October 16, 2006

HARRISONBURG—Veteran journalist Walter Rodgers, Distinguished Scholar in Residence at James Madison University’s Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs, will give the fourth lecture in the Institute’s 2005-2006 Guardian Lecture Series on Wednesday, November 1, 2006. Rodgers will speak on “Where are the Wisemen? Iraq Today” in HHS 1301 at 7:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public and qualifies as a Wellness Passport event for JMU students.

Rodgers, who recently retired as senior international correspondent for CNN based in London, has been teaching a semester-long course on journalism and war for JMU students in justice studies, political science, and media arts and design.

Prior to being named CNN senior international correspondent in London in September 2000, Rodgers served as the news network’s bureau chief in Jerusalem for five and a half years. After 9/11, Rodgers traveled across central and southwestern Asia, reporting from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Jordan, and Turkey. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, he was an imbedded journalist with the U.S. Army’s 7 th Cavalry as it rolled toward Baghdad, an experience which he chronicled in his book Sleeping with Custer and the 7 th Cavalry: An Imbedded Reporter in Iraq, published last year by Southern Illinois University Press.

Rodgers earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from Southern Illinois University and pursued doctoral studies in history at the University of Washington before going into broadcast journalism. He joined ABC News in 1981 as a London-based correspondent. From 1984 to 1989, he worked as the ABC News bureau chief in Moscow, where he covered a wide range of stories including the first four years of Mikhail Gorbachev’s reforms which eventually led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Over the more than three decades of his career in journalism, Rodgers has covered every U.S.-Soviet summit since the 1974 meeting between U.S. President Gerald Ford and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. He also covered the assassination of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., the Iranian hostage crisis, and the Watergate court proceedings. From 1981-1983, he covered the Falklands War and, in 1982, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.

In addition to his broadcast journalism, Rodgers has written extensively for the Associated Press, The Washington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, and Washingtonian magazine.