All TED events are managed by a committee, including one that oversees the speaker selection. Often, committee members have some ideas on who they would like to attend and speak at the event. However, all of the events also accept nominations for speakers as well, especially those who fit their specific theme.
It came when President Obama acknowledged the Russian proposal for Syria to avert war by agreeing to destroy its chemical weapons stock as "a potentially positive development." It was quintessentially an un-Bush moment when suddenly this presidential "decider" seemed possessed of a brain capable of reversing his disastrous course.