Wilkes’ outstanding leaders program brings Pulitzer Prize winning-journalist to area

Todd Oravic, Assistant News Editor

Three-time Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Thomas Friedman will deliver a lecture at  7:30 p.m. on Nov. 16 at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts.
Friedman, an author and Foreign Affairs columnist for The New York Times, has been deemed one of “America’s Best Leaders” by the U.S. News & World Report, and one of The Wall Street Journal’s most “influential business thinkers.”
A prolific writer, Friedman has also published several books, all of which received much acclaim. His latest work, “That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World We Invented and How We Can Come Back,” was published this month and is now available at Barnes & Noble, according to Rebecca Van Jura, director of events. Coauthored with Michael Mandelbaum, the book addressed many of today’s political and economic challenges.
“We are very excited about this opportunity. [Friedman] is very worldly and can discuss a myriad of topics, ranging from journalism to politics, sustainability and business,” said Van Jura. “I encourage everyone to come.’
Friedman’s lecture will mark the beginning of Wilkes University’s 2011 Outstanding Leaders Forum. This event has brought some of the world’s top leaders, including Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS shoes, and Elie Wiesel, a Nobel Laureate and Human Rights leader, to campus. It is presented annually by Wilkes’s Jay S. Sidhu School of Business and Leadership.
Dr. Matthew Sowcik, director of leadership education, said that the process of choosing the speaker for this event begins in December and lasts until February, as they narrow down their list of candidates.
“Mr. Friedman has been on our short list for the last few years,” Sowcik said. “I believe that a great thought leader, like Mr. Friedman, provides both students and faculty with a chance to take time out of their busy days to hear a particular perspective and reflect on their own thoughts on these issues.”
Van Jura stated that there will be a book signing at the event and a chance to meet Friedman.