25th Season Testimonials
IFE convenes diplomats, political, business, media, academic, and community leaders at the highest levels to encourage collaboration. IFE’s success in establishing common ground presents opportunities for leaders to share knowledge and explore innovative solutions to the most critical challenges of our time, while also helping to strengthen public policy outcomes and encourage greater global appreciation. Here’s what attendees have to say about IFE…
“We live in an increasingly polarized, partisan, walled-off world. There are walls between city and country, walls between Democrats and Republicans, walls between rich and poor, between black, white, and brown, between old and young, between liberal and conservative. These walls are born in our own mind. We build them by inaction: by unfriending and unfollowing and not listening to those who disagree with us. Our mental walls echo our beliefs and our fears. Eventually, they become walls between us, and increasingly, these metaphorical walls become real ones: concrete, glass, and white picket fences. In a world of walls, we need a chisel. IFE is one of the few safe spaces left where we can come together and chip away at our mental walls with curiosity, openness, and engagement rather than anger or fear. IFE is more important and necessary now than ever before. IFE is essential to our democracy.” – George Zaidan, IFE Senior Fellow, Creator and Host, “Ingredients” on National Geographic
“IFE and Coach Kemper have been at the crossroads of politics, diplomacy, technology and, above all, understanding and friendship in the past 25 years in Washington. In a world where a wall seems to be more valued than a bridge, a welcoming forum like IFE is essential to maintain our relations through informal contacts, open discussions and a better understanding of each other’s policies and ideas.” – Henne Schuwer, Ambassador of Netherlands to the USA
“IFE with the leadership of Coach Kemper is invaluable in helping us discover and understand the technological change that is underway and changing our lives and societies in a profound manner. The events and activities of IFE are highly interesting with top people sharing their knowledge. IFE is also paying attention to the importance of equality. Thank you for your important work and so happy to continue to cooperate with you!” – Kirsti Kauppi, Ambassador of Finland to the USA
“IFE is pushing boundaries in Washington in the best way possible, by elevating the quality of discourse and keeping the focus on ideas, not ideology. IFE functions as both a social and substantive platform, and brings together some of the best and the brightest to discuss the issues that matter most to the world today, as well as those that should matter.” – Dr. Hamdullah Mohib, Ambassador of Afghanistan to the USA
“High powered speakers, stimulating discussion, informative topics all make IFE a great forum for finding out what is really going on in Washington and getting quality time with the world’s top policy makers. All civil and good form.” – Senator Thad Cochran, R-Mississippi
“IFE has been ahead of the game for some time now – stressing civility and dialogue at the expense of knee-jerk partisanship. It works. The people who attend IFE events understand that they are absolutely expected to make their points without holding back, but they know that IFE is different – there is good humor, fellowship, and a spirit of collaboration. And IFE attracts the nation’s leading officials as speakers, as well as an audience of who’s who in Washington. IFE has been and continues to be at the forefront of “changing the way Washington works.” – Senator Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts
“Through IFE, Coach Kemper has set the table for entrepreneurs, innovators, philanthropists, public servants and the growing community of people who represent all of those roles to come together in pursuit of better ways to solve big problems. What distinguishes her convenings is the opportunity to connect dots and accelerate progress. She’s built a public treasure.” – Aneesh Chopra (former U.S. CTO).
“What sets IFE apart is its relentless pursuit of “the next big thing”- and the people who are working every day in Washington on the most innovative new ideas that will change our city, our country, and our world. IFE and Coach Kathy Kemper’s extraordinary support of the Presidential Innovation Fellows program, through INFO public policy salons and other special events, is bringing attention to this incredible group of highly skilled public servants, who are on a “tour of duty” within government from their respective sectors. The PIFs have incredible stories to tell and I’m grateful that IFE and Coach Kemper are giving them the opportunity to share them with leaders in Washington.” – Todd Park, 2d United States Chief Technology Officer
“Over the last 7 years, this Administration has prioritized advancements in technology in unprecedented ways. Whether it’s the Administration’s commitment to making open and machine-readable data the new default for government information, advancing policies that expand innovation and entrepreneurship, even simply changing the way the Government communicates with its citizens through modern technology like Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat, this Administration has realized that advancements in technology can help improve the way we govern, we learn, and thrive.” – Secretary Michelle K. Lee, United States Patton and Trade Office
“Coach Kemper is creating DC’s intellectual hub, one with a global perspective, dedication to collaboration, and true spirit of innovation. IFE is an oasis in this hyper-partisan city, a place where we can see how Washington used to be–informed, respectful across party lines, and eager to open our own minds to the broadest worldview possible. I feel energized and inspired every time I attend a Coach Kemper event.” – Nina Easton, Chair, Fortune Most Powerful Women International
“For freewheeling intellectual debate, wonderful camaraderie, and an unparalleled network, IFE truly stands alone. Coach Kemper has done a remarkable job.” – Wegger Chr. Strommen, Ambassador of Norway to the USA .
“IFE’s civility events are Washington insiders’ dreams – candid, free-flowing discussions with the elite policy makers of our time that bring together the most important players from government, business, industry, journalism, and think tanks. They’re a great place to find out what’s really going on because the people who attend are having a relaxed, intimate conversation with the guests, not grilling them press conference-style. These events are our capital city’s answer to power breakfasts at New York City’s Regency Hotel and Beverly Hills’ Polo Lounge.” – Ed Henry, Fox News, IFE Board of Stewards
“IFE has been ahead of the game for some time now – stressing civility and dialogue at the expense of knee-jerk partisanship. It works. The people who attend IFE events understand that they are absolutely expected to make their points without holding back, but they know that IFE is different – there is good humor, fellowship, and a spirit of collaboration. And IFE attracts the nation’s leading officials as speakers, as well as an audience of who’s who in Washington. IFE has been and continues to be at the forefront of “changing the way Washington works.” – Tom Friedman, New York Times, IFE Board of Stewards
“Being a Presidential Innovation Fellow (PIF) in DC has been a unique and meaningful experience that was enriched by the close partnership with the Institute for Education. Through conversations with global leaders at IFE events, I was exposed to a unique and global set of perspectives, opportunities and challenges. These conversations were critical to the success of my PIF project. I believe the PIF collaboration with IFE is a critical pa,rtnership for collaboration that I hope continues.” – Adam Dole, Presidential Innovation Fellow
“Coach Kemper is an opinion maker. INFO is an insider’s dream: candid free-flowing discussions with the elite policy makers of our time. Journalists, think tanks, business, and often former speakers come to listen, laugh, and be educated. And you have to be invited by Coach. Tom Friedman spoke awhile back and Justice Breyer, Joel Klein, and I sat next to each other as guests. Amazing.” – Former Washington, DC Mayor Anthony Williams
“As someone who attends a lot of activities in Washington, Coach Kemper’s IFE INFO gatherings are unique. They combine a rare mix of leaders from nationally renowned journalists, to local and national business people. Ambassadors and even Supreme Court Justices. They allow me to widen my view and expand my thinking.” – Chris Caine, IFE Board of Stewards
“The Institute for Education (IFE) and Coach Kemper provided the best examples of the intellectual and social landscape of DC. IFE welcomed me and my cohort of White House Presidential Innovation Fellows into their family – creating a supportive and nurturing environment. My DC experience would not have been as enjoyable and productive if not for the efforts of Coach and IFE.” – Dr. Tyrone W. A. Grandison, Presidential Innovation Fellow
“For a foreign Ambassador in Washington DC, the IFE opens new and non-traditional doors that offer unique insights and a special community at the forefront of American innovation and entrepreneurship. The IFE is also a two-way platform that appreciates good ideas and perspectives from around the world. My wife Gouri and I look forward to Coach Kathy Kemper’s events because we always come away energized.” – Ashok Mirpuri, Singapore Ambassador to the United States.