|Dean of the|
School of Media and Public Affairs
Frank Sesno is an American journalist, former CNN correspondent, anchor and Washington bureau chief, author, and director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at The George Washington University. Sesno is also the creator and host of Planet Forward, a web-to-television show on PBS. Sesno is a Professor of Media and Public Affairs at the George Washington University. Sesno assumed the Director's role at the School of Media and Public Affairs in September 2009.
Sesno received his Bachelor of Arts from Middlebury College in 1977, where he would later serve as one of its trustees. Sesno worked as news director at WCFR, a local radio station in Springfield, Vermont, where he hosted an interview show "Checkpoint" every day. Before joining CNN in 1984, Sesno worked as a radio correspondent at the White House and in London for the Associated Press. During his CNN career, he served in many parts of the world, as well as Washington bureau chief. He has also worked with PBS, producing several shows about political topics, including U.S. homeland security and Iraq. Sesno's diverse career spans over 25 years of experience, including 18 years at CNN, where he still continues to serve as a special correspondent. His current work at CNN involves producing documentaries, among other reporting and commentary responsibilities. Sesno has interviewed business and government leaders including U.S. Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan and former General Electric Co. CEO Jack Welch, the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He covered stories ranging from the Iraq War to the disputed U.S. presidential election of 2000.
Frank Sesno is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. His most recent project, Planet Forward, serves to bridge the gap between conventional and emerging media to move the discussion of the environment in the direction of real-world solutions and discussion. Its hybrid web/television format focuses on energy, climate and sustainability issues. Sesno completes regular webisodes on the Planet Forward website through his Profile on Planet Forward.
He currently hosts the PBS program "The Future of News."
In 2012, controversy surrounded Sesno's moderation of a debate at The George Washington University between conservative commentator Ann Coulter and MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell. Coulter accused Sesno of biased moderating and said he treated her like a 'crazy broad' after he repeatedly responded to her points rather than allow O'Donnell to respond.
In 2017, Sesno published Ask More: The Power of Questions to Open Doors, Uncover Solutions, and Spark Change with a foreword by Wolf Blitzer. Ask More focuses on how successful individuals formulate and ask the "right" questions.
In 2006, a highly rated Sesno documentary about the politics of energy appeared on CNN. His last program titled, "We Were Warned: Tomorrow's Oil Crisis," aired on CNN. He teaches how the media affects the creation of public policy and is a host and producer of in-depth specials and mini-series on PBS and The History Channel.