Masters of Media

Joe Lockhart, Ed Henry and Bob Herbert
Photo caption: Joe Lockhart; Ed Henry, photo courtesy of Erika Dimmler; Bob Herbert, photo courtesy of The New York Times.
August 23, 2010

Joe Lockhart, Ed Henry and Bob Herbert have been appointed fellows of GW’s School of Media and Public Affairs for the upcoming academic year.

Mr. Lockhart, former White House press secretary under President Bill Clinton; Mr. Henry, CNN’s senior White House correspondent; and Mr. Herbert, New York Times columnist, will be hosting events, guest lecturing in classes and meeting with faculty and students throughout the year.

“The School of Media and Public Affairs is excited to enhance our classroom discussions and public events with three nationally recognized experts in media and politics,” says Frank Sesno, SMPA director. “Their varied experiences not only embody the trifecta of public affairs and communications but also get at the heart of what we teach – reporting, opinion journalism and political communication.”

On Sept. 1, SMPA faculty and students are invited to attend a discussion with Mr. Lockhart, and on Sept. 7, Mr. Henry will address SMPA students and faculty at the school’s Majors Night.

Mr. Lockhart is a founding partner and managing director of the Glover Park Group, a strategic communications firm in Washington. He also served as senior adviser to Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) during his 2004 presidential campaign, national press secretary for the 1996 Clinton-Gore campaign, deputy press secretary for the 1988 Dukakis-Bentsen campaign and assistant press secretary for the 1984 Mondale-Ferraro campaign. Earlier in his career, he worked for ABC News, CNN and SKY Television News -- Europe’s first 24-hour television broadcast news service.

With midterm elections coming up this fall, Mr. Lockhart, Mr. Henry and Mr. Herbert all plan to reflect on the races with students and explore the role of digital and social media in modern American politics.

“We live in a communications environment that reinvents itself now every four years,” says Mr. Lockhart. “I’m excited to share my experiences in politics, government and the global business world with the students and faculty.”

As a White House correspondent, Mr. Henry has gotten the chance to conduct sit-down interviews with President Barack Obama in both Beijing and Moscow. Prior to becoming a White House correspondent, he covered Capitol Hill for CNN and reported from the campaign trail during the 2004 election cycle. And before joining CNN in 2004, Mr. Henry was senior editor and columnist for Roll Call. He began his career as an investigative reporter working with the late columnist Jack Anderson.

“I’m really thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such a distinguished institution as George Washington University,” says Mr. Henry, who has been awarded the White House Correspondents’ Association’s Merriman Smith Award for excellence in presidential coverage under deadline pressure as well as the Everett Dirksen Award for Distinguished Reporting of Congress from the National Press Foundation.

“From time to time in recent years, I’ve had several chances to deliver lectures and appear on panels at GW that have exposed me to the high caliber of its students and faculty. But now I think having a more formal role will make the experience all the more rewarding for the students and for me because I have always walked away from an interaction at GW with more knowledge myself.”

Mr. Herbert specializes in writing about politics, urban affairs and social trends in his column for the New York Times. He’s also worked as a national correspondent for NBC News and as a reporter and editor for The Daily News and The Star-Ledger.

Mr. Herbert says he is looking forward to working with GW students who are aspiring to become journalists.

“The United States is struggling with some of its most severe problems in decades, domestically and internationally,” says Mr. Herbert, who has won numerous awards, including the Meyer Berger Award for covering New York City and the American Society of Newspaper Editors award for distinguished newspaper writing.

“There has never been a greater need for an American press corps that is smart, energetic, ethical and wise,” he says. “It will be a great privilege to join with students and faculty in the important task of exploring the role and responsibilities of the press in this tumultuous period of our history.”

Dana Perino, former White House press secretary under President George W. Bush, will also be teaching at GW this fall.

Mr. Sesno says SMPA students have a “unique and perhaps unprecedented opportunity this year to learn from three people who have “shaped the media landscape.”

“Access to experienced, first-hand accounts of commentary, campaigns and campaign reporting will give our students an inside view of how our political process and the media actually intersect,” he says.

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