A hardy group of political junkies braved torrential rains to join us for a chance to grill one of the capital’s premier journalists, when we sat down after work for a conversation with the fascinating Paul Glastris, editor-in-chief of the famed Washington Monthly – the “maverick” magazine that was talking about “the change we need” long before this election cycle.
At the time, there were still forty-eight days to go to the election and the stock market hadn’t tanked, but Paul was able to give students an amazingly prescient look at what was coming down the road – the kind of look ahead that only a veteran journalist and former presidential speechwriter could give, in yet another fascinating opportunity to sit down with one of our regular Master Class leaders, Paul Glastris.
A Master Class with
Paul Glastris is the editor in chief of The Washington Monthly and a senior fellow at the Western Policy Center in Washington, DC.
From September 1998 to January, 2001, he was a special assistant and senior speechwriter to the President Bill Clinton. He wrote over 200 speeches for the president, on subjects ranging from education to health care to the budget. He co-wrote the President’s address to the Democratic convention in Los Angeles in August, 2000, and contributed to his 1999 and 2000 State of the Union addresses. In November, 1999, Glastris traveled with Clinton to Turkey and Greece and wrote the President’s landmark address to the Greek people. Glastris created the President’s “DC Reads this Summer” program, which has put over 1000 federal employees as volunteer reading tutors in Washington, DC public schools. He also promoted several administration policy initiatives, including a new food stamp rule that allows the working poor to own cars.
Before joining the White House, Glastris spent ten years as a correspondent and editor at U.S. News & World Report. There, he conceived of and edited two end-of-the-year issues consisting of “solution-oriented” journalism in 1997 and 1998. As Bureau Chief in Berlin, Germany (1995/1996), he covered the former Yugoslavia during final months of the Bosnian War, and wrote stories from Germany, Russia, Greece, and Turkey. Prior to that, he covered the Midwest from the magazine’s Chicago bureau during two presidential campaigns, the Mississippi floods of 1993, and the rise of the Michigan Militia. He produced profiles of Midwest mayors, governors and other personalities, from Jesse Jackson to then-Presidential candidate Bill Clinton.
From 1985 to 1986, Glastris was an editor of The Washington Monthly. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a masters in radio, TV and film from Northwestern University.
Paul Glastris is a regular Master Class leader for the Next Generation Initiative.