Rider University Welcomes Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow Eleanor Clift

Rider University has been selected to host Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow Eleanor Clift, contributing editor of Newsweek, from October 25 through 29, on the Lawrenceville campus.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Rider University has been selected to host Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow Eleanor Clift, contributing editor of Newsweek, from October 25 through 29, on the Lawrenceville campus.

Clift is scheduled to speak during a series of classes, as well as informal discussions hosted by the Center for the Development of Leadership Skills, the Communication Department and the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics. Topics will include the role of media in American elections, women in politics and international politics.

“Ms. Clift’s visit to Rider University is an excellent opportunity for so many of our students to interact with a major contributor to media and to politics in the United States.  Her visit is a unique opportunity for students from many different disciplines, ranging from political science, communications and gender studies,” said Dave Keenan, director of Campus Life. “Rider University is honored that Ms. Clift chose to visit us this fall.”

Clift began her career as a secretary to Newsweek’s National Affairs editor in New York. She was one of the first women at the magazine to move up from secretary to reporter. After covering Jimmy Carter’s bid for the presidency as a reporter in Newsweek’s Atlanta bureau, Clift followed Carter to Washington to become Newsweek’s White House correspondent.

She later served as a congressional and political correspondent for six years and was a key member of the magazine’s 1992 election team, following the campaign of Bill Clinton. In June 1992 she was named deputy Washington bureau chief. Two years later, she became Newsweek’s contributing editor.

As contributing editor, Clift writes about a variety of issues, including the Washington power structure, the influence of women in politics, and the policy and politics of the Obama administration. Her column, “Capitol Letter,” is posted each Friday on Newsweek.com.

Clift is author and co-author of a number of books, including War Without Bloodshed: The Art of Politics; Madam President: Shattering the Last Glass Ceiling; Founding Sisters and Two Weeks of Life: A Memoir of Love, Death and Politics.

Laura Seplaki, associate director of the Center for the Development of Leadership Skills (CDLS) and director of the Leadership Development Program, said Clift is scheduled to speak about the importance of being aware of the current political landscape during her LDP 200: Foundations of Leadership on Wednesday, October 27. In addition, Clift will share own experiences as she gained credibility as a woman in the political realm with a smaller group of students during the CDLS’s Excellence in Executive Leadership (ExcEL) Dinner.

“Being such a strong and prominent leader in the field of politics, I thought it would be fantastic for Eleanor Clift to discuss women’s leadership in an informal environment,” Seplaki explained. “I wanted to give students the opportunity to hear more about her personal story — her rise in the world of politics and how being a woman influenced her experiences over the years.”

For more than 35 years, the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows program has brought prominent artists, diplomats, journalists, business leaders, and other nonacademic professionals to campuses across the United States for week-long residencies of teaching and dialogue with students and faculty members.

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Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow Eleanor Clift