
The War on Drugs and Its Effects on the Criminal Justice System
Kane is a Senior Judge in the U.S. District Court in Denver and member of various commissions on drug laws.

Jay Garner
U.S. Policy in Iraq
Garner, a retired Army Lieutenant General, was the first Director of the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance in Iraq in 2003.


Andre Davis
Terrorism and the Courts Since 9/11: A View From The Federal Bench
Davis is a Judge in the U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

Strobe Talbott
Foreign Policy in an Election Year
Talbott is President of The Brookings Institution and a former Deputy Secretary of State.

E.J. Dionne
Why The American Electorate Is So Polarized
Dionne, a syndicated columnist, is a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution.

Daniel Marcus
The Report of 9/11 Commission, What It Found and How It Got There
Marcus, a lawyer in Washington, D.C., is General Counsel of the 9/11 Commission.


Joseph S. Nye, Jr.
The Paradox of American Power: Why the World’s Only Superpower Can’t Go It Alone
Nye, Dean of the School of Government at Harvard University, is the former Undersecretary of State.

Sue Birch, Irwin Garfinkle, Sara McLanahan and Belle Sawhill
Changes in the American Family, a panel discussion
Birch is Executive Director of the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association. Garfinkle is Professor of Contemporary Urban Problems at Columbia University. McLanahan is Director of the Center for Research on Child Wellbeing at Princeton University. Belle Sawhill is a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution.