175th Anniversary Distinguished Alumni Lecture Series: A Yearlong DePauw Discourse
Feb. 19 - See recap and video
Music of the 21st Century Closing Concert
Judson and Joyce Green Center for the Performing Arts, Kresge Auditorium
175th Anniversary Distinguished Alumni Lecture: A Year-Long DePauw Discourse
East College, Meharry Hall
Vernon E. Jordan Jr. is a senior managing director of Lazard Frѐres & Co. LLC in New York. Prior to joining Lazard, Jordan was a senior executive partner with the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Field, L.L.P., where he remains of counsel. While there, he practiced general, corporate, legislative and international law in Washington, D.C.
Previously, Jordan served as president and chief executive officer of the National Urban League, Inc.; executive director of the United Negro College Fund, Inc.; director of the Voter Education Project of the Southern Regional Council; attorney-consultant, U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity; assistant to the executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and an attorney in private practice in Arkansas and Georgia.
Jordan’s presidential appointments include: the President’s Advisory Committee for the Points of Light Initiative Foundation, Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on South Africa, Advisory Council on Social Security, Presidential Clemency Board, American Revolution Bicentennial Commission, National Advisory Committee on Selective Service, and Council of the White House Conference “To Fulfill These Rights.” In 1992 Jordan served as the chairman of the Clinton Presidential Transition Team.
He holds directorships at several organizations, including: American Express Company; Asbury Automotive Group, Inc.; Dow Jones & Company, Inc.; Howard University trustee; J.C. Penney Company, Inc.; Sara Lee Corporation; Shinsei Bank, Ltd. (senior adviser); Xerox Corporation; International Advisory Board of Daimler Chrysler and Barrick Gold.
Jordan is a 1957 graduate of DePauw University, with a major in political science, and the Howard University Law School. He is recipient of honorary degrees from more than 60 colleges and universities in America. He is a member of the Bars of Arkansas, District of Columbia, Georgia and U.S. Supreme Court. He is a member of the American Bar Association, National Bar Association, Council on Foreign Relations and The Bilderberg Meetings. He is the author of Vernon Can Read! A Memoir and Make It Plain: Standing Up and Speaking Out.
March 7, 8 p.m. See video
East College, Meharry Hall
Kyle Smitley is creator and owner of Barley & Birch. She is among Inc.’s 2009 listing of 30 Under 30: America’s Coolest Entrepreneurs. An experience as a DePauw student planted a seed that led Smitley to create her company.
Barley & Birch, named for the barley fields near DePauw University and birch trees remembered from her childhood, is a rapidly growing, environmentally responsible children’s clothing company. The company goal is to provide the safest clothing and to be as carbon neutral as possible in its production.
Barley & Birch’s business model operates on the idea of giving back. Smitley has donated more than half of her profits – after paying her staff and a business loan – to organizations that she feels personally connected with, such as CoCoDa, a nonprofit that promotes community development in areas of Central America, which she visited as a DePauw student.
When Smitley decided to start Barley & Birch, she had absolutely no experience in the apparel industry. But a summer internship in Washington, D.C., compelled her to start the business. As an environmental science major, Smitley had taken a research internship in summer of 2007, after graduating college. By chance, she ended up doing some side research for the owner of a clothing boutique who wanted to know whether the companies that claimed to have organic or green products were really making them. Smitley’s reports turned up some useful information, including the fact that many of the organic kids clothing companies were not actually using the healthiest fabrics or materials.
The company started in 2007 and produces all of its clothing in the United States, using 100 percent certified organic cotton and water-based inks.
April 11, 7:30 p.m.
The Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics
Judith Edstrom is a powerful advocate for social development and good governance, having worked in positions of leadership, advocacy and analysis for the World Bank, UNICEF and RTI International in over 30 countries.
Edstrom recently completed an assignment with RTI International in Indonesia where she managed the largest USAID governance project outside Iraq, aimed at strengthening accountability and effectiveness of government in local jurisdictions across Indonesia. Until 2004, she served in a variety of leadership roles with the World Bank over a 25-year period, including as sector manager of the social development department and chief of mission in South Africa. In the latter position, she brought about what South African officials described as a "sea change" in that country's relationship with the Bank, resulting in the government's first request to borrow from the bank for human development grants.
Edstrom served UNICEF from 1979-84 as chief of the Francophone section in the agency's regional office in East Africa. She is now an independent consultant in social development and governance, including advising for the Partnership for Transparency Fund in Washington, D.C.
Edstrom earned a B.A. degree in European politics and economics from DePauw in 1970, was valedictorian of her 1972 class at Columbia University's School of International Affairs where she received a Master of International Affairs degree, and in 1999 completed Harvard University's World Bank Executive Development Program. Edstrom received an honorary doctorate degree from DePauw in 2005.
April 11, 7:30 p.m.
The Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics
Mary Leonard’s 30-year career as a Washington correspondent, editor and bureau chief spanned coverage of seven presidents and many national political campaigns, social issues, two Gulf wars and the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
Since 2004 Leonard has served as deputy managing editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. She directs digital and social media in the newsroom and supervises post-gazette.com; PG+, a premium sports website; and Pipeline, an award-winning website focused on the issue of natural-gas drilling in Pennsylvania. In addition, Leonard manages the Post-Gazette’s mobile platforms and multimedia department.
Leonard’s Washington career includes roles as a writer and editor for the National Observer newspaper, reporter and later bureau chief for the Detroit News, deputy bureau chief and news editor at New York Newsday, and deputy Washington bureau chief and senior correspondent at the Boston Globe. During her tenure at New York Newsday, her staff won the Pulitzer Prize, Gerald R. Ford Award, National Press Club Washington Correspondence Award and Sigma Delta Chi Award for national reporting.
Leonard is a member of the Washington Gridiron Club. She grew up in Chicago Heights, Ill., and received a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in political science from DePauw in 1970. She earned a master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 1971. Leonard earned DePauw University’s 2011 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award for Media and induction into the Media Wall of Fame.
May 10, 8 p.m.
East College, Meharry Hall
Joseph P. Allen flew on two space shuttles, both milestone flights: the first operational mission on Columbia in 1982 and first satellite salvage mission on Discovery in 1984.
Born in Crawfordsville, Ind., in 1937, Allen earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics and physics from DePauw and a master’s and doctoral degrees in physics from Yale University.
A Rector Scholar and Fulbright Scholar at DePauw, Allen later received an honorary doctor of science degree from DePauw in 1983, the Old Gold Goblet in 1985 and induction into the Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994. Allen now serves on the DePauw Board of Trustees.
He was a nuclear physics research associate at the University of Washington when NASA selected him as one of 11 scientist-astronauts in 1967. After serving in several administrative positions with NASA, including four years at headquarters, he returned in 1981 to Johnson Space Center where he helped support the first space shuttle flight.
After four test flights, Columbia was ready for operational duty, blasting off in 1982 with Allen and three crewmates to deliver the first satellites to orbit for paying customers. Nine hours after liftoff, Allen and William Lenoir conducted a countdown and sent a Satellite Business Systems communications satellite spinning out of the cargo bay. They repeated the feat the next day with a Canadian satellite. To celebrate the first commercial deployment from a shuttle, the crew displayed a sign: “Ace Moving Co. – We Deliver!” Allen and Lenoir were to have made the first shuttle space walk, but technical problems with the space suits canceled this plan.
History’s first space salvage mission began when Allen and four other astronauts blazed into orbit aboard Discovery in 1984. Their main goal was to retrieve two communications satellites, Westar 6 and Palapa B2, which had been stranded in useless orbits after deployment from an earlier shuttle. Early in flight, the crew released a pair of satellites and then set out to round up their first target, Palapa. Once they caught up with it, Allen and Dale Gardner, wearing space suits, glided outside, with Allen moving untethered over to Palapa, propelled by a Buck Rogers-like jet pack. He latched onto it and moved it into position to be grabbed by the ship’s robot arm. For 90 minutes, one circuit of the globe, Allen held aloft the 1,200-pound satellite while work was done on it before it was manually lowered into the cargo bay. Allen and Gardner used similar procedures two days later to retrieve and stow Westar. Back on earth, the two satellites were repaired for return to orbit.
Allen left NASA in 1985. He served as chief executive officer of Space Industries International, Washington, D.C., and later was chairman of Veridian Corp., until he retired in 2004. Allen was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame on April 30, 2005.
June 10, 10:30 a.m.
Gobin United Methodist Church
When Kevin Armstrong was graduated from DePauw, he couldn’t decide whether to attend law school or seminary. So he tried both. Armstrong discovered that the path between law school and divinity school would include frequent visits to death row inmates, advocacy for migrant workers and organizing interfaith groups during times of racial unrest. Armstrong was graduated from Duke Divinity School in 1985, but his passion for justice and charity would be a lifelong theme.
Following graduation from Duke, Kevin served as associate chaplain at DePauw and led weekend and Winter Term trips to Indianapolis, Sierra Leone, Haiti and Nicaragua. The next 25 years were spent serving two United Methodist congregations in urban Indianapolis: Roberts Park and North. His ministry has included local, national and international leadership in ministries of education, healthcare, housing, food sustainability and restorative justice.
Armstrong started a new chapter in his career in March 2012, becoming president of Methodist Health Foundation, the organization of philanthropic support for Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. Choosing to move into the healthcare philanthropy sector was not a huge stretch for Armstrong, who worked as an Emergency Medical Technician during college and regularly visited parishioner patients and families in the hospital. In addition, he joined the board of directors of Methodist Health Foundation in 2008 and chaired its 20th anniversary planned giving task force in 2010.
Armstrong possesses extensive fund-raising experience, having led multi-million dollar capital campaigns, written successful million-dollar+ grants, and adjudicated grants for Lilly Endowment and Louisville Institute. He served as a public teacher with the Religion and Urban Culture Project at The Polis Center at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, worked on research-based projects and initiated a national public teaching project based on a six-year study of the role of religion in Indianapolis. He has written and taught for religious, civic and government audiences; created publications for academic and public audiences; and directed an 11-part PBS series, “Faith & Community: The Public Role of Religion.”
September 28, 4 p.m.
East College, Meharry Hall
Angela R. Hicks founded Angie’s List in 1995 in Columbus, Ohio, in an effort to provide homeowners with a convenient way to find reliable, high-quality, local service companies.
In 13 years, Hicks has grown the company to provide service to more than 750,000 members in 124 of the largest cities in the United States. Angie’s List is recognized as an Internet pioneer and one of the best consumer websites in the nation, offering ratings and reviews on more than 400 different categories of services.
In March 2008, Angie’s List expanded from its traditional categories that focused on home, lawn, auto and personal services, and began offering ratings on healthcare providers. As is Angie’s List tradition, the expansion was driven by demand from the membership, and response has been overwhelming. Healthcare categories have been expanded three times since March. More than 100 are currently offered. Additional growth and enhancement to the healthcare categories are planned for 2009.
In addition to providing local service company insights, Hicks is recognized as a consumer expert and has issued calls for action in several areas, including health problems caused by lead, radon and mold. She has raised consumer awareness to pitfalls in the real estate industry and home improvement safety.
Hicks is a regular contributor to national and local consumer news stories across the country, including the Today Show and CNN, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and magazines such as This Old House, Money, Good Housekeeping, and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
Hicks graduated magna cum laude from DePauw in 1995 with a degree in economics, and from Harvard Business School in 2000 with a Master in Business Administration degree. She serves on the board of directors of The Governor Robert Orr Fellowship Program, which she helped found in 2001. In 2007 DePauw named her a Distinguished Alumni for Management and Entrepreneurship.
October 4, 8 p.m.
Judson and Joyce Green Center for the Performing Arts, Kresge Auditorium
Born out of adversity, ESPN has become the Worldwide Leader in Sports. Bill Rasmussen is the man who had the dream, the founder of ESPN. Rasmussen’s entrepreneurial daring, his irrepressible enthusiasm and a dash of good luck gave the world the first 24-hour television network
Rasmussen founded ESPN in the summer of 1978, within days of being fired by the New England Whalers when the Whalers didn’t make the 1978 WHA playoffs. His idea for an all-sports cable TV network captured his imagination, and he incorporated the fledgling network on July 14, 1978. He began to seek out investors, sponsors, content providers, satellite technology and cable television companies. With an idea that was truly ahead of its time, and quickly running out of cash, Rasmussen found one investor who believed in the concept, and by Sept. 7, 1979, ESPN was on the air for the first time, just 14 months from Rasmussen’s moment of inspiration.
A lifelong entrepreneur and sports fan, Rasmussen’s innovations in advertising, sports and broadcasting are numerous, including the creation of ESPN, the concepts for Sports Center, wall-to-wall coverage of NCAA regular-season and March Madness college basketball, and coverage of the College World Series. He broke the advertising barrier to cable television by signing Anheuser Busch to the largest cable TV advertising contract ever.
Once unleashed upon sports fans, ESPN’s impact forever changed the way we watch television. Rasmussen revealed the inside story of the birth of ESPN in his best-selling book, Sports Junkies Rejoice! The Birth of ESPN, which is available on his website, ESPNFounder.com, and at bookstores. He was named The Father of Cable Sports by USA Today, and the George Washington of ESPN by longtime ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman.
Rasmussen graduated from DePauw University in 1954 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. During his four years at DePauw, he was a Rector Scholar and member of Lambda Chi Alpha. (In August 2009, he was keynote speaker at the Lambda Chi Alpha Centennial Celebration.) Rasmussen was also the Cadet Corps Commander in the Air Force ROTC. Following his graduation, he served in the United States Air Force, and then he earned a M.B.A. degree from Rutgers University in 1960.
Rasmussen began his career as a sports broadcaster at WTTT-AM radio in Amherst, Mass. He created the first-ever radio network for University of Massachusetts football and basketball games. He moved on to WWLP-TV in Springfield, Mass. as the sports director, and then news director and anchor for the evening news for two years. He did numerous football, basketball, baseball and hockey play-by-play assignments on both radio and television.
He frequently returns to Bristol, Conn., for ESPN’s annual anniversary celebrations. In September 2010, ESPN dedicated the flagpole at its Bristol headquarters to its founder. Rasmussen was honored in the 2011 class of The Champions: Pioneers & Innovators in Sports Business from Sports Business Journal and the Sports Business Daily, recognizing the architects and builders of sports, during a special ceremony at the IMG World Congress of Sports. The state of Connecticut proclaimed Oct. 9, 2008, as Bill Rasmussen Day. In 2004 he received the Bill Conners Communications Award from the Jim Thorpe Association. In 2002 he was named to Rutgers University’s Wall of Fame. In 2001 he received the prestigious Order of Achievement from Lambda Chi Alpha. He was inducted into the Connecticut Sports Museum & Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Enfield, Conn., Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999. Rasmussen was named to The Sports 100, honoring the 100 most important people in American Sports History. His place in sports history was further recognized by Sports Illustrated in 1994, when he was honored as one of the 40 for the Ages, one of 40 individuals who significantly altered and elevated the world of sport in the last half of the 20th century.
Rasmussen is a gifted raconteur and a popular public speaker, discussing American entrepreneurship, innovation and birth of ESPN, and a frequent guest on radio and television shows. His recent appearances include nationally syndicated radio shows “Sports Byline USA with Ron Barr,” “The Dennis Miller Show” and FOX News Channel’s “Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld.” He has been the featured speaker on the campuses of Wichita State University, Auburn University, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, University of Saint Francis, Missouri Valley College, Villanova University, Bay Path College, Princeton University, Quinnipiac University’s School of Law, University of Florida School of Law, Azusa Pacific University, Lindenwood University, Saint Xavier University, Indiana Tech and The Center for Sports Leadership at Virginia Commonwealth University, among others.
February 20, 2013
Scott Rasmussen is founder and president of Rasmussen Reports. He is a political analyst, author, speaker and, since 1994, an independent public opinion pollster.
Scott founded Rasmussen Reports, LLC in 2003 as a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion polling information. Rasmussen Reports provides in-depth data, news coverage and commentary on political, business, economic and lifestyle topics at RasmussenReports.com, America’s most visited public opinion polling site.
“If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls” is more than a company slogan; it’s the way Scott runs his business. Polling topics are inspired by the day’s headlines, not dictated by any client or special interest group. As the influential Washington publication The Politico puts it, Rasmussen Reports is "an organization with fast zeitgeist reflexes."
Scott and his firm have developed a reputation for delivering reliable, newsworthy and actionable public opinion data. National political commentator Michael Barone calls him “one of America’s most innovative pollsters.” Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen, pollsters for Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, say that Scott has an “unchallenged record for both integrity and accuracy.” The Wall Street Journal proclaims that "Mr. Rasmussen is today's leading insurgent pollster" and "a key player in the contact sport of politics."
Scott speaks regularly at events and with the media, translating poll numbers into meaningful analysis and commentary about current events, underlying trends and the questions that Americans are curious about. He is a frequent guest on Fox News, CNBC, BBC and other major media outlets. He also has appeared on The Colbert Report on Comedy Central.
Highlighting Rasmussen Reports' increasing presence in the water cooler environment of many Americans, it's even been mentioned on popular television shows like The West Wing, The Tonight Show and Gossip Girl .
Scott is the author of Mad as Hell: How the Tea Party Movement is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System and In Search of Self-Governance and has had several columns published in the Wall Street Journal. Additionally, his work has appeared in USA Today , The Washington Post , The Los Angeles Times , The Boston Globe , Investor' s Business Daily , The Christian Science Monitor and other major publications.
Accuracy and stability are hallmarks of the Rasmussen tracking polls. In 2008, Rasmussen projected Obama would win by a 52% to 46% margin and the final results were 53% to 46%. In 2004, Rasmussen was within half a percentage point of the actual vote totals earned by both Bush and Kerry.
Slate.com ’s Mickey Kaus declared earlier this year, “If you have a choice between Rasmussen and, say, the prestigious N.Y. Times, go with Rasmussen.”
Scott did his first radio commercial at the age of seven and considers a career highlight the opportunity to work closely with hockey legend Gordie Howe. Scott and his father also founded the cable sports network ESPN. They sold their interest in 1984.
March 9, 2013
Dr. Ferid Murad received the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1998 for his discovery of the role of nitric oxide in the cardiovascular system.
The discovery not only contributed to a better understanding of how information is transmitted between cells but also had a significant influence on cardiovascular medicine, leading to changes in treatment following a heart attack. His research and findings on the effect of nitric oxide continue to influence the treatment of cancer and arthritis and other human diseases.
In addition to the Nobel Prize, Murad has received numerous awards and honors, including the Albert and Mary Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, American Heart Association Ciba Award and Baxter Award for Distinguished Research in the Biomedical Sciences from the Association of American Medical Colleges.
A professor at George Washington University’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Murad has served at the University of Texas at Houston as director emeritus of the Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases, director of the IMM Center for Cell Signaling, Regental Professor and John S. Dunn Sr. Distinguished Chair in Physiology and Medicine, and director of the UT Health Science Center at Houston Program in Intracellular Signaling.
He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and its Institute of Medicine, fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and member of the Texas Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science Technology.
Murad earned his undergraduate degree in premedical science and chemistry from DePauw in 1958 before earning M.D. and Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Case Western Reserve University in 1965.
April 7, 2013
2:00 p.m. 175th Anniversary Distinguished Alumni Lecture: A Year-Long DePauw Discourse
3:00 p.m. Concert
Judson and Joyce Green Center for the Performing Arts, Kresge Auditorium
Musical America’s 2004 Conductor of the Year, Joseph Flummerfelt’s artistry has been acclaimed in many of the world’s concert halls for over 40 years. He is founder and musical director of the New York Choral Artists, is an artistic director of Spoleto Festival USA, and for 33 years was conductor of the world-renown Westminster Choir. Since 1971 he has been responsible for most of the choral work of the New York Philharmonic.
As an orchestral conductor, Flummerfelt made his debut with the New York Philharmonic, conducting Haydn’s “Creation” in 1988. In 2001, he conducted the world premier of Stephen Paulus’ Voices of Light with the Philharmonic and the Westminster Choir. He has also appeared as guest conductor with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Juilliard Symphony Orchestra, and the San Antonio and Phoenix Symphonies. He has also conducted over 60 choral/orchestral performances with the Spoleto Festival Orchestra in the United States and Italy.
For over four decades Flummerfelt has collaborated in the preparation of hundreds of choral/orchestral performances and recordings with such conductors as Abbado, Bernstein, Barenboim, Boulez, Chailly, Colin Davis, Giulini, Maazel, Masur, Mehta, Muti, Ozawa, Sawallisch, Shaw, Steinberg and many others.
Joseph Flummerfelt’s Westminster Symphonic Choir and New York Choral artists have been featured in 45 recordings, including Britten's War Requiem and Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem and Schicksalslied with Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic; Mahler's Symphony No. 2 and a Grammy Award-winning Mahler's Symphony No. 3 with Leonard Bernstein; Puccini's Tosca and Berlioz's Romeo and Juliet with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra; Messiaen's Le Transfiguration de Notre Seigneur Jesus Christ with the National Symphony. His collaboration with Samuel Barber includes the Grammy Award-winning recording of the composer's opera, Anthony and Cleopatra. In 2004 his New York Choral Artists recording of John Adams’ On the Transmigration of Souls was awarded three Grammys. Earlier he was nominated for the Westminster Choir’s recording of the Haydn Lord Nelson Mass with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic, and Berlioz’s Romeo et Juliette with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Among the many recordings he has made with the Westminster Choir, his Delos recording of Brahms' choral works (Singing for Pleasure) was chosen by The New York Times as a favorite among all existing Brahms recordings. His 2004 recording with the choir, Heaven to Earth, has received high critical acclaim.
For 33 years Joseph Flummerfelt served as artistic director and principal conductor of Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey – a position from which he retired in 2004. He began his academic career as director of choral activities at DePauw from 1964 to 1968. He served in the same capacity at Florida State University from 1968 to 1971, when he began his tenure at Westminster. Since he retired from Westminster, Flummerfelt has held many visiting professorships and conducted many performances at a number of universities, including at DePauw in 2005. He has been director of choral activities for the Spoleto Festival U.S.A. in Charleston, South Carolina, since 1977 and for 23 years was the maestro del coro for the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy.
In addition to his Grammy awards and nominations, Flummerfelt’s many honors include Le Prix du President de la Republique from L’Academie du Disque Francais. He holds honorary doctorates from Purdue University, Vincennes University, Ursinus College, and DePauw. In 1988 he received the Old Gold Goblet, and was awarded the DePauw Gold Medal in 2005.
Bret Baier '92
Bret Baier serves as the anchor of Fox News Channel’s (FNC) “Special Report with Bret Baier,” the number one cable news program in its time slot (6-7 p.m. ET). Before assuming this role, which he took over for Brit Hume in January 2009, Baier served as chief White House correspondent, where he reported on presidential activities on a national and international level from 2006-09.
Prior to being named chief White House correspondent, Baier served as national security correspondent and reported on military and national security affairs, as well as on defense, military policy and the intelligence community from the Pentagon from 2001-06.
Throughout his career, Baier has secured numerous exclusive interviews with government officials. He had the only interview with President Obama during the week leading up to the historic healthcare vote in the House of Representatives in March 2010. Additionally, Baier has interviewed President George W. Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Peter Pace. He has also spoken with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in anticipation of key peace talks at the United Nations, Polish President Lech Kaczynski days after the U.S. decision to abort missile defense plans in Poland, and Georgian President Mikheul Saakashvili after the Russian invasion of Georgia. In addition, Baier had an exclusive sit-down with General Petraeus, which was his final interview as the head of U.S. operations, live from Iraq in September 2008.
During his tenure at FNC, Baier has covered a variety of major news events, including the congressional vote on healthcare legislation and the shootings at Fort Hood, Texas. He provided up-to-the minute coverage of the war in Iraq – traveling to Iraq on 13 separate occasions since 2003. He’s also covered the war in Afghanistan, reporting live there 11 times since 2001 – including a two-week stint embedded with U.S. Special Forces along the Afghan-Pakistan border. Baier also reported notably on the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the United States from the Pentagon and then followed the evolution of the attacks into the War on Terror. Previously, he reported on the U.S. military mission in Haiti, 1999 conflict in Kosovo and 2000 election recount in Florida.
Baier has also anchored several political specials on FNC, including one-hour specials about the stimulus package, bank bailout, cap-and-trade legislation and first year of the Obama presidency. Additionally, he anchored numerous election specials throughout the 2008 campaign from the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, as well as election night coverage from New York.
Baier joined FNC in 1998 as the first reporter to be based in the Atlanta bureau. As the network’s Southeast correspondent, Baier covered stories ranging from the 2001 Timothy McVeigh execution to the 1999 Elian Gonzalez story. He also provided a series of reports from Cuba and covered more than a dozen hurricanes, including stories filed from the centers of the storms.
Prior to joining FNC, Baier worked for WRAL-TV (CBS) in Raleigh, N.C., WREX-TV (NBC) in Rockford, Ill., and WJWJ-TV (PBS) in Beaufort, S.C. At DePauw Baier received a bachelor’s degree in political science and English.