May 29, 2007
Ifill to Deliver Higginbotham Lecture June 7
Gwen Ifill, moderator and managing editor of PBS' "Washington Week" and senior correspondent for "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," will deliver the Judge A. Leon Higginbotham Jr. Memorial Public Interest Lecture at the Association's Thursday, June 7 Quarterly Meeting and Luncheon.
A lifelong champion of individual rights, Judge Higginbotham had a legal career that spanned nearly half a century. Since Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund, delivered the first Higginbotham lecture in 1999, notables such as Juan Williams, Charles J. Ogletree, Chaka Fattah, Cornel West and Kweisi Mfume have filled the role. New members of the Association's 50-, 60-, 65- and 70-Year Clubs will also be honored at the event. The Year Clubs recognize attorneys who have been practicing law for 50 years or more.
Ifill is frequently asked to moderate debates in national elections, most recently the Vice Presidential debate during the 2004 election. She spent several years as a "Washington Week" panelist before taking over the moderator's chair in October 1999.
Before joining PBS, she spent five years at NBC News as chief congressional and political correspondent. While at NBC, she covered the premier political stories affecting the nation, including national political campaigns and conventions, legislation before Congress and the impeachment of President Clinton. Her reports appeared on "NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw," "Today," "Meet the Press" and MSNBC, the all-news cable network.
A veteran journalist, Ifill joined NBC News from The New York Times, where she covered the White House and politics. She also covered national and local affairs for The Washington Post, Baltimore Evening Sun, and Boston Herald American.
"I always knew I wanted to be a journalist, and my first love was newspapers," Ifill said. "But public broadcasting provides the best of both worlds combining the depth of newspapering with the immediate impact of broadcast television."
A native of New York City and a graduate of Simmons College in Boston, Ifill has also received 15 honorary degrees. She serves on the board of the Harvard University Institute of Politics, the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Museum of Television and Radio and the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism.
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