Thanks to all who attended the 2019 Ambassador Council gathering in Washington, D.C.!

Please save the date for our next two-day gathering on March 12 and 13, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. More information to follow in the coming months.

Please join the PRI/PRX Board of Directors and Ambassador Council in Washington, D.C. on May 9 and 10 for "What's Next: Media and Democracy in an Age of Disruption."

In an intimate setting with extraordinary journalists and thought leaders, we’ll go deep into the forces disrupting journalism, civic society and public discourse, both in America and around the world, and we’ll explore emerging opportunities to reshape public media as a bedrock of a sound democracy.

Visiting D.C. for the Ambassador Council gathering? We’ve curated a selection of noteworthy exhibitions, performances, and events in nation's capital around the time of the Ambassador Council event. Click here for our recommendations.

Registration for the event is now full. If you have questions or would like to be put on a waiting list, please contact Lisa Baumert, Director of Individual Giving, at or (612) 330-9228.




Over the coming weeks, please check back here for more information on all our extraordinary panelists.

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John Barth

John is the Chief Content Officer of PRI/PRX. He is responsible for developing and integrating the broadcast and podcast portfolio of programs and talent, including The World, The Takeaway, Reveal, The Moth Radio Hour and Studio 360. John helped create and produce Marketplace, ran the news channel at AOL, and developed original content at Audible. He has been a news director and a reporter in public TV, public radio and at Business Week.


Carolyn Beeler

Carolyn covers the environment for The World, where she focuses on stories about people and places impacted by climate change. She has reported from all seven continents, most recently during a two-month research expedition to Antarctica, and won national and regional awards for her breaking news and in-depth feature reporting. Before joining The World she helped launch the weekly health and science show The Pulse at WHYY in Philadelphia, and reported from Berlin for a year as a Robert Bosch Foundation fellow. She got her start in radio as a Kroc fellow at NPR.

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Susan Crawford

Susan is the John A. Reilly Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. She is the author of Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age, co-author of The Responsive City: Engaging Communities Through Data-Smart Governance, author of FIBER: The Coming Tech Revolution—and Why America Might Miss It, and a contributor to She served as Special Assistant to the President for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy (2009) and co-led the FCC transition team between the Bush and Obama administrations. She also served as a member of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Advisory Council on Technology and Innovation and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Broadband Task Force.

Susan was formerly a (Visiting) Stanton Professor of the First Amendment at Harvard’s Kennedy School, a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School, and a Professor at the University of Michigan Law School (2008-2010). As an academic, she teaches courses about cities, public leadership, technology, and communications policy.

She was a member of the board of directors of ICANN from 2005-2008 and is the founder of OneWebDay, a global Earth Day for the internet that takes place each Sept. 22. One of Politico’s 50 Thinkers, Doers and Visionaries Transforming Politics in 2015; one of Fast Company’s Most Influential Women in Technology (2009); IP3 Awardee (2010); one of Prospect Magazine’s Top Ten Brains of the Digital Future (2011); and one of TIME Magazine’s Tech 40: The Most Influential Minds in Tech (2013). She served as a clerk for Judge Raymond J. Dearie of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, and was a partner at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (now WilmerHale) (Washington, D.C.) until the end of 2002, when she left that firm to enter the legal academy.

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Andrea Crossan

Andrea is the Interim Executive Producer of The World. She's formerly the Series Director of the Across Women's Lives project and is the Series Creator and Director of the 50 States project. Andrea moved to Boston after working as a BBC producer in London. Before joining the BBC, she worked for several news organizations including the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Associated Press and NBC News. Andrea has reported from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Uganda, South Africa, Pakistan, India, Brazil, Canada, Nicaragua and Kenya. She has a Master's degree in International Journalism from City University London. She collects stamps in her passport and can pack for a three-week trip using just a carry-on bag.

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Laicie Heeley

Laicie is the Founder and CEO of Inkstick Media and Editor of the foreign policy magazine Inkstick, an outlet that values the diversity of voices in the field, and the stories they have to tell, as much as the analysis they have to deliver. Laicie’s background as a writer and photographer lends itself to an appreciation of storytelling in all of its forms. This is evident in her role as Executive Producer and Host of the PRI- and Inkstick-produced podcast, Things That Go Boom, where she explores the “ins, outs, and whathaveyous of what keeps us safe.” She is also a Partner with the Truman National Security Project. Laicie's work has appeared in well-known newspapers, journals, and periodicals including Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Associated Press, and she has appeared as an expert on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News.

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Kerri Hoffman

Kerri is the CEO of PRI/PRX, a company that’s shaping the future of public media content, talent and technology.

Kerri is a fierce champion for innovations in podcasting, new financial models, and audience growth. She has been a non-profit executive for over 20 years, focusing on financial management and business development. She played a key role in the building and evolution of PRX, and headed up the launch of Radiotopia, a curated network of extraordinary, cutting-edge podcasts, anchored by 99% Invisible from Roman Mars. She is active in her community in Northfield, VT where she lives with her family.

She once told a Moth story about rappelling down the side of a UN building as part of a Greenpeace protest.


Shirin Jaafari

Shirin is a reporter for The World. Her reporting focuses on the Middle East. She has reported from Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. As an Iranian American, she is also interested in stories about immigration and immigrant communities in the US.


Al Letson

Al created, hosted, and executive produced PRX’s State of the Re:Union (SOTRU) from 2008-2014.  The program received critical acclaim and numerous awards, including a Peabody Award. In 2015 SOTRU ended production and Al joined the CIR and PRX to help launch and host public radio's first hour-long investigative journalism show, Reveal, now heard on over 470 public radio stations and over 1 million downloads a month. Al also created and hosts the podcast Errthang. Errthang is just that, everything: storytelling, radio drama, pop culture reviews, and interviews. A true renaissance man, Al got his start on stage as a performance poet, actor, and playwright.  His plays and performances have been produced off-Broadway and on stages across the country. A self-described comic nerd, Al has written for DC Comics and published 2 graphic novels. While it may seem like his interests are varied, they are all aspects of who Al Letson is, a storyteller for the new millennium.

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Neera Tanden

Neera is the President and CEO of the Center for American Progress and the Center for American Progress Action Fund.  Before joining CAP and CAP Action, she worked as a key member of the health reform team of former President Barack Obama, where she helped to develop and pass the Affordable Care Act. She also managed all domestic policy initiatives during Obama’s first presidential campaign and has served in several leadership roles for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  At CAP and CAP Action, Neera is focused on building the grassroots opposition to Donald Trump’s agenda, and on developing an alternative agenda that will expand opportunity for all Americans.

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Matt Thompson

Matt Thompson is the editor in chief of Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting and a contributing editor at The Atlantic. Prior to his arrival at Reveal, he served as the executive editor of The Atlantic, overseeing new editorial initiatives and planning, developing the magazine's recruitment and talent development operations, and guiding strategy for podcasting and digital membership. He's also one of the founding hosts of “Radio Atlantic,” the organization's pioneer podcast. Previously, as the deputy editor of, Thompson oversaw digital coverage teams and developed editorial projects in conjunction with site editors.

Before joining The Atlantic in January 2015, Thompson was director of vertical initiatives (and mischief) for NPR, where he led the creation of several teams of broadcast and digital journalists, including Code Switch, which covers race, ethnicity and culture; and NPR Ed, which covers education. During his time with NPR, he worked with public radio stations across the country on editorial strategy and co-wrote the organization’s ethics handbook. Prior to NPR, Thompson worked as an editor and reporter for news organizations around the U.S., including the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, The Fresno Bee and the Poynter Institute. He currently serves as a member of the board of directors for The Center for Public Integrity and is a co-founder of Spark Camp. Thompson is based in Reveal's Emeryville, California, office.

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Tanzina Vega

Tanzina is the host of The Takeaway. She reports and speaks on issues of race, media, and inequality in the United States. She is also an Eisner Fellow at the Nation Institute and was a Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University.

Tanzina has contributed to CNN, CNNMoney, WNYC Radio, Reuters television, Billboard magazine and The New York Times, where she won an Emmy award for outstanding new approaches in documentary media and various awards from the National Press Photographers Association.

NPR’s Code Switch called called her one of their “Journalists — Of Color! — To Watch” and The Huffington Post listed Tanzina as one of the 40 top Latinos in American media.

Photo credit to Matthew Septimus.


Amy Walter

Amy is host of The Takeaway, Fridays. She is National Editor at the non-partisan Cook Political Report and a regular contributor to the PBS NewsHour, where she offers her perspective weekly on "Politics Monday." Known as one of the most insightful political journalists covering Washington, she is the former political director of ABC News, and appears regularly on NBC's Meet The Press, CBS' Face The Nation, and FOX News' Special Report with Bret Baier.

Amy has contributed to election night coverage and analysis since 1998 and was a member of CNN’s Emmy-award winning election night team in 2006. Named one of the “Top 50 Journalists” by Washingtonian magazine, Amy was lauded as one of the most powerful people in politics in George magazine for her insights into the mechanics of Washington. She also won the Washington Post’s Crystal Ball Award for her spot-on election predictions in 2000, and has been frequently quoted as a congressional election expert in newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and The New York Times.

Photo credit to Matthew Septimus.

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Marco Werman

Marco is the host of PRI’s The World. He started in radio in Burkina Faso in West Africa, following three years with the Peace Corps in Togo.  From there, he moved to London to produce the BBC World Service flagship breakfast program for Africa, "Network Africa." Marco moved back to the US in 1990, and helped start up a new public radio station in upstate New York in the Adirondacks, where he reported, produced and hosted a daily two-hour news and current affairs show. Following a stint in Rome, Italy as the correspondent for Monitor Radio, he joined The World in 1995. Marco has won awards from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters and New York Festivals. He also won the first annual Unity award from the Radio and Television News Director’s Association for coverage of diversity issues, and an Emmy for a Frontline documentary on Libya.

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Judy Woodruff

Broadcast journalist Judy Woodruff is the anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour.  She has covered politics and other news for more than four decades at NBC, CNN and PBS.

Judy served as White House correspondent for NBC News from 1977 to 1982, followed by one year as chief Washington correspondent for NBC’s Today Show. She joined PBS in 1983 as chief Washington correspondent for the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, and from 1984 to 1990 she anchored PBS’ award-winning documentary series, “Frontline with Judy Woodruff.” After moving to CNN in 1993, she served for 12 years as an anchor and senior correspondent, anchoring the weekday program, “Inside Politics,” among other duties. She returned to the NewsHour in 2007, and in 2013, she and the late Gwen Ifill were named the first two women to co-anchor a national news broadcast. After Ifill’s death, Woodruff was named sole anchor in 2018.

From 2006 to 2013, Judy anchored a monthly program for Bloomberg Television, “Conversations with Judy Woodruff.” In 2006, Judy was a visiting professor at Duke University's Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy. In 2005, she was a visiting fellow at Harvard University's Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy.

Judy is a founding co-chair of the International Women’s Media Foundation. She serves on the boards of the Freedom Forum, The Duke Endowment, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Public Radio International, and the National Association to End Homelessness. She is the recipient of more than 25 honorary degrees and numerous awards, most recently the Radcliffe Medal, the Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism, the Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award, and the Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism. She is the author of This is Judy Woodruff at the White House, published in 1982. Judy is a graduate of Duke University, where she is a trustee emerita.


Shoshana Zuboff

Shoshana is the author of The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power. This new work integrates her lifelong themes: the digital revolution, the evolution of capitalism,  and their shared implications for humanity in the twenty-first century. Shoshana is the Charles Edward Wilson Professor emerita, Harvard Business School, and the author of the seminal In the Age of Smart Machine: The Future of Work and Power and the influential The Support Economy: Why Corporations Are Failing Individuals and the Next Episode of Capitalism (with James Maxmin), along with many scholarly and popular articles.

Photo credit to Michael D. Wilson.

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Thursday, May 9

Opening Cocktail Reception, Dinner and Keynote Conversation
Carnegie Institution for Science
1530 P St NW
Washington, DC 20005
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Losing Connection: Haves and Have-Nots in a Digitized Democracy

The Internet continues to redefine every corner of our lives – from dating to news, from health care to education and even agriculture. At its core is a paradox: while presenting as a democratizing force, the Internet is increasingly controlled by a handful of corporations. With scholar Susan Crawford and journalist Matt Thompson, Judy Woodruff will explore the monopolization of digital infrastructure, the threat of new forms of inequality and social division, and opportunities that exist to reclaim the promises of the digital revolution.

  • Judy Woodruff, anchor and managing editor of PBS NewsHour

  • Susan Crawford, the John A. Reilly Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and author of Fiber: The Coming Tech Revolution -- and Why America Might Miss It

  • Matt Thompson, editor in chief, The Center for Investigative Reporting

Friday, May 10

Breakfast and Morning Sessions
Holeman Lounge
National Press Club
529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor
Washington, DC 20045
8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Part One: Radical Openness: A Bold Approach to Putting the Public in Public Media

Kerri Hoffman will share her vision for how PRI/PRX, formed last year by the merger of two of public media’s most innovative organizations, can offer a new path, rooted in radical openness, to enable excellence and essential work to thrive in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

  • Kerri Hoffman, CEO, PRI/PRX

Part Two: A Brave New World

In 2014, PRI launched its Across Women’s Lives initiative to increase the presence of women in media -- as reporters, experts and sources. One of the most dramatic changes is in our own talent pool. We’ll check in with four extraordinary journalists bringing us untold stories from Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Antarctica.

  • Andrea Crossan, executive producer, The World

  • Carolyn Beeler, environmental reporter, The World

  • Laicie Heeley, host, Things That Go Boom

  • Shirin Jaafari, reporter, The World

Part Three: Does Privacy Have a Future? Autonomy, Truth and Empathy in a Digital Era

In her seminal work, Shoshana Zuboff has documented how tech companies, practicing “surveillance capitalism,” increasingly track and even control our behavior. Together we’ll explore how individuals can navigate this complex future, and what it means to “build bridges to the kind of future we can call home.”

  • Tanzina Vega, host, The Takeaway

  • Shoshana Zuboff, author, Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power

Part Four: Behind the Mic - Headlines, Headaches and Headspace

As hosts, Al Letson and Marco Werman represent the public in conversation with newsmakers, experts, and witnesses as we seek to make sense of the critical stories of our times. We’ll explore how Al and Marco approach their work, and how their continued engagement with music, poetry, and community shapes the way they bring the news into our lives.

  • John Barth, chief content officer, PRX

  • Al Letson, host, Reveal

  • Marco Werman, host, The World

Lunch and Afternoon Sessions
Holeman Lounge
National Press Club
529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor
Washington, DC 20045
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Featuring a performance, “A Wrench In the Works,” by Joe Richman of Radio Diaries and Marvill “Marvillous Beats.”

Part Five: Did 2018 Crack the Glass Ceiling? What May Change and What May Stay the Same in 2020?

Political reporter Amy Walter will engage with Neera Tanden, a veteran of Obama and Clinton campaigns and a regular on PBS NewsHour, CNN, MSNBC and Fox, to discuss how 2018, “The Year of the Woman,” from #MeToo to the new Congress, may reshape our politics in advance of the next presidential campaign. Have we experienced a cultural realignment or merely a midterm blip?

  • Amy Walter, Host, Politics with Amy Walter on The Takeaway

  • Neera Tanden, CEO, Center for American Progress

Private Tour
National Portrait Gallery
8th St NW & F St NW
Washington, DC 20001
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Arts and Culture Afternoon Break: Portraiture Beyond the Frame.

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, which narrates the ever-changing story of America and the individuals who shape its culture, has designed a special tour that features visionaries and villains, actors and activists, poets and politicians, and US Presidents from George Washington to Barack Obama.

Friday Evening Reception
The Nest at The Willard InterContinental Hotel
1401 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20004
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

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The Willard InterContinental is offering a limited number of rooms at a special rate of $269/night for guests of the Ambassador Council gathering. If you would like us to reserve a room(s) in your name, please RSVP and indicate your lodging preferences.

Guests are responsible for their own accommodations and airfare fees. Meals and transportation during the Ambassador Council will be provided.

For questions and help with reservations, please contact Lisa Baumert at or 612.330.9228.


The Ambassador Council is a group of leaders from around the country who support PRI and PRX and our role in connecting the American public to a broad, in-depth array of global news and cultural perspectives essential to taking part in today's interconnected world.

Susan Anderson and Bob Arthur
Chicago, IL

Lori Hall Armstrong and Michael Armstrong
Los Angeles, CA

Betsy Cook Atwater
Santa Barbara, CA & Minneapolis, MN

Diane and Todd Baker
Berkeley, CA

Caroline and John Ballantine
Chicago, IL

Jeannie and Henry Becton
Boston, MA

Cecilia and Garrett Boone
Dallas, TX

Melanie and Tim Byrne
Dallas, TX

Molly Byrne
Dallas, TX

Kathy Chan
San Francisco, CA

Kay and Elliot Cattarulla
Dallas, TX

Dodee and Billy Crockett
Wimberley, TX

Katharine and Peter Darrow
Brooklyn, NY

Julia Dayton
Minneapolis, MN

Lynn Bay Dayton and Bruce C. Dayton
Boston, MA

Cynthia Engles
Dallas, TX

Begoña Lozano and Javier Escobedo
San Francisco, CA

Terry Fraze
Tucson, AZ

Deborah Green and Clayton Aynesworth
Austin, TX

Linda and Jon Gruber
San Francisco, CA

Nor Hall and Roger Hale
Minneapolis, MN

Katherine Harris and Tom Keyser
White Bear Lake, MN

Marguerite S. Hoffman
Dallas, TX

Roger Horchow
Dallas, TX

Rima Hyder
Brookline, MA

Maryanne Tagney and David Jones
Seattle, WA

Kimberly Kruger
Wimberley, TX

Linda Larson and Gerry Johnson
Seattle, WA

Katherine Glaze Lyle
Dallas, TX

Chris Mattsson
Austin, TX

Dete and Paul Meserve
Los Angeles, CA

JaMel and Tom Perkins
San Francisco, CA

Judy Pigott
Seattle, WA

Cindy and Howard Rachofsky
Dallas, TX

Alison Ranney and Erik Birkerts
Chicago, IL

Deedie Potter Rose
Dallas, TX

Elizabeth and Daniel Routman
Dallas, TX

Sharon and Robert Ryan
Minneapolis, MN

Nicole and Cabel Sasser
Portland, OR

Liliane and Edward Schneider
San Francisco, CA

Deb and Eric Suder
Dallas, TX

Sally and John Van Doren
New York, NY

Gordon VeneKlasen
New York, NY

Jonathan Warman
New York, NY

Lawrence Wilkinson
San Francisco, CA

Margaret Wurtele
Minneapolis, MN

Interested in becoming a member of the Ambassador Council? Please contact Lisa Baumert at or 612.330.9228 to learn more.


The PRI/PRX Board of Directors

Jonathan Abbott
Boston, MA

Michael Armstrong
Los Angeles, CA

Janet Balis
New York, NY

Steven Bass
Portland, OR

Henry Becton Jr.
Boston, MA

Kathy Chan
San Francisco, CA

Dodee Crockett
Wimberley, TX

Javier Escobedo
San Francisco, CA

Kathryn Finney
Atlanta, GA

Betsy Gardella
Concord, MA

Kerri Hoffman
Boston, MA

Marguerite Hoffman
Dallas, TX

Michael Isip
San Francisco, CA

Dan Lothian
Boston, MA

Dete Meserve
Los Angeles, CA

Alisa Miller
Minneapolis, MN

Ashton Peery
Boston, MA

Alison Ranney
Chicago, IL

Deedie Rose
Dallas, TX

Daniel Routman
Dallas, TX

Robert Ryan
Minneapolis, MN

Edward Schneider
San Francisco, CA

Umang Shah
Philadelphia, PA

Jacob Shapiro
Boston, MA

Stewart Vanderwilt
Denver, CO

Lawrence Wilkinson
San Francisco, CA

Judy Woodruff
Washington, DC

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Registration is now full. If you have questions or would like to be put on a waiting list, please contact Lisa Baumert, Director of Individual Giving, at or (612) 330-9228. Thank you.