Skip Navigation
I am a(an):
Please Select
flagler college forum lecture
News & Events
Connect with Flagler

Flagler College Forum on Government and Public Policy

2017-2018 Schedule

Thursday, October 5

David Lightman

David Lightman

"The Bumpy Road Ahead for Congress: A Look at the 2018 Elections"

McClatchy Washington Bureau national correspondent

David Lightman is the national political correspondent and congressional reporter for McClatchy Newspapers. A former managing editor of the Diamondback, he has worked at the Baltimore Evening Sun, where he covered the Maryland General Assembly, and was Washington Bureau Chief of the Hartford Courant from 1984 to 2007. He is a member of the Gridiron Club and is current chairman of Congress’ Standing Committee of Correspondents. He has taught at the University of Maryland since 1994.

Twitter: @LightmanDavid


William G. Douglas

William Douglas

McClatchy Washington Bureau national correspondent

William G. Douglas is currently the congressional correspondent for McClatchy Newspapers and co-host of Majority Minority, a McClatchy podcast that focuses on the impact of minorities in Washington politics and beyond. Douglas started out as a reporter for The Charlotte Observer in 1980. He then moved on to report for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Evening Sun, and New York Newsday. In 1993, he became the congressional correspondent for New York Newsday until 1997 when he transitioned to White House correspondent. From 2001 to 2003, Douglas was the foreign affairs correspondent for New York Newsday. While Douglas is working for the McClatchy Newspapers, he also created the blog “The Color of Hockey,” focusing on the under-told story of the history and growing impact of people of color in ice hockey, on and off the ice.

Twitter: @williamgdouglas

Tuesday, October 24

Ben Taub

Ben Taub

"Smugglers, Jihadis and Spies: A brief guide to fraught encounters"

Staff Writer at the New Yorker

Ben Taub joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 2017. He has written for the magazine about jihadi recruitment in Europe, war crimes in Syria, battlefield medicine, and human trafficking along the trans-Saharan migration routes from Nigeria to Italy. In 2014, he received a B.A. in philosophy from Princeton; the next year, he completed an M.A. in politics at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism. In 2017, Taub’s work on Syria, which was supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, was short-listed for a National Magazine Award and won the Livingston Award for International Reporting, the Robert F. Kennedy Award for International Print reporting, and the Overseas Press Club Award for Investigative Reporting; and Taub received the ASME Next Award for Journalists Under 30.

Twitter: @bentaub91


Tuesday, January 16

Craig Gordon

image Craig Gordon

"Trumping Fake News: Facts in the Age of Trump"

Washington Bureau Chief, Bloomberg News

Craig Gordon is the Washington Bureau Chief at Bloomberg News, where he oversees all U.S. government coverage, including the White House, Cabinet agencies, Congress, national security, tax policy and financial regulation. He is also co- editor of and "Balance of Power," a daily Bloomber newsletter of U.S. and global politics. 

Prior to joining Bloomberg in 2013, Gordon worked for five years at Politico and rose to the level of Managing Editor. While there, Craig oversaw the coverage of the 2012 presidential campaign, including Politico’s exclusive reporting that forced Republican presidential contender Herman Cain from the race.

Gordon went to Politico from Newsday, where he completed his 17 years there as Washington Bureau Chief. After arriving in Washington in 2000, he covered the Pentagon for four years, starting on the day after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Twitter: @dcraiggordon

Thursday, February 1

Domenico Montanaro

"The Golden Age of Grievance"

Lead Political Editor for NPR image of Domenico Montan

Before joining NPR in 2015, Montanaro served as political director and senior producer for politics and law at PBS NewsHour. There, he led domestic political and legal coverage, which included the 2014 midterm elections, the Supreme Court and the unrest in Ferguson, Mo.

Prior to PBS NewsHour, Montanaro was deputy political editor at NBC News, where he covered two presidential elections and reported and edited for the network's political blog, "First Read." He has also worked at CBS News, ABC News, The Asbury Park Press in New Jersey, and has taught high-school English.

Twitter: @DomenicoNPR


Thursday, February 8

Nicholas Johnston

Nicholas Johnston

"Starting a Media Company in the Trump Era"

Editor at Axios, online news media company, and former managing editor at Bloomberg News

Nicholas Johnston is the founding editor of Axios, in charge of all of its coverage including politics, technology and business. Before joining the founders of Axios Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen and Roy Schwartz, Johnston was a managing editor at Bloomberg News in Washington, D.C. There, he oversaw newsletters and breaking news products for the Bloomberg Terminal, Bloomberg Politics and Bloomberg Government. In 2011, Johnston launched Bloomberg's First Word news service in Washington after having been a White House correspondent the first two years of the Obama administration. Previously, he covered the 2008 campaign and spent four years on Capitol Hill covering Congress. Johnston joined Bloomberg from the Washington Post where he wrote about banking and technology investing. His first job in journalism was in the Post's mailroom after graduating from Georgetown University.

Twitter: @AxiosNick


Thursday, March 15

Mark Murray

Senior Political Editor, NBC News Mark Murray

Mark Murray is the Senior Political Editor at NBC News, where he’s covered presidential elections and politics over the last 14 years. He’s also written articles for The Atlantic, The New York Times, Washington Monthly, and Washingtonian magazine.
Murray is the co-author of NBC’s popular “First Read” political newsletter, and he has appeared on TV on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” “Nightly News,” and “Weekend Today,” MSNBC and numerous local NBC affiliates.
Before joining NBC News in 2003, Murray was a reporter for the political magazine National Journal, covering policy and elections. He’s also served as an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University, teaching Political Communication.

Twitter: @mmurraypolitics

Lecture Details

All lectures begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Lewis Auditorium located at 14 Granada Street. Lectures are free and open to the public.

Previous Forum Speakers

  • 2016

    Tuesday, January 31

    Chuck Raasch

    Chuck RaaschChuck Raasch is a Washington columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the author of “Imperfect Union: A Father's Search for His Son in the Aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg.” He has also worked as a senior correspondent and columnist for the Gannett News Service (GNS) and as a national correspondent for USA Today. From 1989 to 1990, he served as a Knight Fellow at Stanford University. A native South Dakotan, Raasch began his career with Gannett at the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls in 1977, where he covered politics. His major assignments included Sen. George McGovern's last Senate race in 1980. He has covered and analyzed six presidential elections.
    C-SPAN Video
    Muck Rack

    Thursday, February 16

    Lee Rainie

    Lee RainieLee Rainie is the Director of Internet, Science, and Technology research at the Pew Research Center, a non-profit, non–partisan “fact tank” that studies the social impact of the internet.

    His Project was described by the American Sociological Association as the “most authoritative source of reliable data on the use and impact of the internet and mobile connectivity” and the ASA awarded him and the Internet Project its award for “excellence in the reporting on social issues award” in 2014.

    The Project has issued more than 600 reports based on its surveys that examine people’s online activities and the internet’s role in their lives. The Pew Research Center also has launched a sustained study of the intersection of science and society that Lee oversees. All of its reports and datasets are available online for free at:

    Lee is a co-author of Networked: The new social operating system with sociologist Barry Wellman about the social impact of the internet and cell phones. He is also co-author of five books about the future of the internet that are based on Project surveys about the subject.

    Prior to launching the Pew Internet Project, Lee was managing editor of U.S. News & World Report.

    Digital Divides - Feeding America

    Thursday, March 23

    Howard Schneider

    Howard SchneiderHoward Schneider, the founding dean of the School of Journalism at Stony Brook University, spearheaded the team that developed the proposal for the State University of New York system’s first and only journalism school in 2006.

    He has devoted more than 35 years to Newsday, as a reporter and editor, and won eight Pulitzer Prizes. He is also executive director of the school’s Center for News Literacy, which teaches students and journalists how to become more discerning news consumers.

    Prior to his start at Stony Brook in 1980 as an adjunct professor, he taught journalism at Queens College in 1979.

    Schneider was the recipient in 2012 of the DeWitt Reddick Award for Public Communications and Journalism Education, granted by the University of Texas. In 2003, he was awarded the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism Alumnus Award. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Syracuse University in Journalism and Psychology.

    The Center for News Literacy (YouTube)
    Digital Resource Center
    Journalism dean: Fake news a "global concern" (YouTube)

    Thursday, April 6

    John A. Farrell

    John FarrellJohn A. Farrell is an American journalist and author. He has written the new biography “Richard Nixon: The Life,” “Clarence Darrow: Attorney for the Damned,” a biography of America's greatest defense attorney and “Tip O’Neill and the Democratic Century.” He is a contributing editor to Politico Magazine, after a prize-winning career as a newspaperman, most notably at The Denver Post and The Boston Globe, where he worked as White House correspondent and served on the vaunted “Spotlight” team. His biography of Clarence Darrow was awarded the Los Angeles Times book prize for the best biography of 2011. Other accolades include the Gerald R. Ford prize and the Aldo Beckman Award from the White House Correspondents Association for coverage of the presidency, the 2001 Raymond Clapper Memorial Award for distinguished Washington reporting, the 1990 Roy Howard Public Service Prize and a George Polk Award in 1984. Farrell has guest lectured for classes at colleges including Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the United States Military Academy.

    Thursday, November 17, 2016

    Stephen R. Kappes

    Former Deputy Director of the CIA and Chief Operating Officer at Torch Hill Investment Partners

    Stephen R. Kappes is the former Deputy Director of the United States Central Intelligence Agency, having served in the CIA from 1981 through 2010 with a two-year hiatus. A veteran of the United States Marine Corp, Kappes is recognized for his long career with the CIA and for his role in persuading Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi to abandon his nuclear weapons program in 2003. He is also known for his guidance of the Agency’s operations and technical programs against foreign espionage threats. From 2006 to 2010, he was involved in the leadership and management of all elements of the Agency under two different Directors and two Presidential administrations. He currently serves as partner and COO at Torch Hill Investment Partners. He has extensive overseas experience, with assignments in the Middle East, Asia and Europe. Kappes holds an M.Sc. in Pathology from Ohio State University and a B.Sc. degree in Pre-Medicine from Ohio University.

    Tuesday, October 4, 2016

    Roger Thurow

    Journalist, Author and Senior Fellow at Chicago Council on Global Affairs

    Author and journalist Roger Thurow is a Senior Fellow in the Global Food and Agriculture Program at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He is a former correspondent for the Wall Street Journal and has been widely recognized for his writing about world hunger. With co-writer Scott Kilman, Thurow was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting for their coverage of famine in Africa. His coverage of global affairs has spanned the Cold War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the release of Nelson Mandela, the end of apartheid, the wars in the former Yugoslavia and recent humanitarian crises. He is the co-author of the book Enough: Why the World’s Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty (2010) and the author of the books The Last Hunger Season: A Year in an African Farm Community on the Brink of Change (2013) and The First 1,000 Days: A Crucial Time for Mothers and Children, and the World (2016). A resident of Washington D.C., Thurow is a frequent lecturer on agricultural development and world economics.

    Tuesday, September 27, 2016

    Stan Collender

    Founder of “Capital Gains and Games” blog on and National Director of Financial Communications of Qorvis MSLGROUP 

    As Qorvis MSLGROUP’s Executive Vice President and National Director of Financial Communications, Stan Collender is one of the world’s leading experts on the U.S. congressional budget process. He has worked for the House and Senate Budget Committees and has worked for three U.S. representatives on the House Budget and Ways and Means Committees. Collender was appointed by President Clinton to the presidential commission that studied whether the U.S. should have a capital budget. He writes the popular weekly column, “Fiscal Fitness,” in Roll Call, the influential Capitol Hill newspaper. He is also the founder and principal writer of “Capital Gains and Games,” which the Wall Street Journal has called one of the top 25 economic and financial blogs in the U.S. Additionally, Collender is the author of The Guide to the Federal Budget, one of the most assigned texts on the subject. Collender holds a bachelor’s degree in politics and psychology from New York University and a master’s degree in public policy (MPP) from the University of California, Berkeley.

    Thursday, March 17, 2016

    Doyle McManus

    Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times

    Topic: "The Voters' Revolt: How and why voters in both parties have shaken the political establishment, and why it's a pattern that's likely to persist in the future."
    /strong> Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, has reported on wars, revolutions and presidential campaigns for more than 30 years. His twice-weekly column appears on the op-ed page of the Los Angeles Times and other newspapers nationwide. McManus is a four-time winner of the National Press Club's Edwin Hood Award for reporting on U.S. foreign policy, most recently for articles on the U.S. occupation of Iraq. He is the co-author of three books, including Landslide: The Unmaking of the President 1984-88, named one of the notable books of 1988 by The New York Times. McManus has covered every presidential election since 1984, and in 2008, he was a moderator at Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama’s presidential primary debate in Los Angeles. He appears frequently on PBS’s Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and NPR’s Diane Rehm Show and his work appears in the Los Angeles Times, on PBS’s Washington Week, and in other national newspapers. He is a former Fulbright scholar and is a graduate of Stanford University.

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

    Dan Fagin

    Science Journalism Professor at New York University

    Topic: "Connecting the Dots in Toms River and Beyond"
    /strong> A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who writes frequently about environmental science, Dan Fagin is also a science journalism professor at New York University. His book, Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation, was awarded the 2014 Pulitzer for General Nonfiction, as well as the New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism, the National Academies Science Book Award and the Society of Environmental Journalists’ Rachel Carson Environment Book Award. Dan’s recent publications include The New York TimesScientific American, Nature and Slate. Before joining the NYU faculty in 2005, Dan was the environmental writer at Newsday for 15 years. He has won both of the best-known science journalism prizes in the U.S.: the Science Journalism Award of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Science in Society Award of the National Association of Science Writers. At NYU, Dan is an associate professor of journalism at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and the director of the masters-level Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program (SHERP).

    Thursday, January 21, 2016

    Sandy Johnson

    President and Chief Operating Officer of the National Press Foundation

    Topic: "The New Media Landscape. How changes in the news business affect voters, the candidates, and ultimately the President"
    /strong> Sandy K. Johnson is president and chief operating officer of the National Press Foundation and former Washington bureau chief for the Associated Press, where she oversaw coverage of the federal government, elections and politics and worked with AP journalists nationally and internationally. At AP, she directed its political coverage for 22 years, including 14 years of exit poll expertise and calling races. Under her direction, AP refused to call the 2000 presidential race for George W. Bush despite enormous pressure after the television networks made the erroneous projection. She was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for her decision, and subsequently was awarded the Presidential Award by the Associated Press Managing Editors. Johnson served on NPF’s Board of Directors from 2001 to 2014 and was chairman of the Board from 2007 to 2008. She has also held senior management positions at AARP Bulletin, the Center for Public Integrity and Stateline and is a member of Gridiron Club, National Press Club, ASNE and the Online News Association.
  • 2015

    Thursday, November 19, 2015

    Ken Walsh

    Chief White House correspondent for U.S. News & World Report

    Topic: "Celebrity in Chief: The Presidency and the Culture of Stardom, and the 2016 Presidential Race"
    /strong> Kenneth T. Walsh is the chief White House correspondent for U.S. News & World Report, author of “The Presidency” column for The U.S. News Report, and writer of a daily blog called “Ken Walsh’s Washington” at He has won the two most prestigious awards for White House coverage: the Aldo Beckman Award (twice) and the Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency (three times). In 2006, he won the Fitzwater Prize for Leadership in Public Communication presented by the Fitzwater Center at Franklin Pierce College. Walsh makes frequent television appearances on networks including ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Fox News, and C-SPAN, and is often a guest on radio programs across the country. He is also an adjunct professorial instructor at American University in Washington, D.C. He has written seven books, including Celebrity in Chief: A History of the Presidents and the Culture of Stardom (2015) and has conducted numerous interviews over the years with Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George Herbert Walker Bush and Ronald Reagan. Walsh earned a master’s degree in communication from American University in Washington, D.C. and a B.A. in journalism from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

    Tuesday, October 6, 2015

    Alan Gomez

    USA Today immigration reporter

    /strong> Alan Gomez is a Miami-based reporter and columnist for USA Today, where he covers immigration, including federal and state efforts to fix the nation’s immigration system. He has reported from Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Havana, Mexico and Guantanamo Bay. In recent years, he's focused on congressional attempts to pass immigration reform, state efforts to deal with the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants and the politics surrounding those issues. To that end, he's traveled most of the southwest border from California to Texas, and reported throughout Latin America. Prior to his work on immigration, he covered state and national politics, police, courts and the military. He’s also covered hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, forest fires, earthquakes and suicide squirrels. Prior to his work with USA Today, Gomez served as a news reporter for the Pensacola News Journal and The Palm Beach Post. The son of Cuban immigrants, he was born and raised in Miami.

    Tuesday, September 15, 2015

    Stan Collender

    National Director of Financial Communications at Qorvis MSLGROUP

    Topic: "Washington in the Era of Political Madness"
    /strong> Stan Collender, the national director of financial communications at Qorvis MSLGROUP in Washington, D.C., is one of the foremost experts on the federal budget, federal spending and revenues, the national debt and the congressional budget process. He has appeared on television and radio, including all of the broadcast networks and multiple interviews on Marketplace and other National Public Radio programs. He has also been quoted by the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times and appeared repeatedly on foreign channels. In addition, Collender is the founder of “Capital Gains and Games,” an economic blog that was named one of the top 25 in the United States by the Wall Street Journal in 2009, is the author of The Guide to the Federal Budget and has been involved with the congressional budget process since 1974. In 1998, President Bill Clinton appointed him to the presidential commission that studied whether the U.S. should have a capital budget. He holds a master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley and a bachelor’s degree from New York University.


    Tuesday, Mar. 10, 2015

    Allan Sloan

    Senior editor-at-large, Fortune Magazine
    Topic: Don't be Snowed by Big Numbers and Fine Print
    /strong> Allan Sloan is a senior editor-at-large at FORTUNE, where he writes a column on business andfinance. The column also runs in the Business section of the Washington Post.

    Sloan was previously Newsweek's Wall Street editor. Before his 12-year stint at Newsweek, he was a columnist at Newsday and also held positions at Forbes and Money, among other publications.

    Sloan is a seven-time winner of the prestigious Gerald Loeb Award, business journalism's highest honor. He has received Loeb awards in four different decades in four different categories for five different employers, one of which is FORTUNE. He has won numerous other awards and honors during his 40-year business-journalism career. In 2001 he received both the Loeb Lifetime Achievement Award and the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.??

    Sloan received a B.A. from Brooklyn College and an M.S. from Columbia Journalism School. A native of Brooklyn, he resides in New Jersey with his wife. They have threegrown children and two grandchildren.

    Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015

    Evan Thomas

    Author, Journalist, former editor-at-large, Newsweek


    Topic: Eisenhower: A Study in Presidential Leadership
    /strong> Evan Thomas is the former Editor-at-Large of Newsweek, having served as the magazine’s lead writer on major news stories and the author of many longer features, including Newsweek’s special behind-the-scenes issues on presidential elections, and more than a hundred cover stories.
    For ten years, 1986-1996, Thomas was Newsweek’s Washington bureau chief after serving as Assistant Managing Editor from 1991 to 2006.
    Thomas is the author of six books, all published by Simon & Schuster: “Sea of Thunder,” about the war in the Pacific (2006), a New York Times bestseller; “John Paul Jones,” a biography of the American revolutionary (2003), a New York Times bestseller; “Robert Kennedy: His Life” (2000); “The Very Best Men: The Early Years of the CIA” (1995); “The Man to See: The Life of Edward Bennett Williams” (1991); and “The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made” (with Walter Isaacson, 1986).
    In the fall of 2007 he began a five-year term at Princeton as Ferris Professor of Journalism and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a fellow of the Society of American Historians and a former trustee of the Thomas JeffersonCenter for the Protection of Free Expression.
    He is a graduate of Harvard and the University of Virginia Law School. He lives with his wife and two children in Washington, D.C.
  • 2014

    Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014

    Paul Taylor

    Author and Executive Vice President for Special Projects for Pew Research Center


    "The Next America"

    “The key factors driving demographic change in the early 21st century really are immigration, the aging of the baby boom generation, the increase in longevity, the decline in marriage and the rise of economic inequality,” says Taylor. “All of these changes have produced an American population in which young and old don't look, think or vote alike. And while generation gaps are nothing new, today's are unusually large, and potentially fraught.”

    More Information

    Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014

    Jennifer Preston

    Reporter and editor, New York Times


    “Reporting and Storytelling in the Age of Social Media”

    “A lot of journalists focus on using these tools to build their brands. That is important, of course,” says Preston. “But it is also important that we keep the focus on how we can use these tools for journalism.”

    More Information

    Jennifer Preston Interview: Reporting and Storytelling in the Age of Social Media - Highlights

    Jennifer Preston Interview: Reporting and Storytelling in the Age of Social Media - Full Interview

    Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014

    Healthcare Industry Professional Panel

    John Rother, President and CEO of the National Coalition on Health Care, Joseph Gordy, President and CEO of Flagler Hospital, and Howard Gleckman, author of “Caring for Our Parents: Inspiring Stories of Families Seeking New Solutions to America’s Most Urgent Health Care Crisis.” 

    obamacare forum

     “Obamacare: A Year Later"

    One year after the unveiling of President Barack Obama's highly controversial healthcare overhaul, industry professionals gathered to discuss the program.

    More Information

Proudly Presented by:

St. Augustine Record Logo


A special thank you to these sponsors:

Casa Monica Hotel Logo Leonard's Studio Logo

Event Newsletters

Monthly Sign Up
Flagler College Magazine
Mar 16, 2009
As more Americans struggle with the current recession, Flagler College students have started working with a Jacksonville TV station’s consumer advocate to share money-saving solutions with viewers.