Pulitzer Prize Winner Thomas L. Friedman to Speak at University of Houston

Noted author, journalist to deliver Farfel Distinguished Lecture and Rockwell Ethics and Leadership Lecture

Thomas L. Friedman, a world-renowned author and journalist who is a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, will deliver the 2008 Farfel Distinguished Lecture and the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Ethics and Leadership Lecture at 6:30 p.m., Sept. 12 in Cullen Performance Hall.

Friedman will discuss “Green Is the New, Red, White, and Blue,” the foundation of his new book “Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution–and How It Can Renew America” about how the United States can regain its international stature by taking the lead in alternative energy and environmentalism.

The lecture, part of a series of events surrounding the investiture of University of Houston Chancellor and President Renu Khator, is free, but an R.S.V.P. (beginning Aug. 11) is required. Call 713-743-1000 for more information.

Friedman won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, his third Pulitzer for The New York Times. He became the paper's foreign-affairs columnist in 1995. Previously, he served as chief economic correspondent in the Washington bureau and before that he was the chief White House correspondent. In 2005, Friedman was elected as a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board.

According to his New York Times biography, Friedman joined The Times in 1981 and was appointed Beirut bureau chief in 1982. In 1984 Friedman was transferred from Beirut to Jerusalem, where he served as Israel bureau chief until 1988. Friedman was awarded the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting (from Lebanon) and the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting (from Israel).

Friedman's book, “The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st Century,” was released in April 2005 and won the inaugural Goldman Sachs/Financial Times Business Book of the Year award. In 2004, he was awarded the Overseas Press Club Award for lifetime achievement and the honorary title, Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.

His book, “From Beirut to Jerusalem” (1989), won the National Book Award for non-fiction in 1989 and “The Lexus and the Olive Tree” (2000) won the 2000 Overseas Press Club award for best nonfiction book on foreign policy and has been published in 27 languages. Friedman also wrote “Longitudes and Attitudes: The World in the Age of Terrorism” (2002) and the text accompanying Micha Bar-Am's book, “Israel: A Photobiography.”

Born in Minneapolis on July 20, 1953, Friedman received a B.A. degree in Mediterranean studies from Brandeis University in 1975. In 1978 he received a Master of Philosophy degree in Modern Middle East studies from Oxford. Friedman is married and has two daughters.

The Farfel Distinguished Lecture series is UH’s most prestigious lectureship. Designed to bring provocative thinkers in every field to the university and to the Houston community, it is endowed through a gift from the family of philanthropists Aaron and Esther Farfel in their memory. Aaron Farfel served on the UH System Board of Regents for 16 years and was chairman from 1971 to 1979.

The Elizabeth D. Rockwell Ethics and Leadership Lecture series was established in 2006 through a gift from UH alumna Elizabeth D. Rockwell, who for more than three decades has contributed to numerous areas throughout UH both as a volunteer and donor. She established endowed chairs for the deans of the Cullen College of Engineering and College of Education. In the C. T. Bauer College of Business Administration, the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Career Services Center opened in 1997.

WHAT: Farfel Distinguished Lecture and Rockwell Ethics and Leadership Lecture
WHEN: 6:30 p.m., Sept. 12

Cullen Performance Hall
University of Houston
Entrance 1 off University Drive and Calhoun Road
Houston, TX 77204

WHO: Thomas L. Friedman