Panel: The Media and the Presidency
Kenneth Walsh, Panelist
Kenneth T. Walsh is a widely known author and speaker and the award-winning White House correspondent and columnist for U.S. News & World Report.
Historian Douglas Brinkley has written, “No journalist today covers U.S. presidential politics with the same bedrock self-assurance, analytical thought, and literary aplomb as Ken Walsh.” He has covered the White House since 1986 and has won the most prestigious honors for reporting on the presidency, the Aldo Beckman Award in 1991 and 2007, and the Gerald R. Ford Prize in 1993, 1998, and 2009. In 2006, he won the Fitzwater Prize for Leadership in Public Communication presented by the Fitzwater Center at Franklin Pierce College. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Washington Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists in 2009.
Walsh joined the magazine in 1984 as a congressional correspondent and has covered the presidency, presidential campaigns, and national politics since 1986. As an adjunct professorial lecturer in communication at American University in Washington, D.C., Walsh has taught courses on politics and the media, media ethics, how the media shape history, and the “PR presidency.”
Before joining the magazine, Walsh was a political reporter, columnist, and Washington correspondent for the Denver Post. Before that, he was a Denver-based reporter and editor for the Associated Press.
Walsh makes frequent television appearances on networks including ABC, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Fox News, and C-SPAN, and is often a guest on radio programs across the country. He appears every Sunday morning on WTOP in Washington to analyze news related to the presidency and politics. Walsh also gives frequent lectures on the presidency, the media, and politics.
He has written seven books: Celebrity in Chief: A History of the Presidents and the Culture of Stardom (2015); Prisoners of the White House: The Isolation of America’s Presidents and the Crisis of Leadership (2013); Family of Freedom: Presidents and African Americans in the White House (2011); From Mount Vernon to Crawford: A History of the Presidents and Their Retreats (2005); Air Force One: A History of the Presidents and Their Planes (2003); Ronald Reagan, Biography (1997), and Feeding the Beast: The White House Versus the Press (1996). Walsh’s freelance work has been published in the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the New Republic.
In reporting on the presidency, Walsh has traveled to more than 70 countries and covered a wide range of events, including many superpower summits and international conferences. He 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.
Lara Brown, Panelist
Lara Brown is the Graduate School of Political Management’s Political Management Program Director and an associate professor.
A distinguished writer, Dr. Brown’s most recent book Jockeying for the American Presidency: The Political Opportunism of Aspirants is the first systematic study of presidential aspirants from the 1790s to the present. She is a regular contributor to U.S. News & World Report’s Thomas Jefferson Street blog, and is quoted regularly in leading media outlets nationwide.
Her research interests include national elections, presidential aspirants, congressional incumbents, American political parties, the ideological underpinnings of presidential rhetoric, and political scandals. She serves on the Board of Directors of The New Agenda, a “pro-woman” organization devoted to empowering women and improving the lives of girls.
Dr. Brown previously served as an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Villanova University. Prior to returning to academia, she worked as an education policy and public affairs consultant. Dr. Brown also served in President William J. Clinton’s administration at the U.S. Department of Education. Dr. Brown earned her B.A., M.A., and Ph. D. in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles. She also earned a M.A. in American politics and public policy from the University of Arizona.
Kyle Kondik, Panelist
Kyle Kondik is managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball, the University of Virginia Center for Politics’ authoritative, nonpartisan newsletter on American campaigns and elections. Kyle’s analysis of presidential, congressional, and gubernatorial politics has been cited by the BBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BuzzFeed, and numerous other media outlets and publications, and he is a frequent contributor to Politico magazine. He also serves as the Center’s communications director and is based in Washington, where he manages the Center’s DC office.
Kyle has analyzed American politics on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC, and he has given speeches to groups at the U.S. Department of State, National Governors Association, Congressional Summer Intern Lecture Series, Princeton University, University of Virginia, and many others.
Before joining the Center for Politics in 2011, Kyle served as director of policy and research for former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray and as a reporter, editorial page editor, and political columnist at newspapers in Northeast Ohio. He is a 2006 graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, where he also served as editor of the university’s student-run newspaper, The Post.
Kyle is working on a book, The Bellwether: Why Ohio Picks the President, scheduled for publication in 2016 by Ohio University Press.
Political Symposium Keynote
Carl Cannon, Keynote Speaker
Carl M. Cannon is the Washington editor of RealClearPolitics and the former executive editor of PoliticsDaily. He has covered every presidential campaign and major political convention since 1984 and has received the two most prestigious awards for White House coverage—the prestigious Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting of the Presidency and the Aldo Beckman award for “excellence in presidential news coverage.”
Previously, Cannon was the DC bureau chief for Reader’s Digest, and he covered the White House for The National Journal and The Baltimore Sun for a decade before that. Before coming to Washington during the Reagan presidency, Cannon worked for six newspapers over a 20-year span covering police, courts, politics, education, and race relations at newspapers in Virginia, Georgia, and his home state of California. His first job in the news business was as a paperboy delivering The San Francisco Chronicle. He is also a past president of the White House Correspondents’ Association.
In 2007, Cannon was a fellow-in-residence at the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he taught a study group on the press and the presidency. He has also lectured on journalism and politics at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, George Washington University, and the Aspen Institute and participated in presidency conferences at Princeton and the University of London. Cannon is a three-time fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution.
As the editor of one of the preeminent political news sources in Washington, DC, Carl Cannon offers his own signature brand of political analysis. With unsurpassed access to the White House, candidates, and their respective staffs, Cannon gives his audience a riveting behind-the-scenes, real-time look at politics, providing in-depth reporting and analysis. His presentations are full of up-to-the-minute news-breaking material, and he gives an insider’s perspective on the key moments and issues, as well as a careful survey of the terrain ahead.
Panel: The Presidency and the People
Shirley Anne Warshaw, Panelist
Shirley Anne Warshaw is Professor of Political Science at Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and holds an endowed chair, the Harold G. Evans Chair of Eisenhower Leadership Studies. She received her Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University, MGA from the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce of the University of Pennsylvania, and B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining the Gettysburg College faculty, Dr. Warshaw worked in Pennsylvania state government and served in the Governor’s Office under two governors.
Dr. Warshaw has written ten books on presidential decision-making and numerous book chapters and journal articles. Her books include The Clinton Years (2004), The Keys to Power: Managing the Presidency (2004 second edition, 1999 first edition), The Domestic Presidency: Decision Making in
the White House (1997), Powersharing: White House-Cabinet Relations in the Modern Presidency (1996), Reexamining the Eisenhower Presidency (1994), The Eisenhower Legacy (1992), The Co-Presidency of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney (2009) and The White House Staff: The Engine of Government (2013). Her research focuses on the domestic and international policy implications of decision structures in the White House.
She has been a consultant to PBS, involved with the presidential debates, editorial consultant, and serves on the Council of Scholars for the Center for the Study of the Presidency. Dr. Warshaw is a frequent speaker on National Public Radio, a guest columnist, and commentator on radio and television on presidential leadership.
Howard Ernst, Panelist
Howard R. Ernst is Professor of Political Science within the Political Science Department of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis Maryland. Dr. Ernst teaches classes in environmental policy, energy policy, and directs the Honors Program within the Naval Academy’s Political Science Department. He also represents the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics as a Senior Scholar in the area of environmental policy and directs the Environmental Leadership Program at Gettysburg College’s Eisenhower Institute where he is the Seiden-Levi Fellow of Public Policy. During the 2011-2012 academic year, Dr. Ernst served as the inaugural Director of the Kohler Environmental Center.
Dr. Ernst received his Ph.D. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Government and Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia in the spring of 2000. While at the University of Virginia, Dr. Ernst received several of the school’s highest academic awards, including: the Governor’s Fellowship, the Bradley Fellowship, and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Dissertation Fellowship. In 2004, Dr. Ernst received an honorable mention for the Naval Academy’s highest teaching award.
Dr. Ernst’s research focuses on the American political system and gives close attention to citizen influence over the environmental policy process. He has published six books and numerous academic articles. While his interdisciplinary research spans multiple academic fields, Dr. Ernst has developed a national reputation for his work in the area of environmental policy and natural resource management. He is currently researching the determinants of environmental behavior and energy conservation. Other ongoing research projects include the radical environmental movement in the United States, public opinion formation regarding sea-level rise, and the influence of negative elite cues on public opinion regarding environmental issues. His environmental policy books have been adopted in courses as diverse as a graduate seminar at Yale University’s School of Forestry, New York University’s School of Law, and Johns Hopkins University’s School of Geography and Environmental Engineering, in addition to dozens of public policy courses taught in political science departments throughout the country.
His books have been highlighted in numerous media outlets, including the Washington Post, National Public Radio, C-SPAN, Voice of America, and a PBS Frontline documentary. Ernst’s work has resulted in invitations to testify before Congress and to guest lecture at institutions including Case Western Reserve, University of Virginia, Yale University, the Smithsonian Environmental Research Institute, and other centers of higher education.
Panel: Young Americans
Curator of Political History
Jon Grinspan will address students as part of a 2-part discussion at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History titled “When Young Americans Participated: Stories from the Age of Popular Politics and the Civil Rights Movement.”
Jon is Curator of Political History at Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. His new book – The Virgin Vote: How Young Americans Made Democracy Social, Politics Personal, and Voting Popular in the Nineteenth Century – uncovers the forgotten role young men and women have played in American democracy, particularly in the 19th century. He earned his undergraduate degree from Sarah Lawrence College, as well as a Master’s and Ph.D. in History from the University of Virginia. Jon is a frequent contributor to the New York Times, The Atlantic and elsewhere.
Director, Experience and Program Design and Director, Program in African-American History and Culture
Chris Wilson will share his expertise in the civil rights movement with students as part of a 2-part discussion at the National Museum of American History titled “When Young Americans Participated: Stories from the Age of Popular Politics and the Civil Rights Movement.”
In leading Experience Program and Design as well as the Museum’s African American History Program. Chris works to engage visitors in conversation about our nation’s rich and diverse history with a number of special programs. The director of the African American History Program since June 2004, Chris oversees the Program’s rich collection of oral histories, interviews, and recordings. He strives to use programming to enrich the experience of every visitor by offering them a glimpse into the rich history and culture of black Americans and an understanding that the American experience springs from many diverse stories.