Former Aspen Institute CEO, author and journalist Walter Isaacson to headline Imagine 2019

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isaacson_350Lipscomb University officials announced today that former Aspen Institute CEO, author and journalist, Walter Isaacson, will be the featured guest at Imagine 2019 on April 15.

Through Imagine 2019 the Lipscomb community will examine the theme of leadership in innovation at the event.

“Innovation in communities and in business is critical to their viability, success and growth,” said John Lowry, senior vice president for advancement. “Innovative leaders have the ability to look at problems differently and develop solutions that others cannot. They have the vision to continually seek new and different ways to do business, to solve challenges and to create new ways of doing things. They are very valuable to their organizations. Nashville is a thriving city with that is on the leading edge and will be a stronger community with leaders who find creative and innovative ways to impact this community.”

Isaacson is the past CEO of the Aspen Institute, where he is now a distinguished fellow, and has been the chairman of CNN and the editor of TIME magazine. Isaacson is also a renowned biographer and current professor of history at Tulane University. His most recent biography, Leonardo da Vinci (2017), offers new discoveries about Leonardo’s life and work, weaving a narrative that connects his art to his science. He is also the author of The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution(2014), Steve Jobs (2011), Einstein: His Life and Universe (2007), Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (2003), and Kissinger: A Biography (1992). He is a host of the show “Amanpour and Company” on PBS and CNN, a contributor to CNBC, and host of the podcast “Trailblazers, from Dell Technologies.”

Isaacson is a graduate of Harvard University and of Pembroke College of Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He began his career at The Sunday Times of London and then the New Orleans Times-Picayune. He joined TIME in 1978 and served as a political correspondent, national editor and editor of digital media before becoming the magazine’s 14th editor in 1996. He became chairman and CEO of CNN in 2001, and then president and CEO of the Aspen Institute in 2003.

He is chair emeritus of Teach for America. From 2005-2007 he was the vice chair of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, which oversaw the rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. He was appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as the chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which runs Voice of America, Radio Free Europe and other international broadcasts of the United States, a position he held from 2009 to 2012.He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society of the Arts, and the American Philosophical Society. He serves on the board of United Airlines, the New Orleans City Planning Commission, the New Orleans Tricentennial Commission, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Society of American Historians, the U.S. Defense Department Innovation Board, the Carnegie Institution for Science and My Brother’s Keeper Alliance.

Lowry said the planning team searched nationally for a speaker whose story reflected the key areas to be examined in 2019. In 2016, Lipscomb launched its Imagine initiative to convene conversations of significance that bring leaders from around the world to Nashville to engage the community in topics of local and global importance and to share their stories and unique perspectives. President George W. Bush was the featured guest in February 2016 for the inaugural Imagine convening. Magic and Cookie Johnson led a discussion of “Nashville” Prosperity for All Corners of the City” in 2017 through which the Lipscomb community will begin to examine the ideas of faith, redemption, entrepreneurship and community transformation. In 2018 author and journalist Tom Brokaw examined the power of telling Nashville’s story.

Imagine 2019 is a by-invitation-only event for Lipscomb Associates, donors of $1,000 or more annually.

Want to know more? To become an associate visit or contact Debbie Haislip at or 615.966.6220.