NC Gov. Roy Cooper to Deliver Keynote at Newhouse School’s Toner Prizes Celebration on March 25 in Washington

NPR White House Correspondent Asma Khalid, who hosts “The NPR Politics Podcast,” will serve as master of ceremonies.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper will deliver the keynote address at the awards ceremony for the Toner Prizes for Excellence in Political Reporting on Monday, March 25, in Washington, D.C.

NPR White House Correspondent Asma Khalid, who hosts “The NPR Politics Podcast,” will serve as master of ceremonies.

Roy Cooper headshot
Gov. Roy Cooper

The Toner Prizes, sponsored by Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, honor the life and work of late alumna Robin Toner ’76, the first woman to be national political correspondent for The New York Times.

Cooper is in his second term as governor of what promises to be a battleground state during the 2024 presidential campaign. Among recent legislative accomplishments: Overcoming more than a decade of legislative objections to win expansion of Medicaid under the Obama-era Affordable Care Act, and winning passage of energy legislation that requires North Carolina utilities to reduce carbon emissions 70% by 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. 

Before his election as governor, Cooper served four terms as state Attorney General, where he oversaw a sharp decrease in crime. Cooper started his career in public service with terms in the North Carolina House and State Senate, where he served as majority leader. 

Past keynote speakers for the Toner Prizes Celebration include Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, then-Vice President Joe Biden, late Rep. John Lewis of Georgia and former Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.

Asma Khalid headshot
Asma Khalid

Also a contributor to ABC News, Khalid covered the Democratic presidential primary field and Joe Biden’s candidacy in 2020. She has reported on every presidential or midterm election between 2014-2020.

Prior to joining NPR’s White House team, Khalid was a national political reporter, covering campaigns, voters and demographics. She arrived at NPR in Washington in 2015 after spending time at WBUR, NPR’s station in Boston, where she covered one of the most challenging stories of her career—the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. Her reporting has been recognized with the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism, as well as by the Society of Professional Journalists and the Gracie Award.

The Toner Prizes for Excellence in Political Reporting recognize the best U.S. national or local political reporting in any medium or on any platform—print, broadcast or online. They recognize and reinforce quality, fact-based political reporting—work that illuminates the electoral process, reveals the politics of policy and engages the public in democracy.

Two prizes are awarded: One for national political reporting and one for local political reporting. Each prize carries a $5,000 honorarium.

cecile richards headshot
Cecile Richards

The Toner-Gosselin family will also recognize special guest Cecile Richards, New York Times bestselling author of “Make Trouble” and the former president of Planned Parenthood with whom Robin Toner dealt in reporting on women’s issues from Washington.

Winners will be announced at the awards celebration, which will begin at 6 p.m. on March 25. The event will take place at The Schuyler at the Hamilton Hotel, 1001 14th Street NW, Washington, D.C.

Tickets and tables may be purchased online. For information about sponsorship opportunities, contact Carol Satchwell at For information about the event, contact Amanda Griffin at