Annual programs

The Weber symposium

April 5, 2022: Liaquat Ahamed

Liaquat Ahamed has been a professional investment manager for twenty-five years and currently serves as Director of Putnam Funds. He has worked at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., and the New York-based partnership of Fischer Francis Trees and Watts, where he served as chief executive. He is currently an adviser to several hedge fund groups, including the Rock Creek Group and the Rohatyn Group, is a director of Aspen Insurance Co., and is on the board of trustees of the Brookings Institution. He has degrees in economics from Harvard and Cambridge universities.

November 18, 2020: Diana B. Henriques

Diana B. Henriques is the author of A First-Class Catastrophe: The Road to Black Monday, the Worst Day in Wall Street History and the New York Times bestseller The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust, both published by Henry Holt. She is currently at work on a history of Wall Street regulation for Random House.

A contributing writer for the New York Times, which she joined in 1989, she was previously a staff writer for Barron's magazine, a Wall Street correspondent for the Philadelphia Inquirer, and an investigative reporter for the Trenton (N.J.) Times. In 2005, she was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize and won a George Polk Award, the Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Reporting and Harvard's Goldsmith Prize for her 2004 series exposing insurance and investment rip-offs of young military consumers. She was also a member of the New York Times team that was a Pulitzer finalist for its coverage of the 2008 financial crisis.

In May 2017, HBO released its film-length adaptation of The Wizard of Lies, with Robert De Niro starring in the title role and Ms. Henriques playing herself and serving as a consultant to the screenwriting team. The film was nominated for four Emmy awards, including “best picture.”

Henriques is also the author of three previous books: The Machinery of Greed, Fidelity's World and The White Sharks of Wall Street. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University, on whose board of trustees she served from 2011 until 2019. She and her husband Larry live in Hoboken, N.J.

September 12, 2019: John Carreyrou

John Carreyrou is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the author of Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, a bestselling book about the Theranos scandal. For his coverage of Theranos in the pages of the Wall Street Journal, Carreyrou was awarded George Polk, Gerald Loeb and Barlett & Steele awards. Bad Blood won the Financial Times and McKinsey business book of the year prize and the Investigative Reporters and Editors book award. It was also a finalist for the Los Angeles Times book prize. Carreyrou lives in Brooklyn, NY with his family.

October 25, 2018: Mehrsa Baradaran

Mehrsa Baradaran is Associate Dean and the Robert Alston Professor of Law at the University of Georgia where she teaches Contracts Law, Banking Law and Race and Capitalism. She is the author of two books (How the Other Half Banks with the Harvard University Press and The Color of Money: An History of Black Banking (Harvard University Press) and various articles dealing with banking law and inequality, including "Regulation by Hypothetical" in the Vanderbilt Law Review, "It's Time for Postal Banking" in the Harvard Law Review Forum, "Banking and the Social Contract" in the Notre Dame Law Review, "How the Poor Got Cut Out of Banking" in the Emory Law Journal, "Reconsidering the Separation of Banking and Commerce" in the George Washington Law Review, and "The ILC and the Reconstruction of U.S. Banking" in the SMU Law Review. Of note, her article "The New Deal with Black America" was selected for presentation at the 2017 Stanford/Harvard/Yale Junior Faculty Forum. In 2018, The Color of Money was awarded the PROSE Award Honorable Mention in the Business, Finance & Management category. Baradaran was also selected as a finalist at the 2018 Georgia Author of the Year Awards for the book in the category of history/biography. Baradaran and her books have received significant national and international media coverage and have been featured in the New York Times, the Atlantic, Slate, American Banker, and Financial Times; on National Public Radio's "Marketplace," C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" and Public Broadcasting Service's "NewsHour;" and as part of TEDxUGA.

October 24, 2017: Jason Zweig

Jason Zweig is the investing and personal-finance columnist for The Wall Street Journal. He is the author of The Devil’s Financial Dictionary, a satirical glossary of Wall Street (PublicAffairs Books, 2015), and Your Money and Your Brain, on the neuroscience of investing (Simon & Schuster, 2007). Zweig edited the revised edition of Benjamin Graham’s The Intelligent Investor (HarperCollins, 2003), the classic text that Warren Buffett has described as “by far the best book about investing ever written.” Zweig also wrote The Little Book of Safe Money (Wiley, 2009); co-edited Benjamin Graham: Building a Profession, an anthology of Graham’s essays (McGraw Hill, 2010); and assisted the Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman in writing his book Thinking, Fast and Slow. From 1995 through 2008 Zweig was a senior writer for Money magazine; before joining Money, he was the mutual funds editor at Forbes. Zweig has also been a guest columnist for Time magazine and He has served as a trustee of the Museum of American Finance, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, and sits on the editorial boards of Financial History magazine and The Journal of Behavioral Finance. A graduate of Columbia College, Zweig lives in New York City.

October 20, 2016: Kara Swisher

KARA SWISHER is the executive editor of Re/code, host of the Re/code Decode podcast and co-executive producer of the Code Conference.

Re/code and Code are wholly owned by Vox Media, a company with an audience of 170 million worldwide. It has eight distinct media brands: The Verge (Technology and Culture), (News), SB Nation (Sports), Polygon (Gaming), Eater (Food and Nightlife), Racked (Shopping, Beauty and Fashion), Curbed (Real Estate and Home), as well as Re/code (Tech Business).

Swisher co-founded former Re/code and Code owner Revere Digital and, before that, co-produced and co-hosted The Wall Street Journal’s “D: All Things Digital,” with Mossberg. It was the major high-tech conference with interviewees such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and many other leading players in the tech and media industries. The gathering was considered one of the leading conferences focused on the convergence of tech and media industries.

She and Mossberg were also the co-executive editors of a tech and media Web site,

Swisher worked in The Wall Street Journal’s San Francisco bureau. For many years, she wrote the column, “BoomTown,” which appeared on the front page of the Marketplace section and also on The Wall Street Journal Online at Previously, Swisher covered breaking news about the Web’s major players and Internet policy issues and also wrote feature articles on technology for the paper. She has also written a weekly column for the Personal Journal on home issues called “Home Economics.”

Previously, Swisher worked as a reporter at the Washington Post and as an editor at the City Paper of Washington, D.C. She received her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and her graduate degree at Columbia University’s School of Journalism.

Swisher is also the author of How Steve Case Beat Bill Gates, Nailed the Netheads and Made Millions in the War for the Web, published by Times Business Books in July 1998. The sequel, There Must Be a Pony in Here Somewhere: The AOL Time Warner Debacle and the Quest for a Digital Future, was published in the fall of 2003 by Crown Business Books.

November 5, 2015: Felix Salmon

Felix Salmon is widely admired as one of the most insightful commentators on the finance world today. He combines an outsider’s willingness to speak truth to power with an insider’s understanding of how to make power actually listen. He is well known for tackling subjects from regulation to derivatives with a zest and a sense of fun unusual in financial writing. As the senior editor at Fusion, Salmon is breaking new ground in bringing intelligent financial analysis to a wider and younger audience, using animation, videos, data visualization, and more. This is just the latest step in his career as a popular online voice; he has written for Roubini Global Economics, Conde Nast Portfolio (where he originated the Market Movers financial blog), and most recently Reuters, where his work was awarded numerous accolades including the Loeb Award. This experience allows Felix to bring a practitioner's insight to technology, digital media, and the internet. Viral sharing; the relationship of text and images online; the future of news, criticism, and tastemaking — Salmon speaks on all of these with great acumen. His work also has appeared in a variety of print publications, including Wired, The New York Times, New York magazine, and Euromoney magazine

October 23, 2014: Megan McArdle

Megan McArdle is a journalist who covers economics, business, and public policy, with an occasional foray into kitchen gadgets. Her writing has appeared in The Economist, The Atlantic, Newsweek, Businessweek, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, and a number of other outlets. Ms. McArdle has a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA from the University of Chicago. She lives in Washington DC.

October 1, 2013: Matthew Yglesias

Matthew Yglesias is the business and economics correspondent for Slate magazine. Before joining Slate he worked for ThinkProgress, the Atlantic, TPM Media, and the American Prospect. His first book, Heads in the Sand, was published by Wiley in 2008. His second,The Rent Is Too Damn High, was published by Simon & Schuster in March 2012.

November 27, 2012: JAMES SUROWIECKI

James Surowiecki has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2000. He writes The Financial Page.

Surowiecki came to The New Yorker from Slate, where he wrote the Moneybox column. He has also been a contributing editor at Fortune and a staff writer at Talk. Previously, he was the business columnist for New York magazine. He has contributed to The Wall Street Journal, Wired, the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, and Lingua Franca, and has written on subjects ranging from Silicon Valley to college basketball. His book, The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies, and Nations, was published in 2004.

December 5, 2011: JOE NOCERA

Joe Nocera is business columnist for The New York Times and also contributes to The New York Times Magazine as a business writer. In addition to his work at The Times, he serves as a regular business commentator for NPR's Weekend Edition with Scott Simon. Before joining The Times, Mr. Nocera spent 10 years at Fortune Magazine, where he held a variety of positions, including contributing writer, editor-at-large and executive editor. His last position at Fortune was editorial director. He was the Profit Motive columnist at GQ until May 1995, and he wrote the same column for Esquire from 1988 until 1990. In the 1980's, he served as a contributing editor at Newsweek, as executive editor of New England Monthly and as senior editor at Texas Monthly. From 1978 until 1980, he was an editor at The Washington Monthly. Mr. Nocera's Saturday column, "Talking Business," ranges widely over the world of business, covering everything from Home Depot's annual meeting to Boeing's comeback to his off-beat musings about his broken iPod. Slate magazine says that his column "demystifies the world of business with original thinking, brainy reporting and the ability to see around corners."

October 14, 2010: ANDREW ROSS SORKIN

Andrew Ross Sorkin is a Gerald Loeb Award-winning American journalist and author. He is a financial columnist for The New York Times and is the newspaper's chief mergers and acquisitions reporter. He is also the founder and editor of DealBook, a financial news service, published by The New York Times. Sorkin has appeared on NBC's Today show, Charlie Rose on PBS, PBS' The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, MSNBC's Hardball and Morning Joe, ABC's Good Morning America, The Chris Matthews Show, HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, the BBC World Service, Comedy Central's The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, and is a frequent guest host of CNBC's Squawk Box. Sorkin's book on the Wall Street banking crisis, Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System -- and Themselves, was published by Viking October 20, 2009. It won the 2010 Gerald Loeb Award for best business book of the year, was on the shortlist for the 2010 Samuel Johnson Prize, shortlisted for the 2010 Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award, and was on The New York Times Best Seller list for six months.

October 22, 2009: Larry Summers

Lawrence Summers is the current director of the National Economic Council, acting as economic advisor to President Barack Obama. Summers also holds a position as a tenured professor at Harvard University, where he served as the university's president from 2001 to 2006. He was the undersecretary, and then the Secretary of the Treasury under the Clinton's administration, and also worked for a year as an economist for Reagan's administration from 1982-83. He holds degrees in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.