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Richard Behar

Economy / Economics, Global Affairs, Globalization, Journalism, Strategic Planning

Travels from New York, USA

Richard Behar's speaking fee falls within range:
$10,000 to $15,000

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Richard Behar Profile

In a career that has encompassed working for Forbes, TIME and FORTUNE magazines stretching over three decades, Richard Behar has been honored with more than twenty major journalism awards. On television he has presented reports for BBC, CNN, PBS and FoxNews.com. When Forbes editor Paul Klebnikov was murdered in Moscow in 2005 Behar instigated “Project Klebnikov” to investigate, building on the groundbreaking investigative work he had already undertaken in Russia. Some of the world’s leading investigative reporters have joined him in this project, along with some of the most famous media institutions such as Bloomberg, Forbes, The Economist and Vanity Fair.

Travelling through more than 40 countries across the globe to flush out and investigate corruption and wrong doing, Behar has written on subjects as diverse as those who finance terrorism in Karachi to counterfeiting in Beijing, corruption on Wall Street to Russian Mafia activities in Siberia. His cover story for TIME magazine on the 1993 World Trade Center bombing was widely praised, and Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau acclaimed his exposé of organized crime involvement in New York City’s garbage business. His revelation of corruption inside the IRS led to a congressional hearing and he exposed one of the planners of the 911 attacks in his reporting from Pakistan, The Karachi Connection.

A graduate of New York University (where he today serves on the advisory committee of the Business Journalism Masters’ program), Behar was named among the hundred top business journalists of the 20th century by The Journalist and Financial Reporter. He has also been named as Business Journalist of the Year. His TIME cover story on the Church of Scientology won the Conscience-in-Media Award from the American Society of Journalists and Authors, an honor which is not frequently awarded. He also received the National Headliner Award as part of CNN’s Investigation Team into the attacks on America and their aftermath. He is the only journalist known to have read the Phoenix Memo, the infamous FBI document warning that Osama bin Laden supporters were training in US flight schools.

  • View Extended/Alternate Bio

    Business reporter Richard Behar has garnered nearly two dozen major journalism awards over a career spanning three decades.  He was called “one of the most dogged of our watchdogs” by the late Jack Anderson—a founding father of modern investigative reporting.  From 1982-2004, Behar worked on the staffs of Forbes, TIME and FORTUNE magazines.  He has also done assignments for BBC, CNN, PBS and FoxNews.com. In 2005, Behar launched “Project Klebnikov,” a global media alliance committed to shedding light on the Moscow murder of Forbes editor Paul Klebnikov—and to furthering the groundbreaking investigative work that Paul began in Russia. (Key members of “Project K” include Bloomberg, Forbes, The Economist, Vanity Fair, and a team of the world’s leading investigative reporters.)

    Behar’s travels have taken him to more than 40 countries—including through the sub-Sahara, where he penned a 24-page report for Fast Company magazine entitled China Storms Africa. As part of the project, Behar was the first American journalist in nearly three years to visit Equatorial Guinea, one of the world’s most corrupt and censored countries. (The article won George Polk and Overseas Press Club awards in 2009.)

    Behar is currently writing a book about Bernie Madoff for Random House, the world’s largest book publisher.

    Major awards include the Gerald Loeb, Polk (twice), National Magazine, Overseas Press Club (twice) Daniel Pearl, Deadline Club (NYC chapter: Society of Professional Journalists) and Worth Bingham Prize, among other honors—on subjects ranging from terror financing in Karachi to counterfeiting in Beijing; from corporate wrongdoing on Wall Street to the Russian mob in Siberia.  Behar wrote an acclaimed cover story in TIME magazine on the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and was praised by Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau for his award-winning articles exposing organized crime in New York City’s garbage trade. Behar’s work in the 1980s exposing corruption inside the IRS sparked a Congressional hearing that led to reforms, and his The Karachi Connection, reported from Pakistan, exposed a logistics leader of the 9-11 attacks.

    Behar was included among the 100 top business journalists of the 20th century by The Journalist and Financial Reporter, and was named Business Journalist of the Year in London in 2001. He also received the rarely-bestowed Conscience-in-Media Award for “singular commitment to the highest principles of journalism at notable personal cost” from the American Society of Journalists and Authors—for a TIME cover story on the Church of Scientology.  In 2002, as part of CNN’s Investigation Team, Behar received the National Headliner Award for “outstanding continuing coverage of attacks on America and their aftermath.”  He remains the only known journalist to have read the infamous Phoenix Memo, the pre 9-11 FBI document that warned that Osama bin Laden supporters were enrolled in flight training schools across the U.S.

    Behar was born in Manhattan, raised on Long Island, and is a graduate of New York University. He today serves on the advisory committee of NYU’s business journalism Masters’ program.

Richard Behar Speaking Videos

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Richard Behar's Speech Descriptions

Richard Behar brings decades of experience at the cutting edge of international investigative journalism to a series of fascinating presentations that contain unrivaled insights into global politics and corruption. Tracking across the globe, he investigates China and its involvement in Africa, asking if the US position of being glad to trade with a nation that he exposes as horrifically corrupt is tenable.

Behar has vast experience of working in Russia, and he offers an in-depth guide to the pitfalls of investing in that country. He draws on his work for his award-winning exposés of organized crime involvement within Russia’s metals trade to shed light on a country where 19 investigative journalists have been murdered since 2000, with 18 of those cases still classed as unsolved. His talk shows how the Russian Mafia is rebranding itself into transnational corporations, and what implications this will have for the Western world.

China at Home and in Africa: The West’s Moral and Economic Default

Recent State Department cables released by WikiLeaks expose the nature of China′s economic march throughout Africa. One document quotes the U.S. Assistant Secretary for African Affairs—in rare candor—describing China as "a very aggressive and pernicious economic competitor with no morals."

Behar’s award-winning exposes have long documented this uncomfortable truth—even as every American President since Nixon has embraced the same policy: Trade with China and time is on our side. But what if it’s not true? What if we are only helping cement the Communist Party’s grip on the nation? How can the West get out of this economic and ethical conundrum?

China’s economy, at this stage of its development, is vastly corrupt in ways most Westerners can’t imagine. The country is the world’s largest counterfeiter of Western products—and its economy would be seriously impacted if the Party honestly cracked down on those "fakes."

Meanwhile, from Algeria to Zambia, from aluminum on up the resource ladder to zinc, Behar will discuss an economic model of exploitation and corruption that is at once formidably efficient and tragically flawed—and how China’s new "scramble for Africa" is interlocked with America’s economy to the detriment of the world’s poorest citizens. On a planet that′s being consumed by those who live on its surface, behind that Made-in-China tag at Wal-Mart and inside our iPods is a parasitical and mutually-reinforcing death spiral. With China now the world’s second-largest economy (and gaining fast on the U.S.), we all need to ask if this matrix is now set in stone.


Capitalism in a Cold Climate: How to Navigate Inside Russia’s Lawless and

How can Western businesses work and compete in today’s Russia—a country where the hottest trends are intellectual-property "squatting," raiding companies with armed private-security forces, "commissioning" criminal prosecutions for competitive advantages, and engaging in collusive litigation? How can investors learn what is truly going on in a country where 19 investigative journalists have been murdered since 2000? (Only one of those cases has been solved; the masterminds all walk free.)

Behar’s award-winning articles on organized crime inside Russia’s metals trade are widely considered the most penetrating examinations ever done of Russia’s second-largest export industry. He will offer step-by-step advice on how investors can try and avoid the pitfalls, as well as demonstrate how Russian organized crime groups are morphing into transnational corporations—and why all we better be worried about it. He can also discuss "Project Klebnikov," the investigative media alliance he launched after the 2004 murder in Moscow of Forbes editor Paul Klebnikov.

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