The Path Forward Series

The world as we know it has changed. In this series, we feature the big ideas and the bright minds that are charting the way. As individuals, governments and businesses grapple with the pandemic that has encircled the globe and strategize on how to reopen safely, we will talk to leaders and change makers across industries on how they see the path forward.
2021 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for space travel and exploration. With NASA and the private sector working in tandem to launch human spaceflights from the United States, a new commitment to sending rockets to the moon and making space more accessible to the public, we are poised to see decades of space enterprise planning finally realized. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson joins Washington Post columnist David Ignatius for a wide-ranging conversation focused on the Biden Administration’s goals in space, the state of the international space race, and the latest developments on private-public partnerships aimed at commercializing space travel, accelerating human spaceflight, and exploring the universe like never before.
She is the European Union’s top anti-trust enforcer and renowned for taking up the fight against tech giants. Join Washington Post Live on Monday, July 12 at 10:15am ET, when we host European Commission executive vice president Margrethe Vestager, who has long tried to curtail the power of big tech companies. She’ll discuss how those companies harness vast troves of data, work to quash competition, are moving into more aggressive content moderation and whether privacy concerns can be used to limit competition.
Chuck Robbins is the chair and CEO of Cisco, a Silicon Valley-based tech company that is one of the largest and most influential software and hardware businesses in the world. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Cisco’s Webex was the leading video conferencing and cloud service used by businesses and governments around the globe to help more people work from home. As the Biden administration looks to modernize digital infrastructure, Cisco is building rural broadband solutions to bridge the digital divide and is investing in new cybersecurity technologies to prevent cybercrime as companies move towards hybrid work. Join Washington Post columnist David Ignatius with Robbins to discuss the future of work, the future of the internet and the cost of cybersecurity.
As the leaders of the G7 meet, former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard is drawing the world’s attention to the global education crisis exacerbated by the lockdown. As board chair of the Global Partnership for Education, she is pushing world leaders to bring quality education to all children. Gillard, whose 2012 anti-misogyny speech in Parliament was voted the most unforgettable Australian TV moment, joined Washington Post columnist David Ignatius to share her thoughts on how world leaders can plan for a post-COVID-19 world, why girls are at risk of being shut out of schools, and why it should matter to the United States and the rest of the world.
After rushing over $110 billion to help 86 countries through the COVID-19 pandemic, she is spearheading the International Monetary Fund’s planned $650 billion allocation of special drawing rights to bolster the reserves of all its member countries and underpin the global recovery. From rising inflation to staggering debt, IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva joins Washington Post columnist David Ignatius to discuss the financial challenges ahead and how the IMF is working to reignite the global economy.
Patrick Harker is president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia helping to set U.S. monetary policy. Washington Post economics correspondent Heather Long addressed with Harker the debate over increasing interest rates to keep the post-COVID-19 economy from overheating, and investing in education and skill programs to bolster the U.S. workforce.
America’s energy needs and challenges have never been more vital. All forms of renewable energy will play a critical role in addressing those needs. Generating energy that produces little or no greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels is part of the effort to diversify the energy supply and impacts all communities, including the underserved and underfunded. Washington Post senior writer Frances Stead Sellers spoke with White House national climate advisor Gina McCarthy about the economic effect, as well as societal impact, of a greater emphasis on renewable energy.
During the coronavirus pandemic the Smithsonian and other cultural institutions across the nation found ways to reach their visitors through digital programming. Lonnie G. Bunch III, Secretary of the Smithsonian, and Anthea M. Hartig, Elizabeth MacMillan director of the National Museum of American History, joined Washington Post Live to discuss those challenges and how to reach new audiences in innovative, impactful ways.
Arvind Krishna took over as chief executive officer of IBM last year as the coronavirus pandemic was taking hold around the world. Krishna, who joined the company in 1990, has expanded its footprint in the cloud, artificial intelligence, quantum computing and blockchain technology. He recently predicted the majority of IBM’s employees could stay in hybrid roles indefinitely. Krishna joined Washington Post Live to discuss the company’s latest innovations, the challenges to America’s technological leadership and the future of work.
Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond is the first chief of space operations of the U.S. Space Force. Raymond joined Washington Post columnist David Ignatius during the week of the projected landing of NASA’s Crew-1 with the first-ever Space Force astronaut, Col. Mike Hopkins.
Scott Kirby is the chief executive officer of United Airlines. As passengers return to the sky, Kirby joined Washington Post columnist David Ignatius to share how airlines are innovating and ramping up capacity while keeping safety as the top priority.
Former vice president Al Gore joined Jonathan Capehart on Earth Day to discuss how to fight disinformation with science, the importance of cutting global emissions and investing in clean energy.
DJ Paoni, president of SAP North America, a global enterprise software company whose tools help businesses of all sizes streamline their operations and improve customer relations, joined Washington Post columnist David Ignatius to discuss the importance of prioritizing employee health and the future of work.
Veteran Silicon Valley CEO and former undersecretary of state Keith J. Krach and retired four-star Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, former U.S. and International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) commander, joined Washington Post columnist David Ignatius to explore how the U.S. and its strategic partners can build a global cyber-trust network to protect the innovation of tomorrow.
Hamdi Ulukaya, founder and CEO of Chobani, discussed the measures the company has put into place to keep employees safe during the pandemic and help them care for their families, his decision to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour, and the effort to combat child hunger, calling on food companies to make nutritional food accessible to communities that need it, saying "food is a human right."
Gen. James C. McConville, the chief of staff of the U.S. Army, joined Washington Post columnist David Ignatius to discuss the future of the U.S. Army and modernization efforts, lessons learned during the war in Afghanistan and the use of legacy weapons in the U.S. Army.
Washington Post columnist David Ignatius spoke with Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly on his optimism about the near-term recovery of the business and his hope that the company can break even by June and return to profitability by the end of 2021.
Neel Kashkari, the president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, joined Washington Post economics correspondent Heather Long to discuss his views on the long-term outlook for America’s economic recovery, his belief that quality public education is a fundamental right and the critical role his running of the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) played in the United States weathering the crash of 2007-2008.
Washington Post columnist David Ignatius interviewed Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky on the company's partnership with Merck, its distribution goals, the efficacy of its vaccine and trials for a possible second dose as well as the broader implications of the pharmaceutical industry's unprecedented collaboration with the government.
CEO and chairman of Union Square Hospitality Group, also founder of Shake Shack, Danny Meyer, joined Washington Post opinions writer Jonathan Capehart to discuss his hopes for the restaurant industry in the coming months, President Biden's COVID-19 relief bill, the $15 minimum wage and the industry's need to improve diversity and inclusion.
Washington Post columnist David Ignatius discussed with former GE CEO Jeff Immelt the challenges of leading during a crisis, globalization and China’s increasing influence, as well as the importance of innovation and perseverance and his new book, “Hot Seat: What I Learned Leading a Great American Company.”
In an interview with Washington Post Live, Rite Aid CEO Heyward Donigan said that recent weather conditions caused a delay in the shipment of a one-week allocation of vaccines through its partnership with the federal government. This was part of a Washington Post Live discussion with business leaders, including Karen DeSalvo, chief health officer of Google Health and Henry Ting, chief health officer of Delta Air Lines, on the private sector's navigation of vaccine availability and other challenges brought on by the pandemic.
Raphael W. Bostic, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, joined Washington Post economics correspondent Heather Long to discuss the role the Federal Reserve can play in helping to reduce racial inequities, and what it will take for the U.S. economy to recover from the COVID-19 recession.
In the face of economic uncertainty and a new Biden presidency, billionaire hedge fund manager and philanthropist Ray Dalio joined Washington Post columnist David Ignatius to discuss the massive gaps in wealth, value and politics. Dalio addressed what Biden can do to restore U.S. prosperity and cautions the world not to fear China’s economic potential.
Washington Post columnist David Ignatius sat down with Air Force chief of staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., to discuss what it means to be the first Black chief of a U.S. military service, how AI will reshape air combat and countering the China threat.
Alexander Karp, CEO and one of several co-founders of Palantir, joined Washington Post columnist David Ignatius to talk about the challenges faced by governments around the world in relying on technology and software to respond to the pandemic.
The National Institutes of Health partnered with biotech company Moderna to create a safe and efficacious COVID-19 vaccine and is also at the forefront of developing critical antibody treatments and therapeutics. NIH director Francis Collins, MD, joined The Washington Post’s Frances Stead Sellers for the latest updates on coronavirus treatment, the country’s historic mass inoculation campaign and how public health officials are combating skepticism and educating the public about vaccines.
David Ricks runs Eli Lilly, one of the leading pharmaceutical companies whose experimental coronavirus therapies have already received emergency FDA approval and are being used to treat COVID-19. Ricks joined Washington Post columnist David Ignatius to discuss the latest developments on combating the coronavirus.
The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the necessity of operating digitally for most global businesses. Accenture CEO Julie Sweet has said COVID-19 “created a new inflection point that requires every company to dramatically accelerate the move to the cloud." Sweet joined Washington Post columnist David Ignatius to discuss how investments in strong digital foundations at scale have not only helped leading companies maintain business operations throughout crisis, but how Accenture is helping those left behind close the gap and accelerate their digital transformations with more urgency.
AT&T CEO John Stankey joined Washington Post columnist David Ignatius to discuss how the telecommunications giant is working to enable the adoption of high-speed internet in communities that need it most, the national security concerns surrounding 5G and how artificial intelligence is impacting the industry.
Coronavirus cases in the U.S. have surged past 11 million, with more than 240,000 Americans dead. Anthony S. Fauci, director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), is the highest-ranking public health expert on viruses. For months, Fauci has been warning about a difficult winter and asking people to wear masks and practice physical distancing. As state leaders scramble to implement new restrictions, several vaccine trials are showing encouraging results. Fauci will discuss how to slow the spread of infection and explain the challenges of distributing the vaccine once it’s approved. Join Washington Post national political reporter Robert Costa for a one-on-one conversation with Fauci.
COVID-19 forced many retailers and consumers to rethink how they sell and shop. It left millions of Americans unemployed and looking for ways to earn income. This accelerated shift to digital commerce has led to a boost in sales for Shopify. Harley Finkelstein, president of Shopify, says that entrepreneurs will be the force in rebuilding economies all over the world. Shopify, the marquee commerce platform, helps 1 million businesses around the world start, grow and scale their business online and offline. No matter the platform, Finkelstein says people are turning their side hustles into full-time jobs and that it is even more critical to innovate and build the tools merchants need to succeed. Join Washington Post senior critic-at-large Robin Givhan for a one-on-one conversation with Harley Finkelstein.
Genentech, the American biotechnology company, began trials in March to see if one of its existing medicines could be used to combat COVID-19 as it spread across the U.S. causing hospital overruns and thousands of deaths with a special effort to enroll diverse groups disproportionately impacted by the virus. While setting up these trials, the company changed ways of working to virtually meet the needs of patients who found themselves without access to their medicines and partnered with others to fight the pandemic. Genentech CEO Alexander Hardy believes they’re learning a great deal that they will carry forward to better serve patients in the future. Join Washington Post columnist David Ignatius for a one-on-one conversation with Hardy on Friday, Nov. 13 at 1:00 p.m. ET. This is the second installment of a special two-part series with the CEOs leading the global pursuit of a treatment and vaccine for COVID-19. From safety and science, to innovation and inclusion, to collaborating for the common good, we will hear the latest developments on current clinical trials and the challenges of chasing a pandemic.
Paul Hudson is CEO of the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi which is currently partnering on the development of two potential vaccines for COVID-19. Hudson took over as Sanofi’s CEO last year, and is confident the 100-year-old vaccine company is well-positioned to make and distribute a vaccine that is safe, accessible, and affordable. Hudson is encouraged by the collaboration he has seen within the pharmaceutical industry to combat the virus, and believes continued cooperation post-pandemic could lead to future medical breakthroughs. Join Washington Post columnist David Ignatius for a one-on-one conversation with Hudson on Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 11:30 a.m. ET. This is the first installment of a special two-part series with the CEOs leading the global pursuit of a treatment and vaccine for COVID-19. From safety and science, to innovation and inclusion, to collaborating for the common good, we will hear the latest developments on current clinical trials and the challenges of chasing a pandemic.
Small businesses account for nearly half of the nation’s gross domestic product. After the coronavirus crisis led to uneven government regulation and lack of access to capital investment, the very survival of many small businesses is at stake. On Wednesday, Oct. 28, Washington Post Live will look at both the federal and state roles regarding regulation, relief interventions and access to capital. We’ll also examine how new hurdles have changed the small-business model as they learn to sink or swim, and look at how new technologies can help brick-and-mortar businesses spur new growth.
When the coronavirus hit, CVS Health quickly built drive-thru through COVID-19 testing capabilities, significantly increased prescription delivery and expanded access to telemedicine. As president & CEO of CVS Health, one of the largest health-care companies in the U.S., Larry Merlo says he puts consumers at the center of every decision his company makes. How does that focus on the consumer and lessons learned throughout the pandemic guide his thinking for the future? Washington Post columnist David Ignatius talks with Merlo about his company’s strategy and what’s next for the health-care industry.
Dara Khosrowshahi is the CEO of Uber. As companies continue to recover from the pandemic, hard-hit businesses are focused on rebuilding better. Khosrowshahi joins Washington Post Live to discuss a new approach to support gig economy workers with benefits and protections while maintaining their flexibility to work when and where they want.
President of Howard University, Wayne Frederick, MD, one of America’s foremost educators, is leading a pre-eminent historically Black college through a global pandemic, an economic downturn, and racial unrest. We’ll hear from this scholar and surgeon on his plans to guide Howard through these crises, and learn how he plans to use a recent $32.8 million donation to Howard University’s School of Medicine from Bloomberg Philanthropies to help produce more Black doctors.
With more than 80 percent of travel at a near standstill, airlines are adapting to a new reality. As some push for a return to business as usual, Delta Air Lines has continued to block middle seats, cap plane capacity and ban passengers who refuse to wear masks. CEO Ed Bastian will joined Washington Post columnist David Ignatius on Monday, Aug. 3 at 11:30 a.m. ET to discuss the airline’s commitment to safety despite economic uncertainty, its program for ongoing, company-wide testing and what travel will look like in the future.
As the world emerges from the coronavirus lockdown, the European Union is navigating the economic effects and charting the recovery. Christine Lagarde, the first woman to serve as president of the European Central Bank, joined Washington Post columnist David Ignatius to talk about leading the euro zone’s monetary policy and how the new shape of the post-COVID-19 global economy will affect job security, public health and safety and deglobalization.
The restaurant industry is struggling to survive as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Renowned chef and restaurateur Wolfgang Puck is a member of President Trump’s Economic Council for Restaurants. He will join Washington Post food anchor Mary Beth Albright to discuss economic and safety policies aimed at reviving and sustaining the restaurant industry. Albright will also speak with chef and TV host Marcus Samuelsson about the effect of the pandemic on restaurants and explain how the nation’s social justice movement is impacting the industry. Join Washington Post Live on Friday, July 17 at 1:00 p.m. ET.
As critics cite the failings in the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic, public health officials and government leaders are looking at where the national supply chain failed and what can be done today to better prepare for the crises of tomorrow. Siemens USA president and CEO Barbara Humpton joined Washington Post Live on Wednesday, July 8 at 12:00 p.m. ET to share her thoughts with Washington Post senior writer Frances Stead Sellers about how to modernize the defense industrial base to ensure that the national emergency response is versatile and nimble enough to meet the unexpected crises of the future.
The U.S. economy is just beginning to recover. With millions of Americans displaced from work in the ongoing pandemic, businesses and employees are fighting to stay afloat. How will the Federal Reserve help the recovery to benefit Americans across the socioeconomic spectrum? Mary C. Daly, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, joined Washington Post economics correspondent Heather Long to discuss how to rebuild an economy that works for all Americans.
William J. Flynn is the new president and CEO of Amtrak, taking over the country’s passenger railroad service in the middle of a pandemic. Amtrak had its best year ever in 2019 only to experience a 95 percent drop in ridership these past few months. Despite reducing service and taking substantial steps to shrink operating costs, Amtrak is seeking supplemental funding from Congress in order to be viable next year and beyond. Will new safety measures and a fleet of high speed trains lure riders back when the country reopens?
As 2020 shapes up to be a year of world-altering events, YouTube and other social media platforms have been essential tools for the public to entertain themselves, find crucial information about COVID-19, view footage of protests, and refine their beliefs heading into a consequential presidential election. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki joined Washington Post Silicon Valley correspondent Elizabeth Dwoskin to discuss the platform’s surging usage during the pandemic, efforts to combat misinformation and the increased scrutiny that comes with being a primary source of information on the internet.
With over 40 million Americans out of work, a global pandemic and widespread civil unrest, the role of technology in shaping our society and its future is of the utmost importance. Brad Smith, Microsoft president and co-author of the bestseller, “Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age,” joined Washington Post columnist David Ignatius to discuss how we can harness innovation to promote inclusive economic recovery, stop the spread of disease and support social justice.
As the business community charts its path to recovery, CEOs and workers are considering how to safely reopen and what the future of work will look like. Known for his break-the-mold leadership and cutting-edge philanthropy, Salesforce chair and CEO Marc Benioff joined Washington Post Live on Wednesday, June 10 at 4:30 p.m. ET to discuss how COVID-19 has altered the working world as we know it and what disruptions to look for next.
Restaurants are struggling to stay open while millions of Americans are seeking help from food banks as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Renowned chef and founder of World Central Kitchen José Andrés and Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) have a solution. They joined Washington Post Live to discuss joint efforts on food relief and national service legislation during this critical time.Restaurateur and "Top Chef" judge Tom Colicchio also examined the impact of the pandemic on restaurants and explain how the industry needs to adapt in order to survive.
COVID-19 has caused economic disruption and devastation for millions of people around the globe. As countries are reeling from catastrophic job losses and financial uncertainty, international leaders are working to protect the most vulnerable. Washington Post Live features International Monetary Fund managing director Kristalina Georgieva on how the Fund is responding to the global pandemic.
The dramatic spread of COVID-19 has disrupted business and the economy worldwide. The Washington Post Live brought together former British prime minister Gordon Brown and former U.S. treasury secretary Lawrence H. Summers to discuss the impact of this pandemic on the global economy.
Air travel is down 95 percent from a year ago, and major airlines are busy blocking middle seats and adopting new measures to make travelers feel at ease. JetBlue was the first airline to require passengers to wear face masks. CEO Robin Hayes joined Washington Post senior writer Frances Stead Sellers on May 28 at 2:00 p.m. ET to discuss the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the airline industry and the precautions airlines are taking to keep passengers safe.
Land O’Lakes president and CEO Beth Ford joined Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart on May 27 to discuss the challenges in farming, food production and distribution during the coronavirus pandemic.
Washington Post national political reporter Robert Costa interviewed Larry Kudlow, White House chief economic adviser and director of the National Economic Council, followed by a one-on-one interview with Washington Post columnist David Ignatius and Ray Dalio, co-chief investment officer and co-chairman of Bridgewater Associates. As COVID-19 continues to grip the U.S. and the globe, Kudlow and Dalio discussed the roadmap to recovery, how long it will take, and the policies needed to drive the turnaround and will also give their assessments on economic recovery efforts and the leading drivers to accelerate global prosperity.
The dramatic spread of COVID-19 has upended the hospitality industry. How is it adapting to recover destinations and livelihoods in the midst of this unprecedented crisis?Hilton president and CEO Chris Nassetta joined Washington Post Live to discuss the coronavirus and its impact on the travel and tourism industry.
Frederick W. Smith, chairman and CEO of FedEx, joined Washington Post Live to discuss business, the economy and the coronavirus pandemic.
Washington Post Live hosted Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo and Mozilla CEO Mitchell Baker on Wednesday, May 13 for back-to-back interviews at 11:00 a.m. ET.
The U.S. economy has been thrown into a tailspin by the coronavirus. That volatility was evident in the stock market in March, when Nasdaq Composite lost over 10 percent before a comeback in April. Adena Friedman, president and CEO of Nasdaq, joined The Washington Post Live on Thursday, May 7 at 1:15 p.m. for a one-on-one conversation with The Post’s Jonathan Capehart. We heard an assessment about where the markets are headed and the path forward for the U.S. economy.
Jane Rosenthal, film producer and Tribeca Enterprises CEO, joined Washington Post Live to kick off The Path Forward, a new series featuring live interviews with industry leaders charting a course through the coronavirus pandemic and beyond.