Award-winning investigative journalist, social activist, political commentator and author Jeff Johnson will give the keynote speech at Dillard University’s commencement exercises on the morning of Saturday, May 11, 2013.
As an MSNBC contributor and White House correspondent for The Grio, an African-American website owned by NBC, Johnson analyzes issues related to race, politics, economics and pop culture. He regularly contributes to CNN, the FOX News Channel, Huffington Post, and theRoot.com. Originally known as BET’s “Cousin Jeff,” he has spent the past decade merging politics and pop culture, working as senior advisor for media and youth outreach for People for the American Way, national director of the NAACP’s Youth & College Division, and vice president of Russell Simmons’ Hip Hop Summit Action Network.
Johnson was the only U.S. reporter to receive an exclusive post-inauguration interview with Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the president of Liberia and Africa’s first elected female head of state. He is one of only two news correspondents to receive an exclusive interview with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who has not granted interviews with U.S. media outlets for 13 years. Johnson’s first book, Everything I’m Not Made Me Everything I Am: Discovering Your Personal Best, was published in 2009.