With the second term of George W. Bush only days away, it's a time of continuity at the White House. But two blocks away, at the venerable National Press Club, the winds of change are blowing. On Jan. 22, two days after that other inaugural, BusinessWeek's Richard S. Dunham will be sworn in as the club's president, vowing boldly, if not in wholly original fashion, to be a reformer with results. The National Press Club performs a critical role in promoting the ethical standards and fairness that are the roots of the journalism profession. It is also a major news forum for heads of state and leaders of government, business, and the arts.
The new role is not a stretch for Dunham, who continues as BusinessWeek's White House correspondent, national political reporter, and editor of the Washington Outlook column. Dunham spent much of 2004 developing ahead-of-the-curve stories from battleground states.
He was a major contributor to our cover story "Does your vote matter?" (June 14) and developed an electoral vote model that weighted the states' real clout in Presidential elections. The state identified by Dunham as the one with the most juice: Ohio.
Beyond the White House beat, Dunham served as NPC vice-president, treasurer, and chairman of its board of governors. From 1992 to 1999 he was on the Executive Committee of Periodical Correspondents, which oversees credentials for the press galleries on Capitol Hill for 2,000 magazine and newsletter correspondents and helps coordinate press logistics for national conventions and Presidential inaugurations.
Dunham grew up in Philadelphia (Central High School, University of Pennsylvania BA and MA) and spent 13 years with the Dallas Times Herald -- both in Texas and Washington -- before joining BusinessWeek in 1992. After Jan. 22, Dunham will get back to the business at hand: making the National Press Club an indispensable resource for journalists and a must-visit location for global newsmakers. Not that he'll forget his day job: serving you the reader.
By Stephen B. Shepard, Editor-in-Chief