Introducing Dr. Fareed Zakaria

Last week, I had the honor of introducing Dr. Fareed Zakaria for his lecture given for Queens University of Charlotte’s Learning Society Lecture Series at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center in Charlotte, NC.

Zakaria, the popular host of CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS and editor for Time magazine, gave an hour lecture without a note and delighted the audience with quick, witty turns and thoughtful commentary.

I have shared the text of my introduction below:

An Introduction for Fareed Zakaria:

“I am not in journalism to play parlor games with the elite. I want to help people become more thoughtful and engaged about the world.” This quote from our speaker demonstrates his commitment to increasing conversations about the issues that matter.

Born and raised in India, Dr. Fareed Zakaria earned a Bachelor’s degree from Yale University and his Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard. His personal and academic backgrounds have shaped his views on politics and the international community and afforded him a deeply analytical and focused approach to our global conversation.

And he has brought this conversation to our doors and into our homes. His interviews with the Dalai Lama, Moammar Gadhafi, Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama, among others have challenged us and inspired us to consider the nature of our global society and the complexity of the connections that we share with others around the world.

Since 2008, he has hosted Fareed Zakaria GPS, an emmy-nominated, weekly, foreign affairs program on CNN and he is a regular guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

In the world of print, Dr. Zakaria’s books “The Post-American World” and “The Future of Freedom” have appeared on the New York Times’ bestsellers’ list. He has written and edited for the Journal of Foreign Affairs and Newsweek and is now an Editor-at-Large for Time Magazine. If you’ve picked up Time in the past two weeks, you might have read his thoughts on China’s international progress and excerpts from his recent interview with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. And when you see Time magazine on shelves next week, you’ll surely notice his byline underneath the title of his cover story: “How to Restore the American Dream.”

When I read his writing, I am struck by the quality, accessibility and the subtlety of his arguments. They are at once deeply personal and globally focused. He approaches the economy, foreign policy, and international relations with a keen eye for detail. His writing is at times skeptical and occasionally apologetic, but most often it positions us toward a perspective that is increasingly global.

It is my distinct honor to introduce to you our speaker tonight.  He is a respected scholar, a talented journalist, and was recently described by Time magazine as “one of the foremost public intellectuals of our time” –  Dr. Fareed Zakaria.

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