Frank Sesno

Director of The George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs
George Washington University

Frank Sesno is an internationally recognized journalist with more than 30 years of experience reporting from around the world. Well-known as an anchor, White House correspondent, and talk show host with CNN, he is also a nationally renowned moderator who has engaged some of the world’s leading personalities. Sesno currently serves as Director of The George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs, where he leads nearly two dozen world-class faculty and teaches journalism ethics, documentary, sustainability reporting, and “the art of the interview.”

Sesno joined CNN in 1984 and for seven years was White House Correspondent after which he moved to the anchor chair. From 1996 through 2001, he served as the Washington Bureau Chief and Senior Vice President. In this capacity, he oversaw the bureau’s editorial direction and supervised the network’s largest newsgathering operation—including its White House, Congressional, and Pentagon coverage, as well as its political reporting. For seven years, he hosted Late Edition with Frank Sesno, CNN’s flagship weekend interview program.

Sesno has interviewed many world leaders, including five U.S. Presidents—George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and Jimmy Carter—as well as Benyamin Netanyahu, Margaret Thatcher, Yasser Arafat, and Hosni Mubarak.

In his Conversation Series at GW, Sesno has discussed U.S. foreign policy with five former U.S. Secretaries of State—Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright, James Baker, and the late Warren Christopher. He explored America’s civil-military relationship with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and cyber warfare with former NSA and CIA Director General Michael Hayden. He has interviewed such personalities as Condoleezza Rice, Karl Rove, Bob Woodward, Al Gore, Tom Ridge, Jack Welch, Bill Gates, and Nancy Pelosi.

Sesno is a frequent analyst on television and in print on the subject of American politics and media. He has hosted and produced documentaries for both The History Channel and PBS.

Sesno has earned several prestigious awards, including a national and regional Emmy; several CableAce, Clarion, and Cine Golden Eagle awards; a Lincoln Unity award; and an Overseas Press Club award.

Sesno is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the Board of Trustees at Middlebury College. He is a past trustee of The Potomac School and the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Journalism Award committee.

Sesno graduated cum laude with a B.A. in American History from Middlebury College. He has received honorary doctorates from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California, Middlebury College, and Eckerd College.