Richard Allen "Rick" Stengel (born May 2, 1955) is an American editor,
journalist and author. He was Time magazine's 16th managing editor
from 2006 to 2013. He was also chief executive of the National
Constitution Center from 2004 to 2006, and served as President Obama's
Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs
Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs from
2014 to 2016. Stengel has written a number of books,
including a collaboration with
Nelson Mandela on Mandela's
1 Early life and education
2.1 Early career
Managing editor of Time
4 National Service Movement
6 Personal life
7 Honorary degrees
9 Further reading
10 External links
Early life and education
Stengel was born and brought up in Scarsdale, New York. His Jewish
faith was shaped by father Robert B. Stengel, both addressing
anti-semitism "as though it were more biological than cultural." He
Princeton University and played on the Princeton Tigers
basketball team as part of the 1975 National Invitation Tournament.
He graduated magna cum laude in 1977. After college, he won a
Rhodes Scholarship and studied English and history at Christ Church,
Stengel joined Time in 1981 and contributed to the magazine through
the early and mid-1980s, including articles on South Africa, which he
also covered for
Rolling Stone magazine. He became a senior writer
and essayist for Time, covering both the 1988 and 1996 presidential
While working for Time, Stengel also wrote for The New Yorker, The New
Republic, Spy, and the New York Times and appeared on television as
a commentator, even contributing to Indecision '92, the 1992 Comedy
Central coverage of the Democratic National Convention in New
York. Using his experiences as a journalist as a basis, in 1998
Stengel taught a course at Princeton on "Politics and the Press".
He was one of the original on-air contributors for MSNBC.
Stengel left Time in 1999, to become a senior advisor and chief
Bill Bradley who ran unsuccessfully for the
Democratic nomination for the 2000 presidential election.
Stengel returned to Time in 2000 and took on the role of managing
editor of Time.com. As announced by
Time Inc. in May 2000,
Stengel replaced Richard Duncan in the role and took on the
responsibilities of overseeing news coverage and editorial
content. He later held several other roles at Time, including a
period as national editor of the magazine.
Stengel left his role as national editor of Time in February 2004
to become the president and CEO of the National
Constitution Center, a
museum and education center in
Philadelphia on 1 March 2004. He
Joe Torsella (who resigned to seek a seat in the U.S. House
from the 13th district) in the position, with the role of raising the
center's profile, adding to its endowment, and increasing the number
of visitors. At the
Constitution Center, Stengel was responsible
for starting the Peter Jennings Institute, offering constitutional
training for journalists;
Constitution High, a charter school for
students interested in history and government; summer teacher
institutes; and brought the Liberty Medal to the organization.
Managing editor of Time
In 2006, Stengel once again returned to Time, this time as managing
editor of the magazine. The appointment was announced on 17 May 2006
Editor in Chief of Time Inc., John Huey, and he officially
entered the role on 15 June 2006 as the 16th managing editor of the
magazine, which was in its 83rd year at the time. In his role as
managing editor, Stengel oversees Time magazine, which is one of the
largest magazines worldwide, and Time.com, as well as Time Books,
and Time for Kids.
His first major initiative was to change the magazine's newsstand date
to Friday, starting in early 2007. Following this, Stengel
implemented an ambitious graphic redesign and changes in the
magazine's content, stating that he wanted the magazine to be more
selective and to represent "knowledge" rather than "undigested
information." He increased reporting on war and politics, giving Time
a more focused editorial profile. In his first year as managing
editor, Stengel selected "You" as Time's "Person of the Year", which
was the subject of much media coverage and debate. In 2010, Time
chose another social media-oriented "Person of the Year", Facebook
founder Mark Zuckerberg.
In 2008, Stengel approved the changing of Time's emblematic red border
for only the second time since its adoption. The border was changed to
green for a special issue focused on the environment. The cover,
which included an altered version of Joe Rosenthal's iconic Raising
the Flag on Iwo Jima photograph—substituting a tree for the American
flag—was criticized by some veterans groups. Explaining the analogy,
Stengel stated his belief that there "needs to be an effort along the
lines of preparing for World War II to combat global warming and
Under his leadership, Time has reported on significant world events
such as its coverage of the Iraq war, which he describes in an
editorial as necessary in order to remind people not to "turn
away", and the 2008 presidential campaign. Following the
Barack Obama was selected by Stengel as
"Person of the Year" for Obama's 14th appearance on Time's cover in
2008. Stengel writes editorials for Time, including a 2010 piece
explaining their use on Time's cover of a portrait of an 18-year-old
Afghan woman whose nose and ears had been cut off by the
Taliban as a
punishment for running away from her in-laws. For a Time cover
story in December 2010, he interviewed
WikiLeaks spokesperson Julian
Assange over Skype, in which Assange called for the resignation of
United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Stengel was listed as number 41 on Newsweek's 2010 "Power 50" list in
November 2010. He also regularly appears on shows such as CNN's
American Morning and MSNBC's
Morning Joe to promote the
In 2012, Stengel received a News & Documentary Emmy Award for his
work as executive producer on Time.com's Beyond 9/11: Portraits of
Resilience and, on behalf of Time Magazine, Stengel accepted
the "Magazine of the Year" award at the National Magazine
Awards. In May of the same year, Stengel interviewed Israeli
Benjamin Netanyahu for a cover story of his that
referred to Netanyahu as the "King of Israel". In November
2012, Stengel conducted an interview with
Mohamed Morsi after he
became Egypt's president. Among other coverage, the interview drew
media attention for Morsi's remarks on the 1968 science fiction film
Planet of the Apes.
Richard Stengel visits the Sawab Center in Abu Dhabi, United Arab
Emirates, the first-ever multinational online messaging and engagement
program in support of the global coalition against Islamic State of
Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)
Stengel was away from TIME magazine's office for several months from
July to September 2013 due to personal reasons. On September 12, 2013
Stengel announced he would be leaving TIME magazine for a role as
Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs,
the role responsible for leading “America’s public diplomacy
outreach, which includes communications with international audiences,
cultural programming, academic grants, educational exchanges,
international visitor programs, and U.S. Government efforts to
confront ideological support for terrorism,” according to the State
National Service Movement
In September 2007, Stengel wrote a Time cover story called "The Case
For National Service" in which he argued that Americans needed to
redouble their efforts to get involved in community service and
volunteerism, and that the presidential candidates needed to make the
issue a top priority in the 2008 presidential campaign. Through
this essay, he became involved with national service groups Be the
Change, City Year, Civic Enterprises, and others to form
ServiceNation, a coalition of more than 100 organizations dedicated to
promoting national service and volunteerism.
ServiceNation announced that it had secured both U.S. Presidential
candidates to participate in Presidential Forum on National Service at
Columbia University on 11 September 2008. Stengel served as
co-moderator of the forum, along with PBS journalist Judy Woodruff,
and both Senators
Barack Obama and
John McCain answered questions in
front of a live audience at
Columbia University about their plans for
On 12 September 2008, Stengel was a featured speaker at the
ServiceNation Summit in New York, along with Caroline Kennedy, Senator
Hillary Clinton, First Lady
Laura Bush and
New York City
New York City Mayor Michael
Bloomberg. In February 2009, he testified alongside Usher Raymond,
former U.S. Senator
Harris Wofford and others, in front of the United
States House Committee on Education and Labor about the importance of
national service, leading to the passage of the Edward M. Kennedy
Serve America Act (H.R. 1388). Among other provisions, the bill helped
to establish a Summer of Service Program, increase the number of
AmeriCorps opportunities and establish a nationwide Call to Service
Stengel was awarded Citizen of the Year at the Annual National
Conference on Citizenship on 17 September 2010. He has also been
presented with the 2010 Lifetime of Idealism Award, awarded to him by
City Year Washington, D.C. for "his commitment to promoting and
expanding opportunities for Americans to serve".
Stengel has authored several books including January Sun: One Day,
Three Lives, A South African Town, a non-fiction work about the lives
of three men in rural South Africa, published in 1990 and You're
Too Kind: A Brief History of
Flattery a popular history of flattery,
published in 2000. Mandela's Way: Fifteen Lessons on Life, Love
and Courage was released in March 2010 and is based on Stengel's
personal interactions with Nelson Mandela. The book has drawn
praise from President Bill Clinton, Deepak Chopra, and Harvard's Henry
Louis Gates, Jr. In 2012, Stengel edited and wrote the lead essay
for the book The Constitution: The Essential User’s Guide, which
explored the relevance of the U.S.
Constitution in modern-day
The book that Stengel is best known for is his collaboration with
Nelson Mandela on Mandela's autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom. In
1992, he signed a ghostwriting deal with publishers Little, Brown to
work on the book, having first been cleared by the African National
Congress as a suitable author. The book was published in 1995, and
was praised by the Financial Times, which stated: "Their collaboration
produced surely one of the great autobiographies of the 20th
century". Stengel later served as co-producer of the 1996
documentary film Mandela, which was nominated for an Academy Award.
Stengel is married to Mary Pfaff, a native of South Africa. They have
two sons, Gabe and Anton. The couple met while Stengel was in South
Africa working on Nelson Mandela's autobiography, and Mandela was
godfather to their oldest son, Gabriel.
Stengel delivered the commencement address and received honorary
Wittenberg University in 2009, Wheaton College in
Butler University in 2012.
^ a b "Foreign Service Retirements, and State Department Farewells and
Departures". December 8, 2016. Retrieved December 8, 2016.
^ a b c d e f Katharine Q. Seelye (18 May 2006). "
Richard Stengel Is
Chosen to Be Top Editor at Time". New York Times. Retrieved 3 November
^ a b c d "Paper: Time magazine editor to be new National Constitution
Center president". Associated Press. Associated Press. 2 February
^ a b c Anne Marie Welsh (20 May 1990). "Journalist Paints a South
African Reality". San Diego Union-Tribune.
^ a b c Beresford, David (13 November 1992). "Ghost Writer Hired To
Speed Way Of Mandela Story". The Guardian (London).
^ Stengel, Richard (2012-05-28). "Bibi's Choice". Time.
ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 2017-07-11.
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "
Richard Stengel Named Managing Editor of
Time". Timewarner.com. 17 May 2006. Archived from the original on 24
May 2006. Retrieved 3 November 2010.
^ Winneker, Craig (13 July 1992). "Unconventional Wisdom; Comedy
Central on Air This Week With 'Indecision '92'". Roll Call.
^ Stengel, Richard. "Author's Bio". richardstengel.com. Archived from
the original on 13 February 2005. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
^ a b c Hagan, Joe (4 March 2007). "The Time of Their Lives". New York
Magazine. Retrieved 3 November 2010.
^ a b K.D. Shirkani (11 May 2000). "
Time Inc. Leafs Through Top Exex".
^ Keith J. Kelly (3 February 2004). "Time National Editor Quits for
Museum Job". The New York Post.
^ "Richard Stengel". ConstitutionCenter.org. Retrieved 1 December
^ Joseph A. Slobodzian (12 May 2006). "Liberty Medal nears its
^ "Time's Managing Editor Stengel to Deliver Bullion Lecture on April
21". Targeted News Service. 9 April 2008.
^ Phillips, Patrick (28 August 2006). "Richard Stengel: 'All the Rules
Are Being Remade'". I Want Media.com. Retrieved 3 November 2010.
^ Katharine Q. Seelye (12 March 2007). "With Redesign of Time,
Sentences Run Forward". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 December
^ Grossman, Lev (15 December 2010). "Person of the Year 2010: Mark
Zuckerberg". Time. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
^ Stengel, Richard (17 April 2008). "Why We're Going Green".
^ "Iwo Jima Vets Slam Time Cover, Dismiss Global Warming As "A Joke"".
The Huffington Post. 18 April 2008. Retrieved 3 November 2010.
^ Stengel, Richard (6 August 2006). "Why We Do What We Do". Time.
Retrieved 1 December 2010.
^ Stengel, Richard (31 October 2010). "The Final Lap". Time. Retrieved
1 December 2010.
^ Montanaro, Domenico (17 December 2008). "Obama appeared on half of
Time covers". First Read. MSNBC. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
^ Stengel, Richard (29 July 2010). "The Plight of Afghan Women: A
Disturbing Picture". Time.com.
Time Inc. Retrieved 3 November
^ Stengel, Richard (2 December 2010). "TIME's Managing Editor on
WikiLeaks". Time. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
^ "Newsweek's Power 50". Newsweek.com. 1 November 2010. Retrieved 3
^ Shea, Danny (19 August 2010). "Rick Stengel Shows Up In a Sling to
'Morning Joe'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 4 November 2010.
^ "National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announces winners
at the 33rd Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards".
emmyonline.com. National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. 1
October 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
^ "TIME Wins Emmy Award for "Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience"".
Time. 2 October 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
^ Calderone, Michael (4 May 2012). "
National Magazine Awards
National Magazine Awards 2012:
'Time' Grabs Top Prize; 'New York' Wins Three". The Huffington Post.
Retrieved 16 May 2013.
^ Moses, Lucia (3 May 2012). "'Time' is Magazine of the Year". Adweek.
Retrieved 16 May 2013.
^ "Time puts PM on its cover, imagines him arguing with God, quotes
him calling Iran civilization's 'greatest threat'". The Times of
Israel. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
^ "TIME crowns Netanyahu as the 'king of Israel'". Haaretz. 17 May
2012. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
^ Richard Stengel; Bobby Ghosh; Karl Vick (28 November 2012). "Time
Magazine Interviews Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi". Time. Retrieved
16 May 2013.
^ Fisher, Max (28 November 2012). "Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi
holds forth on 'Planet of the Apes'". The Washington Post. Retrieved
20 May 2013.
^ Bach, Natasha (30 November 2012). "Egypt's
Mohamed Morsi Gave An
Incredibly Revealing Interview This Week". Business Insider. Retrieved
20 May 2013.
^ Stengel, Richard (30 August 2007). "The Case For National Service".
Time Inc. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
^ "Vision". Be The Change Inc.org. ServiceNation. Retrieved 5 November
^ Lisberg, Adam (21 August 2008). "John McCain,
Barack Obama slated
for 9/11 public service forum". NY Daily News. Retrieved 5 November
^ "The Spirit of Public Service". New York Times. 12 September 2008.
Retrieved 5 November 2010.
^ Ariens, Chris (10 September 2008). "Cable Nets to Carry Presidential
Forum". MediaBistro. WebMediaBrands. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
^ "National Service Summit Set For New York City". The Non-Profit
Times. 21 July 2008. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
^ Grim, Ryan (25 February 2009). "Time's Stengel Calls For Action On
National Service Bill". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 5 November
^ "Highlights of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act" (Press
release). Corporation for National & Community Service. 30 March
2009. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
^ "Rick Stengel is 2010 Citizen of the Year". ncoc.net. National
Conference on Citizenship. 19 May 2010. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
^ "Idealism In Action Gala". CityYear.org. Retrieved 1 December
^ Yardley, Jonathan (11 June 2000). "Book Review: "You're Too Kind: A
Brief History Of Flattery"". The Washington Post.
^ Mandela’s Way official website
^ a b Wilkie, Christina (March 2010). "Book party for Time Editor
Richard Stengel". The Hill. Capitol Hill Publishing. Retrieved 3
^ Youssef Aboul-Enein (8 November 2012). "The Constitution: The
Essential User's Guide". DCMilitary.com. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
^ Russell, Alec (24 July 2010). "Mandela's magic". Financial Times.
Retrieved 2 December 2010.
^ Jose Antonio Vargas (30 March 2010). "
Richard Stengel On Mandela:
Neither 'Terrorist' Nor Mother Teresa". The Huffington Post. Retrieved
3 November 2010.
Wittenberg University Preps For 164th Commencement Exercises".
Wittenberg University. 15 May 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
^ "Richard Stengel, Commencement Speaker". Wheaton College. 2011.
Retrieved 22 May 2013.
^ Naylor, Kyler (28 March 2012). "TIME editor to speak at
commencement". The Butler Collegian. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
Stengel, Richard (1991). January Sun: One Day, Three Lives, a South
African Town (1st Touchstone ed.). ISBN 0-671-73288-9.
Stengel, Richard (2000). You're Too Kind: A Brief History of Flattery.
London: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-85491-0.
Mandela, Nelson (2009). Long Walk to Freedom: The
Nelson Mandela ([New edition]. ed.). London: Abacus.
Stengel, Richard (2009). Mandela's Way: Fifteen Lessons on Life, Love,
and Courage (1st ed.). New York: Crown Publishers.
Official biography from Time Inc.
Appearances on C-SPAN
Richard Stengel on Charlie Rose
Richard Stengel on IMDb
Works by or about
Richard Stengel in libraries (
Managing Editor of Time
Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs
Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs
Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs of
the United States
Margaret D. Tutwiler
James K. Glassman
Tara D. Sonenshine
Bruce Wharton (Acting)
Heather Nauert (Acting)
ISNI: 0000 0000 7735 4828