MEDIA EXPERT • POLITICAL ANALYST • AUTHOR • MODERATOR
Frank Sesno is known for his deeply insightful analysis of American politics and news media. His perspective is grounded in extensive experience as an Emmy Award-winning journalist covering the White House, presidential campaigns and conventions, and domestic and international affairs.
Frank served as Washington Bureau Chief, White House Correspondent, anchor and talk show host at CNN, and he's now helping shape the future of news and political communication as the Director of the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs.
He shares his expertise in media and politics as an on-air analyst, author, moderator and public speaker, offering evenhanded commentary and advocating for more civil national discourse. Frank’s vantage point into the inner workings of Washington, D.C, and his thoughtful take on the world bring context and texture – and some sorely needed humor – to the issues that define our times. Read Frank’s full bio >>
speaker and Moderator
In his role as a moderator and interviewer, Frank calls on his genuine curiosity, warmth and wit to draw out his guests and reveal their stories in a compelling and informative way. Known for his fairness and integrity as a questioner, Frank brings a special talent for connecting with the audience to engage them in the conversation.
Frank draws on his considerable experience guiding discussions with high-profile personalities, including participants in his SMPA Conversation Series such as Anderson Cooper, Nancy Pelosi, Jorge Ramos, Chuck Todd, Hillary Clinton, Bill Kristol and other distinguished guests.
As a public speaker, Frank delivers incisive explorations of pressing issues facing the United States and the world. Topics he addresses frequently include the present challenges and future opportunities for news media, the best approach to communicating about sustainability and environmental science in a time of climate skepticism, and the controversial role of the news media in the Trump era. Frank’s bookings are managed through the Washington Speakers Bureau. More information about booking >>
In his work as a world-renowned interviewer, Frank has spent years studying the skills and techniques behind the art of effective inquiry. Ask More: The Power of Questions to Open Doors, Uncover Solutions and Spark Change is a guide to questioning that shares his insights and includes unique and valuable lessons from dozens of leaders in different fields.
The book reveals how asking smarter questions and listening with purpose can help you excel in your career, unleash creativity, build stronger relationships and find greater fulfillment in your life. Ask More inspires us to sharpen our curiosity, listen deeply and succeed more reliably.
CNN's Anderson Cooper observed, “Ask More is an essential guide to asking questions in a way that can better achieve your goals. Through engaging stories and remarkable people, this illuminating book will show you how you can use questions not only to learn, but to challenge, inspire, innovate and excel.” More about the book >>
In an era when it’s increasingly difficult for news consumers to discern between verified facts, misinformation and outright falsehoods, Truth Counts: A Practical Guide for News Consumers provides actionable guidelines for identifying the truth amidst the daily deluge of information. Truth Counts enlists a team of media experts to share the tools needed by consumers and practitioners alike to navigate the non-stop news cycle with confidence and precision.
Frank’s contribution to the work, a chapter entitled “Finding Our Way,” discusses the role that news organizations and tech companies should play to help news consumers tell the difference between legitimate, fact-checked information and malevolent content that is designed to distract, confuse and divide. Frank also provides news consumers with critical definitions and tangible suggestions to survive the increasingly polluted information environment in which we find ourselves. Faced with trolls and bots, bad actors and “deep fakes,” the challenges are intensifying. Frank’s advice provides the tools to give serious news consumers a fighting chance.
Educator and creator of planetforward.org
Frank's commitment to education is a key part of his mission to inspire more informed and thoughtful citizens. As the director of GWU's School of Media and Public Affairs, he teaches students about inquiry and journalism and leads a faculty of nearly two dozen professors who are world-class experts in journalism, media studies and political communication.
As part of his work to empower new voices, Frank created PlanetForward.org, a multi-media project that brings college students and experts together to examine innovations that can “move the planet forward.” Planet Forward pursues its unique mission by teaching and rewarding environmental storytelling. The objective is nothing less than to inspire these future leaders and communicators to lead effective, compelling conversations about a more sustainable future.
Frank serves on the Poynter Institute’s National Advisory Board in support of their mission to develop skilled leaders in the field of journalism. He also serves on the board of the National Council for Science and the Environment, an organization dedicated to improving the scientific basis of environmental policy and decision-making.