News from the Bush School

Pollster John Zogby, Author Curt Smith To Speak On Political Volunteerism At Bush Event

March 22, 2010

March 17, 2010

Pollster John Zogby and Curt Smith, an author and speech writer for former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, will speak March 29 at the Bank of America Program on Volunteerism presented by the Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics, and Public Policy, part of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University.

The program is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center at the George Bush Presidential Library Center and will include a joint lecture by Zogby and Smith followed by a question-and-answer session. Their remarks will focus on the impact of grassroots volunteerism in the political realm.

In addition to being a pollster, author and commentator, Zogby is chairman of the board of Zogby International, a worldwide research and marketing firm based in Utica, N.Y., with offices in Washington, D.C. and Miami. He serves as chief insights officer at the company he founded in 1984 and which now conducts business in more than 75 countries.

While Zogby International continues to employ live telephone operators, over the past decade, he has developed an interactive polling methodology widely recognized for being extraordinarily accurate. For the 2008 election season, Zogby teamed up with Reuters and C-SPAN to provide political survey research on the race to the White House. His clients also include NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC, the New York Post, Fox News, Knight-Ridder Newspapers, Gannett News Service, and a host of newspapers and television stations across the U.S.

He has been profiled in The New Yorker, Fortune Magazine, Inc., and Investors’ Business Daily, and has also appeared on major television networks and both U.S. and international cable news programs. He currently writes a weekly column for, a weekly report card on President Obama’s performance for U.S. News & World Report’s Washington Whispers blog, and a monthly column for Politics magazine. He is the author of “The Way We’ll Be: The Zogby Report on the Transformation of the American Dream.”

Zogby holds degrees in history from Le Moyne College and Syracuse University and taught history and political science for 24 years. In addition, he served for nine years as a member of the board of trustees of Le Moyne College. He is also a senior adviser at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and is an active board member of Sudan Sunrise, an organization that works to help Sudan heal after years of internal conflict.

He is married to Kathleen Zogby, a retired special education teacher, and has three sons, Jonathan, Benjamin and Jeremy.

Smith is an author, columnist, radio talk host and senior lecturer in English at the University of Rochester. Raised in upstate New York, he was a reporter for the Gannett newspapers and senior editor for The Saturday Evening Post. He was a speech writer in the Reagan Administration before joining the Bush White House in 1989. He wrote many notable speeches for President Bush, including the “Just War” Persian Gulf address, Nixon and Reagan Library dedications, and President Bush’s 2004 eulogy to Ronald Reagan at Washington’s National Cathedral.

Smith hosts the NPR affiliate series Perspectives and is a columnist for Gatehouse Media, and Major League Baseball’s official website, In addition, he serves as a political analyst for Rochester’s CBS and TIME-Warner TV outlets, and is a frequent panelist on radio’s syndicated Beyond the Beltway.

The author of 13 books, Smith’s most recent is “Pull Up a Chair: The Vin Scully Story.” Since 2009, he has also written book essays on the 32 greatest presidential speeches and 32 greatest TV/film presidential portrayals.

The State University of New York at Geneseo undergraduate has been named among the 100 Outstanding Alumni of New York’s SUNY system. He is a member of the Judson Welliver Society of former White House speech writers, Baseball Hall of Fame Ford Frick Award broadcast committee, and Museum of Broadcast Communications and National Radio Hall of Fame committee.

In 2009, Smith, Zogby, and former NBA legend Manute Bol began raising funds to build 41 schools for children in Bol’s native war-torn Sudan. He lives with wife Sarah and their two children in Rochester.

Bank of America endowed its Program on Volunteerism in an effort to educate individuals and corporations on the importance of volunteer activities in today’s society. Bank of America officials believe that through civic responsibility and community service, Americans strengthen the nation’s social fabric, its participatory form of government and free-market economy.

The mission of the Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics, and Public Policy is to enhance the ability of the Bush School to collaborate on economic, international trade, and overall domestic policy issues with nationally recognized scholars and experts and to foster greater educational emphasis on trade, economics and public policy among Bush School students.

The Bank of America Program on Volunteerism is a ticketed event. A limited number of free tickets are available at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, the MSC Box Office at Texas A&M, the Bryan-College Station Convention & Visitors Bureau, The Eagle, KBTX-TV and WTAW.

Auditorium doors will open at 4:30 p.m., and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis among ticket holders. Attendees are requested to refrain from bringing backpacks, bags, cameras, or other personal belongings to the event.

For more information, call (979) 862-2251 or visit