Clint Watts

Clint Watts is a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and Non-Resident Fellow at the Alliance for Securing Democracy. He is also a national security contributor for NBC News and MSNBC. He recently examined the rise of social media influence by publishing his first book entitled Messing With The Enemy: Surviving in a Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians and Fake News.

His research and writing focuses on terrorism, counterterrorism, social media influence and Russian disinformation. Clint’s tracking of terrorist foreign fighters allowed him to predict the rise of the Islamic State over al Qaeda in 2014. From 2014 – 2016, Clint worked with a team to track and model the rise of Russian influence operations via social media leading up to the U.S. Presidential election of 2016. This research led Clint to testify before four different Senate committees in 2017 and 2018 regarding Russia’s information warfare campaign against the U.S. and the West.

Clint’s writing has appeared in a range of publications to include the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Daily Beast, Politico, Lawfare, War On The Rocks and the Huffington Post.

Before becoming a consultant, Clint served as a U.S. Army infantry officer, a FBI Special Agent, as the Executive Officer of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point (CTC), as a consultant to the FBI’s Counter Terrorism Division (CTD) and National Security Branch (NSB), and as an analyst supporting the U.S. Intelligence Community and U.S. Special Operations Command.

Trish Tillman

Trish Tillman has 30 years of experience as a theater arts teacher, actor, director and improviser.

In addition to five years as the director of the Artistic Learning Department at California Shakespeare Theater, she has led highly successful and engaging sessions in board retreats and inter-departmental planning meetings on how to effectively communicate the mission and passion of a company.

A graduate of Northwestern University in Performance Studies, Trish studied the psychological and cultural aspects of performance in society. She later studied in New York with the renowned film director Mike Nichols and the founder of Chicago’s famous Second City, Paul Sills in earning a Masters in Dramatic Performance and Teaching Theater from Antioch University/New Actors Workshop. Trish’s experience with a variety of personalities and abilities is based on years of coaching communication skills with classroom teachers, MFA students, elder care workers, senior citizens and disabled young adults. She ignites a performer’s abilities and confidence by finding the riches in complex texts and linking them to moments of spontaneous, personal discovery.

At the 2019 Student Ideas Festival, she performed, along with 20 students, Romeo and Juliet in 30 seconds in front of over 1,100 public school students and received a standing ovation.

Jeremi Suri

Jeremi Suri holds the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a professor in the University's Department of History and the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. Professor Suri is the author and editor of ten books on contemporary politics and foreign policy. His most recent book, The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America’s Highest Office, was widely reviewed across the United States. He is completing a new book: Roots of Division: The Struggle for Democracy after the Civil War and its Legacies Today.

Professor Suri's research and teaching have received numerous prizes. In 2007 Smithsonian Magazine named him one of America's "Top Young Innovators" in the Arts and Sciences. In 2018 he received the President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Award from the University of Texas, and the Pro Bene Meritis Award for Contributions to the Liberal Arts. His writings appear widely in blogs and print media (including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Houston Chronicle, Atlantic, Wired, New Republic, Foreign Policy, and others.)

Professor Suri is also a frequent public lecturer and guest on radio and television programs. He hosts a weekly podcast, “This is Democracy,” available through his professional webpage: Professor Suri is a frequent visitor to the Pebble Beach Authors and Ideas Festival, where he loves meeting attendees and sharing in the fun!

Deepak Srivastava

Deepak Srivastava, M.D., is President of the Gladstone Institutes, an independent nonprofit life science research institute with a mission of driving a new era of discovery in disease-oriented science. Dr. Srivastava directs the Roddenberry Stem Cell Center at Gladstone, and is a Professor of Pediatrics and Biochemistry & Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center.

Dr. Srivastava received his B.S. from Rice University, M.D. from University of Texas, trained in pediatrics at UCSF, and in pediatric cardiology at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Srivastava’s laboratory discovered the genetic basis for several human cardiac birth defects and revealed complex gene networks that regulate stem cells to adopt a cardiac cell fate and subsequently fashion a functioning heart. He has leveraged this knowledge to convert scar-forming cells in the heart directly into muscle-like cells to regenerate damaged hearts.  He has co-founded two biotech companies to take such discoveries to clinical trials, and is the immediate past-president of the International Society for Stem Cell Research. Dr. Srivastava is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine.

Michael & Jessica Shinn

Pianists Jessica Chow Shinn and Michael Shinn are the co-founders and co-Artistic Directors of the pianoSonoma Music Festival, a non-profit classical music organization that bridges the gap between traditional concert performer and audience member. At pianoSonoma, musicians of all backgrounds—world-class Artists in Residence on the cusp of international careers and non-professional performers of varying skill levels—collaborate in chamber music rehearsals, concerts, and performance classes. The goal of these collaborations is to bring lasting creative joy to all of its participants. Passionate advocates of new music, Jessica and Michael have given world premieres by composers such as Adam Schoenberg and Thomas Cabaniss. They commissioned the latter to write a major two piano concerto, Double Rainbow, with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra that will be the centerpiece of a forthcoming album featuring music Cabaniss has written for the duo.

Michael is dean of music at Boston Conservatory at Berklee, where he oversees the Music Division faculty and students, directs artistic planning and strategizing for the division, and works closely with colleagues in leading curricular innovation. Jessica is head of collaborative piano at Boston Conservatory at Berklee. They are both Yamaha Artists.


Lisa Rowland

Lisa Rowland has been improvising for more than 20 years.  A graduate of Stanford University, she has now returned to her alma mater and is a lecturer in Stanford’s Theatre and Performance Studies Department, teaching beginning and intermediate improvisation as well as storytelling and communication to the Knight-Hennessey Scholars.

Lisa is the Artistic Director of BATS Improv, Northern California's most renowned improvisational theatre center, and is a co-founding member of both Improv Playhouse of San Francisco and Awkward Dinner Party.  She also co-hosts the podcast Monster Baby, which explores the intersection of Mindfulness and Improvisation.

Lisa believes that if more people played by the rules of improvisation, the world would be a better place.

More info:

John Rives

(John) Rives is a Def Jam poet, mainstage TED speaker and pop-up book designer.

Since 2008, he has curated the online Museum of Four in the Morning (, @mofitm).

Rives enjoys houseplants, whistling and rooftops. He would very much like to talk with you.

Peter Ricchiuti

Peter Ricchiuti (Ri-Chooty) is the business professor you wish you had back in college. In his 35 years of teaching at Tulane University he has received a professorship, numerous teaching awards and lots of other accolades.

Peter is also the host of “Out To Lunch”, a weekly business show airing on NPR in New Orleans.

Mark W. Moffett

For the last six years, Dr. Mark W. Moffett, as a research associate in entomology at the Smithsonian Institution and visiting scholar in anthropology at Harvard, has been building a synthesis on how societies stay together and fall apart, across species and in humans right up to the present day.

His most recent book brings together biology with modern psychology and anthropology with surprising insights. The Human Swarm: How Societies Arise, Thrive & Fall has been called “a magisterial work of monumental importance” by Scientific American columnist Michael Shermer, while Kevin Kelly, founder of Wired magazine, tells us to “read this manifesto if you like to have your mind changed.”

One of only a handful of people to earn a PhD under the world’s most respected ecologist, Edward O. Wilson, Moffett is a modern-day explorer with more than a little luck on his side, having accident­ally sat on the world’s deadliest snake, battled drug lords with dart guns, and scrambled up a tree to escape bull elephants. In addition to his research he has had written many articles and had hundreds of images in National Geographic.

Peter C. Mancall

Peter C. Mancall is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities and professor of history and anthropology at USC.


He is currently writing a book called “American Origins,” which will be volume one of the Oxford History of the United States.  In the 2019-2020 academic year, he was the Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford University.

His work has appeared in Time, the Wall Street Journal, and American Heritage and been featured on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and NPR’s “All Things Considered.”