Tavis Smiley


President's Medal for Excellence (2007)
IUB Commencement
Location: Bloomington
Presenter: Adam Herbert
School of Public & Environmental Affairs Distinguished Alumni Awards (2007)
Indiana University Bloomington
B.S. Public Affairs 2003
Honorary Degree (2004)
Doctor of Humane Letters
Location: Kokomo
Presenter: Adam William Herbert


Named by Time magazine as one of "The World's 100 Most Influential People" in 2009, Smiley is the host of the television show "Tavis Smiley" on PBS and radio's "The Tavis Smiley Show," distributed by Public Radio International (PRI). In 2007, he made television history as moderator and executive producer of the All-American Presidential Forums on PBS, the first Democratic and Republican presidential debates broadcast live in prime time with a panel made up of journalists of color. He recently joined forces with Princeton University professor Cornel West for their own radio talk show, "Smiley & West."

He is the author of 15 books including the best-selling WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE: MY STORY OF GROWING UP IN AMERICA and ACCOUNTABLE: MAKING AMERICA AS GOOD AS ITS PROMISE, which addresses how political leaders, corporations and everyday Americans can enforce accountability and effect change.

In May 2007, Smiley served as the featured speaker for commencement at IU Bloomington and also received The President's Medal for Excellence. The same year, he received the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, the school's highest honor.