Fall 2014
UNA-NY Leadership Luncheon Panel

Reporting in the Age of Kidnapping

moderated by
New York Times foreign correspondent

President, CEO and Co-Founder,

Author, investigative reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner



Monday, December 8, 2014

12:00 p.m. | Registration
12:30 p.m. | Luncheon
1:15 p.m. | Program

Columbia University Club of New York
15 West 43rd Street
New York, New York


UNA-NY MEMBERS | $60 per person
NON UNA-NY MEMBERS | $75 per person

NOTE: this is a formal seated luncheon, price includes tax and gratuity

All reservations online in advance
If you would like to attend at the Members Price, please enroll for a UNA membership here.

Reporting from conflict areas has never been easy. Today, however, reporting from conflict areas seems to have fundamentally changed. Journalists and aid works have become vulnerable targets. Capture and torture is now an integral part of an extremist's playbook. Ransoms enrich terrorists and create incentive to kidnap foreigners.

What can be done? How will we get our news in the future? Our venerable panel will discuss these issues and many other questions.

Please join us for this first in a new series of formal seated luncheons hosted by the Columbia University Club and United Nations Association of New York, as our distinguished guests will provide a riveting discussion.

RUKMINI CALLIMACHI joined the New York Times in March 2014 as a foreign correspondent, covering al-Qaeda and Islamic extremism. She is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, most recently in 2014 for her series of stories based on a cache of internal al-Qaeda documents she discovered in Mali. She is also the winner of multiple Overseas Press Club Awards and the Michael Kelly prize. Before joining the Times, she spent 7 years covering a 20-country beat in Africa, first as a correspondent and later as West Africa bureau chief for The Associated Press. She began her career as a freelancer in India in 2001, where she was lucky enough to get one of the last seats on a plane to the state of Gujarat on the day of a catastrophic earthquake, filing her first story for TIME magazine.

Originally from Romania, Callimachi was raised in Switzerland and California.

The Horror Before the Beheadings

PHILIP BALBONI is the President and Chief Executive Officer of GlobalPost. He is the Founder and for the past 16 years was the President of New England Cable News (NECN), the nation's largest and most honored regional news network, reaching more than 3.6 million homes in the six-state region.

Mr. Balboni has long been an innovator in quality television programming. He is a pioneer in the development of 24-hour local cable news, and has built one of the most distinguished and successful records in journalism in the United States, serving as chairman, president or board member of numerous national organizations.

Throughout his career, Mr. Balboni has been a leader in his profession. Previously, Mr. Balboni served as Special Assistant for New Projects to the Chief Executive Officer of the Hearst Corp., was instrumental in founding the News in the Future Consortium at the MIT Media Lab and served as a member of its Executive Board for five years, joining representatives from 20 other media and telecommunications companies from the United States, Europe, and Latin America. Mr. Balboni also held several key management positions, including eight years as Vice President and News Director at WCVB-TV, the ABC-affiliated television station in Boston. In recent years, he has served as Chairman of the Association of Regional News Channels, and as President of the New England Broadcasting Association, the region's leading professional organization for radio and television stations and advertising agencies.

Mr. Balboni is a member of the Board of Visitors of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. At 15 years, he is the longest serving member of the national jury for the duPont-Columbia Award. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He was for many years a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for the Columbia Journalism Review; a trustee of Emerson College in Boston; a member of the National Advisory Board for the Caption Center, the country's oldest institution devoted to making television accessible to the deaf and hearing impaired; President of the National Broadcast Editorial Association; and a Board member of the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston.

Prominent recognition for his journalistic accomplishments include: the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University; the Silver Circle Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences; the Yankee Quill Award from the New England Society of Newspaper Editors; and the First Amendment Service Award from the Radio Television News Directors Foundation.

Mr. Balboni began his journalism career as a reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch (Richmond, VA) and then moved to United Press International where he was a correspondent and editor in the Boston bureau. He is an honors graduate of Boston College, attended the Sorbonne in Paris, and was a Ford Foundation Fellow in Advanced International Reporting at the Graduate School of Journalism of Columbia University.

Mr. Balboni served for two years as a US Army officer on active duty, including a tour in Vietnam.

On November 10, 2008, DAVID ROHDE, his interpreter, Tahir Ludin, and their driver, Asadullah "Asad" Mangal, were abducted outside Kabul while Mr. Rohde was researching a book about the history of United States' involvement in the country. He had been invited to interview a Taliban commander in Logar Province near Kabul. The interview had been arranged by Ludin, but the two men never made it to their destination.

7 Months and 10 Days in Captivity

David Rohde, winner of two Pulitzer Prizes in journalism, is an investigative reporter for Reuters and a contributing editor to The Atlantic. From September 2011 to January 2014, he worked as a foreign affairs columnist for Reuters. From 1996 to 2011, he worked as a reporter for The New York Times. He is the co-author of A Rope and a Prayer: A Kidnapping from Two Sides, written with his wife Kristen Mulvihill, and the author of Endgame: The Betrayal and Fall of Srebrenica.

David won his first Pulitzer Prize in 1996 for a series of stories in The Christian Science Monitor that helped uncover the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia. He won his second in 2009 as part of a team of New York Times reporters for their coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

His weekly Reuters column, The Global Middle, focuses on foreign affairs and the global middle class, from the shrinking American middle class to the burgeoning middle classes of China, India, Turkey, Brazil and other emerging market nations.

Rohde graduated from Brown University in May 1990 with a BA in history and speaks fluent Spanish.

Did America's policy on ransom contribute to James Foley's killing?

All reservations are final on December 1.
Please remember that your purchase represents your commitment to attend this event there will be NO refunds issued.