“The 2016 Election and Illinois’ Future” will be the topic of David A. Yepsen’s fall lecture on the campus of Eastern Illinois University.
Yepsen, who enjoyed a 34-year career with the Des Moines Register, serving as the paper’s chief political writer, political editor and political columnist before becoming director (now retired) of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, in 2009, will be making a return appearance as the next presenter in EIU’s Edgar Lecture Series. Admission to his presentation, set to begin at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14, in Lumpkin Hall’s Roberson Auditorium, is free and open to the public.
The speaker will be introduced by former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar who, along with his wife, Brenda, established the lecture series in 2007. The series, which demonstrates continuing support by the Edgars of their alma mater, frequently features lectures on state government and addresses current issues and their historical implications.
The Edgars personally launched the series, with the former governor speaking in Fall 2007 and Mrs. Edgar taking her turn behind the lectern in Spring 2008.
Yepsen, a native of Jefferson, Iowa, and a 1972 graduate of the University of Iowa, did graduate work in journalism and mass communication at Iowa State University and, in 1985, earned a master’s degree in public administration from Drake University.
In 1989, he was a fellow at the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. In 2008, he was a fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard where he led a study group on the nation’s presidential selection processes.
Prior to joining The Register and Tribune in 1974, Yepsen worked for two years as a reporter for the Quad City Times in Davenport, Iowa. During his newspaper career, he covered a variety of beats including police, city hall, courthouse and the Iowa Statehouse. In 1977, he became a statehouse reporter for the Register and chief political reporter in 1983. In 1994, he was named political editor and, in 2000, became the Register’s full-time political columnist.
He was a regular panelist on Iowa Public Television’s weekly “Iowa Press” news interview program for more than 30 years. Yepsen has also appeared on a variety of national radio and television programs commenting on Iowa politics and the presidential caucus campaigns in the state. While at the Des Moines Register, he covered nine presidential caucus campaigns for the paper.
In November 1994, the American Political Hotline named Yepsen one of “America’s best political reporters outside the Beltway.” In 1997, the Washingtonian Magazine named him one of the “best Washington reporters who doesn’t live in Washington” and, in 2000, Brill’s Content magazine named him to their list of “all-star” political writers.