Steven Spielberg

Celebrated American film director,
producer and screenwriter

Steven Spielberg is one of the world’s most successful and influential filmmakers. He is currently chairman of Amblin Partners, a corporate descendent of DreamWorks, SKG, which he co-founded in 1994. Among a host of career accolades, he is a three-time Academy Award® winner, a Kennedy Center Honoree, a recipient of the Irving G. Thalberg Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015 from President Barack Obama.

Spielberg is the top-grossing director of all time, having helmed such blockbusters as “Jaws,” “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” the “Indiana Jones” franchise and “Jurassic Park.” He took home his first two Oscars® – Best Director and Best Picture – for the internationally lauded “Schindler’s List,” which received a total of seven Oscars®. The film was also named the Best Picture of 1993 by many of the major critics’ organizations, in addition to winning seven BAFTA Awards and three Golden Globe® Awards, both including Best Picture and Director. Spielberg also won the Directors Guild of America (DGA) Award for his work on the film.

Spielberg won his third Academy Award® – Best Director – for the World War II drama “Saving Private Ryan,” which was the highest-grossing release (domestically) of 1998. It was also one of the year’s most honored films, earning four additional Oscars®, as well as two Golden Globe® Awards, for Best Picture – Drama and Best Director, and numerous critics’ groups awards in the same categories. Spielberg also won another DGA Award and shared a Producers Guild of America (PGA) Award with the film’s other producers. That same year, the PGA also presented Spielberg with the prestigious Milestone Award for his historic contribution to the motion picture industry.

He has also earned Academy Award® nominations for Best Director for “The Fabelmans,” “West Side Story,” “Lincoln,” “Munich,” “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” Additionally, he earned DGA Award nominations for those films, as well as “Amistad,” “Empire of the Sun,” “The Color Purple” and “Jaws.” With 13 to date, Spielberg has been honored by his peers with more DGA Award nominations than any other director. In 2000, he received the DGA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He is also the recipient of the Irving G. Thalberg Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Hollywood Foreign Press’s Cecil B. DeMille Award, the Kennedy Center Honor and numerous other career tributes.

In 2012, Spielberg directed “Lincoln,” based in part on author Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals. The film garnered 12 Academy Award® nominations, winning two Oscars®, for Best Actor for Daniel Day-Lewis’s portrayal of the iconic 16th President and for Best Production Design.

Spielberg’s 2015 dramatic thriller “Bridge of Spies,” starring Tom Hanks, received six Academy Award® nominations including Best Picture, with Mark Rylance winning the Oscar® for Best Supporting Actor. That same year, he was also an executive producer on “Jurassic World,” which earned over $1.6 billion worldwide. Directed by Colin Trevorrow and starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, it was the fourth film in the “Jurassic” series. A follow-up to the blockbuster, directed by J.A. Bayona, was released in 2018, with a sixth film, “Jurassic World Dominion,” released in 2022.

Spielberg directed and produced the 2017 drama “The Post,” starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. The film earned two Academy Award® nominations, one for Best Picture, as well as Meryl Streep’s 21st nod for Best Actress. He also directed the 2018 film “Ready Player One,” based the science fiction novel by Ernest Cline, which became an instant blockbuster and would go on to earn over $580m worldwide.

His 2021 film “West Side Story” – a reimagining of the classic Broadway show from Jerome Robbins, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents, earned seven Academy Award® nominations, including Best Picture, and won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar® for Ariana DeBose.

In 2022, Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans” debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it won the coveted People’s Choice audience award. The film, a deeply personal portrait of a 20th century American childhood, and a cinematic memory of the forces, and family, that shaped the filmmaker’s life and career, would go on to win the Golden Globe awards for Best Director and Best Picture, Drama. “The Fabelmans” was nominated by the Producers Guild of America, the Directors Guild of America, the Screen Actors Guild of America for Best Ensemble and by the Writers Guild of America for Spielberg’s original screenplay with Tony Kushner. In early 2023, “The Fablemans” received seven Academy Awards®, including for Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actress and Best Picture.

Spielberg’s career began with the 1968 short film, “Amblin,” which led to him becoming the youngest director ever signed to a long-term studio deal. He directed episodes of such TV shows as “Night Gallery,” “Marcus Welby, M.D.,” and “Columbo,” and gained special attention for his 1971 telefilm, “Duel.” Three years later, he made his feature film directorial debut on “The Sugarland Express,” from a screenplay he co-wrote. His next film was “Jaws,” which was the first film to break the $100 million mark at the box office.

In 1984, Spielberg formed his own production company, Amblin Entertainment. Under the Amblin Entertainment banner, he served as producer or executive producer on such hits as “Gremlins,” “Goonies,” the “Back to the Future” trilogy, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?,” “An American Tail,” “Twister,” “The Mask of Zorro” and the “Men in Black” films.

Ten years later, Spielberg partnered with Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen to form the original DreamWorks Studios. The studio enjoyed both critical and commercial successes, including three consecutive Best Picture Academy Award® winners: “American Beauty,” “Gladiator” and “A Beautiful Mind.” In its history, DreamWorks also produced or co-produced a wide range of features, including the “Transformers” blockbusters; Clint Eastwood’s World War II dramas “Flags of Our Fathers” and “Letters from Iwo Jima,” the latter earning a Best Picture Oscar® nomination; “Meet the Parents” and “Meet the Fockers” and “The Ring,” to name only a few. Under the DreamWorks banner, Spielberg also directed such films as “War of the Worlds,” “Minority Report,” “Catch Me If You Can” and “A.I. Artificial Intelligence.”

Spielberg founded Amblin Partners in 2015 with investment partners Reliance Entertainment, Entertainment One, Alibaba Pictures, Participant Media and Universal Pictures. The company’s recent theatrical releases include 1917, which won three Academy Awards® and grossed $385m at the global box office, and Green Book, which won three Academy Awards®, including Best Picture, and grossed more than $320m worldwide.

Spielberg has not limited his success to the big screen. He was an executive producer on the long-running Emmy-winning NBC TV drama “E.R.” On the heels of their experience on “Saving Private Ryan,” he and Tom Hanks teamed to executive produce the 2001 HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers,” based on Stephen Ambrose’s book about a U.S. Army unit in Europe in World War II. Among its many awards, the project won both Emmy® and Golden Globe® Awards for Outstanding Miniseries. He and Hanks then reunited to executive produce the acclaimed 2010 HBO miniseries “The Pacific,” this time focusing on the Marines in WWII’s Pacific theatre. “The Pacific” won eight Emmy® Awards, including Outstanding Miniseries. A third series, “Masters of the Air,” is currently in post-production for Apple TV+.

Among the shows Spielberg also executive produced were the Emmy®-winning Syfy Channel miniseries “Taken,” the TNT miniseries “Into the West,” the Showtime series “The United States of Tara,” NBC’s “Smash,” TNT’s “Falling Skies,” as well as CBS’ “Under the Dome” and “Extant.” He was also an executive producer on the HBO Films’ movie “All the Way,” starring Emmy® winner Bryan Cranston, and the Netflix docuseries “Five Came Back.” Amblin Television was a producer of FX’s “The Americans,” which earned four Emmy® wins, including two wins for Margo Martindale for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series. The series also won Peabody Awards in 2015 and 2019, and was a perennial recipient of the AFI Award for TV Program of the Year.

Spielberg also executive produced the 2021 film “Oslo” for HBO, which received two Emmy® nominations, including Outstanding Television Movie, for its recounting of the previously secret true story of the back-channel negotiations in the development of the pivotal Oslo Peace Accords between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

Spielberg has devoted much of his time and resources to many philanthropic causes. He formed The Righteous Persons Foundation by using all his profits from the release of Schindler’s List, and soon thereafter founded the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, which in 2006 became the USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education. The Institute has recorded more than 55,000 video testimonies with survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides, and is dedicated to making the testimonies a compelling voice for education and action.

In 2021, Spielberg and Kate Capshaw formally launched The Hearthland Foundation, a philanthropic fund to help build a more just, equitable, and connected America. Inspired by the words of the poet Langston Hughes, “O, let America be America again—The land that never has been yet—And yet must be,” Hearthland is founded on the belief that creating a better shared future for our country calls for relationships that cross divides and the moral imagination for what is possible. To that end, the foundation has three overlapping areas of focus: building a shared democracy; telling an honest and generative narrative about this country; and fostering a culture of accompaniment.

David Rubenstein

Business leader and philanthropist
Co-Founder and Co-Chairman, Carlyle Group

David M. Rubenstein is Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest and most successful private investment firms. Established in 1987, Carlyle now manages $426 billion from 28 offices around the world.

Mr. Rubenstein is Chairman of the Boards of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Gallery of Art, the Economic Club of Washington, and the University of Chicago; a Trustee of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins Medicine, the Institute for Advanced Study, the National Constitution Center, the Brookings Institution, and the World Economic Forum; and a Director of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Mr. Rubenstein is a member of the American Philosophical Society, Business Council, Harvard Global Advisory Council (Chairman), Madison Council of the Library of Congress (Chairman), Board of Dean’s Advisors of the Business School at Harvard, Advisory Board of the School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University (former Chairman), and Board of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers Community.

Mr. Rubenstein has served as Chairman of the Boards of Duke University and the Smithsonian Institution, Co-Chairman of the Board of the Brookings Institution, and as a Fellow of the Harvard Corporation.

Mr. Rubenstein is an original signer of The Giving Pledge, a significant donor to all of the above-mentioned non-profit organizations, and a recipient of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy, and the MoMA’s David Rockefeller Award, among other philanthropic awards.

Mr. Rubenstein is a leader in the area of Patriotic Philanthropy, having made transformative gifts for the restoration or repair of the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Monticello, Montpelier, Mount Vernon, Arlington House, Iwo Jima Memorial, the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian, the National Archives, the National Zoo, the Library of Congress, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Mr. Rubenstein has also provided to the U.S. government long-term loans of his rare copies of the Magna Carta, the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Emancipation Proclamation, the 13th Amendment, the first map of the U.S. (Abel Buell map), and the first book printed in the U.S. (Bay Psalm Book).

Mr. Rubenstein is the host of The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations on Bloomberg TV and PBS, Bloomberg Wealth with David Rubenstein on Bloomberg TV, and Iconic America: Our Symbols and Stories with David Rubenstein on PBS; and the author of The American Story: Conversations with Master Historians, a book published by Simon & Schuster in October 2019, How to Lead: Wisdom from the World’s Greatest CEOs, Founders, and Game Changers, a book published by Simon & Schuster in September 2020, The American Experiment: Dialogues on a Dream, a book published by Simon & Schuster in September 2021, and How to Invest: Masters on the Craft, a book published by Simon & Schuster in September 2022.

Mr. Rubenstein, a native of Baltimore, is a 1970 magna cum laude graduate of Duke University, where he was elected Phi Beta Kappa. Mr. Rubenstein graduated in 1973 from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was an editor of the Law Review.

From 1973-1975, Mr. Rubenstein practiced law in New York with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. From 1975-1976, he served as Chief Counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments. From 1977-1981, during the Carter Administration, Mr. Rubenstein was Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy. After his White House service and before co-founding Carlyle, Mr. Rubenstein practiced law in Washington with Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge (now Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman).

Tin Huu Mai

(Vietnam 2013)
Chairman and CEO
U&I Investment Corporation

U&I Investment Corporation is one of Vietnam’s leading investment companies, with significant investments in logistics, construction and property development, organic farming, household appliance manufacturing, financial services, retail, hospitality and media. In addition to his role as chairman and CEO of the company, Tin Huu Mai is a non-party member of the National Assembly and is passionate about ensuring that public policy supports business development. He used his fellowship to explore the American political system. He studied American think tanks – how they are created, sustained and influential in public policy development, as well as the role of the private sector in formulating public policy. In addition, he looked at aspects of the American agriculture industry that may be transferable to Vietnam to improve the incomes of small farmers.

Thao Nguyen Griffiths

(Vietnam 2013)
Head, Public Policy
(Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar)
Meta Platforms, Inc.

Thao Griffiths joined Meta in 2021 as public policy head for Vietnam. Prior to joining Meta, Griffiths worked at the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, where she played a key role in connecting the organization with the private sector and key international partners. Griffiths previously served for nine years as country director for the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, an American non-governmental organization. During her tenure with the organization, she worked in both the Hanoi and Washington offices, focusing on development issues and people-to-people diplomacy between the U.S. and Vietnam. She has nearly two decades of experience in management, public health, development, climate change, security policy and IT-related business. She has worked with Boeing, Bombardier Inc., Planned Systems International PSI, VOXIVA Inc. and Microsoft Asia Pacific. She studied at the Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Academy of Diplomacy and holds a master’s in systems engineering from RMIT University in Melbourne and a master’s degree in international relations from American University in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Robert M. Gates

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense
Chairman, Eisenhower Fellowships

Robert Gates served as the 22nd secretary of defense (2006-2011). He is the only secretary of defense in U.S. history to be asked to remain in office by a newly elected President. Dr. Gates served eight U.S. presidents across both parties.

On Gates’s last day in office, President Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor.

Before becoming secretary of defense in 2006, Gates was the president of Texas A&M University, one of the nation’s largest universities. Prior to assuming the Texas A&M presidency on August 1, 2002, he served as interim dean of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M from 1999 to 2001.

Gates joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1966 and spent nearly 27 years as an intelligence professional. During that period, he spent nearly nine years on the National Security Council at the White House, serving four presidents of both political parties.

Gates served as director of Central Intelligence from 1991 until 1993. He is the only career officer in CIA’s history to rise from entry-level employee to director. He served as deputy director of Central Intelligence from 1986 until 1989 and as assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser at the White House from January 20, 1989 until November 6, 1991, for President George H.W. Bush.

Gates has been awarded the National Security Medal, the Presidential Citizens Medal, has three times received the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, and has three times received CIA’s highest award, the Distinguished Intelligence Medal.

Susan Eisenhower

Senior Fellow and Chairman Emeritus, Eisenhower Institute
Trustee, Eisenhower Fellowships

Ms. Eisenhower is well-known for her work as a policy analyst, much of which has been focused on national security, and related strategic issues. She has brought this work to light in her writing as an essayist, op-ed writer, biographer, and editor. She has authored hundreds of op-eds for newspapers such as The Washington Post, The New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times. Her articles have also appeared in the National Academy of Sciences’ Issues in Science and Technology and the Naval Institute’s Proceedings. Early in her career, she wrote humor for The Saturday Evening Post.

Her most recent book has received critical acclaim nationally and internationally: How Ike Led: The Principles Behind Eisenhower’s Biggest Decisions (Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St Martin’s Publishing Group: August 11, 2020).

Eisenhower has provided analysis for CNN International, MSNBC, The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, FOX News, CBS Sunday Morning in an interview with Rita Braver, the BBC, and all three major network morning programs. On the lighter side, she has appeared on the Colbert Report and Real Time with Bill Maher, in addition to many other well-remembered programs such as the PBS Newshour with Jim Lehrer, Hardball with Chris Mathews, Nightline with Ted Koppel, World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, This Week with David Brinkley, and CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt.

Beyond the well-known range of current affairs and news programs, Eisenhower has been seen as a “talking head” on documentaries, such as Oliver North’s War Stories, Sony Pictures Why We Fight and David Hoffman’s Sputnik Mania. Most recently she has been interviewed for several documentaries on D-Day.

In 1986, Susan Eisenhower founded The Eisenhower Group, Inc., a Washington, DC, based consulting company. For more than thirty years, the company has provided strategic counsel on business development, public affairs, and communications projects. Through the Eisenhower Group, Inc., Ms. Eisenhower does extensive work in executive training on strategic leadership, a lecture topic she presents to many corporate and organizational venues.

In addition to her work through EGI, Susan Eisenhower has also had a distinguished career as a policy analyst. She is Chairman Emeritus at the Eisenhower Institute where she served as president twice.

Currently she holds a year-long seminar on strategy for competitively selected students through the Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College. She has also been a Fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics as well as a Distinguished Fellow at the Nixon Center, now called the Center for National Interest.

During different administrations, she served as a member of three blue ribbon commissions for the Department of Energy: The Baker-Cutler Commission on U.S. Funded Non-Proliferation Programs in Russia; The Sununu-Meserve Commission on Nuclear Energy; and the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future, which released its findings on a comprehensive program for the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle. She is currently a member of MIT’s Energy Initiative Advisory Board and former co-chairman of NEAC, the Secretary of Energy’s Nuclear Energy Advisory Board.

In 1998 Susan Eisenhower was appointed to the National Academy of Sciences Standing Committee on International Security and Arms Control, where she served for eight years. After as many years on the NASA Advisory Council, she became a member of the International Space Station Management and Cost Evaluation Task Force.

Today, Ms. Eisenhower serves on a number of charitable and corporate advisory boards.

Ray Suarez

Author, former NPR and PBS broadcast journalist
Host of “On Shifting Ground”

Ray Suarez is a visiting professor of Political Science at New York University in Shanghai and the co-host of the podcast and public radio program WorldAffairs, and covers Washington for Euronews. Over the course of a long career in journalism, he has been the host of Al Jazeera America’s daily news program Inside Story, Chief National Correspondent for The PBS NewsHour, and host of NPR’s Talk of the Nation. He has been a John McCloy visiting professor of American Studies at Amherst College.

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