The Power of Muppets: Bringing Hope to the World’s Most Vulnerable Children

Ann Compton
Monday, February 5, 2018 - 6:00pm

*** This Event is Open to the Public ***

A Conversation with
George W. Casey, Jr.
General, US Army (Retired)
Jeffrey D. Dunn
President and Chief Executive Officer, Sesame Workshop
Harvard College ‘77  HBS ’81, Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative Fellow ‘14
Ann Compton (Moderator)
Fall 2016 Resident Fellow, Institute of Politics
ABC News, White House Correspondent (1973-2014)

Special appearance by:

Former General of the US Army President George W. Casey Jr.  joined Chief Executive Officer of Sesame Workshop Jeffrey D. Dunn in a conversation at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum alongside ABC News White House Correspondent Ann Compton. Elmo made a special appearance and also enlightened conversation with his experiences in the beginning and end. Jeffrey Dunn highlighted the importance of television shows in building a foundation for children in how they behave and grow up. George W. Casey complimented this conversation by highlighting what he has witnessed from organizations such as Sesame Workshop in having an impact on families across the world, especially military families.

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General George W. Casey, Jr. served a 41-year career in the U.S. Army following his graduation from Georgetown University.  He is an accomplished leader and an authority on strategic leadership. 
He led the U.S. Army from 2007-2011 and is widely credited with restoring balance to a war-weary Army and leading the transformation to keep it relevant in the 21st Century. He was a stalwart advocate for military families, wounded Soldiers, and survivors of the fallen, and took on the tough issues of suicide and reducing the stigma attached to combat stress.  Prior to this, he commanded the Multi-National Force – Iraq, a coalition of more than 30 countries, where he guided the Iraq mission through its toughest days. In his 15 years as a general officer, he held numerous senior leadership positions in Europe, the Middle East and in the United States.
He is currently lecturing on leadership at the SC Johnson College of Business, Cornell University, at other business schools, and to the leaders of national and multinational corporations.  He also lectures on International Relations at the Korbel School, University of Denver.
He serves as the Chairman, USO Board of Governors, on the board of Georgetown University, on corporate boards and on several other boards of organizations that support our servicemen and women, our veterans and their families. 

Jeff Dunn has spent his career leading brands and organizations through times of significant change, financial growth, and societal impact. As President and CEO of Sesame Workshop, Dunn leads the nonprofit educational organization in creating content that helps children grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. Dunn directs Sesame Street’s global presence as well as Workshop initiatives addressing a wide range of issues for children and families alike. Dunn served as a 2014 Advanced Leadership Initiative Fellow at Harvard University. Before that, he was President and CEO of HiT Entertainment, from 2008 until 2012. Prior to leading HiT, Dunn was COO of the Nickelodeon Networks group and President of Nickelodeon Film and Enterprises. Before Nickelodeon, Dunn ran marketing for The Bank of Boston. He began his career at Time Magazine in marketing and general management positions. Dunn graduated with honors from Harvard College and received his MBA from Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, where he was named one of the top leaders of his class.

Ann Compton was the first woman assigned by a television network to cover the White House and her longevity and impact have been considered unmatched over the span of her 41 years on the air for ABC News.  After retiring from daily coverage in 2014, Ann was brought back to cover the 2016 political conventions for ABC.  Ann is also a member of the Governing Council of the Miller Center for the study of the presidency at The University of Virginia.
Ann Compton’s career at ABC News spanned 7 presidents and 10 presidential campaigns for the network. She was assigned to the White House in 1974, as the Watergate scandal came to an end.  She reported for all ABC News broadcasts and online from the lawn of the White House, from Capitol Hill, from the campaign trail, and from around the globe traveling with Presidents, Vice Presidents, and First Ladies.  Her retirement was announced by President Barack Obama who called on her at a  West Wing news conference saying, “Ann Compton, everybody here knows, is not only the consummate professional but is also just a pleasure to get to know.”
In what she considers the most significant story of her career, Ann was traveling with the President on September 11, 2001, and was the only broadcast reporter allowed to remain onboard Air Force One to report on behalf of all the press during the chaotic hours after the terrorist attacks when George W. Bush was unable to return directly to Washington.  For that coverage Ann received special note in the awards bestowed on ABC’s coverage, including an Emmy, a Peabody, and the Silver Baton from the DuPont awards at Columbia University. Ann has been inducted into 6 Halls of Fame and has received 5 honorary university degrees.
Ann Compton was elected by her colleagues as President of the White House Correspondents’ Association for 2007-2008. She was chairman of the Radio-Television Correspondents’ Association on Capitol Hill in 1987-1988.  Twice Ann was selected as a panelist on the formal presidential campaign debates.
She began her career in Virginia as a reporter and anchor on WDBJ Television after her graduation from Hollins University. She was raised on the North Shore of Chicago. Ann is married to Dr. William Hughes, a physician in Washington, DC, and they are the parents of three sons and a daughter and the proud grandparents of three granddaughters.  Ann says her most valued award is a golden statuette bestowed by the National Mothers' Day committee naming her a “Mother of the Year” in 1988.