2014 Keynote: Josh Levs
Josh Levs is known to millions for his work on TV, radio, and online. He spent 10 years reporting for NPR before moving over to CNN, where he has reported on air and online. His work covering the world’s biggest stories has garnered top honors in the industry, including six Peabody Awards, two Edward R. Murrow Awards, and awards from duPont-Columbia, the National Association of Black Journalists, and more.
On CNN, Josh has been called “Truth Seeker in Chief,”“Mr. Reality,” “The Explainer,” and “Senior Everything Correspondent.” He writes many of the top stories for CNN.com that reach tens of millions of people across digital platforms.
An expert in harnessing new technologies, Josh pioneered use of social media in reporting. PBS named him “one of the most social media-savvy” broadcast journalists. An article about Josh in Modern Luxury called him “Josh of All Trades.” Mediabistro’s Fishbowl said his talents “are a kind upon which (CNN) could build a whole new foundation.”
Josh is also known as a dad and a voice for fathers across the country. As a reporter and columnist, he covers the new era of fatherhood like no one else. He has gathered groups for the most open, respectful, and real conversations dads have ever had in TV news. (See some here and here.) He digs into all sorts of studies and learns the facts to gain a deep, detailed understanding of how the changes in this new era affect everyone — moms, kids, corporate America, and the nation as a whole. He also helps fight against stereotypes of dads in the media.
He serves as CNN’s dad columnist for the website’s Parenting section. Throughout 2013, Josh has been resident dad for HLN’s television program Raising America, offering an often lighthearted look at the changing roles of dads.
The father of three also opens up about his own experiences, including delivering his second child in an emergency. The boy wasn’t breathing at first — a story Josh shared both on air and online.
Now, Josh himself is in the news, being hailed for working to advance the cause of dads and moms in the workplace. He filed an EEOC charge against Time Warner for refusing him and other biological fathers the same benefit — 10 weeks off with pay — given to women and men who adopt or have children through surrogacy when they’re needed for primary caregiving.
Josh’s impassioned announcement of his decision went viral. The story was on the cover page of the New York Times business section and covered by all sorts of news agencies including NBC’s Today show, the Huffington Post and ABC.com. Inc.com named his situation the number two “top HR fail” of 2013, right between Yahoo and Lady Gaga.
His move has drawn widespread support, including from such groups as Lean In, founded by Sheryl Sandberg, which called his post “a must-read,“ and The Shriver Report, founded by Maria Shriver, which thanked him for “standing up for the new American family.” The National Fatherhood Initiative issued a lengthy statement praising Josh for “leading the charge.” FathersWorkandFamily.com said his “public stand may help encourage needed change.” Redbook called him “an inspiration.” His Facebook and Twitter pages have been filled with messages of support.
As a traveling speaker, Josh tells his own story of creating his career, including his own on-air roles for NPR and CNN. He also created his own marriage proposal planning agency, Magic Proposals. His TEDx Talk, “Breaking the System to Achieve the Impossible,” garnered phenomenal responses.
Josh is represented by three of the most prestigious speaker bureaus: Leading Authorities, The Harry Walker Agency, and American Program Bureau. A native of Albany, New York, with a B.A. from Yale, Josh lives in Atlanta with his wife and children.