Joe Alex Morris Jr. Memorial Lecture

The 2009 Joe Alex Morris Jr. Memorial Lecture was presented by Gwen Thompkins, East Africa Correspondent for National Public Radio, on February 5. Based in Nairobi, Kenya, Thompkins covers a variety of nations from the Horn to the heart of Africa. Prior to her assignment in Africa, she was the senior editor of Weekend Edition Saturday with Scott Simon. Before that, she worked as a reporter and editor at The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, her hometown.

Read a full transcript of Thompkins’ remarks about the many challenges and rewards of reporting from Africa »

The annual Morris Lecture honors an American correspondent who reports overseas or a commentator on foreign affairs. Joe Alex Morris Jr. was a member of the Harvard Class of 1949 and worked as the Middle East correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. He was killed in February 1979 in Tehran while covering the Iranian Revolution. Morris’ family, along with his Harvard classmates, friends and colleagues, established the forum in 1981.

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