Synopsis: Minister Freeland and Mr. Thompson will discuss U.S.-Canada relations, foreign policy challenges and much more. Peter Baker will lead the conversation.
Chrystia Freeland is Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. Ms. Freeland was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre in a by-election in November 2013 and then re-elected in October 2015 as the Member of Parliament for University–Rosedale. In opposition she served as her party’s Critic for International Trade. An esteemed journalist and author, Ms. Freeland was born in Peace River, Alberta. She received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University before continuing her studies on a Rhodes Scholarship at the University of Oxford. After cutting her journalistic teeth as a Ukraine-based stringer for the “Financial Times”, “The Washington Post” and “The Economist”, Ms. Freeland went on to wear many hats at the “Financial Times”, including U.K. news editor, Moscow bureau chief, Eastern Europe correspondent, editor of the “FT Weekend Magazine” and editor of FT.com. She served as deputy editor of “The Globe and Mail” between 1999 and 2001 before becoming deputy editor and then U.S. managing editor of the “Financial Times”. In 2010, Ms. Freeland joined Canadian-owned Thomson Reuters. She was a managing director of the company and editor of Consumer News when she decided to return home and enter politics. She has written two books: “Sale of the Century: The Inside Story of the Second Russian Revolution” (2000) and “Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else” (2012). “Plutocrats” is an international best-seller and won the Lionel Gelber Prize and National Business Book Award. In 2013, Ms. Freeland gave a TED Talk about global income inequality, based on the issues dealt with in “Plutocrats”. It has been viewed almost two million times. Ms. Freeland speaks English, French, Ukrainian, Russian and Italian. Ms. Freeland is married and has three children. She and her family live in University–Rosedale.
Peter Baker is the Chief White House correspondent for The New York Times, responsible for covering President Trump, the fourth president he has covered. He covered President Obama for The Times and Bill Clinton and George W. Bush for The Washington Post. Mr. Baker joined The Times in 2008 after 20 years at The Post and has written about Mr. Trump since the inception of his administration, through the turmoil inside his White House and the many battles with adversaries outside it. He has written about controversies over a travel ban, the investigation into Russia’s election interference, the firing of the F.B.I. director, legislative struggles over health care and tax cuts and decisions of war and peace in Afghanistan, Syria and North Korea. During his first tour at the White House, Mr. Baker co-authored the original story breaking the Monica Lewinsky scandal and served as The Post’s lead writer on the impeachment and trial of Mr. Clinton. During his next White House assignment, he covered the travails of Mr. Bush’s second term, from the Iraq war and Hurricane Katrina to Supreme Court nomination fights and the economic crisis. During Mr. Obama’s presidency, he covered the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, the reelection campaign and debates over health care, economics, terrorism and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In between stints at the White House, Mr. Baker and his wife, Susan Glasser, spent four years as Moscow bureau chiefs for The Post, chronicling the rise of Vladimir Putin, the rollback of Russian democracy, the second Chechen war and the terrorist attacks on a theater in Moscow and a school in Beslan. Mr. Baker also covered the early months of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was the first American newspaper journalist to report from rebel-held northern Afghanistan after Sept. 11, 2001, and he spent the next eight months covering the overthrow of the Taliban and the emergence of a new government. He later spent six months in the Middle East, reporting from inside Saddam Hussein's Iraq and around the region before embedding with the United States Marines as they drove toward Baghdad. At The Times, he served briefly as Jerusalem bureau chief. Mr. Baker is author five books, most recently "Impeachment: An American History" (Modern Library, 2018) with Jon Meacham, Timothy Naftali and Jeffrey A. Engel. He also wrote “Obama: The Call of History” (New York Times/Callaway, 2017), a finalist for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work; “Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House” (Doubleday, 2013), which was named one of the five Best Non-Fiction Books of 2013 by The New York Times Book Review; “The Breach: Inside the Impeachment and Trial of William Jefferson Clinton” (Scribner, 2000), a New York Times bestseller; and, with Ms. Glasser, “Kremlin Rising: Vladimir Putin’s Russia and the End of Revolution” (Scribner, 2005), named one of the Best Books of 2005 by The Washington Post Book World. He is currently working on a biography of former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, which he will write for Doubleday with Ms. Glasser. Mr. Baker has won all three major awards devoted to White House reporting: the Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Coverage of the Presidency (twice), the Aldo Beckman Memorial Award (twice) and the Merriman Smith Memorial Award. Mr. Baker is also a political analyst for MSNBC and a regular panelist on PBS’s “Washington Week.” A native of the Washington area, Mr. Baker attended Oberlin College and worked for The Washington Times for two years before joining The Post in 1988 as a Virginia reporter. Ms. Glasser is now a staff writer for The New Yorker and the two live in Washington with their son Theodore.
Mark Thompson became President and CEO of The New York Times Company in 2012. He is responsible for leading the Company’s strategy, operations and business units, and working closely with the chairman to direct the vision of the company. Mr. Thompson has been instrumental in accelerating the pace of The Times’s digital transformation. Under his leadership, The Times became the first news organization in the world to pass the one million digital-only subscription mark. The company has also introduced a new era of international growth, launched an industry leading branded content studio and invested in virtual reality, producing some of the most celebrated work in this emerging medium. Before joining the Times Company, Mr. Thompson served as Director-General of the BBC from 2004, where he reshaped the organization to meet the challenge of the digital age, ensuring that it remained a leading innovator with the launch of services such as the BBC iPlayer. He also oversaw a transformation of the BBC itself, driving productivity and efficiency through the introduction of new technologies and bold organizational redesign. Mr. Thompson joined the BBC in 1979 as a production trainee. He helped launch Watchdog and Breakfast Time, was an output editor on Newsnight, and was appointed editor of the Nine O’Clock News in 1988 and of Panorama in 1990. He became controller (programming and scheduling chief) for the TV network BBC2 and Director of Television for the BBC before leaving the BBC in 2002 to become CEO of Channel 4 Television Corporation in the United Kingdom. In the autumn of 2012, he was a visiting professor of Rhetoric and the Art of Public Persuasion at the University of Oxford. His book “Enough Said: What’s Gone Wrong with the Language of Politics?” which is based on the lectures he gave at Oxford, was published in the UK and US in September 2016. Mark Thompson was educated at Stonyhurst College and Merton College, Oxford.
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