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2019 Chautauqua Season

Emily and Stuart Siegel in conversation with James Fallows • Interfaith Lecture Series

Jul 4, 2019 2:00pm ‐ Jul 4, 2019 3:30pm



Emily and Stuart Siegel in conversation with James Fallows

Emily and Stuart Siegel directors, Sonoran Desert Inn
& Conference Center James Fallows

Emily and Stuart Siegel

Emily and Stuart Siegel live in the former copper mining town of Ajo, Arizona, where they are the directors of the Sonoran Desert Inn & Conference Center- the world's best (only?) not-for-profit inn, event venue, and community gathering space in an historic borderlands elementary school.

Emily worked in education for 15 years, initially as an after-school teacher and program director, and later as the Massachusetts Director for the National Center on Time & Learning. She holds a BA in Arts & Ideas from the University of Michigan, an M.Ed. from Lesley University, and a certificate in Non-Profit Leadership from Boston University.

Stuart has a film degree from Boston University and a Master of Hebrew Letters from the Hebrew Union College in New York. He worked for 17 years as an educator in Jewish and secular environments, in Brooklyn, Oakland, Cincinnati, Atlanta, South Florida, Indiana, PA, and Jerusalem. Before moving to Ajo, he spent 6 years creating and running summer programs for teens at Brandeis University.

Emily and Stuart discovered Ajo during a year-long road trip in 2014. They were engaged in Abiquiu, NM, and married in Ajo. Their mission focuses on the intersections of tourism, economic development, and the arts – developing community revival involving the Latino population there, plus the neighboring Tohono O'odham tribe. When they aren’t working, they love exploring the desert and learning about their adopted region with their son Jonah and Beau the corgi.

James Fallows

A national correspondent for The Atlantic, James Fallows is co-creator, with his wife Deborah, of the publication’s American Futures project. For the last six years, James and Deborah Fallows have been traveling across America in a single-engine prop airplane and reporting on the people, organizations, and ideas re-shaping the country.

As part of their City Makers: American Futures project in partnership with The Atlantic and Marketplace, the Fallowses visited smaller and medium-sized cities, meeting civic leaders, factory workers, recent immigrants, and young entrepreneurs to take the pulse and understand the prospects of places that usually draw notice only after a disaster or during a political campaign. The Fallowses’ book, Our Towns, is the story of their journey — and an account of a country busy remaking itself, despite the challenges and paralysis of national politics.

London-based national correspondent James Fallows has written for The Atlantic since the late 1970s, living and reporting in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter and two years as the editor of US News & World Report.

James Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series “Doing Business in China.” He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. He is the author of numerous books, including Breaking the News: How the Media Undermines American Democracy and China Airborne; as well as Blind Into Baghdad and Postcards From Tomorrow Square, which are based on his writings for The Atlantic

(Note: This biography was up-to-date as of the date of the lecture. Biographies are not updated over time.)

Banner photo by MHARI SHAW


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