CNN’s Citizen Conference Will Return Next Month as a Virtual Event

By A.J. Katz 

The coronavirus pandemic is not stopping CNN from bringing its Citizen conference back for a third consecutive year. This year’s installment will be a four-hour virtual event, where CNN on-air talent will interview top policymakers and newsmakers about the top issues of the day.

It remains to be seen if WarnerMedia News and Sports and CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker will once again be peppered with questions by one of his subordinates (Brian Stelter asked Zucker on stage last year to respond to a Trump tweet directed at him), as session details are still be hammered out. But what we can confirm is that the third annual Citizen by CNN will be a virtual event, and is set to take place on Tuesday, Sept. 22 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. ET, six weeks before the 2020 election and on National Voter Registration Day.

“While we would love to be in person again for our third annual Citizen conference, we’re excited to come together on National Voter Registration Day in this new environment to engage with our audience in different ways,” said CNN strategic partnerships and marketing vp Allie Kleva, the executive spearheading the event. “We’ll have the same caliber of interviews that attendees of the conference are used to experiencing, streaming in from all over the country, to discuss the issues that matter, the motivations to vote and the importance of being informed and engaged in the political process.”


This year’s virtual Citizen conference will be comprised of 20-30 minute sessions livestreamed on CNN’s digital platforms, once again in a closed, invite-only environment.

The participant list is TBA, but, as was true with the first two events, they’ll hail from the worlds of business and finance, tech, media, philanthropy, academia and nonprofit.

Jake Tapper with Seth Meyers

This year’s Citizen conference will include significantly more guests, and there will be opportunities for guests to submit questions and participate in live polling.

As much as the president loathes anything having to do with CNN, Trump administration officials have participated in past Citizen by CNN events. Senior adviser to the president Jared Kushner headlined the first Citizen in 2018, sitting down with Van Jones for a conversation about criminal justice reform. Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro sat down with Poppy Harlow at last year’s event for a conversation about the administration’s trade policies.

Jared Kushner and Van Jones