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John Avlon  

Columnist and Associate Editor of the New York Sun, Former Chief Speechwriter for Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, Author of Independent Nation

John P. Avlon is a columnist and associate editor of the New York Sun, former chief speechwriter for Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, and author of Independent Nation: How the Vital Center is Changing American Politics.

Avlon was the youngest and longest-serving speechwriter in the Giuliani Administration as well as Deputy Communications Director. His work included preparing the Mayor's State of the City Addresses for 1999 through 2001 testimony to the United States Congress on issues of Homeland Security and Government Reform and the Address to the United Nations General Assembly on Combating Terrorism. After the attacks of September 11th, he and his team were responsible for writing the eulogies for all New York City Firefighters, New York City Police Officers, Port Authority Police Officers and other emergency workers killed in the destruction of the World Trade Center. Additionally, he served on the staff of the Bilingual Education Reform Task Force, the City Hall Park Restoration Committee, the Y2K Commission, and the 2001 Charter Revision Commission, which established the Office of Emergency Management as a permanent city agency.

Before his service at City Hall, Avlon worked on President Clinton's 1996 re-election campaign. He is the President of Prides Crossing Executive Communication and an adjunct lecturer at Hunter College, where he teaches a class in great speeches through history. He has also lectured at Yale University, which he graduated from in 1996, and the Kennedy School of Government.

He has appeared on Fox News, CNN, the Dennis Miller Show and C-Span's Book TV, and serves as an alternate host of NPR's Left, Right and Center. His book Independent Nation was proclaimed as a brave and compelling case for the past persistence and future dominance of American Centrism, by Democratic Leadership Council Policy Director Ed Kilgore in Blueprint Magazine. The New York Post described it as a compelling distillation of recent political history through the prism of Centrist politics. It's well-written and fun to read . . . and its timing couldn't be better. His essay on the attacks of September 11th, The Resilient City was selected to conclude the Columbia University anthology Empire City: New York Through the Centuries and won acclaim from Fred Siegel, the author of The Future Once Happened Here, as the single best essay written in the wake of 9/11.

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