Press release: CNN News Anchor Jake Tapper to Keynote 2017 Philadelphia World Heritage City Celebration

Philadelphia, PA  August 11, 2017 - Jake Tapper, the highly acclaimed anchor of CNN’s Sunday morning show State of the Union and weekday show The Lead with Jake Tapper, will receive an award for Distinguished Global Journalism and keynote Philadelphia’s World Heritage City Celebration at the Crystal Tea Room on the evening of September 7, 2017.  This is the second annual celebration of Philadelphia’s having become a World Heritage City in 2015, a status that was achieved through the joint efforts of the Global Philadelphia Association and the City Administration. Philadelphia was the first city in the United States of America to receive the prestigious recognition.

            Mayor Jim Kenney, who announced the rollout of an ambitious World Heritage City Strategic Plan last year, said: “We’re glad to welcome Jake back to Philadelphia, especially on this occasion.  The World Heritage City Celebration marks another milestone in our collective effort to take advantage of the City’s new status and bring its benefits to all of our residents.”

            In addition to the award presentation and Mr. Tapper’s address, the evening will feature remarks by Mayor Kenney and Celebration Co-Chairs Ed Rendell and Julie Coker Graham, the honoring of representatives of other World Heritage Cities in attendance, a globally-inspired and entertaining program, and a report on the Plan.  Attendees will also have an opportunity to “meet” Caleb and Olivia, the stars of a new World Heritage City Coloring Book that has been designed to bring heritage to the children of Greater Philadelphia.

            Mr. Tapper is the recipient of numerous awards for his fearless and even-handed news reporting and the author of a best-selling account of the war in Afghanistan, The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor. He has been described as an “equal opportunity skeptic”, someone who has been “willing to take on politicians from both sides of the aisle”, and a journalist who has a “tenacious commitment to sorting fact from fiction”.

            John F. Smith, the Global Philadelphia Association’s Board Chair, said: “This award is particularly appropriate for Mr. Tapper.  We need credible sources of information and thoughtful viewpoints more than ever before, for the sake of both our democracy and the example we present to the world.  The Philadelphia World Heritage City Project promotes the recognition that this country is not disengaging from the world and that Philadelphia is and will remain globally connected.”

            The Association’s Executive Director, Zabeth Teelucksingh, added: “The World Heritage designation gives us new ways to think about Philadelphia as part of a Global Heritage and not just a national identity.”

            The annual World Heritage City Celebration has become a major event in the life of the City of Philadelphia.  It coincides with Solidarity Day of the World Heritage Cities, a date that is simultaneously celebrated each year by some 270 comparably-recognized cities across the world.  Last year, in September of 2016, over 450 citizens gathered to celebrate the achievement.  Chris Matthews was the headliner of the event and spoke before a packed room.

            This year, the Honorary Co-Chairs include Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.; Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf; former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge; Mayor Kenney; and former Mayor Michael Nutter.  Representatives of other World Heritage Cities will be in attendance, including Lee Minaidis, the Deputy Secretary General of the Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC) and former Deputy Mayor of the City of Rhodes, Greece.    

            For information on the Celebration and sponsorship opportunities, and to order tickets online, log onto contact Melissa Stevens, World Heritage Coordinator at [email protected]or by calling her at 215-563-2482.


About the Global Philadelphia Association

            The Global Philadelphia Association (GPA) is a tax-exempt, nonprofit, and nonpartisan organization composed of over 200 organizations, institutions, universities, and other international stakeholders in Greater Philadelphia.  Its mission is to assist – and encourage greater interaction among – the many organizations and people who are engaged in international activity within the Greater Philadelphia region; promote the development of an international consciousness within the region; and enhance the region’s global profile.  Together with the City of Philadelphia, it founded the Philadelphia World Heritage City Project in 2012.  The Project is committed to

Further information can be obtained from Zabeth Teelucksingh, Executive Director, at [email protected]or by calling 215-563-2482.