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Challenges Facing the Press Around the World in the Disinformation Age
11:45 AM - 2:00 PM EST

Event Description
Please note this is a hybrid event - you have the option to attend in person or virtually. Registrations are required for all attendees. For in-person attendees, the event will run from 11:45 - 2 pm and will include lunch. The live stream will begin at 12:55 pm (virtual attendees will be sent a link for the event via email). 

Join us for a conversation between Internews President and CEO Jeanne Bourgault with Bill Clifford, former President and CEO of World Affairs Councils of America. The past decade has seen a precipitous drop in the viability of the news business in every corner of the world. The decline of independent media – particularly local newspapers and outlets – leaves important stories untold and has been shown to accelerate democratic backsliding. Under Jeanne Bourgault's leadership, Internews has helped foster independent media sectors in scores of countries - for example, in Jordan and South Sudan, and provided lifesaving information to people during crises in Ukraine, Myanmar, and Afghanistan. Bill Clifford, former President of the World Affairs Councils of America, will join Jeanne in conversation to discuss these current crises and what can be done to address them.

Jeanne Bourgault is President and CEO of Internews, an international non-profit organization dedicated to empowering local media worldwide. She is an expert on the role of information and media in developing, conflict and post-conflict, and fragile countries. She speaks on issues of global news, information technology, media development and democracy assistance worldwide.

Jeanne leads the strategic management of Internews and its programs, now active in more than 100 countries. She has overseen Internews’ growth in areas underserved by local media, such as Afghanistan and South Sudan, and under her leadership Internews has led the sector in focusing on the need for information amid crises, working to support local news and information access for communities affected by disaster, including the 2005 Asian Tsunami, the 2010 Haiti earthquake and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Jeanne previously served as Internews’ Chief Operating Officer. She joined Internews in 2001 as Vice President for Programs. Prior to Internews, She worked internationally in countries undergoing dramatic shifts in media and political landscapes. She worked in the former Yugoslavia, serving as a strategic advisor for media development programs in post-war Kosovo, as well as manager of community development projects in Serbia and Montenegro through the fall of Slobodan Milosevic. She served for six years with the U.S. Agency for International Development, including three years at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

She has consulted on international program design and evaluation for the Open Society Institute, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Research Triangle Institute, and the United Nations Centre for Human Rights, among others. Speaking engagements have included the Skoll World Forum, Guardian Activate in New York, the Social Capital Markets conference in San Francisco, and the World Economic Forum, where she also serves on the Digital Media Steering Committee.

Jeanne speaks rusty Russian and holds a Master of Arts in International Studies and a Masters in Public Affairs from the University of Washington.  

Bill Clifford served nearly 10 years as President and CEO of the World Affairs Councils of America in Washington, DC, where he led WACA's national office and represented its nonpartisan nonprofit network of more than 90 World Affairs Councils across the United States. His tenure was distinguished by the establishment of two significant endowments as well as a variety of grant-funded "Engage America" programs highlighting major national security and foreign policy challenges. 

Currently, Bill is a nonresident senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute of the Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He also is a member of the Korea Economic Institute of America's advisory council.

Before joining WACA in September 2013, Bill spearheaded the revitalization and growth of WorldBoston, a WACA member Council known for innovative programming, access to leaders, and a tradition of advancing public learning about critical international issues. Previously, Bill served as Asia bureau chief for the pioneering multimedia venture CBS MarketWatch, where he launched and directed news bureaus in Japan and Hong Kong. He got his start In broadcast news with Asia Business News TV and was senior correspondent in Tokyo for CNBC Asia after its merger with ABN. Bill began his work in journalism reporting on international economics, finance, and politics for several newspapers.

Bill holds an M.A. from Johns Hopkins SAIS, a B.A. summa cum laude in international relations and French literature from Tufts University, and a C.E.P from Sciences Po in Paris.