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Keosha Varela
Keosha Varela is a senior digital editor and producer at the Aspen Institute. Prior to working at the Institute, Keosha worked as a social media strategist for a small clean energy nonprofit and spent three years as a new media editor and producer at NPR affiliate stations in Washington, D.C., and in Boston, where she and her colleagues received the 2011 National Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence – Radio Station Website. Keosha began her career as part of the highly competitive NBC Universal News Associates Program in New York City, where she helped to produce segments for the "TODAY Show," "Dateline," and worked on the launch team of the African American NBC News website She received her master's degree in broadcast journalism from American University.

Entries by Keosha Varela

The US Manufacturing Industry Is Growing; Here's How to Keep It Strong

(2) Comments | Posted September 18, 2014 | 5:13 PM


While China and other countries face challenges to their once-burgeoning manufacturing sector, all signs in the US are pointing to a growing industry now seen as a "rising star" in the world market. Thanks to an abundance of natural gas

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Aspen Security Forum Highlights: ISIS, US Drone Strikes, and Transparency

(0) Comments | Posted July 29, 2014 | 3:56 PM

The 2014 Aspen Security Forum brought together top military brass, intelligence officials, and ambassadors to discuss hot button issues in international affairs, and possible solutions for more peaceful relations between nations. Below are highlights from these conversations.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey on ISIS/ISIL

CBS "60 Minutes" Correspondent Lesley Stahl asks US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey how ISIS has managed to overrun the US-trained Iraqi army. Watch Dempsey's response in the clip above.

Should the US Arm Syrian Rebels?

US Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael Vickers shares his perspective on whether or not the US should arm moderate Syrian opposition given the tragic shooting of the MH17 flight in Ukraine. Above, Vickers begins his response by suggesting that Syria and Yemen "are the No. 1 threat to the American homeland right now."

Pakistan's Ambassador to the US on American Drone Strikes

Pakistani Ambassador to the US Jalil Abbas Jilani addresses the topic of US drone strikes in his country, saying, "Our experience has been that [the use of US drone strikes in Pakistan] has certainly been counterproductive to our own efforts against terrorism." Watch the clip above to hear Jilani's further explanation.

Former CIA and NSA Director on Transparency in US Intelligence

Retired Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency Director Gen. Michael Hayden explains the history of transparency of the intelligence community and how today's culture has shifted that process. "Our popular culture is no longer willing to empower representatives with that much authority on any issue," he said. "We're just going to have to eat the operational costs -- the operational tariff -- that more publicity for our actions will entail. Otherwise, you're not going to let us do it in the first place." Watch the clip to hear more from Hayden and from former National Counterterrorism Center Director Michael...

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College Board President: 'We Are Building an Iron Wall of Inequality'

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2014 | 6:29 PM

College Board President and CEO David Coleman and "Bloomberg EDU" Host and Executive Producer Jane Stoddard Williams at the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival.

When it comes to the state of student testing in the US, College Board President and CEO David Coleman...

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Former Palestinian National Authority Prime Minister: 'This Conflict Will be Resolved'

(0) Comments | Posted July 10, 2014 | 6:41 PM

Former Palestinian National Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad at the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival

As the death toll from rocket fire and aerial offensives continues to rise in both Israel and Palestine -- the aftermath of the abduction and murder of three...

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Rep. John Lewis on the 'Unfinished Work' in the Civil Rights Movement

(1) Comments | Posted July 9, 2014 | 11:52 AM

If you want to know something about a successful protest movement, Rep. John Lewis is a good person to ask. At the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival, the Congressman and civil rights leader -- who is the last remaining speaker from the 1963 March on Washington -- reflected on his experience...

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Should Kids Be Taught About Guns in School?

(2) Comments | Posted July 1, 2014 | 8:20 PM

Historian and former Guns & Ammo columnist Dick Metcalf during the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival

At the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival, historian and former Guns & Ammo columnist Dick Metcalf sat down for a fiery discussion on guns with National Journal...

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Why the Current Thinking on Income Inequality Is Wrong

(0) Comments | Posted May 28, 2014 | 6:00 PM

The International Monetary Fund's First Deputy Managing Director David Lipton recently spoke about the global economy at the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C. We sat down with Lipton before the Washington Ideas Roundtables Series event, where he discussed income inequality and his big idea for addressing...

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4 Things You May Not Know About Housing and Race

(0) Comments | Posted April 17, 2014 | 12:12 PM

"When we talk about race... there's a divide when it comes to home ownership and the creation of wealth," said Mark Hugo Lopez, director of Hispanic research at the Pew Research Center. With US economic inequality at an all-time high, the issue of housing as it relates to racial disparity...

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WATCH: College Athlete Union Reps Kain Colter and Ramogi Huma at the Aspen Institute

(0) Comments | Posted April 4, 2014 | 4:03 PM


Ramogi Huma, president of the College Athletes Players Association, and former Wildcat quarterback Kain Colter -- leaders of the movement to unionize college sports -- at the Aspen Institute in Washington, DC. (Photo Credit: Steve Johnson)

UPDATED: Video from the press...

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Failure, A Catalyst for Innovation: Interview with Author Sarah Lewis

(0) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 3:28 PM


Author Sarah Lewis speaks with Aspen Institute Arts Program Director Damian Woetzel about her new book.

Author Sarah Lewis recently spoke at the Aspen Institute to discuss her debut book, "The Rise: Creativity, The Gift of Failure, and the...

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Being Muslim in Congress: Rep. Keith Ellison on Race, Religion and Lawmaking

(0) Comments | Posted March 27, 2014 | 7:56 PM

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) is not shy about discussing his faith, even as the first-ever Muslim elected to the US Congress. Ellison -- also the first African American elected to the House from Minnesota -- discussed both race and religion, as they relate to lawmaking, at a recent...

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WATCH: State Department Official Wendy Sherman On Russia, Iran Nuclear Talks and More

(0) Comments | Posted March 27, 2014 | 11:48 AM

U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman discussed the U.S.-Iran nuclear talks at a recent off-the-record event with policy experts and journalists at the Aspen Institute in Washington, DC. In an exclusive one-on-one interview, the fourth-ranking State Department official -- back from a diplomatic trip...

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For Women, Manufacturing Industry Remains in the 'Mad Men' Era

(0) Comments | Posted March 21, 2014 | 5:15 PM

"I've been in the engineering industry for 30 years, and we were talking about these same issues 30 years ago," said the National Science Foundation's Theresa A. Maldonado at a recent Aspen Institute Manufacturing and Society in the 21st Century event, Filling the Skills...

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4 Ways to Solve the Looming Retirement Crisis

(0) Comments | Posted March 17, 2014 | 7:12 PM

Retirement savings are key to building wealth, strengthening the middle class, and building a greater measure of financial security for Americans. Current US policies reward employers, financial institutions, and workers for saving, but millions remain outside of the system, resulting in a looming retirement security crisis. For the release of...

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College Excellence Director On How Government Shutdown Affects Students (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted October 14, 2013 | 4:01 PM

This article originally appeared on the Aspen Institute website on October 10.

As the federal government shutdown enters its second week, the list of people and sectors affected continues to grow. With a mostly shuttered US Department of Education comes a litany of concerns of how colleges and...

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Middle East Programs Chair On Repercussions Of Syria's Civil War (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted September 16, 2013 | 1:45 PM

As the world waits to learn what efforts the US will put forth in Syria, our partners at the Aspen Institute are hosting a series of opinion pieces from the perspectives of their policy program directors and chairs focusing on global security, homeland security, and the Middle East. The fourth...

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