Stay Connected and Informed —
Join Northwest Neighbors Village’s Virtual Speaker Series

In addition to the upcoming speakers listed below, be sure to check out our extensive archive of previous speakers here!

Northwest DC is home to numerous dynamic, informed individuals.  Several have offered to share their expertise and insights in a series of talks. Plan to join us for one or all of these discussions, which are designed to engage and inform you. NNV's Speaker Series is being offered free of charge to the community.

The 2023 Political Landscape: What is Possible?

February 2, 2023 2:00 PM
Eleanor Clift

As the 118th Congress begins, it is apparent that the deeply divided Republican majority will have difficulties governing. The Senate will continue to function with a narrow Democratic majority. What can get done in this environment? Meanwhile, political observers are eyeing who the likely candidates are for the 2024 Presidential race that is just around the corner. Will Biden run again? If not, what does the Democratic primary field look like? Who will challenge Trump for the 2024 Republican nomination? Join us as Eleanor Clift shares her perspective on the forces shaping these issues.

For nearly five decades, Eleanor Clift has been writing about politics and policy in Washington and the partisan clashes that make governing almost impossible. She is currently a columnist for the Daily Beast, an online publication, while also teaching a hugely popular course for John Hopkins University. Clift is best known as a panelist on the syndicated talk show, “The McLaughlin Group,” which ended a 34-year run in 2016. Formerly Newsweek’s White House correspondent, Clift has covered every presidential campaign since 1976. She has appeared as herself in several movies, including “Dave,” “Independence Day,” “Murder at 1600,” “Rising Sun,” and the CBS series, “Murphy Brown.” Clift and her late husband, Tom Brazaitis, who was a columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, wrote two books together, War Without Bloodshed: The Art of Politics and Madam President: Shattering the Last Glass Ceiling. Clift’s book, Founding Sisters, is about the passage of the 19th amendment giving women the vote (2003). Selecting a President, written with Matthew Spieler (2012), examines the process that, for all its flaws, looks better than the alternative. Her book, Two Weeks of Life: A Memoir of Love, Death and Politics, is about the loss of her husband together with an examination of how we deal with death in America. In it she wrote, “Religion and politics are supposed to be separate.”

Drawing the Map of Your Life

February 9, 2023 1:00 PM
David Oldfield

One of the most important and satisfying tasks of elderhood is telling the story of how you came to be the unique person you are. Each of us has been shaped by events, experiences and relationships. Our characters have been formed by crises we have lived through, achievements and disappointments we have managed, and the full spectrum of ways we have touched others and been touched in return. The story of a long life fully lived is the great gift elders offer – to their families and future generations, and to themselves.

A fun and creative way of telling this story is by drawing your life’s journey as a map. Maps use images to symbolize where we’ve been, what’s impacted us, what we’ve learned, and how we’ve changed. Peaks of accomplishment and swamps of despair, crossroads of big decisions and shores of new beginnings – images are truly worth 1000 words!

David Oldfield has been inviting older people to construct maps of their lives for many years. He will share stories and illustrations from his recent book, An Atlas of Aging, which features the life maps of 20 older adults from around the world. The presentation will end with an invitation to join a small group of NNVers for a six-week life mapping experience, facilitated by David.

David Oldfield is founder and director of Farther On, a movement dedicated to reframing the later years of life as an adventure to be lived rather than a problem to be solved. David has spent the last 35 years designing transformational experiences and toolboxes to help people through threshold times in the lifecycle--adolescence, midlife, retirement, and the final threshold of our deaths.

David’s guidebooks and programs address these profound transitions and have been used around the world. Additionally, he is devoted to helping corporations and organizations through their own threshold moments of growth and renewal. His work is grounded in the timeless wisdom of world mythology.

To Tell the Truth: The Life of a Foreign Correspondent

February 14, 2023 11:00 AM
Lewis M. Simons

Son of a New Jersey butcher. Lewis M. Simons became an intrepid foreign correspondent, covering five decades of wars, revolutions, upheavals and famines throughout Asia and the Middle East. Lew won a Pulitzer Prize for his investigation that led to toppling the corrupt Marcos regime in the Philippines.

In his new book, To Tell the Truth, My Life as a Foreign Correspondent, which includes a forward by the Dalai Lama, Lew recollects his adventures while covering more than a dozen countries, including India, Afghanistan, China, both North and South Korea, and the former Soviet Union. With America's free press under unprecedented assault, To Tell the Truth appears at precisely the right moment.

Join us to learn more about Lew and his extraordinary career.

Pulitzer Prize winner Lewis M. Simons began his career as a foreign correspondent for The Associated Press, in 1967, at the height of the Vietnam War. He went on to international postings for The Washington Post, Time, and Knight-Ridder Newspapers.

Simons won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting in 1986 for exposing the billions that the Marcos family looted from the Philippines. Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism named the series one of the 50 Great Stories of the Century. He was twice more a Pulitzer finalist and has received numerous other journalism awards, including the George Polk, and was an Edward R. Murrow Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Simons' op-ed and analytical articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, Newsweek, Atlantic, and Smithsonian magazines. He has contributed frequently to National Geographic and USA Today, where he is a member of its Board of Contributors, The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, and Daily Kos. He has appeared on ABC, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, BBC, and CBC.

Lew also is the author of Worth Dying For, co-author with Senator Christopher S. Bond of The Next Front: Southeast Asia and the Road to Global Peace with Islam, and a contributing author of half a dozen books on war and international affairs.

A former U.S. Marine, he is a graduate of New York University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Photos from Beirut to the White House: A Father-Daughter Legacy

February 23, 2023 1:00 PM
Joyce Boghosian

Award-winning photographer Harry Naltchayan (1925–1994) was born in Beirut, Lebanon. As a teenager, he sold his photographs to local newspapers and later freelanced for Time, Newsweek, and several European magazines. Naltchayan came to the United States in 1958 as a refugee during the Lebanese Civil War and almost immediately began working for The Washington Post. During the 35 years he was with the newspaper, Naltchayan covered nine U.S. presidents, from Eisenhower to Clinton.

His daughter, Joyce Naltchayan Boghosian, continued his legacy by photographing six U.S. presidents. Boghosian has worked on both sides of the velvet rope as an official White House photographer as well as a member of the White House Press Corps for Agence France-Presse (AFP), an international wire service. She will share stories going back to her father's early days photographing historic events in Lebanon and the Middle East and his experiences at The Washington Post that inspired her own photographic journey through the White House spanning more than two decades from 1988 to 2021.

Boghosian recalls first using her father’s Leica, a high-end German camera, when she went on a field trip in the fifth grade. In their youth, she and her brothers, also photographers, tagged along with their father on occasional assignments when photographing celebrities or special events. As the high school yearbook photographer, she was front and center with the press to capture President Ronald Reagan’s visit, where he addressed the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986. This moment catapulted her desire to pursue a career in photography.

Maryland Freedom Seekers on the Underground Railroad

April 13, 2023 2:00 PM
Jenny Masur

Maryland was the starting point of many unsung heroes of the Underground Railroad. Freedom seekers embarked on the perilous journey from slavery to freedom in whatever way they could. John Thompson signed onto a whaling ship. James Watkins sailed to England and became a lecturer on slavery. Hester Norman fled, was caught and was rescued by the Black community in her husband’s Pennsylvania town. They used ruses and found allies to elude slave catchers but lived in constant fear until they obtained their freedom papers. In their adventures, these freedom seekers used initiative, determination and courage. These qualities served them well as they achieved freedom. In her book, Maryland Freedom Seekers on the Underground Railroad, Jenny Masur tells the tales of these and other freedom seekers. Join Jenny to hear some of their stories.

Jenny Masur is a native Washingtonian. She worked for 17 years for the National Park Service as national capital region manager for the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. Her doctorate is in anthropology, and her interest in individual lives dates from the book Jewish Grandmothers, which she coedited while in graduate school. Her respect for the heroes of the Underground Railroad continues to grow.

Some past presenters from our Virtual Speaker Series have allowed us to record their presentations.
Those recordings are available to the public

If you or someone you know would like to be a speaker in the future, please email