Seizing Opportunities

Karen Elliott House delivers spring 2016 commencement address

Karen Elliot House, Commencement Spring 2016


Moody College of Communication Spring Commencement takes place Friday, May 20 at 3:30 p.m. in the Frank Erwin Center 1701 Red River St. and features an address from Karen Elliott House, Moody College alumna and adjunct fellow at the Belfer Center for International Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. The ceremonies will also be webcast live.

House was the former senior vice president of Dow Jones & Company and publisher of The Wall Street Journal. She began her journalism career at The Dallas Morning News in 1970. Four years later, she joined the Journal’s Washington, D.C. bureau covering energy, environment and agriculture. In 1978 House was named diplomatic correspondent and moved to New York in 1983 as assistant foreign editor and then became foreign editor in 1984. In March 1989, she became vice president of Dow Jones’ international group, responsible for the company’s international news and commercial operations.

“My 32-year career at the Journal gave me the opportunity to work with some of the very best people in journalism and also to meet scores of world figures and see history being made,” House said. “I am eternally grateful to the Journal for those opportunities and to UT Austin for preparing me to seize them.”

I am eternally grateful to the Journal for those opportunities and to UT Austin for preparing me to seize them.

House has received numerous awards for her extensive career in journalism, including a  Pulitzer Prize in international reporting for her coverage of the Middle East. She also received the Overseas Press Club’s Bob Considine Award for best daily newspaper interpretation of foreign affairs in both 1984 and 1988. Other prizes include, the University of Southern California’s Distinguished Achievement in Journalism Award, Georgetown University’s Edward Weintal Award for her coverage of American foreign policy and the National Press Club’s Edwin M. Hood Award for Excellence in Diplomatic Reporting for a series on Saudi Arabia.

Currently, she is chairman of the Rand Corporation, a non-profit research organization, and a trustee of the Trilateral Commission. House is a member of the Moody College of Communication’s advisory council and formerly served on the board of the Council on Foreign Relations. Throughout her career she has traveled widely and interviewed world leaders including, Saddam Hussein, Benjamin Netanyahu, Vladimir Putin, Margaret Thatcher, and Saudi King Abdullah. She also has appeared on popular television shows such as Meet the Press, PBS, Fox, CNN and CNBC.

Since retiring from the journal in 2006 she has published a book, “On Saudi Arabia: Its People, Past, Religion, Faultlines—and Future.”  She also has taught at Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy.

In 1992 she received a University of Texas Distinguished Alumna Award and in 1996 the Moody College of Communication named House Outstanding Alumna. House has been awarded honorary degrees from Lafayette College, Easton, Pa., Boston University and Pepperdine University.

A native Texan, House received a journalism degree from The University of Texas at Austin, where she was managing editor of The Daily Texan, the campus newspaper. During her time at UT she was an Orange Jacket, an honorary organization for women.

House lives in Princeton, New Jersey with her husband and has four children ages 20-41. 

Lauren Phillips
Public Affairs Representative