The Fran Eizenstat and Eizenstat Family Memorial Lecture Series, more commonly known as the Eizenstat Lecture Series, is comprised of an annual, free public event featuring well-known speakers addressing current and thought-provoking issues. Past speakers include national and international political, legal and economic leaders such as Wolf Blitzer, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Henry Kissinger, Madeleine Albright, Shimon Perez, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Joseph Lieberman, Al Gore, Alan Dershowitz, Paul Dundes Wolfowitz and Herman Wouk.
2020 marked the 32nd year of the the Fran Eizenstat and Eizenstat Family Memorial Lecture Series. This prestigious event has featured three Nobel Peace Prize winners, two Pulitzer Prize winners, two United States Presidents, two United States Vice Presidents, two United States Supreme Court Justices and two Israeli Prime Ministers among other national and international eminent guests.
Our most recent guest, Judy Woodruff, is a broadcast journalist and 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.
At PBS from 1983 to 1993, she was the chief Washington correspondent for the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. From 1984 – 1990, she also anchored PBS' award-winning documentary series, "Frontline with Judy Woodruff." Moving to CNN in 1993, she served as anchor and senior correspondent for 12 years; among other duties, she anchored the weekday program "Inside Politics." 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 2011, Judy was the anchor and reporter for the PBS documentary "Nancy Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime." And in 2007, she completed an extensive project on the views of young Americans, titled "Generation Next: Speak Up. Be Heard." Two hour-long documentaries aired on PBS, along with a series of reports on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, NPR, in USA Today and on Yahoo News.
From 2006 – 2013, Judy anchored a monthly program for Bloomberg Television, "Conversations with Judy Woodruff." In 2006, she 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.
At NBC News, Woodruff was White House correspondent from 1977 to 1982. For one year after that she served as NBC's Today Show chief Washington correspondent. She wrote the book, This is Judy Woodruff at the White House, published in 1982 by Addison-Wesley. Her reporting career began in Atlanta, Georgia, where she covered state and local government.
Woodruff is a founding co-chair of the International Women's Media Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting and encouraging women in journalism and communication industries worldwide. She serves on the boards of trustee of the Freedom Forum, The Duke Endowment and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and is a director of Public Radio International and the National Association to End Homelessness. She is a former member of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, a former director of the National Museum of American History and a former trustee of the Urban Institute.
Judy is a graduate of Duke University, where she is a trustee emerita.
She is the recent recipient of the Radcliffe Medal, the Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism, the Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists and the Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism from Arizona State University. She received the Edward R. Murrow Lifetime Achievement Award in Television from Washington State University, the Gaylord Prize for Excellence in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Oklahoma and the Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in the Media from the University of South Dakota. She was inducted into the Georgia Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame and received the Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association and the Duke Distinguished Alumni Award, among others.
She is the recipient of more than 25 honorary degrees.
Judy lives in Washington, DC, with her husband, journalist Al Hunt, and they are the parents of three children: Jeffrey, Benjamin and Lauren.
Stuart Eizenstat, a native of Atlanta and lifelong member of Ahavath Achim Synagogue, currently heads Covington & Burling's international practice. He has practiced law more than 30 years in Atlanta and Washington.
Ambassador Eizenstat has held a number of key positions during his decades of government service. From 1977 to 1981, he was President Jimmy Carter's Chief Domestic Policy Adviser and Executive Director of the White House Domestic Policy Staff. In the Clinton Administration, he was Deputy Treasury Secretary, Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs, and Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, as well as Ambassador to the European Union from 1993 to 1996. He received the highest departmental awards for his service from Secretary of State Christopher, Secretary of State Albright, and Secretary of the Treasury Summers.
Much of the recent interest in World War II issues and justice for Holocaust survivors and the memory of the Holocaust, is as a result of his work. In 1978, he recommended to President Carter the creation of a Presidential Commission of the Holocaust, chaired by Eli Wiesel, which led directly the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. During the Clinton Administration, he served as Special Representative of the President and Secretary of States on Holocaust Issues. In this capacity, he led two landmark U.S. reports on the role of Switzerland and other neutral countries during the War; and led negotiations that produced major agreements with the Swiss, Germans, Austrians, French, and Central European governments for bank accounts, slave and forced labor, insurance policies, Nazi-looted art, worth more than $8 billion to Holocaust victims and their families and other non-Jewish victims of Nazi persecution. He published a book on these events, "Imperfect Justice: Looted Assets, Slave Labor and the Unfinished Business of World War II" (2003) which has been translated into German, French, Czech and Hebrew. He has also published a book, "The Future of the Jews: How Global Forces are Impacting the Jewish People, Israel and its Relationship with the United States" (2012). Ambassador Eizenstat is now working on a book on a comprehensive assessment of the Carter Administration, which will be published in 2018.
During the first term of the Obama Administration, he served as Special Adviser on Holocaust Issues to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, negotiating, among other things, the 47-nation Terezin Declaration of Looted Assets and a $50 million agreement with the Lithuanian government. During the second term of the Obama Administration, he held the same position for Secretary of State John Kerry, during which he successfully negotiated a $60 million agreement with the French government for deportees and their families on the French railway during World War II. Since 2009, he has led the negotiating team for the Jewish Claims Conference and has negotiated more than $2 billion in additional benefits with the German government, including for flight victims, home care for needy Survivors around the world, and a new Child Survivors program. He is co-chair of the Jewish People's Policy Institute, a Jerusalem-based think tank, dealing with strategic issues facing Israel, the U.S.-Israel Relationship and the Diaspora. HE also chairs the Defiant Requiem Foundation, which sponsors concerts in the U.S. and the world over honoring a Jewish prisoner chorus in the Theresenstadt concentration camp (Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin), and a new concert honoring Jewish composers who wrote original musical scores at Theresenstadt, called "Hours of Freedom". The Defiant Requiem documentary, recognizing the artistic revolution at Theresenstadt received Emmy nominations in 2014 as Best Full Length Documentary and Best Script.
He has received eight honorary doctorate degrees from universities and educational institutions, and some 75 awards and citations, including the Legion of Honor from France, and high civilian awards from Israel, Germany and Austria. A chair in his name has been created in modern Jewish History and Culture at his alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In May, 2017, he received Tel Aviv University's highest award.
Ambassador Eizenstat received his J.D. from Harvard University in 1967. He served as a law clerk for the Honorable Newell Edenfield of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Prior to entering law school, Mr. Eizenstat earned an A.B., cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He and his late wife, Frances Eizenstat, have two sons, and eight grandchildren from Jay and Jessica and Brian and Erin.