A- A+

Jon Meacham To Replace Fareed Zakaria As Greater Des Moines Partnership Annual Dinner Speaker

January 23, 2015

Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015

Social Hour — 5 p.m.

Program with Dinner — 6:30 p.m. 

Jon Meacham Speaks — 8 p.m.

More than 1,200 local business and community leaders have registered to attend the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s 126th Annual Dinner event on Tuesday, January 27, at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in Downtown Des Moines.  The Partnership’s Annual Dinner is the state’s largest business community event and celebrates Greater Des Moines' economic and community development successes of the past year. 

Fareed Zakaria, the host of CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS, is no longer able to attend as the dinner’s keynote speaker.  The agency representing Dr. Zakaria informed the Partnership Thursday that he has been called away on a special assignment and regrets that he is unable to keep his commitment on the scheduled date.

“I was greatly looking forward to coming to Des Moines and helping the Partnership celebrate its achievements,” said Dr. Zakaria in his letter expressing regret for his last-minute cancellation.  “I have written columns and hosted shows extolling the extraordinary vitality of local governments in America.  Where Washington might be failing, American states, cities, and towns are seeing more economic development groups, civic associations and public-private partnerships, all focused on improving the lives of their citizens.  Your Partnership is one of the most impressive such organizations and I would have liked to be there to raise my glass to you.”

 Zakaria is being replaced by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham as the keynote speaker.  The title of Meacham’s presentation is “America Then and Now: What History Tells Us About The Future.” 

Zakaria went on to say this about Meacham, “Instead, you must make do with one of the greatest chroniclers of American history, a man who wrote a Pulitzer Prize-winning biography while editing a weekly news magazine, whose understanding and appreciation of America is - to my mind - unparalleled and who has a gift with words that is special. Jon Meacham is a good friend, but more important, he is a national treasure.”

Meacham is the author of Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, a No. 1 New York Times bestseller and named one of the best books of the year by The New York Times Book Review, The Washington PostEntertainment WeeklyThe Seattle Times, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  Meacham received the Pulitzer Prize for American Lion, his bestselling 2008 biography of Andrew Jackson.  He is also the author of the New York Times bestsellers Franklin and Winston and American Gospel

Executive editor and executive vice president of Random House, Meacham is a contributing editor to Time magazine, a former editor of Newsweek, and has written for The New York Times and The Washington Post, among other publications.  He is a regular contributor on Meet the Press, Morning Joe, and Charlie Rose.

The Partnership’s Annual Dinner is the Central Iowa business community’s celebration of the past year’s economic and community development successes.  The dinner includes a social hour beginning at 5 p.m., with the dinner and program beginning at 6:30 p.m.  The program includes the transfer of duties from outgoing Board Chair Paul Schickler of DuPont Pioneer to incoming Chair Gerard Neugent of Knapp Properties, the presentation of the 2015 Inclusion Awards, and the presentation of the Partnership’s Annual Report, summarizing the accomplishments of the organization’s work in 2014. 

Members of the media are asked to contact Susan Ramsey, Senior V.P. of Communications for the Partnership, at (515) 286-4954 or sramsey@DSMpartnership.com.

About the Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 23 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,100 Regional Business Members and more than 330 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.