UVA to Host Presidential Ideas Festival

May 17, 2019

Charlottesville is gearing up for  the Presidential Ideas Festival – a gathering that will feature  one former president and top officials from many administrations -- talking about how the chief executive makes decisions, how the office has changed and where it may be headed. 

UVA's Miller Center for Public Affairs will host the Presidential Ideas Festival, also known as PrezFest.
Credit UVA

Former President Bill Clinton will speak Thursday –  the last day of a conference organized by the Miller Center for Public Affairs where Melody Barnes serves as co-director of the Democracy Initiative.

“It’s going to be an extraordinary gathering of policymakers and non-profit leaders, activists and the general public – people who are interested in democracy and issues of the presidency,” she says.

Also on the agenda, former secretary of state Madeline Albright, former national security advisor Steven Hadley and others who’ve supported the president.

“We’ll have chiefs of staff, cabinet leaders, journalists from the New Yorker, from the Atlantic, John Dickerson, who is a UVA alumni and journalist will be the emcee who will carry us through the conversations over the course of three days,” Barnes says.

In addition to talks, she adds, there will be tapes.

“Secret presidential tapes from the Nixon and Kennedy and Johnson administrations and others as a platform to better understand how presidents think through decisions, the ways that they work with their advisers and think about the public, think about international leaders and global issues.”

With a thousand people expected to attend, the conference is sold-out, but live streams will be available through our website.

***Editor's Note: Radio IQ is a sponsor of the Presidential Ideas Festival.