Pulitzer Prize-Winning New York Times Columnist
How good do you really have to be, to be christened the reporter’s reporter…by other reporters? You have to be Nicholas Kristof – good. After working in France, Kristof began backpacking in Africa and Asia, writing articles to cover his expenses. He’s lived on four continents, reported on six, and traveled to more than 150 countries. During his travels, he has caught malaria, experienced wars, confronted warlords, encountered an Indonesian mob carrying heads on pikes, and survived an African airplane crash. Kristof not only managed to survive and press on, he also won two Pulitzers in the process – advocating human rights and giving a voice, to the voiceless. Read More >
How To Make a Difference
HBO Documentary: Reporter Clip
Sharing the World How I See It
Books Over Beer
Lewis & Clark Commencement 2016
Lessons from 30 Years of Covering the World
This generation of students is full of passion to change the world, but they need tools to do so more effectively. Nicholas Kristof offers specific advice, drawn on his years as a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and human rights advocate. His talk provides valuable guidance on whether to start a new organization or join an existing one, how to tell stories and build empathy, and whether to focus on needs at home or those abroad. He argues that although students sometimes perceive the problems of the world as too vast to affect, in fact, it's entirely possible for students to have an impact on the world. And as they help others, they'll also enrich themselves.
Nicholas Kristof explores a revolution now underway in philanthropy, giving individuals much greater chance to have impact at home and abroad. Drawing from his best-selling book and PBS documentary, he looks at donations, volunteering and advocacy, as well as hybrids between non-profits and for-profits. He cites the revolution in evidence-based interventions, such as early childhood education – and even introduces rats that have been trained to sniff out land mines as an example of innovation.
Drawing from his best-selling book, Half the Sky, which became an acclaimed PBS series filmed in 10 countries, Nicholas Kristof contends that the greatest moral challenge of the 21st century, akin to fighting slavery in the 19th century or totalitarianism in the 20th century, is gender inequity around the world. He explores the kinds of repression women face, including sexual violence, early marriage, female genital mutilation, forced prostitution and maternal mortality, which claims one woman every 90 seconds. He also identifies solutions in health care, education and economic empowerment for women and girls. Above all, he notes that there is a huge gain to be had if a society educates girls and ushers those educated women into the labor force. Kristof also explores areas in which the West has more to do at home to create gender equity, including domestic violence and sex trafficking.
Ever year in America, some 100,000 underage girls are trafficked into the sex trade. These are mostly home-grown American girls, and they are victims of a crime – yet too often, they are the ones arrested even as the pimps and johns go free. Nicholas Kristof has spent decades covering sex trafficking at home and abroad and offers some extraordinary stories and lessons from his work.
A two-time Pulitzer Prize winner talks about how he journeyed from a sheep farm in Oregon to covering wars and genocide around the world. Nicholas Kristof invites audiences to wrestle with ethical dilemmas that he faced: Do you help a dissident flee a repressive country, do you lie to a warlord, and should you listen to a president's private conversation with his political adviser that you've inadvertently recorded? Kristof relates his frustrations with what he sees as America's overuse of the military toolbox around the world and underuse of education and women's empowerment toolboxes, and his conviction that women's rights are one of the great challenges worldwide in the 21st century. Finally, he explains how it is that someone can spend decades covering genocide, sex trafficking, leprosy, war and starvation and yet emerge feeling pretty cheery about humanity and about our capacity to do the right thing.
"I just wanted to let you know how fabulous Kristof was last night. You could hear a pin drop in the auditorium because he was spellbinding. Of course, the subject was not light; Darfur, etc. but his delivery was natural and with no notes. He really felt the weight of his speech, as did the audience."
"I wanted to say thanks again for joining us here for Leading Voices. The entire Dartmouth community was extremely fortunate to have you and the students have been raving about your visit."
"Kristof 'hit it out of the park' for all who were there. He is an incredible man of courage, action and inspiration. He left people feeling empowered and inspired and not overwhelmed—people left looking for ways to act. We sold out the venue at 650 people and if we had a bigger venue, we could have filled it."
"First, let me say how pleased everyone was with your talk. It was perfect for the occasion, and I was especially glad to see the students so engaged (and, of course, wanting selfies with you!). We drew an audience of around 600 people, which is outstanding for Cornell. Finally, we all greatly appreciated you taking the time for dinner and engaging with our faculty."
"It was brilliant! Nick’s talk was a wonderful success. He was gracious, fun to host, and very good to the students. We are very, very pleased. Thanks for all your help in getting such a brilliant speaker to Utah. It really gave our students, faculty, and community a boost."
"He was a fantastic guest and speaker. So easy to work with and so gracious and generous with the time he spent with our VIPs and at the book signing. His talk was inspiring, to say the least. We had so many people writing and calling us afterwards to say how much they appreciated our having him here. It was like meeting our favorite rock star!"
"The event last night with Mr. Kristof went extremely well! He was incredibly laid back and easy to work with. His passion for his work was incredibly clear, and I think students really responded to that. We had a packed house for the event, and I have never seen so many people hover outside the VIP reception for an extended period of time just to try to get a glimpse of the speaker. It was a pleasure hosting Mr. Kristof."
"The event was a huge success. We had a packed house and everything ran smoothly. Thank you for being so terrific to work with on this project. We really appreciated it."
"Nicholas Kristof’s lecture at Lafayette College attracted nearly 500 students, faculty, and community residents. He did not disappoint. His lecture matched the great power of his writing, no small feat. It was a memorable, moving evening; he inspired and educated students (and the rest of us, too). What a great success his visit to campus was!"
"Fantastic! It was wonderful to see how engaged our students were, how much faculty and staff responded, and how meaningful it was to alums and community members who attended. We appreciated very much Nick’s generous interactions with folks here. It was a truly wonderful event for our campus."
"Nicholas was gracious and engaging. It was a sold out event, with many waiting in line to see if there would be no shows. By the end of the evening he had the audience in the palm of his hands. And of course a standing ovation. It was an enormous success and the perfect speaker for our inaugural event."
"I gained so much insight from Mr. Kristof on what it means to make a difference. During his presentation he said, giving people hope enables them to work towards the future. This statement really resonated with me. Most importantly, I left the event feeling inspired. I am still digesting the material but I look forward to taking what I learned and transforming it into actions where I can create positive change on campus, and in the world."
"His talk was fabulous! He really connects with students—they would have kept him there until midnight with questions. What a lovely person he is, so bright, inspirational gracious and at the same time, totally unassuming."