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CNN's Anderson Cooper to deliver Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture at UCLA

L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa scheduled to give introduction at May 17 event

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CNN anchor and journalist Anderson Cooper will deliver the 7th Annual Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture at 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 17, at UCLA.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is scheduled to introduce Cooper at the event, which is sponsored by the Daniel Pearl Foundation, UCLA's Ronald W. Burkle Center for International Relations, Hillel Jewish Students Association and the Yitzhak Rabin Hillel Center for Jewish Life at UCLA.

Pearl was a prominent Wall Street Journal reporter and the paper's South Asia bureau chief when he was kidnapped and murdered by terrorists in Pakistan in early 2002.

Pearl's father, Judea Pearl, a computer science professor at UCLA, and his family established the Daniel Pearl Foundation to promote and continue Daniel's mission of fostering cross-cultural understanding throughout the world. The lecture series, established at UCLA in 2002, features scholars, journalists and policymakers who have contributed original analyses or constructive approaches to problems of international concern.

"Journalists are essential to our democracy and to our understanding of the world around us," said Burkle Center director Kal Raustiala. "Anderson Cooper is an engaging personality and intrepid globe-trotter who manages to draw even a young audience to larger issues of global importance."

"For many young people, Anderson Cooper represents the window to a world outside their immediate communities, and he reminds us of Danny in many ways," Pearl said. "Like Danny, he feels comfortable with any topic, be it domestic politics, culture, international relations or technology, and, like Danny, he projects curiosity and objectivity and presents balanced coverage while at the same time bringing out the human side in each story. We are honored to have him deliver this year's memorial lecture."

Cooper had a personal connection to Daniel as well. When Judea Pearl invited him to give the lecture, Cooper told him that a picture of Daniel rests in his office and inspires him daily.

Cooper anchors "Anderson Cooper 360," CNN's unconventional nightly news program. He has covered nearly all major global news events for the show, including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and Hurricane Katrina, often reporting from the scene. He was an integral part of CNN's political coverage of the 2008 presidential election, reporting and anchoring from both the Democratic and Republican national conventions and moderating both parties' debates.

Prior to joining CNN, Cooper worked for ABC as a news correspondent and reality-show host and before that was chief international correspondent for the youth-oriented news program Channel One News. Cooper has garnered numerous awards for his work, most recently three Emmy Awards in 2006 for reports on famine in Niger, Charity Hospital in New Orleans and black market infertility treatments. Cooper's book "Dispatches From the Edge: A Memoir of War, Disasters and Survival" was a New York Times best-seller.

Previous presenters of the Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture have included David Brooks, Ted Koppel, Larry King, Jeff Greenfield, Daniel Schorr and Thomas Friedman. In 2006, a parallel lecture series was established at Stanford University, which has featured Philip Zimbardo, Bernard-Henri Lvy and Christiane Amanpour.

The Daniel Pearl Foundation supports a number of other programs, including an interfaith dialogue for Jewish–Muslim understanding, journalism fellowships that bring foreign reporters and editors to U.S. newsrooms, international youth-oriented programs steering high school students to journalism, and Daniel Pearl World Music Days, an annual event held each October promoting cross-cultural understanding and borderless humanity through a global network of music performances.

The Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture will be held in the Ackerman Grand Ballroom, located on campus in UCLA's student union. Registration for the event is currently closed, but any remaining seats will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.

Media should R.S.V.P. for the event and arrange parking by contacting Elizabeth Kivowitz Boatright-Simon at 310-825-2585 or ekivowitz@support.ucla.edu.
 
The Daniel Pearl Foundation: Daniel Pearl's murder by terrorists in Pakistan in 2002 touched millions who never knew him. Through innovative international programs focused on journalism, music and respectful dialogue, the Daniel Pearl Foundation works to counter the hatred and intolerance that took Daniel's life.

The Burkle Center for International Relations at UCLA
fosters research and promotes discussion on relevant topics of international relations; U.S. foreign policy; global political, military and economic matters; and international law and dispute resolution. The center sponsors conferences, lecture series and other events that bring world leaders and internationally renowned scholars to UCLA and to the Los Angeles community.

The Yitzhak Rabin Hillel Center for Jewish Life at UCLA
is dedicated to empowering students to develop strong Jewish identities through creative self-expression.
 
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