Skip to main content
Expand AU Menu

Guest Speakers

Renowned Hollywood Executive, Sidney Sheinberg, met with SOC students to discuss film, the industry, and his career in Hollywood. From 1973-1995, Sheinberg served as president and Chief Operating Officer of MCA/Universal. Photo by Amy Hendrick

Renowned Hollywood Executive, Sidney Sheinberg, met with SOC students to discuss film, the industry, and his career in Hollywood.

SOC takes full advantage of its Washington, D.C. location. Here are some of the professionals at the top of their fields who have visited its classrooms. Guest speakers in the past three years have included:

  • Floyd Abrams, First Amendment lawyer
  • Charles Albert, former executive director, National Geographic Channel
  • Robert Ali, former deputy assistant commissioner for Public Affairs
  • Jon Alpert, documentarian and recipient of Nieman Foundation award
  • Christopher Anderson, Magnum photographer
  • Sousan Arafeh, president, Research Images
  • Joel Zito Araujo, award-winning Brazilian filmmaker
  • Phil Armstrong, Zeno Group, CEO
  • Rebecca Ballard, Director, Public Strategies
  • Bob Barnett, attorney/literary agent
  • Tracey Battista, former editor, Glamour
  • Nate Beeler, SOC/BA '02
  • Paul Begala, Democratic strategist and political contributor for CNN, former Clinton adviser
  • Cornell Belcher, Democratic strategist and president of Washington-based polling firm Brilliant Corners
  • Susan Bennett, VP Exhibits and Programs Deputy Director
  • Sharri Berg, senior vice president, News Operations, Fox Television Stations
  • David Bernkopf, vice president, CNN
  • Jared Bernstein, chief economic advisor to Vice President Joe Biden
  • Paul Berry, former anchor/reporter for WJLA-TV
  • Maggie Bertin, director of communication, Native American Indian Museum
  • Andy Blenkle, account supervisor, LM&O Advertising
  • Steven Bognar, Emmy award-winning filmmaker
  • Christine Brennan, columnist/author, USA Today
  • Steven Broderick, press secretary, John D. Rockefeller
  • Carolyn Brown, SOC professor and member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists
  • Dr. John Brown, senior fellow, USC Center for Public Diplomacy
  • Rhonda Brown, former president and Chief Executive Officer, Nine West
  • John Bussey, Wall Street Journal's Washington bureau chief
  • Patrick Butler, President and Chief Executive, Association of Public Television Stations
  • Jano Cabrera, communication director, Vice President Al Gore, and consultant to Iraqi provisional government
  • Mike Carberry, president, CARMA International, media measurement
  • Andy Carvin, coordinator of National Public Radio's social media strategy
  • Michael Cascio, senior vice president of production, National Geographic Channel
  • Suzanne Cernojevich, American Red Cross
  • Purnima Chawla, chief executive officer, Center for Nonprofit Strategies
  • Jeff Chester, executive director, Center for Digital Democracy
  • Russ Choma, SOC graduate student
  • Lorraine Cichowski, senior vice president, Associated Press
  • Michael Clemente, executive producer, ABC News Digital Media
  • George Clooney, writer and director
  • Nick Clooney, distinguished SOC journalist in residence
  • Jared Cohen, chief operating officer, Make-A-Wish Foundation
  • Jennifer Collins, president, The Event Planning Group
  • Pamela Constable, foreign correspondent for the Washington Post
  • David Corn, Washington bureau chief of Mother Jones magazine
  • Kathleen Criner, organization and performance development, AARP
  • Elizabeth Crocker, director of special events, Wolf Trap Foundation
  • Gary Crocker, retired Foreign Service officer, U.S. State Department
  • Lindsay Czarniak, reporter/anchor, WRC-Channel 4
  • Adam Davidson, NPR correspondent
  • Cameron Davidson, contributor to Vanity Fair, National Georgraphic, and USA Today
  • Michael Deaver, former White House communications director 
  • Diane Dewhirst, media consultant, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
  • David Drobis, chairman emeritus, Ketchum
  • Anita Dunn, partner Squier, Knapp & Dunn, media consultant
  • Murray Edelman, statistician, former head of Voter News Service
  • Evan Eile, photo editor, USA Today
  • Kate Emanuel, senior vice president, non-profit and governmental affairs, Ad Council
  • Laura Evans, anchor/reporter, Fox 5 News
  • Kathleen Ewing, owner of Fine Arts Photography Gallery
  • Mark Fainaru-Wada, reporter, San Francisco Chronicle 
  • Paul Farhi, reporter, The Washington Post
  • Will Feltus, strategic communications consultant
  • Rodney Ferguson, managing partner, Lipman Hearne
  • Lynne Filderman, '73, executive director of Neediest Kids
  • Joe Foss, former chief operating officer, Baltimore Orioles
  • Amy Fox, BA/SOC 1998, MA/SOC 205, senior account executive at Edelman PR
  • John Francis, producer
  • Darryl Frank, co-head, DreamWorks Television
  • Steve Friedman, former executive producer, Today, NBC News
  • Patricia Fuentes, public relations, Freddie Mac
  • Sean Gallagher, British photographer
  • Geoff Garvin, pollster for hundreds of Senate, House, and gubernatorial campaigns
  • Danielle Gelber, senior vice president, Original Programming, Showtime Networks, Inc.
  • Steve Greenberg, former president, Columbia Records
  • Robert Greenwald, producer
  • David Gregory, '92, moderator of Meet the Press
  • Roy Gutman, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter
  • Randy Guttermuth, pollster, expert in Dial Perception Analyzer
  • Mary Hager, White House producer, CBS News
  • Jane Hall, news media expert and SOC professor
  • Joshua Hatch, multimedia producer for USA Today
  • Cheryl Healton, president and chief executive officer, American Legacy Foundation
  • Kristiina Helenius, press counselor, Embassy of Finland
  • Laura Waters Hinson, SOC/MFA '07
  • Joan Hisaoka, president, Hisaoka Public Relations
  • Doan Viet Hoat, Vietnamese pro-democracy advocate
  • Chris Hoofnagle, Electronic Privacy Information Center
  • Susan Jacoby, author and former Washington Post reporter
  • Sheila Jascot, senior producer, Fox 5 News
  • Karen Johannson, vice president, Dewey Square Group, strategic communications
  • Brian Jones, senior manager government relations, Dell
  • Jackie Judd, vice president and senior adviser for communications, Kaiser Family Foundation
  • Mark Jurkowitz, associate director, Project for Excellence in Journalism
  • Pam Kaufman, chief marketing officer, Nickelodeon
  • Frank Keating, Oklahoma governor
  • Michael Kempner, president and chief executive officer, MWW Group
  • David Kestenbaum, NPR correspondent
  • Elizabeth Cheng Kirst, National Geographic Senior Photography Editor
  • James Kotecki, video blogger for
  • Brig. Gen. Mary Ann Krusa-Dossin, USMC
  • Scott Lambert, senior vice president, William Morris Agency
  • Kelli Lawson, executive vice president, Corporate Marketing and Communication, BET
  • Michael Leahy, reporter, The Washington Post
  • Steve Leeds, vice president, talent and industry relations, Sirius Satellite Radio
  • Robert Lehrman, former Al Gore speechwriter and American University professor
  • Richard Leiby, former columnist, The Washington Post 
  • Amanda Lenhart, research director, Pew Internet/American Life Project
  • Steven LeVine, covers energy and foreign affairs for BusinessWeek
  • Ross Levinsohn, former president, interactive media, Fox
  • Aaron Lewis, reporter, CBS News
  • Michael Litz, U.S. director, OneWorld
  • Jenny Livingston, filmmaker
  • Dr. Mark Lopez, director of research, Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning & Engagement, University of Maryland
  • Steve Lopez, Los Angeles Times columnist
  • Mary Madden, research specialist, Pew Internet/American Life Project
  • Myron Marlin, former spokesman, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Favio Martinez, director multicultural marketing, LM&O Advertising
  • Caroline Mayer, retired journalist, The Washington Post
  • Doe Mayer, School of Cinematic Arts, USC
  • Jim McCarthy, president, McCarthy Communications
  • Bill McConnell, senior writer, Broadcasting & Cable Magazine
  • Melissa McFerren, coach, American University Women’s Basketball
  • Jeff McIntyre, Legislative and Federal Affairs, American Psychological Association
  • Thomas McLean, Jr., director of international relations, Boeing
  • Paige McMahon, president, McMahon Communication
  • Erin McPike, reporter for Congress Daily
  • Ashley Merryman, co-author of the New York Times bestseller Nurtureshock
  • Kathyrn Montgomery, author and SOC professor
  • Joy Thomas Moore, media consultant, JWS Media Consulting; senior adviser in media, The Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Mercedita Murray, vice president client services, Red Peg Marketing
  • Lisa Muscatine, former speechwriter/communications director for Hillary Clinton
  • Claudia Myers, filmmaker and SOC professor
  • Dee Dee Myers, former Clinton adviser and former White House press secretary
  • Mitch Nedick, executive vice president and chief financial officer, The WB Television Network
  • Erica Neufeld, director of communication, INOVA Fairfax Hospital
  • Franco Nuschese, chief executive officer, Georgetown Entertainment Group
  • Sandra Mbanefo Obiago, Nigerian filmmaker
  • Christie Parell, White House spokesperson
  • Gillian Parish, senior account executive, Edelman Worldwide
  • Andrew Pergam, award-winning journalist and Managing Editor of
  • Michael Phillips, reporter, Wall Street Journal
  • Tony Podesta, president and founder, Podesta Group
  • Shoba Purushothaman, chief executive officer and co-founder, TheNewsMarket
  • Martha Raddatz, reporter, ABC News
  • Julia Reichert, Emmy award-winning filmmaker
  • Bill Reihl, executive vice president, Strategy & Planning, Ogilvy
  • Vicky Rideout, vice president, program for the study of entertainment media and health, Kaiser Family Foundation
  • Jonathan Rintels, president and director, Center for Creative Voices in Media
  • Cokie Roberts, author, winner of Edward R. Murrow Award, senior analyst for NPR, ABC news political contributor
  • Deborah Roffman, nationally-recognized sexuality educator
  • Marc Rosenberg, director/public policy advertising, The Washington Post 
  • Alan Rosenblatt, head of online advocacy, Center for American Progress
  • Jo Ann Ross, president, CBS Network Sales
  • Josh Rushing, U.S. Marine spokesman-turned reporter, Al Jazeera
  • Susan Sanow, deputy director, Center for Non-profit Advancement
  • Bob Schieffer, CBS chief Washington correspondent
  • Neal Schiff, public affairs, FBI
  • Tad Segal, senior vice president, Widmeyer Communications
  • Ricki Seidman, partner STD, crisis communications professional
  • Jonathan Shannon, NOAA's Office of Nation Marine Sanctuaries
  • Walter Shapiro, bureau chief
  • Gail Shearer, director, health policy analysis, Consumers Union
  • Sid Sheinberg, producer
  • Marc Silver, journalist, National Geographic
  • Mariam Simpson, SOC/MA '07, Al Jazeera broadcast producer
  • Ward Sloane, political producer, CBS News
  • Bill Small, chairman of news and documentary Emmys at the National Television Academy
  • Greg Smith, DWC professor
  • Frank Smyth, Committee to Protect Journalists
  • Jim Snider, senior research fellow, New America Foundation
  • Gigi Sohn, founder and president, Public Knowledge
  • Paulo Sotero, Washington correspondent, Estado de S.Paulo 
  • Andi Sporkin, vice president, National Public Radio
  • Steve Stecklow, Wall Street Journal's deputy bureau chief in Boston
  • George Stephanopoulos, anchor of ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," former Clinton adviser
  • Barbara Stephenson, director of communication Catholic Campaign for Human Development
  • Mark Steyn, author of America Alone 
  • Lynn Sweet, Washington bureau chief, Chicago Sun-Times
  • Matt Swibel, SOC alumni mentor
  • Tina Tate, director, radio/TV gallery, U.S. House of Representatives
  • Helen Thomas, American author and former news service reporter, Hearst Newspapers columnist, and member of the White House Press Corps.
  • Martin Turner, reporter, BBC
  • Brian Twillman, senior manager, Environmental Protection Agency
  • Jose Antonio Vargas, technology and innovations editor of Huffington Post
  • Gary Vaynerchuck, author, businessman
  • Andi Vernick, vice president, creative/design operations worldwide, Estée Lauder
  • Vaughn Ververs, senior political editor, CBS
  • Steve Vogel, reporter, The Washington Post
  • Ken Walsh, White House correspondent, US News & World Report
  • Scott Ward, senior vice president, Widmeyer Communications
  • Wayne Washington, White House correspondent, Boston Globe
  • John Watson, SOC professor
  • Jeffrey Watts, AU staff photographer
  • Dennis Wharton, senior vice president/corporate communications, National Association of Broadcasters
  • Michael Wilbon, reporter, The Washington Post
  • Brian Williams, anchor for NBC Nightly News
  • David Winston, Republican strategist and founder of the Winston Group
  • Bob Woodward, Washington Post reporter, investigated 1972 Watergate break-in
  • Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy, Center for Science in the Public Interest
  • Mary Yerrick, president, Primetime Solutions
  • Susan Zirinsky, SOC/BA '74, CBS News, executive producer of 48 Hours

Is Your Vote Up For Grabs?

SOC American Forum Young Voters Tout

The American Forum, held in October 2010, discussed young voters and the mid-term elections.

Learn More

Climate Change Genertation

SOC American Forum Climate Change

The American Forum Climate Change Generation drew over 200 students who took advantage of the opportunity to question panelists and assert their own thoughts on how well the news media have covered the topic.

Learn More

Sex, Teens and the Media

American Forum: Sexuality, Teens and the Media

American Forum asked high school journalists about sexuality and the media.

Watch video

American Forum Highlights:
Change +1

Photo: The Oct. 13 American Forum featured people Twittering from the audience, and the stage.(Photo: Bill Petros)

"Change Plus One," a discussion on Obama and young people

Watch video