David Welna, Carleton Class of 1980 and a noted journalist and broadcaster who has been National Public Radio’s congressional correspondent for over ten years, will deliver Carleton College’s convocation address on Friday, April 20. Welna’s presentation, “From Carleton to Covering Congress…An Odyssey on Deadline,” will explore his career in radio journalism at the center of stories from South America to Capitol Hill. Convocation is held from 10:50-11:50 a.m. in the Skinner Memorial Chapel, and it is free and open to the public.
Welna began his radio career as a correspondent overseas. He first worked for NPR as a freelancer in 1982, based in Buenos Aires, and subsequently covered events throughout South America, from Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. Welna eventually became NPR’s Mexico bureau chief in 1995. During his time in South America, Welna reported on such stories as the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, the Zapatista uprising in Mexico, and the 1994 U.S. military intervention (Operation Uphold Democracy) in Haiti.
Welna returned to the U.S. in 1998, first as part of NPR’s Chicago bureau and later as its congressional correspondent. Before moving to Capitol Hill, Welna covered the 2000 presidential election and the recount battle in Florida. As NPR’s congressional correspondent, Welna has covered the September 11 attacks, the wars that followed, and the eventual economic recession.
Welna received an Overseas Press Award in 1995 for his coverage of Haiti, and he received the National Press Association’s Everett McKinley Dirksen Award for Distinguished Reporting of Congress in 2011. Besides his work for NPR, Welna has reported for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Financial Times and the Times of London, and his photography has appeared in the New York Times, the Paris Review, the Philadelphia Inquirer and Esquire. Welna is a 1980 graduate of Carleton College.
For more information about this event, including disability accommodations, contact the Carleton College Office of College Relations at (507) 222-4308. Skinner Memorial Chapel is located on First Street between College and Winona Streets in Northfield.