The 2020 Champlain Institute
November 3 — What’s at Stake?

Monday, July 27-Friday, July 31, 2020 

The Champlain Institute is a week-long ideas festival which hosts leaders from around the country and the world to share their expertise on pressing issues of our time. The focus of the 2020 Institute will be November 3 — What’s at Stake? During the week, we will explore the future of US diplomacy, climate change policy, income inequality, national security, the Second Amendment, the Supreme Court, and other issues that will be critical national topics leading up to the presidential elections next November.

We will announce the initial lineup of speakers in early 2020. Please check this page for more details as they are announced. The Champlain Institute is free and open to the public, but registration is required and will open in May. 

We look forward to you joining in the conversation this summer. 

Bryn Mooser, Susan Sarandon, Darron Collins

2020 Speakers

Abdi Nor Iftin

Abdi Nor Iftin

Abdi Nor Iftin is an author, radio journalist, refugee advocate, and interpreter. In his memoir, Call Me American, Iftin recounts his harrowing, extraordinary, and uplifting journey from Somalia, talking about immigration, being a refugee, and his new life in America. His story was chronicled on “This American Life” in this episode: “Abdi and the Golden Ticket.” .
Abdi travels and speaks throughout the U.S. to champion the cause of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). Abdi became an American citizen this year, U.S senator Angus King attended his naturalization ceremony on January 17th. Abdi says he’s liberated now that he is an American citizen. He has a voice in this country; he is finally able to vote for the first time.


Frances Fitzgerald, author of “The Evangelicals”, photographed at her home in New York City o...Frances FitzGerald

Frances FitzGerald is a journalist and author. She has written six books and contributed to The New Yorker, the New York Review of Books, Harper’s, The Atlantic, The New York Times magazine, Esquire, Architectural Digest and other publications. Her first book, “Fire in the Lake: the Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam” (Little, Brown and Company, 1972) received the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the Bancroft Prize for history. FitzGerald graduated magna cum laude from Radcliffe College in 1962 with a B.A. in Middle Eastern History. FitzGerald serves on the boards of directors of the Alicia Patterson Foundation, The Nation and the Citizens Committee for New York City. She was president of the PEN American Center and The Society of American Historians and served on the board of the Rockefeller Foundation and the Harvard Board of Overseers. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. FitzGerald is married to the journalist and author, Jim Sterba, and lives in New York City.

Ted Widmer

Ted Widmer

Ted Widmer is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs. Widmer served as a speechwriter and senior advisor to former President Bill Clinton from 1997 to 2001, and as a senior advisor to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from 2012 to 2013. He was formerly the director of The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress and the director of the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University. 
His books include Martin Van Buren (2005); Campaigns: A Century of Presidential Races (with Alan Brinkley, 2001); and Young America: The Flowering of Democracy in New York City (1999). Widmer is a frequent contributor to The New York Times, The New York Observer, Politico, The Boston Globe, and The American Scholar.



Roxana Robinson by Beowulf Sheehan

Roxana Robinson

Roxana Robinson is the author of ten books - six novels, three collections of short stories, and the biography of Georgia O’Keeffe. Four of these were chosen as New York Times Notable Books, two as New York Times Editors’ Choices.
Her fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s, Best American Short Stories, Tin House and elsewhere. Her work has been widely anthologized and broadcast on NPR. Her books have been published in England, France, Germany, Holland and Spain. Robinson is a scholar of American paintings and an environmentalist, and her essays, criticism and Op-Eds have appeared in The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer,The Washington Post, Bookforum, The Nation and elsewhere.
She is the recipient of many awards, the most recent the Barnes & Noble “Writers for Writers” Award, from Poets & Writers.

2019 Champlain Institute
Art: Dissent and Diplomacy 

Thank you to all of our guests and speakers who helped make the 2019 Champlain Institute a great success! To view archived talks, please visit our YouTube channel     

2019 Champlain Institute Speakers and Schedule     


2019 Selected Readings

2018 Champlain Institute
International Affairs

All 2018 Champlain Institute sessions were recorded and can be found in the Videos section of COA’s Facebook profile.

2018 Champlain Institute Speakers and Schedule
2018 Selected Readings