A native New Yorker and graduate of Andover and Harvard, Alexander is the host of The Open Mind on PBS stations and the Fitzwater Fellow at Franklin Pierce University during the 2015-16 presidential campaign. He covered the Millennial vote in 2012 for Need to Know, founded SCOOP08 and SCOOP44 that covered the 2008 election and Obama administration and taught a civic education/journalism seminar in New York City public school classrooms. His writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, USA Today, Newsday, American Way Magazine and RealClearPolitics, among other publications. He has been interviewed about politics, education and stories in the news by PBS, C-SPAN, CNN, CBS and the BBC, among other networks. He has lectured and moderated panels at major universities, including the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Drake University, the Quello Center for Telecommunication Management and Law at Michigan State University, the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Harris School of Public Policy at University of Chicago, the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University, the Communication and Journalism Department at University of New Mexico, the School of Social Sciences at University of California-Irvine and the Center for Social Sciences at Bryn Mawr College. He was the political director and correspondent for WHRB 95.3 FM and the host and managing editor of The Political Arena, a Sunday afternoon public affairs broadcast.
Heffner is a bright new light on the journalistic scene: insightful and provocative.
Heffner is a totally engaging, whip-smart and approachable proponent for the country's young people. When he spoke to my class, my students perked up immediately. He not only spoke to them, he encouraged them. He inspired them. He is a devoted advocate for civic engagement.
I know of no one at such a young age who has committed himself more fully to the craft of journalism than Alexander Heffner. He has covered the Obama administration as a credentialed White House correspondent, interviewed Cabinet members and written incisively on topics as diverse as Millennial politics, civic education, Iranian youth and home lending.
Heffner is a remarkable young man whose involvement in current affairs was already impressive long before his college years.
Heffner is one of the most thorough and thoughtful political hosts in the country at any age. His personal style brings together the best elements of Edward R. Murrow, Jim Lehrer and Chris Matthews to create his own unique brand of journalism for the next generation.
Heffner combines a passion for politics with the skills to make it interesting for our next generation of leaders, and his boundless energy makes it exciting for all.
Heffner has a gift for understanding the politics of his generation. I most took away how impressive our undergraduates appeared under his leadership as a moderator.
Heffner has a keen and thorough understanding of U.S. politics. He writes much more humanely than most political junkies do. He is a master of all media, and knows how newspapers work.
Heffner is as well-informed as any so-called professional talk show host and it was a pleasure chatting him up and trying like heck NOT to get stumped by him.
Heffner exhibits a keen grasp of economic policy, from the impact of big business on competition to the conflict between countries and corporations, demystifying with grace and clarity what can be a difficult subject.