Renowned journalist and author PEGGY NOONAN visited the Harry Walker Agency offices recently, delighting our staff with her remarkable stories and commentary on her time working in the White House, the current political climate, and more. Famed for her work as a speech writer for President Ronald Reagan, and the recipient of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Distinguished Commentary for her Wall Street Journal Column Declarations, Noonan drew from her wealth of experience in answering our questions about how she finds the right words at the right time, the need for bipartisanship, and her thoughts on the role of the media today. After a riveting (and at times hilarious) round table discussion with the full staff, Noonan also sat down for a special session of HWA Chats to discuss what it takes to report during tense political times, presidential speechwriting, today’s media climate, and more.
Mixing in plenty of humor with his sharp analysis, foremost conservative commentator and strategist KARL ROVE stopped by the Harry Walker Agency to share his candid perspective on today’s political climate and discuss his new book, due for release at the start of 2019. A history that will explore six major presidential decisions of the 19th and 20th centuries, Rove’s new book will provide powerful lessons on leadership and decision-making from the oval office that will resonate with readers regardless of industry. Drawing fascinating parallels between political partisanship today and divisive politics in our country’s history, Rove highlighted the resilience of America’s democracy and offered lessons on today’s political climate.
On a visit to the Harry Walker Agency offices, Commissioner WILLIAM BRATTON shared his unique experiences and take on what he called, “leadership as transformation.” Commissioner Bratton does not favor “leadership as maintenance,” as he said, but rather looks for ways to strategically engineer his team and be an optimistic and predictive leader that can anticipate and tackle issues head-on. With experience leading the police departments of America’s two largest, and at one point extremely violent, cities, Bratton is no stranger to crisis. “I seek out crises as both a challenge and opportunity,” Bratton said, maintaining that no matter how chaotic a situation gets the calmer you must be as a leader. “You never let them see you sweat.” He brings this philosophy to his current role as Executive Chairman of Taneo Risk, where Commissioner Bratton works on crisis management and consulting. Working on everything from cyber risk management to critical infrastructure, Bratton helps companies “address a constant evolution of threats.”
Emmy Award-winning journalist ANN CURRY stopped by the Harry Walker Agency to share updates on her latest projects and a powerful message on what people need to be reminded of in these politically divisive times. A former national and international correspondent for NBC, Curry revealed how her experiences covering war-torn countries in the Middle East and Africa help inform her outlook today and dedication to continue unearthing stories of human resilience and generosity even in the direst of circumstances. Her new series on PBS We’ll Meet Again—for which Curry serves as a reporter and co-executive producer— is an example of exactly this kind of journalism, and reveals the human side of major world events such as the Vietnam War, 9/11, and Japanese internment during WWII. Engaging HWA’s staff with powerful anecdotes about the incredible people she’s spoken with over the years, Curry also provided crucial insights into journalism today and what can be done to address the public’s growing lack of trust in the press. Curry emphasized the need for integrity, humility and judgement in journalism, as well as what is lost when we fail to take time to listen to the other side. “Human beings are only because of each other,” Curry said, “… We’re different only because of our ideas.”