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Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Dartmouth's Montgomery Fellows series on "America in 2008: Perspectives and Reflections" will conclude with The New York Times London bureau chief John Burns presenting a public lecture, "Five Years in Iraq: Which Way Home?" on Tues., Oct. 21 at 4:30 p.m. in Filene Auditorium in Moore Hall.
A reporter for The New York Times since 1975, Burns has handled perilous assignments in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. His work in embattled regions has included assignments in South Africa during the last phases of apartheid; China during the Cultural Revolution of the 1970s; Afghanistan during the period of the Soviet military withdrawal; Yugoslavia during the wars in the early 1990s in Croatia and Bosnia; and most recently Iraq during the start of the war. As former Baghdad bureau chief, Burns captured the realities of American efforts in Iraq and covered the last six months of Saddam Hussein's regime. After nearly five years in Iraq, Burns was named to a new post as the newspaper's London bureau chief in 2007.
Provost Barry Scherr said, "In choosing John Burns as a Montgomery Fellow we knew we would be bringing to Dartmouth an individual who, as his two Pulitzer prizes attest, has provided in-depth reporting and profound insight into some of the most troubled areas of the globe." He added, "Last winter we had several speakers in the Montgomery program who all looked at the state of contemporary American life from within the country. Joan Didion, our first speaker this fall, provided another perspective on that topic; with our final two speakers, John Abizaid and John Burns, we have turned to the implications for America of our military involvement abroad."
Among his many honors and awards, Burns has won two Pulitzer prizes: one for international reporting in 1993 for his coverage of the siege and destruction of the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo; the other in 1997 for his coverage of the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan. He won the George Polk award for foreign reporting in 1979 and 1997 for his coverage in Africa and Afghanistan. In 2003, the Committee to Protect Journalists named him winner of the Burton Benjamin Memorial Award for his reporting on the military campaign that defeated the Hussein regime. Most recently, he received the International Center for Journalists Founders Award for excellence in journalism.
Chris Wren '57, a former New York Times journalist, who is a Visiting Professor in Dartmouth's Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program, says of Burns, "John Burns is probably the finest war correspondent of his generation. He displays not only incredible courage but also an insatiable curiosity about everything he covers, asking not just what happened, but why." He added, "John really cares about people. Dartmouth students will find him friendly as well as fascinating." As a former Montgomery Fellow, Wren participated in the 25th anniversary program of the Montgomery Endowment on truth and ethics in journalism in the fall of 2003.
Established in 1977 through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth F. Montgomery (Dartmouth Class of 1925), the Montgomery Endowment was created "to provide for the advancement of the academic realm of the College in ways that will significantly add to the quality and character thereof, making possible major new dimensions for, as well as extraordinary enrichments to, the educational experience offered primarily to undergraduate students within the Dartmouth community." The Montgomery Endowment will begin a new series in the winter.
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