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Ray Suarez
Ray Suarez has more than thirty years of varied experience in the news business. He currently hosts the weekly politics program “Destination Casa Blanca” for the Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network, HITN TV, and the monthly radio program “America Abroad” for Public Radio International.

Suarez is also a Washington-based Senior Correspondent for the PBS newscast "The NewsHour." Before joining "The NewsHour," he was at National Public Radio where he had been host of the nationwide, call-in news program "Talk of the Nation" since 1993. Prior to that, he spent seven years covering local, national, and international stories for the NBC-owned station, WMAQ-TV in Chicago.

He is the author most recently of a book examining the tightening relationship between religion and politics in America, The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America. Suarez also wrote The Old Neighborhood: What We Lost in the Great Suburban Migration (Free Press), and has contributed to several other books, including What We See (New Village Press, 2010), How I Learned English (National Geographic, 2007), Brooklyn: A State of Mind (Workman, 2001), Local Heroes (Norton, 2000), Saving America's Treasures (National Geographic, 2000), and Las Christmas (Knopf, 1998).

Earlier in his career, Suarez was a Los Angeles correspondent for CNN, a producer for the ABC Radio Network in New York, a reporter for CBS Radio in Rome, and a reporter for various American and British news services in London. Over the years he has narrated, anchored or reported many documentaries for public radio and television including the nationally-broadcast Anatomy of a Pandemic (2009, PBS) and Jerusalem: The Center of the World (2009, PBS), a weekly series, Follow the Money (1997, PBS), and programs including Yesterday (2006, WETA) Who Speaks for Islam? (LinkTV, 2005, 2009) By The People (PBS, 2004-07), The Journey Home (2004, WETA) The Execution Tapes (2001, Public Radio) and Through Our Own Eyes (2000, KQED). He is the host of the monthly foreign affairs program America Abroad, heard on Public Radio International stations nationwide, and around the world on NPR Worldwide. He also hosts the weekly program on Latino politics, Destination Casa Blanca for HITN-TV.

Suarez was a co-recipient of NPR's 1993-94 and 1994-95 duPont-Columbia Silver Baton Awards for on-site coverage of the first all-race elections in South Africa and the first 100 days of the 104th Congress, respectively. He was honored with the 1996 Ruben Salazar Award from the National Council of La Raza, and the 2005 Distinguished Policy Leadership Award from UCLA's School of Public Policy. The Holy Vote won a 2007 Latino Book Award for Best Religion Book.

Suarez holds a B.A. in African History from New York University and an M.A. in the Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. He has been awarded honorary doctorates by many colleges and universities, most recently by Lewis and Clark College in Oregon. He is a winner of the Benton Fellowship in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Chicago. He has also been honored with a Distinguished Alumnus Award from NYU, and a Professional Achievement Award from the University of Chicago.
A Life Member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Suarez was a founding member of the Chicago Association of Hispanic Journalists. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and three children.

Blog Entries by Ray Suarez

Do Digital Medical Records Exacerbate Inequalities?

Posted July 28, 2011 | 07/28/11 05:56 PM ET

So you're at the doctor. A nurse takes a history and some vital measurements. Heart rate is checked. Perhaps an EKG checks the electrical activity of your heart. You give a vial of blood, so it's typed, checked for cholesterol and sugars (and if you're a man, prostate specific antigen,...

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Brother, Can You Spare a Trillion?

Posted July 19, 2011 | 07/19/11 06:15 PM ET

Any day now. Maybe next week. Soon. Eventually. It is reasonable to expect, let's say, that Congress will figure out how to borrow money to pay the bills it has already agreed to incur.

It is more than reasonable to want the federal government to spend something closer to...

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War Without End. Amen?

Posted July 11, 2011 | 07/11/11 04:44 PM ET

Almost ten years ago, a small American-led force overthrew the Taliban government of Afghanistan. The invasion had been fast, that Afghan government had been weak, and you could have been tempted in 2002 -- before the ashes in lower Manhattan had cooled or the Pentagon had been rebuilt -- to...

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Obama, Puerto Rico, and Puerto Ricans

Posted June 28, 2011 | 06/28/11 04:10 PM ET

Few political columnists in the United States are Puerto Rican. Few political columnists in the United States follow the twists and turns in the debates over the island's status closely, if at all.

Yet, as the President boarded Air Force One for a five-hour visit to La Isla...

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30 Years of Living (and Dying) With HIV/AIDS

Posted June 15, 2011 | 06/15/11 06:50 PM ET

I was working in New York when the first headlines began to appear in newspapers. The New York Times headline was like many that appeared in 1981: "RARE CANCER SEEN IN 41 HOMOSEXUALS."

The outstanding medical journalist, Dr. Lawrence Altman wrote, "The cause of the...

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Are Latinos Part of the Great American Culture Wars?

Posted June 6, 2011 | 06/06/11 04:44 PM ET

For decades, Latinos have been portrayed as "Republicans in training" by hopeful GOP operatives. After all, we were told, they are Roman Catholic, family-oriented, oppose gay rights and abortion. Not so fast, said Democrats. Because they tend to be poorer, younger, less educated, and highly reliant on public services, the...

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Better, But Not Even Close to Enough

Posted May 24, 2011 | 05/24/11 11:35 AM ET

It's easy to find educators, politicians, and parents bemoaning the state of American education. It's a reliable applause line at political rallies, and unchallenged in newspaper editorial pages: American schools stink.

Except they don't. Not really. Schools all over the country are turning out students who work hard, take challenging...

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America and the Americas

Posted May 16, 2011 | 05/16/11 12:44 PM ET

During the Bad Old Days of the Cold War, a Latin American country had a few options: you could go it alone, cozy up to Washington, or get friendly with Moscow. All three choices had their problems. The world has transformed over the last 25 years. The Cold War is...

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The Border and the War on Terror

Posted May 9, 2011 | 05/09/11 04:49 PM ET

Mexico's descent into something like open war over the drug business has created anxiety in the American states closest to the border. If you believe the FBI's annual crime statistics, the big cities on or near that 1400-mile frontier -- San Diego, Phoenix, El Paso -- are among...

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The Environment Moves From Necessity to Luxury

Posted May 3, 2011 | 05/03/11 04:41 PM ET

You had to read past the jump from the front page to the inside of the paper to find some of the more obscure points in the budget-cutting deal that avoided a government shutdown a few weeks ago. For those of you who never handle newspapers, I guess you had...

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Can We Please Have an Adult Conversation About Money?

Posted April 26, 2011 | 04/26/11 05:50 PM ET

You'll have to forgive me if you think I'm oversimplifying. Let me lay out the money situation for the United States:

1) The government spends a lot of money on a lot of things... every dollar backed by a spending priority articulated by the executive branch or the Congress.


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The Coming War Over Social Security

Posted April 21, 2011 | 04/21/11 12:47 PM ET

As the Congress and the White House try to come to terms on bringing what the federal government spends and what it collects closer to each other, listen for loose talk. There's bound to be plenty of it on all sides of the debate.

This year, the government of the...

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Prioritizing the Federal Budget

Posted April 6, 2011 | 04/06/11 02:16 PM ET

It's one of the most important jobs of the Congress and the president: come up with a plan for financing the operations of government. The administration and the Hill have to figure out how to raise the money -- who to tax and how much -- then spend it.


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The Coming Latino Weight Boom

Posted March 27, 2011 | 03/27/11 12:16 PM ET

If we consulted the health statistics kept by the rich countries club, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, the OECD, we might not be too surprised to find that the United States has the highest rate of obesity, at 30.6 percent. What country, would you guess, is number two?...

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A Long Road to Recovery

Posted March 15, 2011 | 03/15/11 01:34 PM ET

Secretaries of Labor are often unstoppable cheerleaders for the job market, seeing blue skies ahead. Former US Representative, now cabinet secretary Hilda Solis has learned from two years on the job during tough economic times: No blue sky forecasts unless they are absolutely guaranteed. Here's what she sounds like now:...

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What We Can Lean From the Census About Redistricting

Posted February 23, 2011 | 02/23/11 12:11 PM ET

Just as the US Constitution required and Congress paid for the Bureau of the Census headed out into the country to do the hard and seemingly impossible work of counting everyone living in the country during 2010. That elusive number is a constantly moving target: People move in. They move...

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Posted February 14, 2011 | 02/14/11 09:34 AM ET

Here we go again... or do we?

You can bet interested parties on all sides of the immigration debate held their breath during the final weeks of the lame duck session of the 111th Congress. When the clock, the year, and the congress all ran out, so did what the...

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Posted February 7, 2011 | 02/07/11 09:55 AM ET

There's something about the subject of Cuba that just riles people up. So it was with anticipation and no little anxiety that I strapped myself into the anchor chair at Destination Casa Blanca to moderate a conversation on Cuba. Looking back on it, the conversation was more civil...

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112th Congress: Whaddya Expect? (VIDEO)

Posted January 25, 2011 | 01/25/11 02:00 PM ET

In last November's election, Latinos gave two out of three votes to Democratic candidates. At the same time, other Americans gave the Democrats a stinging defeat. The House shifted from a secure Democratic majority to a big Republican one. Democrats held the US Senate -- barely. State governments shifted heavily...

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The Art of the Mapmaker

Posted January 19, 2011 | 01/19/11 09:26 AM ET

In 2012 tens of millions of Americans will head to the polls, and their mailboxes, to cast votes for President, the US Congress, and thousands of state offices. Thousands of incumbents will be asking the voters to rehire them, hundreds more newcomers will be running against them, in districts shaped...

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