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Syndicated columnist E.J. Dionne is one of the most widely read and highly respected political analysts in the country. In addition to writing for the Washington Post, he appears weekly on National Public Radio, serves as a Senior fellow for The Brookings Institute, and teaches a political course “The Foundations of Democracy and Culture” at Georgetown University.

An author of multiple books examining politics in the United States, his most recent work Our Divided Political Heart: The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontent delves into his specialty of analyzing the polarizing partisanship that is slowing down progress in the U.S. government today. As demonstrated by his book, Dionne possesses a talent for examining various points of views while generating viable solutions to our current political scene rather than pushing a specific agenda.

Prior to joining the Washington Post in 1990, Dionne covered state and national politics as well as international stories for over a decade at the New York Times. He’s been named one of the top 25 most influential Washington journalists by National Journal.

Full Profile

E.J. Dionne, Jr. is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a syndicated columnist for the Washington Post, and University Professor in the Foundations of Democracy and Culture at Georgetown University. Dionne excels in defining the strengths and weaknesses of competing political philosophies. His analysis of American politics and trends of public sentiment is recognized as among the best in the business. He believes America is about to enter a new progressive era, a period of reform in government and renewed civic activism in our communities.

Dionne spent fourteen years with the New York Times, reporting on state and local government, national politics, and from around the world, including stints in Paris, Rome, and Beirut. The Los Angeles Times praised his coverage of the Vatican as the best in two decades.

In 1990, Dionne joined the Washington Post as a reporter, covering national politics. His best-selling book, Why Americans Hate Politics (Simon & Schuster), was published in 1991. The book won the Los Angeles Times book prize and was a National Book Award nominee.

Dionne began his op-ed column for the Post in 1993, and it is syndicated to more than 100 newspapers. He is a regular political commentator on television and radio, including National Public Radio. His other books include They Only Look Dead: Why Progressives Will Dominate the Next Political Era (Simon & Schuster, 1996), Stand Up Fight Back: Republican Toughs, Democratic Wimps, and the Politics of Revenge (Simon & Schuster, 2004), and Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith and Politics After the Religious Right (Princeton University Press, 2008).

He is the series co-editor of the Pew Forum Dialogues on Religion & Public Life, and has also edited or co-edited a number of other volumes, including Community Works: The Revival of Civil Society in America (Brookings Press, 1998), What′s God Got to Do with the American Experiment (Brookings Press, 2000), co-edited with John DiIulio, Jr., Bush v. Gore (Brookings Press, 2000) co-edited with William Kristol, Sacred Places, Civic Purposes: Should Government Help Faith-Based Charity? with Ming Hsu Chen (Brookings Press, 2001), and United We Serve: National Service and the Future of Citizenship with Kayla Meltzer Drogosz and Robert E. Litan (Brookings Press 2003).

Dionne grew up in Fall River, Mass. He graduated from Harvard University and received his doctorate from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He lives in Bethesda, Md. with his wife Mary Boyle and their three children, James, Julia and Margot.


E.J. Dionne Speaker Videos Back to top

Keynote Speech


E.J. Dionne wades through the multiple perceptions and existing stereotypes of the American people in search of the most fitting way to collectively describe them. He observes that even we are ourselves seem confused about our identities, demonstrated by the contradictory self-portraits painted by our music, literature, and film; for instance, Hollywood attempts to personify the American spirit with Jimmy Stewart’s community centered character in It’s a Wonderful Life, yet it also offers us individualistic heroes such as Clint Eastwood’s rogue detective in Dirty Harry.

Dionne bridges the gap between the two extremes stating that Americans aren’t defined by just one key characteristic but rather “by a deep tension between our love of individualism and liberty and our affection for and quest for community.” He explains that our biggest obstacle to resolving political conflicts and dismantling partisan roadblocks is the failure to focus on both extremes equally. “Lately we have been putting a lot of emphasis on liberty and not very much on the importance of community and solidarity,” he comments on “the divided America” that the media often features prominently in politically centered newscasts and talk shows.


Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


In the words of American Magazine, E.J. Dionne “knows the present with the keen sense of a beat reporter and the past with the perspective of a scholarly historian.” Much as he does in his writing, which is read by hundreds of thousands of people each week, Dionne engages his audience with ideas that matter regarding our political culture, civil duties, and the historical roots that underlie both. In addition to sharing well-researched thought-provoking insights, Dionne brings a sense of joy to all his presentations with his smart sense of humor and eloquent honesty.

Suggested Speaking Topics:

  • United We Serve: National Service and the Future of Citizenship
  • One Electorate under God?: A Dialogue on Religion and American Politics
  • Liberalism for a New Century
  • The Fractious Nation?: Unity and Division in Contemporary American Life




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    One Electorate under God?: A Dialogue on Religion and American Politics / Edition 1
    The United States has been described as a nation with the soul of a church. Religion is discussed more explicitly and more urgently in American politics than in the public debates of any other wealthy democracy. It is certain to play an important role in the elections of 2004. Yet debates over religion and politics are often narrow and highly partisan, although the questions at hand demand a broader and more civil discussion. One Electorate under God? widens the dialogue by bringing together in one volume some of the most influential voices in American intellectual and political life.

    This book draws on a public debate between former New York governor Mario Cuomo and Indiana congressman Mark Souder, who discuss how their respective faith convictions have been both shaped by and reflected in their careers as public servants.

    This discussion, in turn, prompted commentary by a diverse group of scholars, politicians, journalists, and religious leaders who are engaged simultaneously in the religious and policy realms. Each contributor offers insights on how political leaders and religious convictions shape our politics.

    One Electorate under God? arises from the idea that public deliberation is more honestand more democratic when officials are open and reflective about the interactions between their religious convictions and their commitments in the secular realm. This volume, the first of its kind, seeks to promote a greater understanding of American thinking about faith and public office in a pluralistic society.
    Order Here




    United We Serve: National Service and the Future of Citizenship
    Public rhetoric in the United States has always laid heavy stress on the obligations of citizenship. Bill Clinton praised the idea of service, and so does George W. Bush. Since September 11, the debate over service and the obligations of citizenship has become even more urgent.

    United We Serve gathers many diverse voices on civic life and civic obligation to explore the idea of national service as it relates to citizenship. Activists and practitioners discuss the rise of the service movement, its practical successes, and its challenges. Policymakers and political leaders explore the links between service and problem solving. Political scientists and philosophers connect the service debate to larger concerns about democratic participation.

    The book also includes a lively debate over whether the U.S. should reconsider compulsory national service. The discussion about service is a debate over how Americans think of themselves and their nation and about what the new patriotism means.
    Order Here





    Suggested Speaking Topics:

  • United We Serve: National Service and the Future of Citizenship
  • One Electorate under God?: A Dialogue on Religion and American Politics
  • Liberalism for a New Century
  • The Fractious Nation?: Unity and Division in Contemporary American Life

  • Keynote Speech


    E.J. Dionne wades through the multiple perceptions and existing stereotypes of the American people in search of the most fitting way to collectively describe them. He observes that even we are ourselves seem confused about our identities, demonstrated by the contradictory self-portraits painted by our music, literature, and film; for instance, Hollywood attempts to personify the American spirit with Jimmy Stewart’s community centered character in It’s a Wonderful Life, yet it also offers us individualistic heroes such as Clint Eastwood’s rogue detective in Dirty Harry.

    Dionne bridges the gap between the two extremes stating that Americans aren’t defined by just one key characteristic but rather “by a deep tension between our love of individualism and liberty and our affection for and quest for community.” He explains that our biggest obstacle to resolving political conflicts and dismantling partisan roadblocks is the failure to focus on both extremes equally. “Lately we have been putting a lot of emphasis on liberty and not very much on the importance of community and solidarity,” he comments on “the divided America” that the media often features prominently in politically centered newscasts and talk shows.