Mark Shields, acclaimed syndicated columnist and political analyst on PBS’s The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, will be the first of three guest lecturers at Hill in conjunction with the School’s 2008-09 theme of “citizenship.” In preparing students for the 2008 presidential election, Shields will speak at 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday, September 30, regarding the responsibilities of individual citizens within a nation. The lecture will be held in the CFTA theatre.
Shields is best known for his work as moderator on CNN’s Capital Gang where he debated policy issues. He has been writing his column on national politics for The Washington Post since 1979 and it is now distributed nationally by Creators Syndicate.
In 1987, the political analysis team of Shields and David Gergen became a regular feature of The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. The 1989 Political Almanac named Shields and Gergen the “best television pundits of the presidential election year.”
From 1993 to 2001, the analysis team of Shields and Wall Street Journal columnist Paul Gigot appeared on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer every Friday and during primaries, national conventions, and elections. Shields now shares that feature with David Brooks, senior editor of The Weekly Standard.
Shields also is an author. His book about the 1984 presidential campaign, On the Campaign Trail, has been praised as “funny,” “irreverent,” and “insightful.” One reviewer wrote that Shields is the wittiest political analyst around, and he frequently is the most trenchant, fair-minded, and thoughtful.
Before entering journalism, Shields helped manage political campaigns from the courthouse to the White House in some 38 states. In addition, he has taught about American politics and the press at Harvard University and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Shields has lived in Washington, D.C, since 1964.
On Wednesday, September 17, Hill students will hold a debate at 10:10 a.m. in the CFTA theatre. The Young Republican and Young Democrat clubs have organized and prepared for a panel debate focusing on important election issues such as environment, education, economy, and health.
Additional citizenship theme events for the year will include guest speakers Dr. William Magee, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Operation Smile, and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. Further information about these events will be released at a later date.