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 1998 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
NHL.com 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.
Thursday, January 28, 2021, at 4:00 PM
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.
TUESDAY, MARCH 16, 2021, AT 4:00 PM
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.
Watch the forum (video to come)
Tuesday, March 23, 2021, at 4:00 PM
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.
watch the forum (video to come)
Previous Forum Speakers
Fall 2019 Season
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.
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
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.
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.
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.Back To Top
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2018
"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
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2018
"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: http://www.pewinternet.org. 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.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2018
"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.
- Twitter @espovich
THURSDAY, JANUARY 24, 2019
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.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2019
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.
TUESDAY, MARCH 12, 2019
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.
- Twitter @roy_gutman
Tuesday, January 16
"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 BloombergPolitics.com and "Balance of Power," a daily Bloomber newsletter of U.S. and global politics.
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.
Thursday, February 1
"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.
Thursday, February 8
"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.
Thursday, March 15
Senior Political Editor, NBC News
Twitter: @mmurraypoliticsBack To Top
Tuesday, January 31
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.
Thursday, February 16
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: www.pewinternet.org
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.
Thursday, March 23
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.
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
"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.
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.
Tuesday, October 24
"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.
Webpage: NewYorker.comBack To Top
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
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
Founder of “Capital Gains and Games” blog on Forbes.com 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
Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times
Thursday, February 11, 2016
Science Journalism Professor at New York University
Thursday, January 21, 2016
President and Chief Operating Officer of the National Press Foundation
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Chief White House correspondent for U.S. News & World Report
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
USA Today immigration reporter
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
National Director of Financial Communications at Qorvis MSLGROUP
Tuesday, Mar. 10, 2015
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
Author, Journalist, former editor-at-large, Newsweek
Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014
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
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.