“Two very different paths for America lie before us at the end of the COVID pandemic. One is to a future of stagnation and division. The other is to a future of revitalization and hope. And the choice is ours to make.”
—Nicholas Eberstadt, Governing Priorities


AEI Irving Kristol Lecture and Summit

On October 14, AEI honored Nicholas Eberstadt with the Irving Kristol Award, AEI's highest honor. Eberstadt's speech addressed the need to create a vision for the future we want to build in the post-pandemic era. This signature event was virtual for the first time in its history.

Following Eberstadt's address, AEI scholars Yuval Levin, Kori Schake, Michael R. Strain, and Ryan Streeter discussed the challenges of this moment and the policy paths available for America's leaders in the coming years. Their remarks touched on ideas developed in the essay collection Governing Priorities: Advice for America's President, for 2021 and Beyond (AEI, October 2020).


The volume features essays from nine AEI scholars offering advice to the president of the United States. This collection helps frame the policy and governing debates of the coming years and will help the president quickly set priorities and chart a path forward for our country.


America's Future: An AEI Ideas Gathering

On December 9–10, AEI hosted “America’s Future: An AEI Ideas Gathering,” a virtual summit that drew more than 400 participants across its 11 sessions. The event featured AEI scholars and distinguished guests who offered their views on some of America’s most important challenges and the way forward in strengthening our nation’s public health, economy, education system, communities, and national defense. AEI used the interactive platform Swapcard, which allowed participants to easily access the seminars, comment live, and ask questions.

The innovative event also provided an opportunity for AEI investors, Leadership Network members, and other friends of the Institute to connect with AEI scholars and with one another in more intimate breakout sessions, as well as one-on-one with each other.

Featured Speakers

Tyler Cowen (George Mason University) and Nicholas A. Christakis (Yale University) for a discussion of Apollo's Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live (Little, Brown Spark, October 2020), Christakis' new book on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on what to expect from the Senate in the Joe Biden administration

Yuval Levin and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) on the future policy agenda of the right

Scott Gottlieb and Robert Doar on the latest developments in the COVID-19 pandemic

Charles Murray and Nicholas Eberstadt, moderated by Naomi Schaefer Riley, on revitalizing our country

Scott Winship, Camille Busette (Brookings Institution), John Lettieri (Economic Innovation Group), and Ja'Ron Smith (Center for Advancing Opportunity) on reviving the American dream

Ian Rowe, Glenn Loury (Brown University), Wilfred Reilly (University of Kentucky), and Chris Stewart (brightbeam) on current narratives in education

James Pethokoukis, Michael R. Strain, Douglas Elmendorf (Harvard Kennedy School), Maya MacGuineas (Responsible Federal Budget), and Mark Zandi (Moody's Analytics) on recovering from the pandemic recession

Yuval Levin, Kevin R. Kosar, Philip Wallach, and Adam J. White on the future of conservative constitutionalism

Ryan Streeter, Jonah Goldberg, and Timothy P. Carney, with Sarah Isgur (The Dispatch), on the future of populism

Kori Schake, Mackenzie Eaglen, and Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) on what is ahead for defense policy