Ray Suarez, Washington-based senior correspondent for “The News Hour” on PBS, is the Fishback Visiting Writer at Washington and Lee University for 2013 and will present a public lecture on Monday, March 11, at 5 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater of Elrod Commons.
The title of his talk, which is free and open to the public, is “Media, Politics and Washington: An Evening with Ray Suarez.”
Before joining “The News Hour” in 1999, Suarez had been host of NPR’s nationwide, call-in news program "Talk of the Nation" since 1993. Prior to that, he spent seven years covering local and national stories for the NBC-owned station, WMAQ-TV in Chicago. He is currently at work on the companion volume to an upcoming documentary series for PBS chronicling the history of Latinos in America.
Suarez is the author of “America, The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America” (Harper Perennial, 2007), a book examining the tightening relationship between religion and politics. He also wrote “The Old Neighborhood: What We Lost in the Great Suburban Migration 1966-1999” (Free Press, 1999) and has contributed to several other books, including “What We See” (New Village Press, 2010), “How I Learned English” (National Geographic, 2007) and “Brooklyn: A State of Mind” (Workman, 2001).
Suarez also hosts the monthly foreign affairs radio program “America Abroad” for Public Radio International, and the nationally broadcast weekly political program “Need to Know” for PBS. At “The NewsHour,” Suarez is the lead correspondent for the program’s global health coverage.
Over the years he has narrated, anchored or reported many documentaries for public radio and television including the nationally broadcast “Anatomy of a Pandemic” (2009, PBS) and “Jerusalem: The Center of the World” (2009, PBS); a weekly series, “Follow the Money” (1997, PBS); and programs including “Homeland” (2012, PBS) “Who Speaks for Islam?” (LinkTV, 2005, 2009) and “By The People” (PBS, 2004-07).
In 2010, Suarez was inducted in the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. He is a co-recipient of NPR's 1993-94 and 1994-95 DuPont-Columbia Silver Baton Awards for on-site coverage of the first all-race elections in South Africa and the first 100 days of the 104th Congress, respectively. He was honored with the 2005 Distinguished Policy Leadership Award from UCLA's School of Public Policy and the 1996 Ruben Salazar Award from the National Council of La Raza.
He is a winner of a Benton Fellowship in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Chicago. He has also been honored with a Distinguished Alumnus Award from NYU and a Professional Achievement Award from the University of Chicago.
A native of Brooklyn, Suarez holds a B.A. in African history from New York University and an M.A. in the social sciences from the University of Chicago. He has been awarded honorary doctorates by many colleges and universities, most recently by the State University of New York.
The Fishback Fund for Visiting Writers is the result of a generous gift by Sara and William H. Fishback Jr., Class of 1956, in memory of his parents. The fund brings an outstanding writer to the W&L campus annually who delivers a public lecture to the Lexington-Rockbridge community.
Previous Fishback Visiting Writers have included New Yorker writer Jane Mayer, author and journalist Steve Coll, author and legal scholar Stephen Carter, political scientist Larry Sabato and columnist and Brookings Institution Fellow E.J. Dionne.