Sept. 1-30

A virtual experience



The Texas Tribune Festival is one of the nation’s largest, most buzzworthy annual gatherings.

This year, we’re taking our conference virtual — and creating a month of programming just for you. With more than 200 speakers and 100 engaging conversations, you won’t want to miss this event.

Join us in September for 30 days of compelling sessions and insightful conversations — available live and on-demand — on how the coronavirus has affected the election cycle, the legislative session, education, health care and the economy — not to mention immigration, energy, criminal justice and (lest we forget) redistricting.

Together, we’ll unpack some of the most pressing questions brought to light by the events of this year: How will the way we live and work be different — for a while, or forever? What does the future hold for the next generation of citizens and leaders? Most critically: What are we learning from this?

We can’t wait to “see” you there.

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2020 Speaker Highlights

These are just some of the incredible speakers who will be joining us for our virtual festival this September.


  • Art Acevedo, Chief of the Houston Police Department
  • Steve Adler, Mayor of Austin
  • Tim Alberta, Chief Political Correspondent for Politico
  • Elsa Alcala, Policy Director for Texas Defender Service
  • Yamiche Alcindor, White House Correspondent for PBS NewsHour
  • Charlotte Alter, National Correspondent for TIME
  • Jonathan Alter, Author & Columnist for the Daily Beast and MSNBC Analyst
  • Kimberly Atkins, Opinion Writer at the Boston Globe
  • Nicole Austin-Hillery, Executive Director of U.S. Programs at Human Rights Watch
  • State Sen. Carol Alvarado, D-Houston
  • Peter Baker, Chief White House Correspondent for The New York Times
  • Emily Bazelon, Co-Host of Slate's “Gabfest” and Staff Writer for The New York Times Magazine
  • Paul Begala, Commentator for CNN and Democratic Political Strategist
  • State Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston
  • Margaret Brennan, Moderator of "Face the Nation" and Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent for CBS News
  • Keri Blakinger, Reporter at The Marshall Project
  • Robert Bullard, Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy at Texas Southern University
  • Colette Pierce Burnette, President of Huston-Tillotson University
  • State Rep. Dustin Burrows, R-Lubbock
  • Jeb Bush, Former Governor of Florida
  • Chasten Buttigieg, Author and Teacher
  • State Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels
  • Jonathan Capehart, Opinion Columnist and Editorial Board Member at The Washington Post
  • U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio
  • Julián Castro, Former U.S. Secretary of Housing & Urban Development
  • Hillary Rodham Clinton, Former U.S. Secretary of State
  • Gary Cohn, Former Director of the National Economic Council
  • State Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston
  • Pamela Colloff, Senior Reporter at ProPublica and Staff Writer at the New York Times Magazine
  • George Conway, Co-Founder of The Lincoln Project and Founding Member of Checks and Balances
  • Robert Costa, National Political Reporter for The Washington Post
  • Ana Marie Cox, Host of Crooked Media's "With Friends Like These" Podcast
  • U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Houston
  • U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas
  • Alphonso David, President of the Human Rights Campaign
  • State Rep. Sarah Davis, R-West University Place
  • Wendy Davis, Democratic Candidate for Texas' 21st Congressional District
  • John Dickerson, Correspondent for 60 Minutes and Co-Host of Slate's Gabfest
  • Arne Duncan, Former U.S. Secretary of Education
  • U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-El Paso
  • Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
  • U.S. Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston
  • Alicia Garza, Co-Founder of Supermajority and Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter
  • Antonio Garza, Former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico
  • José Garza, Democratic Candidate for Travis County District Attorney
  • Robert Gates, Former U.S. Secretary of Defense
  • Susan Glasser, Staff Writer at The New Yorker
  • LaTonya Goffney, Superintendent of the Aldine Independent School District
  • State Rep. Mary González, D-Clint
  • Erica Green, Washington Correspondent for The New York Times
  • Vanita Gupta, President & CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
  • Maggie Haberman, White House Correspondent for The New York Times
  • Errin Haines, Editor-at-Large for The 19th
  • Nikole Hannah-Jones, Pulitzer Prize-winning Staff Writer at The New York Times Magazine
  • Jay Hartzell, Interim President of the University of Texas at Austin
  • Katharine Hayhoe, Atmospheric Scientist and Director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University
  • Glenn Hegar, Texas Comptroller
  • MJ Hegar, Democratic Candidate for U.S. Senate in Texas
  • Lina Hidalgo, Harris County Judge
  • Maria Hinojosa, Anchor & Executive Producer of Latino USA and Founder, President & CEO of Futuro Media
  • Larry Hogan, Governor of Maryland
  • Eric Holder, Former U.S. Attorney General
  • Peter Hotez, Dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and Co-Director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children's Hospital
  • State Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin
  • State Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Houston, Chair of the House Public Education Committee
  • Laura Huffman, President & CEO of the Austin Chamber of Commerce
  • Kay Bailey Hutchison, U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO
  • State Rep. Celia Israel, D-Austin
  • Ronny Jackson, Republican Candidate for Texas' 13th Congressional District
  • Clay Jenkins, Dallas County Judge
  • Alexis McGill Johnson, President & CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund
  • Eric Johnson, Mayor of Dallas
  • Gina Ortiz Jones, Democratic Candidate for Texas' 23rd Congressional District
  • Jeh Johnson, Former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security
  • Mondaire Jones, Democratic Candidate for New York's 17th Congressional District
  • Peniel Joseph, Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin
  • Robert Kaplan, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
  • Harrison Keller, Texas Higher Education Commissioner
  • Sal Khan, Founder & CEO of Khan Academy
  • Renu Khator, Chancellor of the University of Houston System and President of the University of Houston
  • Sri Kulkarni, Democratic Candidate for Texas' 22nd Congressional District
  • Wesley Lowery, Correspondent for 60 Minutes’ “60 in 6”
  • Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author and Historian
  • J.B. Milliken, Chancellor of the University of Texas System
  • Mike Morath, Texas Education Commissioner
  • Amna Nawaz, National Correspondent & Substitute Anchor for PBS NewsHour
  • Willie Nelson, Musician
  • Beto O'Rourke, Former U.S. Rep., D-El Paso
  • Jennifer Palmieri, Former Director of White House Communications for President Barack Obama
  • Annise Parker, President & CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund & Institute
  • Ashley Parker, White House Reporter for The Washington Post
  • Devereaux Peters, Two-Time WNBA Champion and Founding Member of the Everytown Athletic Council
  • Samantha Power, Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
  • Varshini Prakash, Co-Founder & Executive Director of Sunrise Movement
  • Betsy Price, Mayor of Fort Worth
  • State Rep. Four Price, R-Amarillo
  • Emily Ramshaw, CEO & Co-Founder of The 19th
  • Dan Rather, Legendary Journalist and Founder of News & Guts
  • Josie Duffy Rice, President of The Appeal and Host of the "Justice in America" Podcast
  • Cecile Richards, Co-Founder of Supermajority
  • Mimi Rocah, Democratic Candidate for District Attorney in Westchester County, New York and Former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York
  • Avik Roy, Co-Founder & President of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity
  • U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Austin
  • U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida
  • Steve Schmidt, Co-Founder of The Lincoln Project and National Political Strategist
  • John Sharp, Chancellor of the Texas A&M University System
  • Michael Sorrell, President of Paul Quinn College
  • Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, Assistant Dean of Civic Engagement & External Affairs at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin
  • Margaret Spellings, Former U.S. Secretary of Education
  • Gloria Steinem, Writer, Lecturer, Political Activist and Feminist Organizer
  • Kara Swisher, Contributing Opinion Writer at the New York Times and Editor-at-Large at Recode
  • Jake Tapper, Anchor of CNN's The Lead and State of the Union
  • State Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, Chair of the Senate Education Committee
  • State Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston
  • Michael Tubbs, Mayor of Stockton, California
  • Karen Tumulty, Columnist for The Washington Post
  • Sylvester Turner, Mayor of Houston
  • Candace Valenzuela, Democratic Candidate for Texas' 24th Congressional District
  • Beth Van Duyne, Republican Candidate for Texas' 24th Congressional District
  • Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation
  • Allen West, Chair of the Texas Republican Party
  • Rick Wilson, Co-Founder of The Lincoln Project and Republican Media Strategist
  • Lawrence Wright, Author and Staff Writer at The New Yorker
  • Andrew Yang, Former 2020 Democratic Candidate for U.S. President
  • Andrew Young, Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations under President Jimmy Carter
  • and more!