Covering Global Conflict Panel

Monday March 4, 2013 @ 7:30 pm

Research 163

Reception will begin at 7 PM

This interdisciplinary panel brings together scholars and multimedia journalists to examine the issue of reporting, documenting, interpreting, and analyzing some of the most complex and controversial issues of contemporary times.  Top journalists in their fields will address not only the multiple forms of conflict they confront in their everyday work (including war, crime, violence, political repression) but also the changing conditions under which media is produced (including the effects of new media technologies and state censorship).

Confirmed panelists:

Kelly Kennedy


Kelly Kennedy served 4 years as Army Communication Specialist in Desert Storm & Mogadishu, Somalia. She has written for Army Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Associated Press, NASA, The (Boulder) Daily Camera, The Denver Post, The (Portland) Oregonian, The Salt Lake Tribune and The (Ogden) Standard-Examiner and joined USA Today in December 2010 as a health policy reporter. Ms. Kennedy served as an embedded reporter during the recent Iraq War. She is the author of They Fought for Each Other, a book about a company of the 26th Infantry Regiment that in the 2007 surge suffered heavier casualties than did any other such unit. It was engaged in one of the most hostile sections of Bagdad; one popular NCO committed suicide; one platoon effectively mutinied; and altogether, the company passed through a grim year.


Donna Leinwand Leger


Donna Leinwand Leger is a reporter covering breaking news, national and international crime and disasters at USA Today. Her reporting assignments have taken her to Hamburg, Germany in the path of the 9/11 terrorists, Jerusalem in the wake of suicide bombings, Baghdad to cover the war, Indonesia and Thailand after the tsunami, London during the subway bombings and Haiti after the massive earthquake that struck Port-au-Prince. She has covered more than 20 hurricanes, including Andrew, Katrina, Ike, Ivan, Isabel, Jeanne, Georges, Gustav, Alberto and Frances.Leinwand Leger is a past president of the National Press Club and has previously served as chairman of the Board of Governors. She serves on the Board of Visitors for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Before joining USA Today in January 2000, Leinwand Leger covered Congress and the federal government as a regional reporter, first at Knight Ridder's Washington bureau and then at Gannett News Service. Before moving to Washington in 1997, Leinwand covered social services for The Miami Herald.She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she studied journalism and U.S. foreign policy. She has completed the Senior Journalist Seminar at the East West Center at the University of Hawaii, the Paul Miller Fellowship at the National Journalism Foundation and the Casey Fellowship at University of Maryland. She grew up in Boca Raton, Fla.

Louie Palu

New America Foundation

Louie Palu is an award-winning documentary photographer whose work has appeared in numerous publications and exhibitions internationally. He has been awarded many accolades including a National Magazine Award, Photojournalist of the Year, Hasselblad Master Award, Alexia Foundation Documentary Photography Grant, Aftermath Project Grant, Bernard L. Schwartz Fellowship with the New America Foundation and a Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting Grant.Palu's work has been featured in Time Magazine, The Atlantic, New York Times, Sunday Times Magazine and many others. His work is in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, George Eastman House International Museum of Film and Photography and has been exhibited at the Baltimore Museum of Art.Louie Palu is best known for his long-term studies of the most important social and political issues of our times which include a recent 5-year study of the conflict in Kandahar, Afghanistan and the drug war in Mexico.

Lucian Perkins

Washington Post

Lucian Perkins Joined the Washington Post in 1979 as an intern. Since then, Perkins has won numerous awards, including the World Press Photo of the Year award in 1996 for a photograph of a boy peering out the window of a bus leaving Chechnya. In 1995 he and Post reporter Leon Dash were awarded a Pulitzer Prize for their four-year study of the effects of poverty on three generations of a Washington, D.C., family. He shared a second Pulitzer Prize in 2000 with Post photographers Carol Guzy and Michael Williamson for coverage of Kosovo. He was also named Newspaper Photographer of the Year in 1994 by the National Press Photographers Association for a portfolio that included his coverage of Russia, a subject he became fascinated with in the late 1980s. In 1995, Perkins founded InterFoto, an international photojournalism conference in Moscow. Currently, Perkins is an independent photographer and filmmaker concentrating on multimedia projects and video documentaries while still pursuing his love for the still image. Over the years, Perkins has developed a preference for human interest stories, and is known for an approach that counterpoints a deep sympathy for his subjects with an ability to expose their hopes and foibles, and a style that combines formal clarity with an off-beat humor. Some of his more recent projects can be found on his website.

Frank Smyth

Global Journalist Security

Frank Smyth is a journalist and journalist security advisor who has covered armed conflicts, organized crime and human rights, reporting from El Salvador, Guatemala, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Jordan and Iraq where, in 1991, he was imprisoned for 18 days. Smyth has reported for CBS News, and written for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, The Village Voice and Foreign Affairs. He is co-author of Dialogue and Armed Conflict, and a contributor to Crimes of War and The Iraq War Reader. Most recently, Smyth has been covering the gun lobby, writing “Unmasking the NRA’s Inner Circle” for Mother Jones and appearing on MSNBC as a contributor.

John Woolsey


 John is an undergraduate Academic Advisor for Global Affairs. He has a BA and MA in English Studies from Illinois State University and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Cultural Studies at GMU. Before coming to Mason, John served as the Curriculum Head of Social Sciences and Humanities at Busan Foreign School in South Korea. His academic interest are in visual cultu emporary modalities of humanitarian thought and action.