A Conversation with Anne Applebaum and Katie Couric: The State of American Democracy


Thursday, April 25, 2024, 12:00 pm EDT


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Spotlight Speakers: Billy Ray, Gretchen Barton and Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA), moderated by Sanjyot P. Dunung

June 14, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT

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Academy Award-Nominated Screenwriter, Billy Ray and Public Opinion Researcher, Gretchen Barton and Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA) & moderated by Author Sanjyot P. Dunung will discuss how voters feel about the state of the nation and how to message across the political divide.


Billy Ray wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay for Captain Phillips, for which he won the WGA award.  He also wrote, directed, and executive-produced Showtime’s “The Comey Rule,” which had the biggest debut of any limited series in that network’s history. Ray’s films as writer, co-writer, or writer-director include “The Hunger Games,” “Richard Jewell,” “Shattered Glass,” and “Breach.” He serves on the boards of Common Defense and Big Sunday. He believes in democracy, justice, and the Dodgers.

Gretchen Barton is the founder of Worthy Strategy Group, LLC, and former Research Director at Future Majority. She is a deep-listening researcher and strategist who has designed and led research initiatives in the political and policy space across America on poverty, the youth vote, global nuclear weapons disarmament, immigration, gender in America, what Americans need in their next President, how Americans know what’s true, what the Democratic and Republican party brands mean and more. She’s worked on presidential to mayoral campaigns and is currently leading an initiative called What it Will Take, laying the narrative groundwork for the first female president, and advising on History Wars, a Johns Hopkins research initiative looking to unpack a way to bring Americans together around a shared future, if not a shared history.

Susan Wild (D-PA) is in her third term as a member of the United States House of Representatives in the heart of the Lehigh Valley and is the first woman to represent the Valley in Congress. From September 2022 to January 2023, she was chair of the House Ethics Committee and continues to sit on the committee as ranking member. She also co-chairs the New Democrat Coalition Climate Change Task Force and is vice chair of both the Congressional Labor and Working Families Caucus and the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human rights and International Organizations.

Sanjyot P. Dunung is an author and serial entrepreneur with expertise on the intersection of culture, business, global affairs, technology, and education.

She has written sixteen international business books and textbooks; has appeared on a range of global media; and, speaks at conferences addressing international business, global cultures and entrepreneurship. Her first novel, Maddie & Sayara, explores the diverging paths of young girls around the world. Sanjyot is actively engaged in a number of public-private initiatives advocating for secular, capitalist, democratic values globally. She currently serves on the Board of Truman Center for National Policy, Advisory Board of the Thunderbird School of Global Management and the Board of the National Small Business Association. Sanjyot has received several awards, including the 2021 Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business Award and the 2021 AmChamRepresent Business Transformation Award: Women in Business.


June 14, 2023
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT
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