Award-winning MSNBC host and author Rachel Maddow will deliver the keynote address at the Newmark J-School’s 17th commencement ceremony on December 15, 2023, at The Times Center in New York City. The student speaker, chosen by the Class of 2023, and alumni speaker will be announced in October.
“A true master of her craft, Rachel Maddow is one of the most invaluable journalists of our time,” said Graciela Mochkofsky, Dean of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism. “She illuminates political issues and deepens our understanding of vexing questions at the heart of this country’s national debate. She has contributed to our culture and expanded our ability to appreciate news stories and histories that have been previously unexamined. I very much look forward to Rachel’s commencement address in December and joining her on stage to celebrate our outstanding journalism students.”
Maddow is the host of MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” which has won numerous Emmy Awards, including wins for Outstanding News Discussion and Analysis and Outstanding Live Interview. Maddow has also been honored with the Interfaith Alliance’s Walter Cronkite Faith and Freedom Award, two Gracie Awards including Outstanding Host, two GLAAD awards, and two Television Critics Association nominations in the Outstanding Achievement in News and Information category.
Maddow has written, produced, and hosted three podcast series for MSNBC — “Rachel Maddow Presents: Bag Man,” “Rachel Maddow Presents: Ultra,” and “Rachel Maddow Presents: Deja News” — which each debuted at #1 and have been recognized with accolades including the Dupont Columbia Award and Peabody Award nomination. Earlier this year, “Ultra” became the first-ever podcast to receive the Hillman Prize for Broadcast Journalism and in 2022, Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment optioned film rights to the podcast. Maddow was recently named to The Hollywood Reporter’s “40 Most Important People in Podcasting in 2023.” Her most recent podcast, “Deja News” debuted in June 2023 at #1 on Apple Podcasts.
Maddow is the author of “DRIFT: The Unmooring of American Military Power,” which debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestsellers list in March 2012; “Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth,” which was released in October 2019 and also #1 on the New York Times bestsellers list; and “Bag Man: The Wild Crimes, Audacious Cover-up, and Spectacular Downfall of a Brazen Crook in the White House,” which debuted in 2020. Her latest book, “Prequel: An American Fight Against Fascism” is set to hit bookshelves on October 17, and Maddow will kick off her official book tour this fall.
Before Maddow’s remarkable ascension to the highest rungs of the industry, she started out like so many of our students and alumni – launching her career in local radio. She worked for WRNX in Holyoke, Massachusetts and WRSI in Northampton, Massachusetts before hosting Air America Radio, the role which ultimately led her to MSNBC.
Maddow is a graduate of Stanford University and holds a Ph.D. in political science from Oxford University, which she attended on a Rhodes scholarship.