Home > Get Involved > 2014 THE CAT IN THE HAT GALA > Gala Special Guests

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RIF is so honored to have two exceptional leaders as our gala program hosts: Jeanne Meserve and Alma Powell.  Both accomplished award-winners in their respective fields, they also bring a life-long interest and engagement in educating and informing people across the world.  We are delighted to have two such engaging personalities to help us celebrate RIF and Dr Seuss!

Master of Ceremonies:  Jeanne Meserve

Jeanne Meserve has woven words and images into compelling stories as an award-winning anchor and correspondent for CNN and ABC News.

As Director of Training for The Communication Center (www.thecommunicationcenter.com) she now travels the world helping clients from top corporations, government, and the non-profit and educational sectors prepare for presentations, speeches, panel discussions, media interviews, Congressional testimony, and more.

She is President of Shore Road Multimedia (www.shoreroadmultimedia.com), a communications firm recognized for its expertise in homeland security.

An accomplished television anchor, Meserve moderates events, panels, and policy debates for, among others, the World Health Organization, the US Chamber of Commerce, the Halifax International Security Forum, the Aspen Institute, and the International Women’s Forum.

Meserve is a Senior Fellow at the George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute, and is a member of the Aspen Institute Homeland Security Advisory Group.

At CNN Meserve won two Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, and other honors, for her reporting and anchoring. She covered intelligence, law enforcement, cyber, aviation, border and port security, and was the first to report on the devastating flooding in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. She also covered the Washington snipers, the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping, the Virginia Tech shootings, and the international tug of war over Elian Gonzales. She anchored CNN’s worldwide coverage of the Yitzhak Rabin assassination and the death of Princess Diana. As a State Department Correspondent for ABC News, she reported from China, the Middle East, and Europe. She continues to work as a freelance journalist.

Meserve received a B.A. in English Literature from Middlebury College, and is a recipient of the college’s Alumni Achievement Award.

Good Night Story Reader:  Alma J. Powell

Alma J. Powell is one of the nation’s most recognizable and longstanding advocates for children and youth. As board chair of America’s Promise Alliance, Mrs. Powell is leading the 360+ partner network’s efforts to bring more resources into the lives of young people in need and to raise the nation’s high school graduation rate.

Mrs. Powell sits on the boards of several organizations including honorary chair of the DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative, YouthBuild USA Advisory Board, and vice chair of the Board of Directors’ Committee of Community & Friends for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

She was a member of President Barack Obama’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities from 2010 to 2012 and chairman of the National Council of the Best Friends Foundation from 1989 to 2000. 

Mrs. Powell is the recipient of honorary degrees from Emerson College and Shenandoah University and is the successful author of two children’s books. She has been married to Gen. Colin Powell since 1962.  General and Mrs. Powell have been supporters of RIF for a number of years, and RIF is a partner of America’s Promise. 

Mrs. Powell also is the author of two children’s books:  My Little Wagon, and America’s Promise.


Gala Special Guests