Journalist, educator to speak at Eckerd Commencement

April 3, 2017

Frank Sesno, Emmy–award-winning journalist and director of George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs (SMPA), will speak at the 54th Commencement of Eckerd College on Sunday, May 21.

Frank Sesno interviews Hillary Clinton and Leon Panetta in Washington, D.C. in 2011

Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meet for a televised conversation at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 16, 2011. Frank Sesno, director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University, moderated the event during which Panetta and Clinton discussed a wide range of defense-related issues.   DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Jacob N. Bailey, U.S. Air Force. (Released)

“It is a privilege and an honor to have Frank Sesno address the Eckerd College graduating class …,” said Eckerd College President Donald Eastman III. “His experience as a journalist in a variety of media outlets and formats, his unwavering dedication to the importance of a free press to the maintenance of democracy, and his incisive focus on the importance of asking questions make him a particularly relevant speaker given the tumultuous nature of our current national landscape.”

Sesno’s media career spans three decades including 21 years at CNN where he served as White House correspondent, anchor and Washington bureau chief. Journalists have been tapping Sesno to appear on cable news shows since the election of the 45th President of the United States to share his media expertise and insights about the future of the Fourth Estate. He is also the author of the new book Ask More: The Power of Questions to Open Doors, Uncover Solutions and Spark Change.

As director of SMPA, he manages a faculty of two dozen professors dedicated to researching and teaching students journalism and political communication. Sesno has turned his passion for teaching environmental multimedia reporting, journalism ethics, documentary and the art of the interview into PlanetForward.org, a user-content hub for stories about sustainability.

The Middlebury College alumnus also is an Eckerd parent whose daughter, Emily, graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science and a Minor in Environmental Studies.