Wed, Nov 13 | Verrill

One Hundred Countries, One Million Miles: A New World Order with NYT Editorialist Carol Giacomo

Join us as we explore the function of the New York Times' editorial board, modern threats to the free press, and U.S. foreign policy in the context of the upcoming 2020 president.
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One Hundred Countries, One Million Miles: A New World Order with NYT Editorialist Carol Giacomo

Time & Location

Nov 13, 2019, 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Verrill, One Portland Square, Union St, Portland, ME 04112, USA

About The Event

Join the World Affairs Council of Maine for an evening with New York Times' Editorialist, and former diplomatic correspondent for Reuters, Carol Giacomo. We’ll explore the function of the New York Times' editorial board, modern threats to the free press, and U.S. foreign policy in the context of the upcoming 2020 presidential election. Carol will be joined by moderator, Richard Kessler, senior executive and analyst with over 45 years' experience in government, national security and foreign policy. 

Tickets: $20 for WACM members; $30 for future WACM members

Many thanks to Verrill for hosting our event!


5:30pm: Networking reception (beer, wine, light appetizers included)

6:15pm: Introduction by Carol Giacomo

6:25pm: Moderated discussion between Carol and Richard

7:00pm: Q+A with the audience

7:30pm: Program close

About the moderator:

Richard Kessler is a senior executive and analyst with over 45 years’ experience in government, national security and foreign policy.  He served in a variety of senior professional positions in Congress for 25 years, retiring in 2014 as staff director of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.  He also served as staff director for the House Foreign Affairs Committee.  He is one of the few people to have served in both the House and the Senate as a committee staff director.

Richard has extensive operational and management experience.  As staff director of two major congressional committees, he managed a multi-million dollar administrative budget and directed legislative and oversight programs. In the Senate, this included oversight of the Homeland Security Department and all government agencies, including the Office of Personnel Management, and critical issues such as cybersecurity and counterterrorism.  The House Foreign Affairs Committee is responsible for oversight and legislation relating to foreign policy, foreign assistance, public diplomacy, and export controls. Under his guidance, the Committee passed a State Department Authorization bill and designed a major overhaul of foreign aid and export control legislation. He has negotiated with senior elected and appointed officials in the U.S. and foreign governments, and with private sector and civil society representatives.

Richard was also a subcommittee staff director on the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee responsible for the Federal workforce and a professional staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and on the House International Relations Committee where he was responsible for East Asia, the Pacific, South Asia, and UN peacekeeping policy issues.  Before joining the Senate staff, he was a Senior Associate at The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and co-directed an energy study at the Center for International and Strategic Studies.  While conducting his doctoral research, Richard was a research Associate at the University of the Philippines, and wrote on West African politics while living in Senegal.  Richard has published extensively in academic journals, in newspapers and books, and appeared as an expert commentator on numerous television and radio programs. He has been a consultant to a number of government and private organizations, including USAID.

Richard earned a MA, MALD and a Ph.D. from the Fletcher School, Tufts University, with a concentration on international development studies. He has a BA in French from Colgate University.  He served with the U.S.  Army in Vietnam and received a Bronze Star.  He has lived in Europe, Vietnam, Senegal, and the Philippines.


He serves on the Board of Internews and on the Maine Advisory Committee for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition.  Richard lives in Bath, Maine with his wife.

About the speaker:

Carol Giacomo joined The New York Times editorial board as a foreign policy and defense policy specialist in 2007. Previously, she was diplomatic correspondent for Reuters in Washington and covered foreign policy for the international wire service for more than two decades. In that position, she traveled over 1 million miles to more than 100 countries with eight secretaries of state and various other senior U.S. officials. Her reporting for the editorial board involves regular independent overseas travel, including recent trips to North Korea, Iran and Myanmar. 

She is the 2019 Poynter Chair at Indiana University and in the spring of 2020 will be a Ferris professor of journalism at Princeton University, the second time she has held that fellowship. In 2018, she won the Arthur Ross Media award for foreign affairs commentary from The American Academy of Diplomacy, an organization of former U.S. diplomats. In 2009, she won the Georgetown University Weintal Prize for diplomatic reporting. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In 1999-2000, she was a senior fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace, researching U.S. economic and foreign policy decision-making during the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis. 

Raised in Connecticut, she holds a B.A. in English Literature from Regis College, Weston, Mass. She began her professional journalism career at the Lowell Sun in Lowell, Mass., and later worked for the Hartford Courant in the city hall, state capitol and Washington bureaus.

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