Speakers

Keynote, Featured and Spotlight Speakers will provide a variety of perspectives from different academic and professional backgrounds. This page provides information about presenters. For details of presentations and other programming, please visit the Programme page.


  • William Lindesay OBE
    William Lindesay OBE
    Founder, International Friends of the Great Wall
  • Professor Bradley J. Hamm
    Professor Bradley J. Hamm
    Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, Northwestern University, USA
  • Professor Gary E. Swanson
    Professor Gary E. Swanson
    University of Northern Colorado, USA (fmr.)

Additional speakers will be announced in the coming months.

William Lindesay OBE
Founder, International Friends of the Great Wall

Biography

William Lindesay OBE is an honorary senior research fellow at University of Liverpool, where he studied geography and geology in the 1970s. Recently he received the Royal Society for Asian Affairs’ Special Award 2016. He first went to China to recce the Great Wall in 1986, making the first documented traverse of the ruins on foot the following year, in 1987, in which he covered 2,470 km.

Since 1990 he has resided permanently in China, spending more than 2,700 days on its Great Walls. He has written five books on the subject, published by Harvard University Press and Penguin among others, and fronted documentaries that have been screened on National Geographic Channel, Channel 4, Discovery Channel and the Smithsonian Channel.

William Lindesay is credited with arousing China’s national consciousness to protect the Great Wall and its environment, and he has created/curated two national exhibitions in Beijing, at the Capital Museum and the Imperial Academy, and seven provincial exhibitions. For his work presenting and preserving the Great Wall and assuming the role of its international ambassador he was granted permanent residency in China. He lives with his wife and two sons in Beijing, in a village below the Great Wall in the city’s northern suburbs.

Keynote Presentation | The Great Wall Story – The Way I Have Discovered It
Professor Bradley J. Hamm
Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, Northwestern University, USA

Biography

Bradley J. Hamm is the dean of the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. Medill has programs in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco in addition to its home campus in Evanston. Previously, he was dean of the Indiana University School of Journalism in Bloomington and Indianapolis.

Hamm's PhD is in mass communication research from the University of North Carolina, with a master’s degree in journalism from the University of South Carolina and an undergraduate degree from Catawba College in North Carolina.

He also served as the interim dean and associate dean of the School of Communications at Elon University in North Carolina. Hamm has taught in study abroad programs in Japan, China and Great Britain and started his career as a newspaper reporter. His teaching and research interests are in journalism history and media theory, particularly agenda setting theory.

He served as a trustee for the Poynter Institute and is a judge for the Scripps Howard National Journalism Awards. He serves as an independent, non-executive member of the Board of Directors for Next Digital media company of Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Professor Gary E. Swanson
University of Northern Colorado, USA (fmr.)

Biography

Gary E. Swanson is the former Mildred S. Hansen Endowed Chair and Distinguished Journalist-in-Residence at the University of Northern Colorado, USA. From 2005-2007 Professor Swanson was a Fulbright scholar to China and lectured at Tsinghua University and the Communication University of China. In summer 2008 he was Commentator for China Central Television International (CCTV-9) and their live coverage of the Beijing Olympic Games. Swanson repeated his assignment covering the London Olympics for CCTV-4 in the summer of 2012. Previously, he was professor and director of television for nine years at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University where he taught mostly graduate broadcast students. He has been an educator for 26 years; 20 years spent teaching at the university level. Swanson is an internationally recognized and highly acclaimed documentary producer, director, editor, photojournalist, consultant and educator. He has given keynote speeches, presented workshopsretd and lectured at embassies, conferences, festivals, and universities throughout China, South Africa, India, Papua New Guinea, Japan, The Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Singapore, Greece, Germany, Jordan, Spain, Portugal, Peru, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Swanson has compiled a distinguished professional broadcast career spanning 13 years: From 1978 to 1991, Swanson worked for the National Broadcasting Company where he was honored with national EMMYs for producing and editing: The Silent Shame, a prime-time investigative documentary; Military Medicine, a two-part investigative series on NBC News; and Hotel Crime, an investigative news magazine piece. Swanson was an editor for "breaking news and features" for NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, the Today Show, Sunrise, Sunday Today, NBC Overnight, A Closer Look, Monitor, and other prime time news magazines. Swanson covered "breaking news" in 26 states and Canada for the network including trips and campaigns of presidents Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and Bill Clinton. Swanson was the Fulbright distinguished lecturer and consultant in television news to the government of Portugal in 1989. In 1992, he covered the XXV Olympics in Barcelona, Spain for NBC News as field producer and cameraman. Swanson has earned more than 75 awards for broadcast excellence and photojournalism including three national EMMYs, the duPont Columbia Award, two CINE 'Golden Eagles,' 16 TELLYs, the Monte Carlo International Award, the Hamburg International Media Festival's Globe Award, the Videographer Award, The Communicator Award, the Ohio State Award, the CINDY Award, the 2011 Communitas Outstanding Professor and Educator award, the 2013 Professor of the Year award, and many others. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana with a Bachelor's degree in Education in 1974, and a Master's degree in Journalism in 1993.

Professor Gary E. Swanson is a member of IAFOR’s Academic Governing Board. He is Chair of the Media & Film section of the International Academic Advisory Board.