September 2006

GW’s School of Media and Public Affairs Welcomes Lee Huebner as New Director, Frank Sesno as Faculty

Lee Luebner assumed leadership of GW's School of Media and Public Affairs in July. Journalist Frank Sesno joins GW as professor of media and public affairs in September.

The University’s School of Media and Public Affairs gained two internationally renowned experts this summer with the appointments of Lee W. Huebner as the school’s new director and Emmy Award winning journalist Frank Sesno as its newest faculty member. Huebner assumed his duties as director on July 1, while Sesno will join the school as professor of media and public affairs on Sept. 1.

“The results of this search represent our commitment to become the preeminent
school of communications in the nation’s capital,” said GW President Stephen Joel
Trachtenberg. “In Lee Huebner, we gain a director with a wealth of talent and
experience in print journalism, political research, and higher education. Frank Sesno is the consummate broadcast journalist—an award-winning network correspondent, anchor, and bureau chief who also has honed his skills
in the classroom.

“These two fine professionals add even greater depth to the talent already in place in the School of Media and Public Affairs,” said Trachtenberg, thanking Professor Steven Livingston for guiding the school through the interim period and Professor Steven Roberts for leading the successful search.

Huebner comes to GW most recently from Northwestern University, where
he served as a professor of communication studies and journalism in both the
School of Communications and the Medill School of Journalism. He also served for
14 years as publisher and CEO of the Paris-based International Herald Tribune, the
world’s first global newspaper and was a co-founder and president of the Ripon
Society, a political research organization.

During the Nixon administration, Huebner worked as a special assistant to the president of the United States and deputy director of the White House writing and research staff. A former president of the American University of Paris and of the American Chamber of Commerce in France, he has served on newspaper boards in Hong Kong and Kenya and chairs the Center for the Study of International Communication in Paris. A native of Sheboygan, Wisc., Huebner was an undergraduate at Northwestern University and received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in history from Harvard University.

“This is a great honor and a great opportunity,” says Huebner, who has published
in a variety of fields and is currently completing a book on globalization and the
media. “I look forward to working with a wonderful team of accomplished professionals in building an even stronger program in journalism and political communication.”

Sesno, most recently a professor of public policy and communication at George Mason University, is an internationally respected journalist with more than 25 years of experience, including 18 years at CNN as a special correspondent. His last program titled, “We Were Warned: Tomorrow’s Oil Crisis,” aired on CNN this past spring.

Prior to working as special correspondent, Sesno served as White House correspondent, anchor, and Washington bureau chief. He teaches how the media affect the creation of public policy and is a host and producer of in-depth specials and mini-series on PBS and the History Channel.

As a journalist, Sesno has interviewed business and government leaders including U.S. Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan; Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat; Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak; and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He covered stories ranging from the Iraq War, the disputed U.S. presidential election of 2000, and the historic series of superpower summits during the 1980s.

Before joining CNN in 1984, Sesno worked as a radio correspondent at the White House and in London for the Associated Press. He has won several prestigious journalistic awards, including an Emmy, several cable ACE awards, and an Overseas Press Club Award, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Sesno holds a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College.

“GW is a unique and exciting place,” said Sesno. “I look forward to working with new colleagues and students, and to the contributions we can make at a defining time for journalism and global affairs.”

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