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Forum on Government and Public Policy

Forums are free and open to the public for virtual participation. Please check back for Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 Forum speaker information.

Flagler College Forum on Government and Public Policy has invited nationally-recognized journalists and commentators to St. Augustine since 1979 in order to discuss issues of importance in regional, state, and federal government. Forums are free and open to the public for virtual participation.

Note: The "Attend the forum" links will not be active until the event starts.

Spring 2021 Season

Tuesday, January 19, 2021, at 4:00 PM


William "Bill" Douglas Staff Writer and author of "The Color of Hockey"

Topic: "Athletes, Politics and Sport"

Bio: Douglas visited Flagler once before in 2008 to discuss more general politics. At the time, Douglas was the White House correspondent for McClatchy Newspapers. He was part of McClatchyʼs 2008 presidential campaign team, having started the season covering former New York Mayor Rudy Giulianiʼs campaign, before shifting to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, and finally to Republican presidential candidate John McCain. Douglas previously spent 16 years at New Yorkʼs Newsday and covered education, higher education, the New York State Legislature, Congress, President Bill Clintonʼs second term, and foreign affairs. Douglas has also reported from city desks of The Charlotte Observer and the Baltimore Evening Sun, and on the features desk of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Douglas was born in Long Beach, Calif., raised in Philadelphia, and is a 1980 graduate of the University of South Carolinaʼs College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

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Thursday, January 28, 2021, at 4:00 PM

Jim Toedtman

Jim Toedtman

Director of the Flagler College Forum on Government & Public Policy

Topic: Curiosity Won't Kill the Cat; How to Break Out of Our Silos

Bio: Toedtman has been covering politics and public policy for more than 35 years. He has lead Flagler’s Forum program since 2012. Previously, he was the AARP bulletin editor for seven years, during which time he interviewed President Barack Obama. Before taking the editorship of AARP Bulletin, he was a reporter and editor for the Boston Herald, the Baltimore News American and Newsday. He has covered local government, Congress and the White House and has reported from three continents. His editorials for the News American won first place in the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association in 1982, 1984 and 1985. He was member of a team of reporters awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. He also won a special citation from the Inter-American Press Association for a series of reports from Central America. Originally from Ohio, Toedtman attained his bachelor’s degree from the College of Wooster and studied at the University of Queensland, Australia, as a Rotary Foundation Fellow. He also studied at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, which recognized him as a distinguished alum in 2017.

Watch the video

TUESDAY, MARCH 16, 2021, AT 4:00 PM

Emily Fishbein

Emily Fishbein

Freelance writer with Pulitzer Center

Topic: Tracking Human Rights During a Crisis

Bio: Emily Fishbein is a freelance writer who has been based in Myanmar since 2015. She seeks to share diverse stories and perspectives, especially from Kachin State. Prior to writing, she worked with refugees and displaced persons in Myanmar and the United States.



Tuesday, March 23, 2021, at 4:00 PM

Andrea Barnet

Andrea Barnet

Author of "Visionary Women"

Topic: Visionary Women

Bio: Andrea Barnet was a regular contributor to the New York Times Book Review for twenty-five years, where she wrote primarily on the arts and culture, with a special concentration on biographies of early twentieth century artistic and literary figures. She is the author of All-Night Party: The Women of Bohemian Greenwich Village and Harlem, 1913-1930, which was a finalist for the 2004 Lambda Literary Awards and Visionary Women, How Rachel Carson, Jane Jacobs, Jane Goodall and Alice Waters Changed our World, a finalist for the 2019 PEN/ Bograd Weld Award for biography. Her journalism has appeared in Smithsonian Magazine, the New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle and The Toronto Globe and Mail, among other publications. In 1999 her profile of the Boys Choir of Harlem for Smithsonian was nominated for the Community Action Network Service Award. In 2010 she was a director’s guest in writing at Civitella Ranieri in Italy. She splits her time between the Hudson Valley and New York City, where she lives with her husband, the painter Kit White.



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Previous Forum Speakers


Fall 2019 Season 

Glenn Kessler

Thursday, September 19, 2019

“Fact-Checking and the Truth in the Age of Trump” 

Glenn Kessler, Editor, and Chief Writer, Washington Post Fact Checker 

Glenn Kessler has been editor and chief writer of The Fact Checker since 2011. In a journalism career spanning more than three decades, Kessler has covered foreign policy, economic policy, the White House, Congress, politics, airline safety, and Wall Street. He was The Washington Post’s chief State Department reporter for nine years, traveling around the world with three secretaries of state. Before that, he covered tax and budget policy for The Washington Post and also served as the newspaper’s national business editor. Kessler frequently appears on television and has lectured widely on U.S. foreign policy. He joined the Post in 1998 from Newsday, where he was part of two reporting teams that won Pulitzer Prizes in spot reporting. 

John Rother

Thursday, October 10, 2019

"Prescription Drugs: Can we make them affordable?"

John Rother, President, and CEO of the National Coalition on Health Care

John Rother is the President and CEO of the National Coalition on Health Care, the largest, oldest, and most broadly-based coalition of major stakeholders promoting an affordable, sustainable, and fair health system for all Americans, whether covered by private insurance or public programs. Prior to joining the Coalition in 2011, Rother served as the longtime Executive Vice President for Policy, Strategy and International Affairs at AARP. 

Spring 2020 Season 

A picture of Wike Richard.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

"Five Reasons the World Is Worried"

Richard Wike, Director of Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Research 

As the Director of Global Attitudes Research at Pew Research Center, Richard Wike is a source of independent data and analyses on important global issues such as economic, political and social. Prior to joining Pew Research, he served as Senior Associate at Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, providing strategic advice on political campaigns to international and corporate clients.

 A picture of Melanie Saltzman.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

"The Future of Food"

Melanie Saltzman, Reporter and Producer for PBS NewsHour Weekend

In her role at PBS, Saltzman reports, shoots and produces on a variety of issues, including public health, the environment and international affairs. Saltzman is a Fulbright Scholar and a critically-acclaimed producer.

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.

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"The Rohingya Crisis: Lessons and Laments" 

Nahal Toosi, Foreign Affairs Correspondent

Nahal Toosi is a foreign affairs correspondent at Politico. Toosi has previously covered higher education during her time at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. While there, she expanded her reporting to cover migrant and refugee issues from Egypt, Thailand, Germany, South Korea and Iraq – during the 2003 invasion. Toosi has also worked for The Associated Press, based out of New York, Islamabad, Kabul and London. Most recently, she has authored a project on the Rohingya Crisis for the Pulitzer Center


"The Internet Turns 50. What's Next?"

Lee Rainie, Director of Internet and Technology research at the Pew Research Center

Lee Rainie is the Director of Internet 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 700 reports based on its surveys that examine people’s online activities and the role of the internet 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.   


"The Return of the Federalist: The power of states in the Obama and Trump eras"

Elaine Povich, Senior staff writer for Pew Trusts' Stateline news service

At Stateline, a daily reporting news service of analysis on trends in state policy, Elaine Povich covers consumer affairs, specifically budget and tax issues. She has previously reported on Capitol Hill for Newsday, United Press International and the Chicago Tribune. She was awarded the Evertett McKinley Dirksen Award for distinguished reporting of Congress. Previously, Povich was the executive editor on The George Washington University project, “Face the Facts USA” and was the president of the Washington Press Club Foundation. Povich holds a bachelor’s from Cornell University and a master’s Certificate in Multimedia Journalism from the University of Maryland, where she currently serves as an adjunct lecturer. 

The author of three books, her most recent work is a biographical account of the late Sen. John McCain. The book spans from his childhood to January 2018 which marked his serving as a statesman for 31 years. 
Elaine Povich is a member of the highly selective Washington, D.C. journalist organization, the Gridiron Club. 


Carrie Dann, NBC News, Political Editor

Carrie Dann is a political editor for NBC News and co-author of “First Read” daily newsletter with Chuck Todd. She has traveled with and covered political campaigns since the 2008 presidential election.


Paul Stebbins, Founding Member, FixUS, an initiative of the Campaign to Fix the Debt

Paul Stebbins is the founding member of FixUS, an initiative of the Campaign to Fix the Debt. As founder and former CEO, he is also a Chairman Emeritus of World Fuel Services, a Fortune 100 Company.



Roy Gutman, Pulitzer Prize winning reporter based in the Middle East for Frontline

Roy Gutman is a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter for international affairs. He is currently based in Istanbul as a foreign editor for Frontline.

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Tuesday, January 16

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 

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

"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 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

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Tuesday, January 31

Chuck Raasch

Chuck 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 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 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 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, October 5

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

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

"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


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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."
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"
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"
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.
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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"
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

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"
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
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
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.
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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.”

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.”

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: A Year Later"

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

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