Skip to Main content

Forum on Government and Public Policy

Forums are free and open to the public for in-person participation. Seating for all of the below events are first come first serve.

Major Garrett

Major Garrett Forum Speaker

Major Garrett, CBS Chief Washington Correspondent

“2024 - An Election Like No Other”

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023, at 7:00 pm

Location: Virginia Room (Student Center, 50 Sevilla Street) 

Major Garrett was named CBS News' chief Washington correspondent in December 2018. As chief Washington correspondent, Garrett reports for all CBS News broadcasts and platforms. Garrett is also the host of "The Takeout," a weekly multi-platform interview show on politics, policy, and pop culture available on CBS News Streaming, top radio stations nationwide, and all podcast platforms.

From 2012 until 2018, Garrett served as the Network's chief White House correspondent. While covering the White House for CBS News, Garrett reported extensively on presidential actions to confront ISIS, Ebola, nuclear negotiations with Iran, and U.S.-European efforts to confront Russia in the standoff over Ukraine. On domestic issues, Garrett reported on the Obama administration's handling of the healthcare website rollout, numerous policy failures at the Veterans Administration, and the president's ongoing efforts in 2014 to address racial strife and criminal justice reform. He has traveled with the president to Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

In 2015-2016, Garrett spent 16 months on the road covering the Republican presidential campaign, including every GOP debate, both major party conventions, and every day of the general election. During the transition, Garrett broke numerous cabinet appointments, including Jeff Sessions as attorney general. Garrett has covered every major Trump administration domestic and foreign policy story.

Before joining CBS News as chief White House correspondent, Garrett was a fixture during CBS News' coverage of Campaign 2012 through a partnership with the National Journal, where he was chief White House correspondent. He co-hosted the network's coverage of the 2011 South Carolina Republican Primary debate alongside "CBS Evening News" anchor and managing editor Scott Pelley and offered analysis for every 2012 general election presidential debate.

Before National Journal, Garrett was the chief White House correspondent for Fox News. During his eight years at Fox, Garrett also covered two presidential elections, Congress, the war in Iraq, and other major stories.

Garrett is the author of four books: "Common Cents," with former Rep. Tim Penny (D-Minnesota) Little, Brown Publisher, 1995; "The 15 Biggest Lies in Politics," St. Martin's 1999; "The Enduring Revolution," Crown Forum 2005 and and "Mr. Trump's Wild Ride," St. Martin's, 2018.

Learn More:

John Fritze

John Fritze Forum Speaker

John Fritze, USA Today Supreme Court Reporter

“Still Supreme? The High Court Today”

Monday, November 13th, 2023, at 7:00 pm

Location: Virginia Room (Student Center, 50 Sevilla Street) 

John Fritze has covered politics for nearly two decades and is now the Supreme Court correspondent for USA TODAY. Fritze has written about local, state, and national politics from Balitmore’s city hall to the White House - and now covers the Supreme Court for USA TODAY.

A native of Albany, N.Y., he grew up reading William Kennedy and dreading upstate winters. His first newspaper job was as a clerk while attending the University of Albany. Fritze earned his Bachelor’s in Political Science from the University of Albany and his Masters’ from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He has since escaped the cold, harsh winters of New York and relocated to Maryland.

Learn More:

Arit John

Arit Forum Speaker

Arit John, LA Times National Correspondent

Thursday, February 1, 2024, at 7:00 pm

Location: Virginia Room (Student Center, 50 Sevilla Street) 

Arit John is a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, based in Washington, D.C., and was promoted in March of 2022. In Arit John’s new role as LA Times National Correspondent, she will focus on the issues and people shaping our national political conversation and the impact the political debates in Washington have on the lives of Californians and others nationwide.

She joined the LA Times newsroom in 2020 as a political reporter covering the presidential campaign, then worked as a feature and lifestyle reporter. John previously covered style at the New York Times, Congress and politics at Bloomberg News, and breaking news at the Atlantic. She grew up in Rancho Cucamonga and studied English at UCLA.

Learn More:

Hilke Schellman

Hilke Forum Speaker

Hilke Schellman, Emmy Award-winning journalist and author of “The Algorithm.”

Thursday, March 7th, 2024, at 7:00 pm

Location: Virginia Room (Student Center, 50 Sevilla Street) 

Hilke Schellmann is an Emmy-winning investigative reporter and journalism professor at NYU. She has reported for HBO, NPR, The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Wall Street Journal, where she has led a team investigating how artificial intelligence is changing our lives. Her ‘extraordinary’ (Variety) documentary for PBS, Outlawed in Pakistan, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, where The Los Angeles Times dubbed it ‘among the standouts.’ It won an Emmy, Overseas Press Club, and Cinema for Peace awards.

Learn MoreHilke Schellman bio


Event Newsletters

Monthly Sign Up

Previous Forum Speakers


Father Columba Stewart

Tuesday, February 1st, 2022, at 7 P.M.

Cultural Heritage Present and Future: A Benedictine Monk’s Long View

Fr. Columba Stewart
Fr. Columba Stewart

Columba Stewart is Professor of Theology at the Saint John's School of Theology and executive director of the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML), both in Collegeville, MN. Because of his work at HMML leading the digitization, cataloging, and online access for more than 300,000 endangered Christian and Islamic manuscripts in libraries around the world, he has been featured in international radio programs, newspapers and documentaries, and the CBS News television program “60 Minutes.” At HMML he has led several projects funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Arcadia Fund, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Henry Luce Foundation. Most recently he has been a member in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NY (2016-2020), a Guggenheim Fellow (2016), and a Resident Scholar at the Collegeville Institute (2018-). A Benedictine monk of Saint John's Abbey since 1981, he publishes regularly in his field of eastern and western Christian monastic history. He is currently writing a new study of the origins of Christian asceticism and monasticism. He was the 2019 Jefferson Lecturer in the Humanities for the NEH and a 2019-2020 Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar.

Learn more about Fr. Columba Stewart here.

Lee Rainie

February 17, 2022

Tech, Tribes and Trust: the Megatrends shaping American Life

Lee Rainie
Lee Rainie

Lee Rainie is the director of internet and technology research at Pew Research Center. Under his leadership, the Center has issued more than 650 reports based on its surveys that examine people’s online activities and the internet’s role in their lives. The American Sociological Association gave Rainie its award for “excellence in the reporting on social issues” in 2014 and described his work as the “most authoritative source of reliable data on the use and impact of the internet and mobile connectivity.” Rainie is a co-author of Networked: The new social operating system and five books about the future of the internet that are drawn from the Center’s research. He gives several dozen speeches a year to government officials, media leaders, scholars and students, technology executives, librarians, and nonprofit groups about the changing media ecosystem. Prior to launching Pew Research Center’s technology research, Rainie was managing editor of U.S. News & World Report.

David Abel

March 8, 2022

Flagler Topic: “Entangled – the Race to Save the North Atlantic Right Whale.”

David Abel
David Abel

A photojournalist, award-winning reporter on the Boston Globe staff since 1999, David Abel has covered war in the Balkans, unrest in Latin America, national security issues in Washington D.C., terrorism in New York and Boston, and climate change and poverty in New England. Abel, also a documentary filmmaker and an occasional professor of journalism, was part of the team that won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News for the paper’s coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings. Abel was standing on the finish line when the Boston Marathon bombs detonated a few steps away and played a key role in the Globe's coverage of the attack and its aftermath. His footage from the finish line was part of a package that was nominated for an Emmy and won a national Edward R. Murrow Award. He now covers the environment for the Globe.

Andrea Barnet

March 22, 2022

Author, “Visionary Women.” Flagler Topic: The pioneering lives of Jane Goodall and Alice Waters.

Andrea Barnet
Andrea Barnet

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.

Nate Hochman
Nate Hochman

Nate Hochman

National Review Writer

What is the Future of Conservatism?

Thursday, September 8th, 2022, at 7:00 pm

Location: Auditorium (14 Granada Street, St. Augustine, FL 32084)

Nate Hochman is a staff writer at National Review and a 2021-22 Robert Novak Fellow at the Fund for American Studies. His writing has appeared in print and online in The American Conservative, City Journal, The Claremont Review of Books, National Affairs, National Review, The New York Times, and numerous other outlets, and he’s a regular guest on television, podcasts and radio. He was described as “a rising star in the intellectual right” by NPR, and “a key figure on the US intellectual right” by The New Statesman; he’s also been described with adjectives that can’t be included in this bio by a long list of angry Twitter users. A 2021 Publius Fellow at the Claremont Institute, he graduated with distinction in Political Science from Colorado College in May 2021.


Günther Jikeli

The Erna B. Rosenfeld Professor in Jewish Studies at Indiana University

The Return of Radical Antisemitism: Online, Offline, Where, Why, and What to do about it.

Date: Thursday, August 25th, from 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Location: Flagler Room (Ponce De Leon Hall, 74 King Street, St Augustine, Fl 32084)

Günther Jikeli holds the Erna B. Rosenfeld Professorship at Indiana University's Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism at the Borns Jewish Studies Program. He is an associate professor in Germanic Studies and Jewish Studies at Indiana University. His latest book "The Return of Religious Antisemitism?" (ed.) was published in 2021. In 2019, he published (with Olaf Glockner) "Das neue Unbehagen. Antisemitismus in Deutschland heute" [The New Unease. Antisemitism in Germany Today]. In 2015, he published the monograph "European Muslim Antisemitism." with IU Press. In 2013, he was awarded the Raoul Wallenberg Prize in Human Rights and Holocaust Studies. Günther's academic work was recognized in 2019 by The Algemeiner as one of "The Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life." Jikeli is the editor of a book (2014) on forced labor at Peenemunde from 1936 to 1945 for the construction of the V-2 Rocket under technical director Wernher von Braun. The book underlines the irrationality of this endeavor, which led to immense suffering. His research focuses on online and offline forms of contemporary antisemitism. He runs the research lab "Social Media & Hate." Dr. Jikeli offers supervision and advice for students who wish to study antisemitism or who are writing a thesis related to antisemitism/ critical antisemitism studies.


Alexander Heffner
Alexander Heffner

Alexander Heffner

Host of PBS Show “The Open Mind”

Civil Discourse an Uncivil Age

Thursday, October 13th, 2022, at 7:00 pm

Location: Virginia Room, 2nd Floor of the Student Center (50 Sevilla Street, St. Augustin, FL 32084)

Alexander is host of The Open Mind on PBS. He has covered American culture, politics, and civic life since the 2008 presidential campaign. He is coauthor of best-selling A Documentary History of the United States (Penguin, 2022), and recipient of University of Denver’s Anvil of Freedom Award, Franklin Pierce University’s Fitzwater Medallion for Leadership in Public Communication, and Yale University’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism. He is profiled in The Wrap, Mediaite, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Des Moines Register, Christian Science Monitor, Variety, Medium, and on MSNBC, C-SPAN, NPR, CNN, ABC and the BBC. His writing appears in USA TODAY, WIRED, TIME, The Wall Street Journal, The Independent, NYT's Room for Debate, Boston Globe, and Philadelphia Inquirer, among other publications. He has lectured at the Newseum, National Constitution Center, Museum of American Finance, FDR Library and Museum, The American University in Cairo, Initiative for Truth at University of Sydney, Center for Information and Bubble Studies at University of Copenhagen, Institute on Constitutional Democracy at University of Missouri, Civil Discourse Lab at the University of New Hampshire, Department of Writing and Rhetoric at University of Mississippi, Center for Constitutional Democracy at Marshall University, Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State, Clarke Forum at Dickinson College, and Alpha Seminar at Carroll College, among other institutions of learning.

Learn More:

Raymond Scheindlin
Raymond Scheindlin
Back To Top

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.

Watch the video

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.


November 16, 2021

Nora Super

Flagler Topic: “Three Trends Shaping the Politics of Aging.”
Nora Super
Nora Super

Nora Super is the senior director of the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging and the executive director of the Milken Institute Alliance to Improve Dementia Care. Launched in 2020, the Alliance to Improve Dementia Care seeks to transform and improve the complex health and long-term care systems that people at risk for and living with dementia must navigate. Super is a respected thought leader, frequent speaker, and prolific writer on healthy longevity and the economic and social impact of global population aging. From 2014 to 2016, Super served as the executive director of the White House Conference on Aging, where she received wide recognition for her nationwide efforts to improve the lives of older Americans. She has also held leadership roles at the US Department of Health and Human Services, AARP, Kaiser Permanente, and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging.

Back To Top

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.

Back To Top


"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.

Back To Top

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

Back To Top

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


Back 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

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.
Back To Top

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.
Back To Top

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.

Back To Top

Proudly Presented

A special thank you to these sponsors:

Sponsor - Leonard's

Sponsor - Casa Monica Resort and Spa