The CEI Summit is an annual destination conference featuring CEI scholars and guest speakers. Hosted mid-winter, the Summit is a private, invitation-only event for CEI friends and supporters.  


The CEI Krewe is heading to New Orleans this winter for our fourth annual Summit, a memorable weekend of liberty and good times in a city that embodies that spirit. Laissez faire—laissez les bon temps rouler! We’ll enjoy dynamic speakers, French and Cajun fare, New Orleans art, music, culture, and history as Mardi Gras season gets underway.

Fifteen years of rebuilding since Hurricane Katrina and in the wake of New Orleans’ 300th anniversary, everything old is new again, as entrepreneurs and community organizations are leading the charge to reinvent the city. We look forward to celebrating the individual heroes and private solutions driving the city’s rebirth.

Mardi Gras is the love of life. It is the harmonic convergence of our food, our music, our creativity, our eccentricity, our neighborhoods, and our joy of living. All at once. – Chris Rose

CEI scholars Greg Conko, Myron Ebell, Patrick Hedger, Kent Lassman, Angela Logomasini, Mario Loyola, Jessica Melugin, Richard Morrison, Iain Murray, and Ryan Young will share their plans for liberalizing the energy, tech, and labor sectors and reforming misguided policies on antitrust and trade.


Featured guest speakers

  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathy Kraninger
  • The Smallest Minority: Independent Thinking in the Age of Mob Politics author Kevin Williamson
  • Ariel Corporation CEO Karen Wright

Panel Sessions

Strange Bedfellows in Antitrust

Greg Conko, Mario Loyola, Jessica Melugin, and Richard Morrison

Socialist Temptation

Richard Morrison and Iain Murray

Progress in the Pipeline

Myron Ebell, Mario Loyola, and Richard Morrison

The State of Tech 2020

Patrick Hedger, Jessica Melugin, and Richard Morrison

The Future of Work

Mario Loyola, Richard Morrison, and Iain Murray

Risk Regulation and the Failures of Federal Science Policy

Greg Conko, Angela Logomasini, and Richard Morrison

Trading Up for Better Trade Policy

Richard Morrison, Iain Murray, and Ryan Young


  • Private dinner and reception at landmarks French 75 and Arnaud’s
  • French Quarter walking tour with Chris Rose, celebrated author of 1 Dead in Attic: After Katrina
  • Live event painting by New Orleans legend Frenchy
  • Private jazz brunch at Three Keys featuring Knockaz Brass Band
  • Private tour of The National WWII Museum

Thursday, February 6, 6:00 pm – Sunday, February 9, 2020, 12:00 pm

Ace Hotel New Orleans

600 Carondelet Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

Invitation only. Questions? Please contact events@cei.org.



In February 2019, CEI hosted its third annual Summit at the brand-new Perry Lane Hotel in Savannah, Georgia. Guests enjoyed thought-provoking presentations and engaging conversations with CEI experts and other prominent free-market scholars.

CEI’s Wayne Crews, Sam Kazman, Marlo Lewis, Jessica Melugin, Michelle Minton, Iain Murray, Daniel Press, Ryan Radia, and Marc Scribner delivered in-depth seminars on regulatory dark matter, fintech, energy mandates, and the road ahead for transportation policy.

Guest speakers included former risk manager and Bloomberg contributor Aaron Brown, on cryptocurrency; Reason Foundation Director of Transportation Policy Robert Poole, on his new book, Rethinking America’s Highways; American Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow and Arthur F. Burns Fellow in Financial Policy Studies Peter Wallison, on in his new book, Judicial Fortitude; and editor of RealClearMarkets John Tamny discussed the lasting legacy of economist Warren Brookes.

Attendees also got the opportunity to enjoy a reception at Service Brewing Company, dinner at Garibaldi, and tours of the Benedetto Guitar factory and Bonaventure Cemetery.




In January 2018, CEI hosted its second Summit at the historic Casa Marina resort in Key West, Florida. The theme of the event was Disruption v. Distortion—how we can encourage innovative shakeups in business and politics and limit government’s power to manipulate the economy. CEI’s Ted Frank, Melissa Holyoak, Sam Kazman, Angela Logomasini, Jessica Melugin, Michelle Minton, and Iain Murray discussed innovative approaches for overturning corrupt class action settlements, repealing “sindustry” prohibitions, and liberalizing the sharing economy, among other topics.

The Key West Summit also featured two special guests. Bassem Youssef—known as the “Jon Stewart of Egypt”—shared the story of his valiant defense of free speech, during a dinner reception at the Truman Little White house. The host of a wildly successful political satire show, he and his family fled the country after terminating his show due to overwhelming political pressure to censor its contents and threats of physical and legal violence. Education entrepreneur Rick O’Donnell, the founder and CEO of Skills Fund, gave the keynote speech at dinner on the beach. O’Donnell is turning traditional higher education on its head with a student-financing platform that provides financial services to employers and outcomes-based boot camp programs to students.

Guests enjoyed sailing on the Appledore II schooner, riding the Conch Train, biking around the island, and touring the Hemingway House and Truman’s Little White House.



In June 2017, CEI hosted its inaugural Summit in Washington, DC at the Morrison Clark Historic Inn and the Society of the Cincinnati’s Anderson House.

The program kicked off with remarks from Pierre Desrochers, CEI’s 2017 Julian Simon Memorial Award Winner, and coauthor Joanna Szurmak. Desrochers discussed the continued relevance of Simon’s work and his successful bet against doomsayer Paul Ehrlich. Senator Ron Johnson and Congressman Gary Palmer spoke about the challenges of the administrative state and the role of think tanks in the debate. Boom CEO Blake Scholl closed the program with a discussion of our supersonic future. The program closed with a private tour of the Anderson House.