The Sesno Reports panel included, from left, Patricia McGinnis,president and CEO, Council for Excellence in Government; Anthony Williams, Washington D.C., mayor; Jim Schwartz, director, Emergency Management, Arlington County; Tom Ridge, secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; and Gloria Addo-Ayensu, health director, Fairfax County.

Photo by Evan Cantwell


The Mason Spirit: The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of George Mason University

Sesno Reports Features Homeland Security, Regional Tax Issues

By Jeremy Lasich, BA Communication '98

Anew public affairs series hosted by George Mason University professor of public policy and communication Frank Sesno, a veteran journalist and former CNN Washington bureau chief, debuted in February on WETA TV. Taped in the Harris Theatre, Sesno Reports: Target Washington featured a discussion on terrorism with U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge and Washington, D.C., Mayor Anthony Williams.

Ridge, Williams, and several other panelists examined whether the Washington, D.C., region and the nation are prepared for a terrorist attack. Topics included the preparedness of the health care system, distribution of timely and accurate information to the public, the way different jurisdictions work with each other to share information, traffic issues in a crisis, the use of cell phones, the private sector's role, and what citizens can do to protect themselves.

A second program on the raging regional debate over how tax dollars are spent was held in April. Guests included Maryland Republican Party chair John Kane, D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes-Norton, and deputy editor for the Washington Post, Colbert I. King. Subsequent programs in the series will include an innovative look at the next wave of the technology sector transforming our region; the challenges facing our health care system; and the growth, sprawl, and congestion that now define many of our communities. The series plans to go beyond recounting problems by exploring solutions that can actually make a difference.

Sesno Reports is coproduced by WETA, Washington, D.C., and the School of Public Policy and the College of Arts and Sciences at George Mason. Internet Media Services are provided by

“George Mason is unique in its commitment and service to the communities of our region,” said George Mason President Alan Merten. “This latest partnership with WETA to co-produce this TV series on issues of importance to our communities—and featuring one of our outstanding faculty—demonstrates that commitment and service.”

Major funding for Sesno Reports is provided by the Peterson Family Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Annenberg Foundation in support of the WETA Program Trust, Albert J. and Claire Dwoskin, the Bedford Falls Foundation, and Edward H. and Marilynn D. Bersoff. Local funding for Sesno Reports is provided by Washington Area Subaru Dealers.

For more information, visit the