Conversations with Mike Milken

Conversations with Mike Milken

www.milkeninstitute.org/podcasts
COVID-19 has changed the way we work and live. In response to the public health emergency, Milken Institute Chairman Michael Milken is engaging a range of industry leaders and medical experts to help us better understand and confront a crisis that has not only altered our current day-to-day but will change the course of how we work, socialize, and fight disease for years to come.


79: Diplomacy, with Ambassador Kelly Craft
Jul 10 • 15 min
“Obviously, we wish it was earlier if China had been more forthcoming and transparent. But I think the important part is that we cannot allow any pandemic or any economic situation currently to cloud our moral responsibility for issues that are already on…
78: Tipping Point, with Seritage Growth Properties’ Kenneth T. Lombard
Jul 8 • 20 min
“It’s really the first time that you’ve had challenges and down cycles in the financial side, on the racial side, and health-wise with COVID. … We’re at an absolute tipping point from what we are going to do and how the consumer experience is going to be…
77: Minimizing Injustice, with Arnold Ventures’ Laura E. Arnold
Jul 7 • 22 min
“A sociologist … said that pandemics fracture society along known fault lines. And that is so true. Every single one of the issues that we have historically worked on that are at the core of what we do has been touched and exacerbated by COVID. … It’s…
76: Favoring the Bold, with the Dallas Mavericks’ Mark Cuban
Jul 6 • 28 min
“If you have a vision for what America 2.0 post-reset should look like, there will never be a better time to create a business that goes into an entirely new direction. … If you have a vision for something dramatically different, now’s the time to do it.”…
75: Economic Justice, with Vista Equity Partners’ Robert F. Smith
Jul 2 • 21 min
“The Wall Street Journal last week reported that 41% of the African American businesses have stopped transacting and stopped conducting business and have closed up, which is a true tragedy. They don’t have the banking systems, which limited their ability…
74: Lifelines, with IMF’s Kristalina Georgieva
Jul 1 • 19 min
“Our policy engagement is very strong everywhere, but … the same way people with preconditions are more vulnerable to the virus, weakened economies are more vulnerable to the economic shock we experience today. So, they need more of our help.” For…
73: Big Gaming, with Activision Blizzard’s Bobby Kotick
Jun 30 • 22 min
“Each day you have to answer a series of questions so that you can electronically access the office. If you don’t, we’ll either send you to one of our testing labs or to a telemedicine doctor. … We have these huge UV chambers. You put all your outerwear,…
72: Positive Energy, with Chevron’s Mike Wirth
Jun 29 • 24 min
“It can feel like the world is a colder and riskier place, [but] we’ve been through these things before, and we generally know that society comes through. We learn lessons. We become stronger over time and create opportunities for personal growth and…
71: Gratitude, with Infosys’ Ravi Kumar S.
Jun 26 • 20 min
“Six out of the seven jobs of the future have not been created yet. The future of workplaces and workforces are going to change significantly. The change was gradual, but with the pandemic and in the post‐pandemic era, the changes will be all of a…
70: The Conversation, with the World Bank’s Jingdong Hua
Jun 25 • 19 min
“I certainly hope this is a unique moment where we will have profound conversations, not only about our own lessons or our own challenges, but about the future of humanity. … This lockdown gives us the opportunity to have long conversations that otherwise…
69: Cashless, with Visa’s Al Kelly
Jun 23 • 17 min
“In the last three months we’ve probably have had five years’ worth of acceleration in terms of e‐commerce. … People are realizing that cash is a way that germs get transmitted. Currency is dirty.” When the pandemic hit in January, Al Kelly made a vow to…
68: Outcomes, with Helmsley Charitable Trust’s David Panzirer
Jun 18 • 27 min
“The whole premise that where you live dictates your access to specialty care, dictates your outcomes, dictates your access to tools to manage your disease. That’s absurd in this day and age. … We have to seize this opportunity to level the playing field…
67: Healing, with Children’s National Hospital’s Joelle Simpson
Jun 17 • 28 min
“I will be honest in saying that I never imagined the degree of exhaustion and the multitude of issues that have come about with this crisis: on a personal level, on an institutional level, on a community level, on a national level.” For 150 years,…
66: Teachable Moment, with IAC’s Barry Diller
Jun 16 • 20 min
“Local travel, meaning travel 100 to 600 miles from where you live by car, is fairly robust and is almost back to pre‐COVID levels. … We’re not seeing and won’t see air travel, certainly not international air travel. … We’re not seeing it yet because…
65: Across Sectors, with MasterCard Foundation’s Reeta Roy
Jun 15 • 23 min
“In Africa the economy is also a patient. … We have a consortium in Ethiopia, for example – 12 businesses run by women who are pivoting and using their skills to now manufacture PPE. We’re doing the same in Ghana, working through a coalition … to get to…
64: Struggle, with Ariel Investments’ Mellody Hobson
Jun 12 • 28 min
“I thought a lot about it from the perspective of being a person who walks around with brown skin, a woman, a mother, but also someone who runs a company. … My mother used to tell me, ‘Mellody, you could be or do anything.’ … There’s going to be a…
63: Madame Chairwoman, with U.S. Representative Maxine Waters
Jun 11 • 31 min
“I negotiated directly with Mr. Mnuchin. … He was fair. He was easy to communicate with. … Working with him, I was able to carve out and direct to these minority institutions, a sum of money that would give them the liquidity that they needed.” Rep.…
62: Sprinting, with The Carlyle Group’s David Rubenstein
Jun 10 • 23 min
“The COVID-19 crisis has made me realize that if there’s anything I really want to get done in my life, I need to get it done sooner. I am ratcheting up my activity. I’m doing what I call sprinting to the finish line now because I realize how fragile life…
61: Paying It Forward, with PayPal’s Daniel Schulman
Jun 9 • 29 min
“We immediately went from working 100% from the office to 100% work from home; we’ll remain working from home at least through October as we see how the virus progresses and how we protect the health and safety of our employees as we start to reopen.” For…
60: Sea Change, with Nasdaq’s Adena Friedman
Jun 8 • 38 min
“It’s really, to me, a trust factor. … Companies at that moment had huge, huge needs for capital to manage through the beginning of what they were seeing was going to be a significant downturn in their business. If we had closed the markets, they would…
59: Taking Flight, with Delta’s Ed Bastian
Jun 4 • 25 min
“We’re working well as an industry, not just within the airline industry, but across the hospitality sector. We want customers to feel confident. … People want to move; people want to get out. There’s a cabin fever … and we want to make sure we’re serving…
58: Care for the Caregivers, with Cleveland Clinic’s Tomislav Mihaljevic
Jun 3 • 19 min
“The unfortunate, almost-tragic, paradox of this situation is that 1.2 million healthcare professionals in the United States have lost their jobs because of the financial strains that have COVID pandemic put on healthcare organizations.” For the…
57: Like Family, with Wynn Resorts’ Matt Maddox
Jun 2 • 27 min
“In Macau, we put together a plan that when we would reopen, it would be one of the safest places people could go. Everything from thermal cameras to … PPE. Every customer’s given a mask. … UV technology in public bathrooms. Electro‐mist spray throughout…
56: The Analyst, with Two Sigma’s David Siegel
Jun 2 • 28 min
“This experience is a grand experiment in online work, online education, online shopping. You really couldn’t have created a better experiment, and we’re learning an awful lot. Not everything is working so well, and some things are working really well.”…
55: Test and Isolate, with Nobel Laureate Paul Romer
May 29 • 27 min
“The fundamental decision that every society has to make is, can we suppress this virus forever if necessary? Can we afford to do that? … If you know that you’re going to give up, there’s no point to suppress for a while.” Nobel Prize-winning economist…
54: In Translation, with NCATS’ Christopher Austin
May 28 • 22 min
“Are we going to require the same level of evidence for a vaccine … before it is approved? Could we potentially begin to use it at the same time we’re still studying it? Normally we would never do that, but it’s this kind of translational innovation that…
53: Helping Hand, with Brent McIntosh
May 27 • 17 min
“In America, we don’t look to the government alone to develop the solutions. We look to the creativity and ingenuity and vitality of the private sector, whether it’s corporations or philanthropic organizations for many of those solutions.” In normal…
52: The Stakes, with Entrepreneur and Philanthropist Strive Masiyiwa
May 26 • 24 min
“Public health will not be able to cope with this pandemic if it becomes a major crisis of the scale that we have seen in the West and in China. There’s almost nothing we can do about it because we just don’t have time. But it has been a massive wake-up…
51: Service, with Former Congressman Henry Waxman
May 26 • 23 min
“Explain things in a credible way so that the public understands why they’re being asked to do things. You can’t force people – especially Americans – to do things they refuse to do.” When he retired from the U.S. House of Representatives after four…
50: A Special Episode with PCF And FasterCures
May 22 • 50 min
A Special Episode on Potential Breakthroughs in COVID-19 Research Coming from Cancer Research by the Prostate Cancer Foundation and FasterCures A video recording of this episode – with helpful graphics – is also available at mikemilken.com. For our 50th…
49: Time Equals Lives, with FasterCures’ Esther Krofah
May 22 • 23 min
“We spend numerous hours a day updating that tracker because what is critical is real-time information that researchers and scientists can respond to. … As I’ve been speaking to colleagues, ranging from NIH to these large companies, they’re using that…
48: Commencement, with UCLA’s Gene Block
May 21 • 20 min
“Normally about 14,000 students live on our campus in our dormitories and that’s down to I think less than about 900 students. … The campus has taken on an eerie feeling of really being abandoned.” Big changes are afoot at UCLA, America’s #1-rated public…
47: Unprecedented, with UCLA Health’s John Mazziotta
May 20 • 23 min
“One day, for the first time in my 39 years, there were no patients in the emergency department. It was a Sunday morning. Never seen that in my life. … Heart attacks, strokes, mental illness – these people were not coming in. … There are a lot of deaths…
46: Stewardship, with DBS Group’s Piyush Gupta
May 19 • 25 min
“Most times your right or your requirement for personal privacy trumps other kinds of needs. But a pandemic is … when it becomes quite clear that sometimes the needs of the collective, the needs of society, trump the needs of the individual.” As the CEO…
45: Anchored, with Admiral James Stavridis
May 18 • 24 min
“The US and China, particularly in 2020, are on something of a collision course….We should confront where we must, we should cooperate where we can, and we should be clear-eyed that we’re in for a period of real tension.” A retired 4-star, Admiral James…
44: The Virus and the Clock, with Moderna’s Tal Zaks
May 15 • 23 min
“In this fight, where we are today—this is May of 2020—there’s a lot of other companies and a lot of other approaches that are trying to generate vaccines. I wish them all success, and we all need to be successful here. I have only two competitors in this…
43: Turning Point, with CEPI’s Richard Hatchett
May 13 • 23 min
“When I was working at ground zero, I saw a level of cooperation and willingness for everybody to sort of check their egos at the door because we knew that we were all facing an external threat. And that’s exactly what we’re seeing today. We’re all in…
42: Foresight, with WorldQuant Predictive’s James Golden
May 12 • 24 min
“We knew that some kind of pandemic has always been inevitable….What we didn’t really predict was the magnitude of the impact, the stress on the healthcare system, shocks to markets and economies….How do we predict the new normal at speed and at scale?”…
41: Play, with Mattel’s Ynon Kreiz
May 11 • 12 min
“Play is never canceled. You can cancel school, you can suspend retail stores or close movie theaters, but you cannot cancel play.” For Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz, taking the helm of one the world’s iconic companies two years ago was a privilege and a…
40: Can-Do, with MassMutual’s Roger Crandall
May 7 • 20 min
“You start by taking care of your people. Your people then can take care of their families and loved ones. That’s how communities get taken care of. And that’s kind of the building blocks that we see as being critical here.” For MassMutual’s Roger…
39: Trial by Fire, with Credit Suisse’s Thomas Gottstein
May 7 • 14 min
“I was deeply impressed. They managed much bigger volumes than in any normal period, and we were really very proud and still are very proud how our fixed income and equity traders managed these challenges, because it was certainly not an easy…
38: Disparities, with Freda Lewis-Hall
May 6 • 23 min
“One of the other things that has come to light with regards to COVID-19 are health disparities….in the infection rates and the hospitalization rates and in the death rates of certain communities.” As a young African American girl growing up in the early…
37: Resilience, with Hospitality Icon Stephen J. Cloobeck
May 5 • 19 min
“The consumer is resilient. Vacations are mandatory. I believe the cruise business within a year will be back. I truly believe that. And I believe the [Las Vegas] Strip will be back within that period of time too.”As the founder of Diamond Resorts…
36: The Pioneer, with the National Cancer Institute’s Steven Rosenberg
May 4 • 19 min
“We’re perhaps working now at 10% of where we were working before the COVID infections. It’s heartbreaking to think what cancer patients are going through as they’re watching their cancers grow, and yet have to deal with this threat of the virus and…
35: Access, with Goldman Sachs’ David Solomon
May 1 • 17 min
“This is a demand shutdown in the economy that’s affecting all businesses….If you’re a small business, your access to capital in some cases can be limited, [so] that’s why getting resources to these small businesses that employ so many is so, so…
34: Upside Down, with Vivek Ramaswamy
May 1 • 16 min
Vivek RamaswamyFounder and CEO, Roivant Sciences“Seeing my own family members in New York go through what they’re going through has…not only turned our personal life upside down, but also has turned upside down…the near-term priorities of our company to…
33: Public-Private Partners, with DFC’s Adam Boehler
Apr 30 • 19 min
Adam Boehler CEO, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) There are places in the United States now with little to no cases, and if the states have the ability to do contact tracing with some testing to ensure that if there’s a flare we…
32: Sequencing, with Illumina’s Francis deSouza
Apr 30 • 17 min
Francis deSouzaPresident and CEO, Illumina“The first genome sequence of the virus that was published on January 12th online was done on Illumina machines, and so we have been working on this outbreak [since] well before it became a pandemic.”Sequencing…
31: Backstop, with the Veterans Administration’s Richard Stone
Apr 29 • 21 min
“As we began to see in January the evolution of this virus…we began reorienting ourselves to our inpatient responsibilities and to the potential that the nation would need us to be its backstop in a healthcare system.” Dr. Richard Stone’s job title is as…
30: Values, with Kroger’s Rodney McMullen
Apr 28 • 21 min
Rodney McMullenChairman and CEO, The Kroger Co. “We made the decision to share publicly all the work that we were doing internally in case it could be helpful….We’re trying to pay it forward just like others paid it forward to us.” When Rodney McMullen…
29: Powerhouse, with Siemens USA’s Barbara Humpton
Apr 28 • 23 min
Barbara HumptonPresident and CEO, Siemens USA “We often talk about Siemens as being a company that was built to serve society. And that mission really hasn’t changed….We have real expertise in electrification, automation, and digitalization. And that’s…
28: Triage, with Ray Dalio
Apr 27 • 14 min
Ray DalioFounder, Co-CIO and Co-Chairman, Bridgewater Associates “A financial bomb has gone off. And then you have to say, okay, who are you going to help first?…Choices have to be made. The real question is whether we can do that together in a bipartisan…
27: Reaching Out, with Humana’s Bruce Broussard
Apr 27 • 16 min
Bruce BroussardPresident and CEO, Humana “Many of our members are alone and in their homes, and that can become quite an impact on their mental health. Having a phone call and being able to talk to somebody sounds so simple, but has been so impactful.” As…
26: Greenlight, with Alibaba’s Joe Tsai
Apr 24 • 16 min
Joe Tsai, Co-Founder and Executive Vice Chairman, Alibaba Group; Governor, Brooklyn Nets and New York Liberty -“When we reopened, we were very tentative about letting people back into the office….You have to show your health code, which is attached to the…
25: Essential Work, with Kindercare’s Tom Wyatt
Apr 24 • 14 min
Tom Wyatt, CEO, KinderCare Education - “[Our teachers] write me, they call me, they are so taken aback by the grateful comments they get, the emotional letters and emails they get from the doctors and nurses and others saying that they could not be doing…
24: The Right Thing, with Children’s National Hospital’s Kurt Newman
Apr 23 • 15 min
Kurt Newman, President and CEO, Children’s National Hospital -“We’ve been around for 150 years and we want to be around for another 150 years. So we’ll figure out a way to deal with the finances. Right now we’re just focused on doing the right thing for…
23: Curveball, with Commissioner of Baseball Rob Manfred
Apr 23 • 14 min
Rob Manfred, Commissioner of Baseball -“They may not be perfect with large crowds at Dodger Stadium. It may look a little different. But I really am committed to the idea that it’s important as part of our recovery to get the game back on.”A month after…
22: Gaining Ground, with Amgen’s Robert Bradway
Apr 22 • 13 min
Robert Bradway, Chairman and CEO, Amgen -“This is, of course, unlike anything any of us have experienced before. This synchronous global shutdown caused by what is a pretty tricky virus – a virus that had a head start on all of us. But we’re gaining…
21: Ramping Up, With Novartis’s Vasant Narasimhan
Apr 22 • 13 min
Vas Narasimhan, CEO, Novartis - “Our thinking is, how do we create a protease inhibitor that could work on future coronaviruses, not just the current coronavirus? … Fundamentally, our ability to withstand pandemics is likely going to center around our…
20: Sounding the Alarm, with Entrepreneur Jeff Skoll
Apr 21 • 15 min
Jeff SkollFounder and Chairman, Skoll Foundation, The Jeff Skoll Group, Participant, and Capricorn Investment Group “About a month ago in the US we had about a thousand confirmed cases; today we have about 600,000. The developing world is very much on…
19: First Things First, with Senator Rick Scott
Apr 21 • 14 min
Rick ScottUS Senator; former Governor of Florida“If we do anything to get this economy going again, make it easy for the entrepreneurs in this country.”As two-term governor of Florida, Rick Scott led his state through crises including hurricanes, mass…
18: Searchlight, with Senator Harry Reid
Apr 21 • 14 min
Harry ReidFormer US Senator“At this stage, we have to recognize that there’s going to be some downtime here. But I think that with the experience we’ve had around the country, especially in New York, it’s something we can handle.”Senator Harry Reid knows…
17: Data-Driven, with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
Apr 20 • 19 min
Steve BallmerFounder, USAFacts; former CEO, Microsoft; Co-Founder, Ballmer Group; Chairman, Los Angeles Clippers“There is an information-collection problem from the counties, which is where most of the data lives. We’ve got a team that literally goes…
16: The Translator, with PCF’s Jonathan Simons
Apr 20 • 10 min
Jonathan SimonsPresident and CEO, Prostate Cancer Foundation“This is why we all went into medicine—for moments like this where we come together.”For Jonathan Simons and the Prostate Cancer Foundation, global collaboration and team science were a way of…
15: The Record-Keeper, with Epic’s Judy Faulkner
Apr 20 • 15 min
Judy FaulknerFounder and CEO, Epic“We do have a culture of ownership, of working hard, of wanting to be heroes helping heroes. That’s one of the things you hear our staff say.”The story is familiar, even mythic: brilliant young student builds out a new…
14: Renaissance Woman, with Sue Desmond-Hellmann
Apr 17 • 13 min
Sue Desmond-Hellmann, former CEO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; former Chancellor, UCSF; former President of Product Development, GenentechFrom serving as a frontline physician treating HIV patients in Uganda, to overseeing new therapies for a leading…
13: Community, with AARP’s Jo Ann Jenkins
Apr 16 • 13 min
Jo Ann Jenkins CEO, AARP -“It is that American spirit and willingness to give of oneself to make life better for others that is behind everything that we do at AARP.”Since taking the helm of the largest nonprofit for Americans 50 and older, Jo Ann Jenkins…
12: A Global View, with EY’s Carmine Di Sibio
Apr 14 • 13 min
Carmine Di Sibio, Global Chairman and CEO, EY “We’ve stressed to all our people and in particular our partners around the world that now is the time they really needed to be close with their clients, help them in any way they can, whether large clients,…
11: Impatient, with Tempus/Groupon’s Eric Lefkofsky
Apr 13 • 15 min
Eric Lefkofsky, Founder and CEO, Tempus“Today, if somebody’s positive for COVID-19, it still doesn’t tell you what’s likely to happen next. And what we’re trying to do by combining clinical and molecular data is really be able to predict what’s likely to…
10: The Public Servant, with former FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg
Apr 10 • 14 min
Margaret Hamburg, Foreign Secretary, National Academy of Medicine; Former Commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration“I always said it was a question of when, not if, we would have to combat a global pandemic. But I never really thought I’d be…
9: Shock Treatment, with Google’s Eric Schmidt
Apr 9 • 17 min
Eric Schmidt, former CEO and Chairman, Google“We’re going to need … some kind of shock treatment for seven, eight, nine days where we shut down everything to stop the spread…. And when I say shut down, I mean shut down.”That’s Eric Schmidt’s bold plan to…
8: Legacy, with former FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach
Apr 8 • 20 min
Andrew von Eschenbach MDPresident, Samaritan Health Initiatives Inc.; former Commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration; former Director, National Cancer Institute“If we think of the game-changers of what is going to get America and the world back…
7: Team Science, with MD Anderson’s James Allison and Padmanee Sharma
Apr 7 • 21 min
Mike welcomes two guests on this edition of the podcast: Pam Sharma and James Allison. Partners in marriage and professional collaborators, the couple are leading immunologists who have dedicated their careers to cancer treatment and research. Sharma is…
6: Mobilization, with George Washington University’s Lynn Goldman
Apr 7 • 10 min
Joining Mike on this episode is Lynn Goldman. A pediatrician and epidemiologist, Goldman is the former assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention at the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the current Dean of…
5: Breaking the Code, with Nobel Laureate David Baltimore
Apr 6 • 13 min
In this episode, Mike speaks with David Baltimore, a Nobel laureate, member of the FasterCures board, In this episode, Mike speaks with David Baltimore, a Nobel laureate, member of the FasterCures board, and the current president emeritus; Robert Andrews…
4: Moonshot, with Johnson & Johnson’s Alex Gorsky
Apr 6 • 14 min
Alex GorskyChairman and CEO, Johnson & Johnson“What we announced that day was that we have identified a lead candidate for COVID-19 vaccine…. This is a bit of a moonshot for us.”That’s Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky talking about the $1 billion…
3: Physician Heal Thyself, with Allogene’s Arie Belldegrun
Apr 6 • 18 min
Mike speaks with Arie Belldegrun, an oncologist and businessman who has built several biopharmaceutical companies over the past three decades. Both Belldegrun and his wife recently recovered from their positive diagnoses of COVID-19, though it presented…
2: Grand Rounds, with Providence’s Rod Hochman
Apr 6 • 24 min
Mike Milken speaks with Rod Hochman, chair-elect designate for the American Hospital Association and president and CEO of Providence St. Joseph Health, the third-largest health-care system in the United States. With 51 hospitals, 1,000 clinics, and…
1: Big Science, with NIH’s Francis Collins
Apr 6 • 17 min
Francis CollinsDirector, National Institutes of Health“We have on our own campus the vaccine research center that is working 24/7 to accelerate the progress with as many different vaccines as possible, but particularly one that is already in phase one…