April 12, 2024

Dozier to Give Keynote Address at Luncheon

by Jane Reilly

The acclaimed foreign correspondent Kimberly Dozier, who now covers intelligence, special operations and the war on violent extremism for The Associated Press, will be the keynote speaker at the annual OPC Foundation Scholarship Luncheon on Friday, February 21 at the Yale Club. At the event, the Foundation will award a combination of scholarships and fellowships to 14 graduate and undergraduate students aspiring to become foreign correspondents. The winning recipients who emerged from an incredibly competitive field of more than 175 applications from nearly 70 different colleges and universities are from the Academy of Art University-San Francisco, Carleton College, Columbia University, École de Journalisme de Sciences Po (Paris), New York University, University of Arizona, University of California-Berkeley, University of Southern California, University of Toronto and Yale University.

The OPC Foundation scholarship program has grown in the past two decades and is now considered the most prominent scholarship program in the country for aspiring correspondents. “Our program just keeps getting better and attracts more attention and participation,” said Bill Holstein, president of the OPC Foundation. “We are very pleased that The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones has joined our board and took part in the judging process. We look forward to building that relationship at the same time that we enjoy strong support from The Associated Press, Reuters and Bloomberg. We also are attracting applications from American students studying in Germany, Canada, Britain, France, and the Middle East. Our footprint is global.”

Besides addressing a distinguished audience of more than 200 luncheon guests, the award winners also tour The AP and meet with veteran international journalists in a pre-luncheon breakfast, hosted by Holstein. On the night before the luncheon, Reuters will host its traditional reception for current and past winners at its Time Square headquarters. “For many,” Holstein said, “the opportunity to meet and observe prominent journalists in action is as valuable as any monetary award.”

Media organizations have continued to reduce their international operations and cut back or close foreign bureaus, thereby decreasing the opportunities for young journalists to gain experience overseas. Holstein readily acknowledges there is little the Foundation can do to reverse that trend, but adds, “What we can do, and what we have been doing with great success, is to identify bright students who wish to become foreign correspondents, support their efforts, and help them launch careers in international journalism.” Holstein is proud of the accomplishments of OPC Foundation scholars. “Our winners thrive. They get jobs and have bylines on the front pages of major newspapers. They’re writing books and producing documentaries.They’re taking on the world.”

Thanks to generous grants last year from The Correspondents Fund and the Ford Foundation, the OPC Foundation offers funded internships to nine scholars for opportunities at AP bureaus in Bangkok, Beijing, Buenos Aires and Nairobi and at Reuters bureaus in Beijing, Belgrade, Brussels and Cairo. The Foundation also works with and sends young correspondents to GlobalPost, Forbes and Cambodia Daily. The Foundation picks up the cost of the airfare and one month’s living expenses for the winners. Interns often use their own funds to extend their stays to two and three months.

Holstein is especially pleased that Dozier will be the keynote speaker at the luncheon. “Kim Dozier is a perfect role model for our winners,” he noted. “She worked her way up the journalistic ladder the old-fashioned way, by earning it.”

Before her move to AP, Dozier covered the White House and the Pentagon for CBS News’ Washington bureau from 2007 to 2010. In a 14-year career overseas, she covered the Middle East and Europe as a CBS News TV correspondent, covering conflict zones including Iraq, Israel and the Palestinian territories, Kosovo and Northern Ireland. Earlier she worked for The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle and the BBC World Service. Dozier was wounded in a car bombing in Iraq in 2006. Her memoir Breathing the Fire: Fighting to Survive and Get Back to the Fight, recounts the attack and recovery. Author’s proceeds from the paperback version go to charities like Fisher House. She is the first woman journalist recognized by the National Medal of Honor Society for her coverage of Iraq.

Holstein is grateful to Bloomberg, which again hosted the judging in December and to the panel of judges who chose the 2014 recipients: Bob Dowling; Eddie Evans, Reuters; Allan Dodds Frank; Jonathan Gage, Boston Consulting Group; Sharon Gamsin; Sally Jacobsen, AP; Felice Levin; Jeremy Main; Larry Martz; Rosalind Massow; Kate McLeod; Ellen Nimmons, AP: Jim Pensiero, The Wall Street Journal; Steve Swanson, The New York Botanical Garden; and Karen Toulon, Bloomberg.

Luncheon tickets are $75 for OPC members and $150 for non-members. The Foundation encourages media and corporate support at its three levels of giving: Benefactors, $9,000; Patrons, $6,000; and Friends, $3,000. Tables seat 10. The reception is at 11:30 a.m.; the luncheon ends promptly at 2 p.m. All proceeds benefit the OPC Foundation. For more information, contact Jane Reilly at 201-493-9087 or e-mail, selecting “Foundation/Scholarship”.