Keynote Speakers

David Ignatius

Foreign Affairs Columnist, The Washington Post and Author of The Quantum Spy

Washington Post foreign affairs columnist, bestselling author, and NBC analyst David Ignatius has been making sense of the world for over 40 years. He’s covered nearly every Washington beat, from the Pentagon to the CIA to Capitol Hill, as well as global politics, the Middle East, and economics. He turned his experiences with the CIA into 10 spy novels, because, as it has been said, “Few understand espionage culture as well as Ignatius.” 

For more than 15 years, Ignatius has published his twice-weekly column for The Washington Post. Appearing in scores of newspapers around the world, his column won the Overseas Press Club Award, the Gerald Loeb Award for Commentary, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Center for Journalists. 

His newest high-tech spy thriller is The Quantum Spy. According to former CIA Director Leon Panetta, “David Ignatius may call it a novel, but for those of us who know the work of the intelligence community, this book is nothing less than a real-life insight into the ongoing battle for dominance in the digital world.”

Agents of Innocence, his first novel, is a classic of espionage fiction, drawing on his experiences covering the CIA’s early-80s campaigns in the Middle East. The CIA recommends the book to young recruits and wrote on its website, “Though a novel, senior officers say this book is not fiction.”

In its review of Ignatius's New York Times bestseller The Director, Kirkus raved, “His unparalleled understanding of the intelligence world propels his work so far above others who dabble in the field that there’s little comparison.” 

Director Ridley Scott adapted his 2007 bestseller, Body of Lies, into a feature film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe. His other books include Bloodmoney, A Firing Offense, and The Sun King. The film rights to his novel, The Increment, were acquired by Jerry Bruckheimer. 

A graduate of Harvard and Cambridge, he was a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and the executive editor of the International Herald Tribune. He has published articles in Foreign Affairs, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, and The New Republic. His first opera libretto, an adaptation of Machiavelli’s The Prince entitled The New Prince, premiered at the Dutch National Opera in March 2017.

A regular guest on Morning Joe, Ignatius has appeared on Face the Nation, Fareed Zakaria GPS, and Meet the Press.


  • Assessing Risk In a Disputed World
  • Cybergeddon: Fact, Fiction, And, The Future of Warfare
  • Journalistic Integrity: Ten Rules for Collecting, Analyzing and Using Information
  • New World Disorder: Snapshots From a Journalist’s Notebook