Nov 7, 2013
7:30 am - 9:45 am
Carmel Country Club
4735 Carmel Rd
Charlotte, NC 28226
One of the few Westerners to interview Osama bin Laden, journalist Peter Bergen is the foremost authority on foreign policy, national security, and the new generation of terrorism. In addition to serving as CNN’s terrorism analyst, he is the New York Times best-selling author of Holy War, Inc., which was translated into 18 languages. An expert in his field, Bergen serves as the director of the national security studies program at the New America Foundation in Washington D.C., where he leads the Foundation’s analysis of terrorism, counterinsurgency, South Asia’s geopolitics and other national security concerns. His latest book, Manhunt: The Ten Year Search for Osama bin Laden: From 9/11 to Abbottabad was released in May 2012.
His New York Times best-seller, The Longest War: the Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda, won the Gold Prize in the 2011 Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s annual book awards, which aims to reward outstanding writing and stimulate new contributions to the field of Middle East affairs. Writes the prize jury: “Peter Bergen draws on years of meticulous reporting, to uncover the thinking of al-Qaeda’s top strategists and the pitched battles in Washington over US policy. The ten-year war against al-Qaeda, in Afghanistan and elsewhere, is now the longest in American history. Yet while terror groups remain a threat, Bergen’s riveting account shows how American grit thwarted al-Qaeda’s drive to become the acclaimed champion of Islamism — at a price Americans still ponder and debate.” New York Times book reviewer Michiko Kakutani writes, “For readers interested in a highly informed, wide-angled, single-volume briefing on the war on terror so far, The Longest War is clearly that essential book.” Kirkus Reviews named The Longest War among its “Best Non-Fiction Books for 2011,” and the Times’ Tom Ricks describes the book as “stunning.”
Bergen also wrote The Osama bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of al Qaeda’s Leader, named one of the best non-fiction books of 2006 by The Washington Post. The book was translated into French, Spanish and Polish, and CNN produced a two-hour documentary, In the Footsteps of bin Laden, based on the book. Bergen was one of the producers of the Emmy-nominated documentary, which was named the best documentary of 2006 by the Society of Professional Journalists. His 2001 book, Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Bin Laden, was a New York Times best-seller and was named one of the best non-fiction books of 2001 by The Washington Post. A documentary based on the book, which aired on National Geographic Television, was nominated for an Emmy in 2002.
Bergen has traveled repeatedly to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia to report on bin Laden and al Qaeda. In his 2011 National Geographic Channel documentary, Last Days of Osama bin Laden, Bergen obtains rare access to interview former CIA agents, Navy SEAL operatives, and a Black Hawk pilot who reveal how the US gathered the intelligence needed to pull off the surprise attack. He talks to a White House and Pakistani intelligence officials as well as neighbors of the Pakistani compound and eyewitnesses to the raid.
Bergen also serves as a research fellow at New York University’s Center on Law and Security; a member of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s National Security Preparedness Group; is a former adjunct lecturer at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University; and a former Pew Journalist in Residence at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.
Bergen has written for a variety of publications including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, Foreign Affairs, The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, TIME, The Nation, The National Interest, Mother Jones, Washington Times, Vanity Fair, The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, and Prospect. He has also worked as a correspondent for National Geographic Television and Discovery Television. He is on the editorial board of Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, a leading scholarly journal in the field, and has testified on numerous occasions before congressional committees.
In 1997, as a producer for CNN, Bergen produced bin Laden’s first TV interview. He was the recipient of the Leonard Silk Journalism Fellowship in 2000 and a Pew fellowship in 2001 for Holy War, Inc, and in 1994 he won the Overseas Press Club Edward R. Murrow award for best foreign affairs documentary.
From 1998 to 1999, Bergen worked as a correspondent-producer for CNN. He was program editor for CNN Impact, a co-production of CNN and TIME, from 1997 to 1998. Previously, he worked for CNN as a producer. From 1985 to 1990, he worked for ABC News in New York. Bergen holds a master’s degree in modern history from New College, Oxford University.