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Our program panelists look at the presidential inaugurations from George Washington to Barack Obama.  Moderator Jennifer Nedeau, Peter Henriques, and Dr. Stephen J. Farnsworth lead students in discussions on how Americans choose leaders. 

JENNIFER NEDEAU received a degree in journalism from the George Washington University and currently serves as a director at Bully Pulpit Interactive where she helps to create a new service area around the intersection of social media, content and marketing. Previously, Nedeau helped to direct traditional, mobile and online PR strategy for Time magazine, Fortune magazine, Money magazine, and CNNMoney. While at Time Inc., Nedeau worked closely with the editorial and business sides of each publication assisting with traditional communication efforts (TV, radio, print) as well as high level digital content strategy across social media platforms. During her tenure, she executed innovative programs such as Time Inc.’s partnership with foursquare during the political conventions in addition to helping with digital branding efforts, mobile product roll outs, and site traffic analysis. Additionally, Nedeau worked on high profile events such as the TIME 100, Fortune Brainstorm Tech & Green, Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit, WHCD, SXSW, the 2012 political conventions, and more. Previous to working for Time Inc., she ran her own consultancy and served as the Director of Digital Strategy at Air America where she promoted 15 radio programs and six online news channels until the company filed for bankruptcy in January 2010. She has also worked for New Media Strategies and America Abroad Media.

Nedeau has given presentations and speeches in front of audiences at The National Press Club, Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School, Start Up Weekend NYC, Campus Progress’ National Conference, STAND Against Genocide Conference, Netroots Nation, Politics Online Conference, and more. In March 2010, she profiled as one of “30 extraordinary women making history” by the Women’s Media Center for her writing surrounding health care reform.

STEPHEN J. FARNSWORTH is Professor of Political Science and Director of the University of Mary Washington’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, where he specializes in American Government, the presidency, media and politics, and elections. Dr. Farnsworth received his Ph.D. from Georgetown University and is the author of numerous publications including The Nightly News Nightmare: Media Coverage of U.S. Presidential Elections, 1988-2008 (Rowman & Littlefield, 2011, coauthored); Spinner in Chief: How Presidents Sell Their Policies and Themselves (Paradigm, 2009); The Mediated Presidency: Television News and Presidential Governance (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006, coauthored); and Political Support in a Frustrated America (Praeger, 2003).

Dr. Farnsworth served as U.S. Fulbright Research Chair in Public Policy, McGill University, Montreal, as well as provided U.S. government-funded reporter training seminars in Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Lithuania, Armenia, and Estonia. He is the recipient of the University’s Mary W. Pinschmidt Teaching Award, the Alumni Association Outstanding Young Faculty Award, and the Richard Palmieri Outstanding Professor Award.

PETER R. HENRIQUES, Professor Emeritus of History at George Mason University, has written widely about George Washington and the founding era. Among his publications is the highly praised book Realistic Visionary: A Portrait of George Washington, published by the University of Virginia Press (2006); George Washington (Great Leaders Series), National Park Service, 2002; He Died as He Lived: The Death of George Washington, Mount Vernon Ladies Association, 2000; “George Washington on Death and an Afterlife” in Don Higginbotham, edited by Don Higginbotham’s George Washington Reconsidered, University of Virginia Press, 2001; and “An Uneven Friendship: The Relationship Between George Washington and George Mason,” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 97, no.2 (April, 1989). His latest article, “Washington and Alexander Hamilton” in Sons of the Father: George Washington and His Protégées, edited by Robert M. S. McDonald, University of Virginia Press is forthcoming. Dr. Henriques, who received his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, taught American and Virginia history with a special emphasis on Virginia and the American Revolution and the Virginia founding fathers.