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CityLab Global Cities Summit Unveils Speaker Lineup for March 1-3, 2021

Initial Roster of speakers include: U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg; COVID Response Task Force Chief Scientific Advisor Dr. David Kessler; 21st Surgeon General Nominee Dr. Vivek Murthy; Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser; President & CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Dr. Mary C. Daly; PBS Newshour Anchor & Managing Editor Judy Woodruff; General Catalyst Chairman & Managing Director Kenneth I. Chenault; Dean Emeritus & Professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Dr. Alfred Sommer; Author Ibram X Kendi; and National Domestic Workers Alliance Executive Director Ai-jen Poo

NEW YORK, NY – CityLab, the leading global summit organized by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Aspen Institute, announced its initial roster of speakers for this year’s event, taking place virtually March 1-3. CityLab is dedicated to exploring the most urgent issues faced by cities around the world and bringing together mayors, local leaders, and world-renowned experts to share innovative and scalable solutions to move communities forward. This year’s summit returns with a series of critical conversations about how cities have been transformed by the global pandemic and calls for social justice, and the most promising trends and new solutions to emerge during the past year.

Keynote speakers for CityLab include Michael R. Bloomberg, 108th mayor of New York City and founder of Bloomberg L.P. and Bloomberg Philanthropies and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.

Press registration for CityLab is now open: Click here to fill out the registration form and please contact Dan Bank with any additional questions.

As cities face the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, they must begin to rebuild and restore local economies, address social injustice and inequity, advance climate goals, and deliver vital services to residents in new and better ways. With carefully curated content, CityLab 2021 will provide ambitious city leaders with the latest expert thinking, first-hand lessons from their peers, and tested innovative solutions to tackle these challenges head-on. While CityLab events typically consist of three jam-packed days of in-person scheduling, this year’s virtual event will take place at interludes over a three-day period, with specific moments designed for various city innovation audiences. Two afternoons of must-see city debate and plenary will take place on Monday and Tuesday, March 1 and 2 from 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM ET. Additional details may be found here.

A one-on-one interview with Dr. David Kessler, Chief Scientific Advisor of the Biden Administration’s COVID response team, and PBS Newshour anchor Judy Woodruff will follow, addressing the logistics of vaccine distribution and how the federal government is coordinating with local and state entities.

Programming over the three days will also include Muriel Bowser, the Mayor of Washington, D.C., sitting down for an interview with Tiffany Cross of MSNBC to explore whether her city should become the 51st state; Dr. Vivek Murthy, who has been nominated to serve as U.S. Surgeon General, headlines a panel to explore how rebuilding trust in America’s institutions could accelerate local recoveries; and Ibram X Kendi, author of How to be an Anti-Racist, will spark a conversation with Mayor Chokwe Lumumba of Jackson, MS, and Urban American City Founder Toni Griffin on how to build more just cities.

Appearing in a mayors-only session focused on innovation is Mariana Mazzucato, Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London, Founding Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, and author of Mission Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism.

The four city co-hosts from four continents, Mayors London Breed of San Francisco, Claudia Lopez of Bogota, Yvonne Aki- Sawyerr of Freetown, and Jan Vapaavuori of Helsinki, will also address the gathering of leaders. They will share their experiences responding to the pandemic and the innovative solutions their cities have generated to inspire and provoke discussion among attendees throughout the summit.

Additional speakers and presenters include:

  • Sir David Adjaye, Principal, Adjaye Associates
  • Aziza Akhmouch, Head of Division, Cities, Urban Policies & Sustainable Development, OECD
  • Mayor Ras Baraka, Mayor of Newark, New Jersey
  • Mia Birdsong, Senior Fellow, Economic Security Project
  • Jennifer Bradley, Director, Center for Urban Innovation, The Aspen Institute
  • Tamika Butler, Principal & Founder, Tamika L. Butler Consulting
  • Kenneth I. Chenault, Chairman & Managing Director, General Catalyst; Board Member, Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Chef Dominique Crenn, Atelier Crenn
  • Mary C. Daly, President & CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
  • John Feinblatt, President, Everytown for Gun Safety
  • Kamilah Forbes, Executive Producer, Apollo Theater
  • Lourdes German, Director & Professor, Boston College, The Civic Innovation Project
  • Toni Griffin, Founder, Urban American City
  • Rosanne Haggerty, President, Community Solutions, Inc.
  • Dan Hill, Director of Strategic Design, Vinnova
  • Russell Jackson, Chef & Owner, Reverence Restaurant NYC
  • Ruth Katz, Executive Director, Health, Medicine, & Society Program, The Aspen Institute
  • Chris Krebs, Newmark Cyber Fellow, The Aspen Institute
  • Corby Kummer, Executive Director, Food & Society Program, The Aspen Institute
  • Kimberlyn Leary, Senior Vice President, Urban Institute
  • Mayor Quinton Lucas, Kansas City, Missouri Mayor
  • C. Nicole Mason, President & CEO, Institute for Women’s Policy Research
  • Sir Geoff Mulgan, Professor, University College London
  • Feargus O’Sullivan, Contributing Writer, CityLab
  • Jay Pitter, Principal Placemaker and Researcher, Jay Pitter Placemaking
  • Ai-jen Poo, Executive Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance
  • Anne Price, President, Insight Center for Community Economic Development
  • Carlo Ratti, Founder, CRA – Carlo Ratti Associates
  • Mayor Brandon Scott, Baltimore, Maryland Mayor
  • Alfred Sommer, Dean Emeritus & Professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Member, National Academy of Science and the Institute of Medicine; Board Member, Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Hank Willis Thomas, Artist, Hank Willis Thomas Studio
  • John Vu, Vice President, Kaiser Permanente
  • Mayor Alan Webber, Santa Fe, New Mexico Mayor
  • Leana Wen, Visiting Professor of Health Policy & Management, George Washington University
  • Robert Yates, Executive Director, Center for Universal Health, Chatham House

CityLab was founded on the principle that the most important innovation is happening at the local level and that global impact can be achieved when cities share solutions. In December 2019, Bloomberg Media acquired CityLab, an award-winning news site for solutions-based journalism on urban innovation and the future of cities, and the CityLab summit from The Atlantic.

Past CityLab summits have been hosted in New York, Los Angeles, London, Miami, Paris, Detroit, and Washington, D.C. More information on CityLab and to access the event Livestream, can be found here.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 810 cities and 170 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation, corporate, and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2020, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $1.6 billion. For more information, please visit or follow us on FacebookInstagramYouTubeTwitter, and TikTok.

About Aspen Institute
The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit