Norman Mineta

Norman Y. Mineta

Norman Y. Mineta is the President and CEO of Mineta and Associates, LLC and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Secretary of Transportation. He is known for his work in the areas of transportation—including aviation, surface transportation and infrastructure—and national security. He is recognized for his accomplishments in economic development, science and technology policy, foreign and domestic trade, budgetary issues and civil rights.

During his career in Congress, he was the primary author of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA, pronounced Ice-Tea). The act was an overhaul for the definition for major U.S. highway corridors. It also addressed proposed high-speed rail systems and mandated the inclusion of airbags in automobiles.

In 2000, President Bill Clinton appointed Mineta Secretary of Commerce. There, Mineta achieved international cooperation and intergovernmental coordination on complex fisheries issues and for streamlining the patent and trademark process.

As president George W. Bush’s Secretary of Transportation and in the wake of the 9/11 attack, Mineta temporarily grounded all U.S. flights. Then guided the creation of the Transportation Security Administration, which was the largest mobilization of any new federal agency since WWII.

Mineta has received numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy, which is awarded for significant public service of enduring value to aviation in the U.S.. In February 2016, he was named a Chubb Fellow at Yale University. He was the co-founder of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and was chair of the National Civil Aviation Review Commission in 1997.



Pete Souza headshot

Pete Souza

Pete Souza was the Chief Official White House Photographer for President Reagan and President Obama. During Obama’s eight years as president, Souza took close to two million photographs. More than 300 of those photographs comprise his latest book, Obama: An Intimate Portrait, which debuted at #1 on the New York Times best seller’s list.

He has covered stories around the world as a photojournalist. After 9/11, Souza was among the first journalists to cover the fall of Kabul, Afghanistan by crossing the Hindu Kush mountains through deep snow on horseback.

He has lectured at the Smithsonian Museum, Harvard and Boston Universities. Souza has appeared on dozens of TV and radio news shows. He’s planning a traveling exhibit titled “Two Presidents, One Photographer,” for 2019–2020. Souza is a Professor Emeritus at Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication and was recently awarded the Hugo X. Shong Lifetime Achievement Award for Communication from Boston University.

Mr. Souza’s appearance is generously sponsored by 9/11 Memorial & Museum


indira-lakshmana-roundIndira Lakshmanan

Indira Lakshmanan is executive editor at the Pulitzer Center, a journalism nonprofit that supports public service reporting and brings stories into classrooms.

Indira has been a correspondent, columnist, and host, reporting from Washington and more than 80 countries for The Boston Globe, Bloomberg News, the International New York Times, NPR and PBS NewsHour.

She’s interviewed presidents and secretaries of state and covered elections at home and abroad. She covered the Bosnian War and the fall of the Taliban; investigated government collusion with militants in the Philippines; and embedded with pirates in southeast Asia, Maoist rebels in Nepal, and Khmer Rouge holdouts in Cambodia. Her reporting exposed child labor in Bolivia, illegal logging in Brazil, and helped end the incarceration of innocent children in Nepal.

As the first Newmark chair in journalism ethics at the Poynter Institute, she focused on restoring public trust in journalism. In her first year with Pulitzer Center, projects her team supported won a Pulitzer Prize, two Polk Awards, an Edward R. Murrow award and many others.


marty-baron-roundMartin Baron

Martin “Marty” Baron is executive editor of The Washington Post.  He oversees The Post’s print and digital news operations and a staff of more than 800 journalists. Newsrooms under his leadership have won 14 Pulitzer Prizes, including seven at The Washington Post. Previously, Mr. Baron had been editor of The Boston Globe. During his 11 ½ years there, The Globe won six Pulitzer prizes, including the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, awarded to The Globe for its investigation into a pattern of concealing clergy sex abuse in the Catholic Church, coverage portrayed years later in the Academy Award-winning movie Spotlight. Prior to The Globe, he held top editing positions at The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the Miami Herald. Under his leadership, the Miami Herald won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Coverage in 2001 for its coverage of the raid to recover Elián González.




 carl_hulse-roundCarl Hulse

Carl Hulse is the Chief Washington Correspondent of The New York Times and a recognized authority on congressional affairs and national politics. He is the author of the forthcoming book, Confirmation Bias: Inside Washington's War Over the Supreme Court, from Scalia's Death to Justice Kavanaugh, which tells the inside story of the judicial wars rocking Washington and the damage they are doing to America's governing institutions. At The Times, Mr. Hulse is the author of "On Washington," his regular column chronicling developments in the capital from the perspective of a veteran of more than three decades of reporting on all facets of the federal government. He was previously Washington Editor at The Times, directing the paper's coverage of the White House, Congress, the courts and the Pentagon.  He also served as Chief Congressional Correspondent for The Times for more than a decade.  He became a Times editor in 2000 and helped lead the paper's coverage of the Sept. 11 


eric-armstrong-dunbar-roundErica Armstrong Dunbar

Erica Armstrong Dunbar is the Charles and Mary Beard Professor of History at Rutgers University. Her first book, A Fragile Freedom: African American Women and Emancipation in the Antebellum City was published by Yale University in 2008. Her second book, Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge (37Ink/Atria/) was a finalist for the National Book Award in nonfiction and a winner of the 2018 Frederick Douglass Book Prize. The young readers version of Never Caught (Aladdin/Simon and Schuster) was published in January 2019. Ms. Dunbar’s op-eds in outlets such as The New York Times, The Nation, TIME, Essence, and the Philadelphia Inquirer, her commentary in media outlets such as CNN and the Los Angeles Times, and her appearances in documentaries such as “Philadelphia: The Great Experiment” as well as “The Abolitionists” an American Experience production on PBS, place her historical expertise in high demand.



weiping-wu-roundWeiping Wu

Weiping Wu is Professor of Urban Planning at Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preparation and Director of the M.S. Urban Planning program. Trained in architecture and urban planning, Prof. Wu has focused her research and teaching on understanding urban dynamics in developing countries in general and China in particular. She is an internationally acclaimed urban and planning scholar working on global urbanization with a specific expertise in issues of migration, housing, and infrastructure of Chinese cities.  Her publications include eight books, as well as many articles in top international journals. Her recent publications include the Sage Handbook of Contemporary China, vol. 1, with Mark Frazier and The Chinese City, with Piper Gaubatz.  Professor Wu is also the President of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP), a consortium of university-based programs offering credentials in urban and regional planning.  She has been a member of the International Advisory Board for the Urban China Research Network, as well as serving on the editorial board of four journals.  


marc-aronson-roundMarc Aronson

Marc Aronson is the acclaimed author of Trapped: How the World Rescued 33 Miners from 2,000 Feet Below the Chilean Desert, which earned four starred reviews. His newest book, Rising Water: The Story of the Thai Cave Rescue, tells the incredible true story of the twelve boys trapped with their coach in a flooded cave in Thailand and their inspiring rescue. He is also the author of Sir Walter Ralegh and the Quest for El Dorado, winner of the ALA's first Robert L. Sibert Award for nonfiction and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award. He has won the LMP award for editing and has a PhD in American history from NYU. Dr. Aronson is a member of the full-time faculty in the graduate program of the Rutgers School of Communication and Information. He lives in Maplewood, New Jersey, with his wife, Marina Budhos, and sons. You can visit him online at


Michael-Rebell-BetterMichael A. Rebell

Michael A. Rebell is an experienced litigator, scholar, and administrator in the field of education law, and one of the nation's foremost authorities on education adequacy, disability rights and the role of the courts in educational policy. He was co-counsel for the plaintiffs in CFE v. State of New York, a major challenge to the system of funding public education in the State of New York, which has established the constitutional right of all students in the state to the "opportunity for a sound basic education." Mr. Rebell  currently chairs the New York State Civic Readiness Task Force, and is convener of the DemocracyReadyNY Coalition. He is also lead counsel for the plaintiffs in Cook v. Raimondo, a major federal litigation that seeks to establish a right to an education adequate for capable citizenship under the U.S. Constution. Mr. Rebell is the author of Flunking Democracy: Schools, Courts and Civic Participation and five other books and dozens of articles on law and education issues, including educational equity, education finance, civic education, rights of students  with disability and the role of the courts in educational policy 

Victoria De Francesco Soto-180Victoria DeFrancesco Soto

Victoria DeFrancesco Soto is the Director of Civic Engagement and a Lecturer at the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas. Named one of the top 12 scholars in the country by Diverse magazine Victoria previously taught at Northwestern University and Rutgers and received her Ph.D in political science from Duke University. Victoria’s social scientific areas of expertise include immigration, Latinos, women, racial and ethnic minority politics, as well as political psychology.  Underlying all of her research interests is the intersection of social group identity and political participation.  In her role as Director of Civic Engagement Victoria leads efforts to expand opportunities for faculty, students and community partners to participate in high-quality civic engagement projects as well as diversity and inclusion initiatives. Victoria is a contributor to MSNBC and The Hill as well as a regular political analyst for Telemundo. Victoria is a native of Southern Arizona and is a diehard Arizona Wildcats basketball fan. She is of Italian-Jewish-Mexican heritage and lives in beautiful Austin, Texas with her husband Neftali Garcia and their children.


Joseph PenielDr. Peniel E. Joseph

Dr. Peniel E. Joseph is Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at the University of Texas at Austin. He received a joint professorship appointment at the LBJ School of Public Affairs as the Barbara Jordan Chair in Ethics and Political Values and at the History Department in the College of Liberal Arts. Prior to joining the UT faculty, Dr. Joseph was a professor at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, where he also founded the school’s Center for the Study of Race and Democracy to promote engaged research and scholarship focused on the ways issues of race and democracy impact the lives of global citizens.

Dr. Peniel E. Joseph’s career focus has been on what he describes as “Black Power Studies,” encompassing interdisciplinary fields such as Africana studies, law and society, women’s and ethnic studies, and political science. He is a frequent national commentator on issues of race, democracy and civil rights. His commentary has been featured on NPR, The Colbert Report, PBS, and MSNBC. Dr. Joseph’s articles, Op-Eds, and book reviews have been published in newspapers from The Washington Post to The New York Times and he has authored award-winning books including, Waiting ‘Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America and Dark Days, Bright Nights: From Black Power to Barack Obama. His most recent book, Stokely: A Life, has been called the definitive biography of Stokely Carmichael, the man who popularized the phrase “black power” and led the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

Sherri _SmithSherri L. Smith

Sherri L. Smith is the author of seven award-winning young adult novels, including the 2009 California Book Awards Gold Medalist, Flygirl, the 2017 SCIBA YA Award winner, Pasadena, and the bestselling middle grade historical fantasy The Toymaker's Apprentice.  Her books appear on multiple state lists and have been named Amelia Bloomer and American Library Association Best Books for Young People selections.  Sherri has worked in comics, animation, and construction.  Currently, she teaches in the MFA Writing program at Goddard College and for Hamline University's Children’s Writing MFA.  Her latest book is Who Were the Tuskegee Airmen?— part of the NY Times bestselling Who Was? series. She returns to World War II with her next novel, The Blossom and the Firefly, in February 2020



Where Were You? The Ongoing Relevance of 9/11

 CLIFF-CHANIN2 Ada_Dolch2 Bill_Spade2 
 Clifford Chanin  Ada Rosario Dolch  Bill Spade
9/11 represents a turning point in history that continues to impact our world. As most students now don’t have a lived memory or a connection to the attacks, imparting this relevance has become increasingly challenging. Discover the power of storytelling to bridge this gap as two 9/11 survivors with powerful, firsthand stories share their experiences and the ways they have chosen to respond over the past 18 years.

Ada Dolch, 9/11 survivor, family member, and retired NYC Public School Principal; Bill Spade, 9/11 first responder, retired member of the FDNY, and 9/11 Memorial & Museum docent. Moderated by Clifford Chanin, Executive Vice President and Deputy Director for Museum Programs, 9/11 Memorial & Museum.

The panelists’ appearances are generously sponsored by the 9/11 Memorial & Museum.