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National Press Club

President of Bread for the World Calls for Change in Politics of Hunger

By Hope Katz Gibbs
September 13, 2010
The National Press Club
Photo by Noel St. John, www.noelstjohn.com

The U.S. has not made sustained progress against poverty since the 1960s and early 1970s when the poverty rate was cut in half, said anti-hunger and poverty advocate David Beckmann at a luncheon Sept. 13.

“If countries as different as Bangladesh, Brazil and Britain can reduce poverty, it’s clearly possible in the USA,” said Beckmann, an economist and ordained Lutheran minister who has been president of Bread for the World since 1991. “As a nation, we have opportunities to moderate what the economy is doing to hungry and poor people.”

He said influencing politics is the key.

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President Bush's daughter Barbara tells about her life as president of her nonprofit, The Global Health Corps [National Press Club]

By Hope Katz Gibbs
National Press Club, The Wire
May 26, 2010

“The extreme disparity in health outcomes and access to healthcare that exists today between the world’s rich and the world’s poor is unjust and unsustainable,” said Barbara Bush today at a National Press Club luncheon where she spoke about the nonprofit organization she co-founded and is president of — The Global Health Corps (http://ghcorps.org/).

“We aim to mobilize a global community of young leaders to build a movement for health equity,” said the daughter of President George W. Bush, who brought her twin sister Jenna to the event. “Global Health Corps believes that a global movement of individuals and organizations fighting for improved health outcomes and access to healthcare for the poor is necessary in order to change the unacceptable status quo of extreme inequity.”

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Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen talks about budget cuts and the future [National Press Club]

By Hope Katz Gibbs
The National Press Club
February 12, 2010

Friday Marked Final State of Coast Guard Address by Commandant Thad Allen

At his annual State of the Union address today at the National Press Club, Adm. Thad W. Allen, commandant of the Coast Guard, said he is concerned about the cuts in the agency’s 2011 budget proposed by President Obama.

Funding is expected to drop by 3% to $10.1 billion, and active-duty personnel would decrease by up to 1,100, to approximately 41,984, he explained, noting that the budget contains nearly $1.4 billion to replacing aging ships and equipment, especially high endurance cutters. Of 12 cutters assigned to the relief efforts in Haiti, he said 10 have broken down and three were forced to return to port or dry dock due to propeller or propeller-shaft problems.

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NTSB Chairman Warns 'First Impessions Can Be Wrong'

By Hope Katz Gibbs
The National Press Club
The Wire
Photo by Terry Hill

National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Debbie Hersman criticized the way some members of the press cover the aviation and transportation accidents at a Luncheon Nov. 16.

“We understand the need to solve the puzzle in the early hours of an accident, and we know your editors and producers want you to be the first to get the ‘cause’ of the accident, but what is the cost to your credibility if you are the first to get the cause wrong? We have learned from experience that first impressions can be wrong,” she said.

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U.S. Postal Service in acute financial crisis, Postmaster General says [National Press Club]

The 234-year-old U.S. Postal Service is in acute financial crisis, John Potter, the 72nd Postmaster General said Thursday during a National Press Club luncheon.

After losing a projected $7 billion in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, Potter said he is working to help the USPS reinvent itself. It won’t be an easy task, as 28 billion fewer pieces of mail were sent last year compared to fiscal year 2008, he said. Potter said that holiday mail, one of the traditionally highest volume periods of the year, was flat last year — and he expects it to be flat this December, as well.

In addition to more people using email rather than snail mail, and the lagging economy that is causing fewer people to mail printed ads pieces and other promotional materials, Potter believes the USPS’ deficit also grew out of a three-year-old law that added more than $5 billion to annual costs for prefunding retiree health benefits.

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Gail McGovern: Leading the Red Cross through turbulent times [National Press Club]

Article by Hope Katz Gibbs
National Press Club
July 21, 2009

When Gail McGovern took over as president of the Red Cross last year, the former AT&T vp had no idea she’s have to deal with the aftermath of eight hurricanes and tropic storms, a record tornado season, and the worst flooding in the Midwest in 15 years.

She did know that she was inheriting a $209 million operating deficit, a mandate from the Board of Governors to eliminate it within two years, and that she was the 10th person to take the helm of the PR-challenged agency in the last decade, she told the crowd packed into the McClendon room at today’s Club luncheon.

And the Harvard marketing professor — who since 1998 has twice been named one of the “50 Most Influential Women in Corporate America” by Fortune magazine — said she isn’t complaining. “I pinch myself every day because I feel so fortunate to serve in this remarkable [128-year-old] institution.”

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FASB chairman insists transparency is key to maintaining a sound financial system [National Press Club]

Article by Hope Katz Gibbs
National Press Club
June 26, 2009

“One welcome development that has arisen from the financial crisis is that a broader constituency is calling for greater transparency as necessary ingredient for recovery and the rebuilding of investor and public confidence,” said Robert Herz, chairman of the influential Financial Account Standards Board (FASB), at a June 26 Club luncheon.

While accounting did not cause the crisis and improvement of standards will not end it, admitted Herz, “it did reveal a number of areas requiring improvement of standards and overall transparency.”

Transparency, Herz said repeatedly in his hour-long speech, is the key to getting the country back on its feet — and keeping the world from suffering another economic crisis.

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"Wire" Producer Laments Future of Professional Journalism [National Press Club]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
National Press Club
June 8, 2009
Photo by Noel St. John

Clad button-down blue shirt, no tie, faded black jeans and black-and-white wing-tip shoes, former Baltimore Sun police reporter David Simon — producer of HBO’s The Wire — said professional journalism self destructed.

Simon, who has earned awards and fame writing and producing NBC’s Homicide: Life on the Street, the Emmy Award-winning HBO mini-series The Corner and The Wire, spoke at an NPC Luncheon Monday.

“Don’t let anyone tell you that the Internet crept up on us,” said Simon, who said he is worried about the future of journalism since before he took a buyout in 1995. “We destroyed ourselves. We didn’t care enough about the product. All of the research and development money went to Wall Street. The people in the board room wanted monopolies — and now they are lamenting about the demise of newspapers as they play 18 holes on the golf course in Hilton Head.”

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Virgin Atlantic's Branson Says No to British Airways/American Airlines Merger [National Press Club]

Article by Hope Katz Gibbs
National Press Club, The Wire
May 14, 2009
Photo of Sir Richard Branson by Noel St. John

“Please join me in saying ‘No Way BA / AA,’ ” said Sir Richard Branson during his breakfast speech on May 14. The English industrialist was in Washington to make his case about why the proposed merger between British Airways and American Airlines would damage competition on transatlantic routes.

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Fran Drescher's Powerful Role: Health Advocate for Women [National Press Club]

Article by Hope Katz Gibbs
April 14, 2009
National Press Club
Photo: Greg Tinius

April 14, 2009, National Press Club — “I am not glad that I got cancer, but I am better for it,” award-winning actress Fran Drescher told the National Press Club today when she came to DC to promote her new role as the U.S. State Department Special Envoy for Women’s Health, and her nonprofit organization Cancer Schmancer (which is also the title of her second New York Times bestselling book).

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IRS Presses Off-shore Tax Havens, Commissioner Says [National Press Club]

Article by Hope Katz Gibbs
April 13, 2009
National Press Club
Photo: Greg Tinius

April 13, 2009, National Press Club — With millions of Americans facing job losses and the threat of foreclosure — and just two days before the April 15 income tax filing deadline — IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman told a luncheon audience at the National Press Club in Washington, DC: “In today’s economic environment, it’s more important than ever that the American public feels confident that individuals and corporations are playing by the rules and paying the taxes they owe.” He said the IRS has been turning up the pressure on off-shore financial institutions that help U.S. citizens conceal taxable income.

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NPR President Vivian Shiller: What Public Broadcasting can learn from commercial media - and vice versa [National Press Club]

By Hope Katz Gibbs
Article for National Press Club
Truly Amazing Women blog
March 2, 2009

With only eight weeks under her belt as the head of one of the 39-year-old media organization, Vivian Schiller, the new president and CEO of National Public Radio, is to many an ideal choice to take NPR into the digital age. Since May 2006, she served as senior vice president and general manager of NYTimes.com. Prior to that, she was the senior vice president and general manager of the Discovery Times Channel, and before that senior vice president of CNN Productions.

As the head of NPR, Schiller – who took the helm on January 5 – will oversee all network operations, including partnerships with 800-plus member stations reaching more than 26 million listeners every week. It’s a job that Schiller says she relishes.

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ConocoPhillips CEO Urges Pragmatic Approach to Green Energy [National Press Club]

By Hope Katz Gibbs
National Press Club, The Wire
Photo by Rex Allen Stuckey
January 14, 2009

ConocoPhillips CEO James Mulva addresses a luncheon crowd at the National Press Club

James Mulva does not yet drive a plug-in or hybrid car, but at a Jan. 13 luncheon, the chairman and CEO of the nation’s third largest energy company, ConocoPhillips, was adamant that the Obama administration focus on the energy opportunities.

“In just seven days, our new president takes office, [and] his confidence and calmness are reassuring,” said Mulva, pointing to one of the solutions that the president-elect has suggested is the creation of a green energy economy. “We agree that we must reduce the environmental footprint of energy production and consumption. But we must be realistic about the cost of green energy. Also about its true potential, and how long it will take for commercial-scale supply contributions.”

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Dr. Helen Fisher to speak about her new book 6pm, Feb. 11 at the at National Press Club

Washington DC, January 14, 2009 — Why do you fall in love with one person rather than another? That’s the question biological anthropologist Helen Fisher will address when she speaks about her new book “WHY HIM? WHY HER?” at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 11 at 6pm.

Dr. Fisher’s new book — the fifth from the world-renown Research Professor and member of the Center for Human Evolutionary Studies in the Department of Anthropology at Rutgers University — stems from her current work as Scientific Advisor to the Internet dating site, Chemistry.com, a subsidiary of Match.com. Her data and ideas are based on her analysis of patterns of attraction among 28,000 men and women, as well as data from genetics, neurochemistry and personality studies.

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Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori offers message of hope [National Press Club]

By Hope Katz Gibbs
The Record, National Press Club
Photo by Marshall Cohen
December 16, 2008

“Help us tell the world that fear is not the answer,” Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori told a room filled with the faithful and skeptical who came to hear her speak today at the National Press Club.

“When one part of this nation or world suffers, we all do,” insisted the 26th Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church, who is the first woman to lead a national church in the 520-year history of Anglicanism. “We no longer live in a hermetically sealed nation or economic system — if we ever did. Protectionist and isolationist policies are not going to heal us. We are all going to be affected by massive layoffs in the manufacturing sector, and in the financial sector. The same maxim applies to us in this country as is often quoted in the developing world, that when the U.S. sneezes, Haiti or Honduras gets a cold.”

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DNC, RNC Chairmen Review Presidential Campaign at Luncheon [National Press Club]

Article by Hope Katz Gibbs
National Press Club Blog
News & Noteworthy
Nov. 6, 2008

The Democratic and Republican national committee chairman paid homage to their candidates, voters, and the political process at a sold-out National Press Club luncheon.

“We accepted this invitation long before we knew how the election would turn out, and that was a bit of a risk,“ joked DNC Chairman Howard Dean who shared the stage today with RNC Chairman Robert M. (Mike) Duncan. “My heart goes out to Mike, because I know he is in a tough spot.”

Nonetheless, a proud and admittedly sleep-deprived Dean announced that America chose hope over fear and unity over division when they elected Sen. Barack Obama last night with 52 percent of the vote compared to 46 percent for McCain.

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To Explain Election Dean Cites Hope, Unity; Duncan Cites Spending [The Record]

Article by Hope Katz Gibbs
The Record, National Press Club
Nov. 7, 2008
Read this issue of The Record

The Democratic and Republican National Committee chairmen paid homage to their candidates, American voters, and the political process Nov. 5 at a sold-out National Press Club Luncheon.

A proud and admittedly sleep-deprived Howard Dean, Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman, announced that America chose hope over fear and unity over division when it elected Barack Obama with 52 percent of the vote (349 electoral votes, as of the morning of Nov. 5) compared to 46 percent (163 electoral votes) for McCain.

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The Council on Competitiveness Issues a Challenge for the 44th President: Put energy policy first [National Press Club]

Photo by John Metelsky, NPC

by Hope Katz Gibbs
National Press Club luncheon
Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008
Photo by John Metelsky

The next president of the United States must put the full of weight of his office behind an energy plan, Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson said at an NPC luncheon Tuesday.

“The priorities and legacy of a new administration are often defined and judged by the actions that are taken within its first 100 days,” said Jackson, a MIT-trained physicist and current president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, who is the vice chairman of the Competitiveness Council — a group of corporate CEOs, university presidents, and labor leaders committed to enhancing U.S. competitiveness in the global economy through the creation of high-value economic activity.

“The future economic competitiveness, national security, and prosperity of our nation will be determined by how we obtain and use energy, protect our environment, and address global climate change,” she said.

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IIF chairman Josef Ackermann offers remedies for worldwide financial crisis [National Press Club]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
The National Press Club
June 28, 2008

What can be done by the to address the turmoil the financial industry finds itself in today? That was the question that banking industry leader Dr. Josef Ackermann tried to answer before a room packed with journalists, bankers, business leaders, and politicians at the National Press Club on July 17.

“What became a sub prime mortgage crisis has since turned into a much deeper problem and spread across a wide array of global markets,” said Ackermann, who in addition to being chairman of the board of Deutsche Bank heads up the Institute for International Finance (IIF)—a Washington, DC-based association of 380 financial firms worldwide. He spoke to the NPC in that capacity.

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Miami Mayor Urges Rescue of Cities [National Press Club]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
The National Press Club
Aug. 4, 2008

At a packed National Press Club luncheon on Aug. 4, Miami Mayor Manny Diaz challenged the next president of the U.S. to invest in solutions to the growing problems that threaten America’s cities.

“Is this country still willing to provide the tools necessary for advancement?” said Diaz, a lawyer born in Cuba who immigrated to Florida on a “freedom flight” at age 6, spoke not only as a second term mayor — but also as the new president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

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Obesity and Kids: What can parents do? [The Parent Diaries blog]

Blog entry by Hope Katz Gibbs
The Parent Diaries reports on a new study by CSPI
“Kids’ Meals: Obesity on the Menu”
August 4, 2008

“Nearly every single possible comibination of the children’s meals at KFC, Taco Bell, Sonic, Jack in the Box, and Chick-fil-A is too high in calories,” according to Margo Wootan, Nutrition Policy Director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, who released a new report, “Kids Meals: Obesity on the Menu” on Aug. 4 at a press conference at the National Press Conference in Washington, DC.

Wootan explained that 93% of 1,474 possible choices at 13 top chains exceed 430 calories—an amount that is one-third of what the Institute of Medicine recommends that children aged 4 through 8 should consume in a day.

The problem, Wootan explains, is that kids are eating out more than ever and when they do they consume twice as many calories as when they eat a meal at home due to the extra saturated fat, less fiber and calcium in fast food meals vs. home-cooked ones.

Click on “Read Entire Article” for other weighty facts.

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Sharon Rockefeller on the Importance of PBS [National Press Club]

Blog entry by Hope Katz Gibbs
Truly Amazing Women interviews
Sharon Percy Rockefeller
CEO of WETA
June 16, 2008
Read more: http://trulyamazingwomen.blogspot.com/

The question came at the end of Sharon Rockefeller’s luncheon speech at the National Press Club on June 5: What is your response to critics who say that public broadcasting is too liberal? Rockefeller paused, looked out into the audience, and with a hint of a smile said: “No, it isn’t.”

With similar poise and style, the CEO of Washington’s flagship public TV and radio stations WETA spoke for 30 minutes about the role of public media on our democracy.

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Edward R. Murrow's 100th Birthday [National Press Club]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
The National Press Club
May 9, 2008
Image by bsoist, flickr.com

Could Edward R. Murrow get a job in radio and TV today?

That was one of a dozen questions posed to a panel gathered last Friday, April 25, at a luncheon to celebrate the 100th birthday of the man historians consider one of journalism’s greatest figures.

After a meal Murrow would surely have enjoyed—Caesar salad, roast beef, and three-layer chocolate birthday cake—three of his past employees at CBS took to the stage to discuss the life of the legend: Richard C. Hottelet, a 41-year veteran of CBS; Daniel Schorr, the last of Murrow’s former employees still working in broadcasting; and panel moderator Marvin Kalb, host of the Kalb Report on National Public Radio and the Edward R. Murrow Professor of Practice, Emeritus, and Senior Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Business.

“Mr. Murrow didn’t hire personalities,” said Hottelet, who was working for the United Press when Murrow called offering a job. “He looked for survivors of places like UP, which turned out hard scrabbled reporters.”

All three panelists agreed that Murrow would indeed be able to land a job today—but that he’d only be willing to work for one contemporary broadcasting organization: National Public Radio. “I don’t think he’d fit in anywhere else,” Schorr insisted.

Murrow’s son Casey, who also sat on the Friday’s panel, agreed—and offered a glimpse into the private Murrow.

“On weekends we’d go to Yankees games, fishing, and just relaxed,” says Casey, an educator and author who in 1984 founded Synergy Learning International. “He was a great storyteller, as you can imagine, and really engaged me and my friends. My relationship with my dad was a great pleasure to me.”

Casey notes that was also his pleasure to see his father’s life honored in this way, and extended thanks to Marc Wojno, director of the NPC history committee, who organized the luncheon.

“Edward Murrow is a symbol of what can be achieved in broadcast journalism,” says Marc Wojno, chair of the Club’s History Committee, who organized the luncheon. “This event was highly attended, from college students to Club Owls, which shows how much this man was admired and respected.” — Hope Katz Gibbs

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"I get by with a little help from my friends," says Hope, who gives special thanks to:

• MICHAEL GIBBS, website illustration and design: www.michaelgibbs.com
• MAX KUKOY, website development: www.maxwebworks.com
• STEVE BARRETT, portrait of Hope on Bio page: www.stevebarrettphotography.com

Contact HOPE KATZ GIBBS by phone [703-346-6975] or email.

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