2012 Annual Meeting: Speakers

Fareed Zakaria

Fareed ZakariaHost of Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN, Editor-at-Large at TIME, and a regular columnist for The Washington Post, Fareed Zakaria is widely respected for his ability to spot economic and political trends around the world. Esquire magazine described him as “the most influential foreign policy adviser of his generation.” Born in India and educated at Yale and Harvard, Zakaria has served as an analyst for ABC News, a roundtable member on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, and host of Foreign Exchange on PBS. At age 28, he became the youngest managing editor in the history of Foreign Affairs.

Ronald F. Ferguson

Ronald FergusonRonald F. Ferguson, Senior Lecturer in Education and Public Policy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Harvard Kennedy School, is also an economist and Senior Research Associate at the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy. He has taught at Harvard since 1983, focusing on education and economic development. His research and writing for the past decade have focused on racial achievement gaps, appearing in a variety of publications. His most recent book is Toward Excellence with Equity: An emerging vision for closing the achievement gap, published by Harvard Education Press. He is the creator of the Tripod Project for School Improvement and also the faculty co-chair and director of the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University. Ferguson earned an undergraduate degree from Cornell University and PhD from MIT, both in economics. He is the father of two and very happily married to Helen Mont-Ferguson.

Steve H. Murdock

Steve H. MurdockSteve H. Murdock is the Allyn R. and Gladys M. Cline Professor of Sociology at Rice University. He previously served as director of the U.S. Bureau of the Census, having been nominated for the position by President Bush and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2007 and serving until the change in administration in January of 2009. Prior to his appointment at Rice, he was the Lutcher Brown Distinguished Chair in Demography and Organization Studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and the director of the Institute for Demographic and Socioeconomic Research. Before UTSA, Murdock was a regents professor and head of the department of rural sociology at Texas A&M University. He was also the first person to become the official state demographer of Texas, a position he was appointed to by Governor Rick Perry. Murdock earned his Ph.D. in demography and sociology from the University of Kentucky and is the author or editor of 13 books and more than 150 articles and technical reports on the implications of current and future demographic and socioeconomic change. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including: the Faculty Distinguished Achievement Award in Research from Texas A&M University; the Excellence in Research Award and the Outstanding Rural Sociologist Award from the Rural Sociological Society; The Distinguished Alumni Award from North Dakota State University; and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the department of sociology at the University of Kentucky. In 1997, Murdock was named one of the 50 most influential Texans by Texas Business, and in 2005 Texas Monthly named him one of the 25 most influential persons in Texas. He is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and Phi Eta Epsilon national honor societies.

Stuart Rothenberg

Stuart RothenbergStuart Rothenberg is the editor and publisher of the Rothenberg Political Report, a semi-monthly newsletter that offers analysis of American elections.  In addition to commentary that has been featured in newspapers throughout the country, Rothenberg also writes a column in Capitol Hill’s Roll Call twice a week. He has contributed op-ed pieces to The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times and the Orlando Sentinel. His political expertise has made him a frequent guest on the network television news circuit, where he has appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press and TODAY, ABC’s This Week and Nightline, and The McLaughlin Group. In 2008, he was a regular contributor to PBS NewsHour, and in 2006, he served as a political analyst for CBS News. Before that, he served as a CNN political analyst for more than 10 years. Rothenberg holds a B.A. from Colby College (Maine) and a Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut. He has taught political science at Bucknell University (Pa.), and at Catholic University of America (Washington, D.C.).

Vincent Tinto

Vincent Tito

Vincent Tinto is Distinguished University Professor at Syracuse University and, until recently, served as chair of the Higher Education Program. He has carried out research and has written extensively on higher education, particularly on student success and the impact of learning communities on student growth and attainment. His most recent book, Leaving College (University of Chicago Press), lays out a theory and policy perspective on student success that is considered the benchmark by which work on these issues is judged.

He has consulted widely with federal and state agencies, with independent research firms, foundations, and with two- and four-year institutions of higher education on a broad range of higher educational issues, not the least of which concern the success of students in higher education,in particular those of low-income and underserved backgrounds. He serves on the editorial boards of several journals and with various organizations and professional associations concerned with higher education. He chaired the national panel responsible for awarding $5 million to establish the first national center for research on teaching and learning in higher education and served as associate director of the $6 million National Center on Postsecondary Teaching, Learning, and Assessment funded by the U.S. Office of Education.

Tinto has received numerous recognitions and awards. Most recently he was awarded the Council of Independent Colleges 2008 Academic Leadership Award, the National Institute for Staff Development International 2008 Leadership Award and was named Distinguished Fellow in the Council of Learning Assistance and Developmental Education Associations.

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