David Aikman is an award-winning print and broadcast journalist, a best-selling author, and a foreign affairs commentator based in the Washington, D.C.-area. His wide-ranging professional achievements include a 23-year career at TIME Magazine with reporting spanning the globe of nearly all the major historical events of the time. Since leaving TIME, he has authored ten books. His latest, The Mirage of Peace: Understanding the Never-Ending Conflict in the Middle East (Regal 2009), released in September 2009, is a comprehensive overview of the nations and societies of the strife-torn region and the historical roots of the intransigent conflicts that have defied attempts to bring a lasting peace.
His other recent books include The Delusion of Disbelief: Why the New Atheism is a Threat to Your Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness (Tyndale, 2008), a response to the spate of atheistic best-sellers, an analytical biography of the great evangelist Billy Graham (Billy Graham: His Life and Influence, Thomas Nelson 2006), and the ground-breaking Jesus in Beijing: How Christianity is Transforming China and Changing the Global Balance of Power (Regnery, 2003). A revised and updated paperback edition was released in October 2006.
With special expertise in China, Russia, the Middle East, Mongolia and religious freedom issues worldwide, Dr. Aikman is frequently invited to deliver expert testimony at Congressional hearings and is a popular speaker at conferences, seminars, panels and to academic, church and professional groups at events all over the world.
Dr. Aikman's broadcast career includes a 1999 two-hour documentary on the Middle East peace process, "Vanishing Peace: The Aftermath of Oslo," that was aired worldwide on the BBC, and a six-part documentary based on his book Great Souls: Six Who Changed a Century, an examination of the lives of six morally exemplary figures of the 20th century: Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Billy Graham, Nelson Mandela, and Elie Wiesel.
In addition, Dr. Aikman has been a commentator on NBC, ABC, CNN, Fox News and the BBC and has also been a guest on shows on C-Span, CBN and local television and radio stations around the country. Dr. Aikman is on the editorial board of Salem Communications, one of the nation's largest radio networks, and his editorials air regularly on Christian radio stations around the United States. He has also appeared regularly since 1986 on the Voice of America's weekly news show "Issues in the News" and often is the host of the program. He is also a regular contributor to such publications as The American Spectator and The Weekly Standard.
Dr. Aikman is a regular guest on the first Thursday of each month on the American Family Radio's live news show "Today's Issues," and writes a bi-monthly column for OneNewsNow.com. He has previously been a regular columnist for Christianity Today magazine, Charisma magazine, and The Trinity Forum's online journal "Provocations."
Trained as a historian, Dr. Aikman is a professor of history at Patrick Henry College in Virginia, where he also coaches young writers. His academic career includes two decades of teaching international relations at the University of the Nations in Hawaii. Dr. Aikman also serves as a Senior Fellow for The Trinity Forum, a leadership academy that seeks to transform society by helping leaders examine issues in their personal and public lives in the context of faith.
In 1998, Dr. Aikman founded Gegrapha, an international fellowship for Christians in the mainstream media. He is now its founding chairman and a board member.
Dr. Aikman speaks six languages, including French, German, Russian and Chinese.
A graduate of Oxford University's Worcester College, Dr. Aikman holds a PhD from the University of Washington in Russian and Chinese history.
Dr. Aikman began his reporting career with TIME Magazine in 1971. In the 23 years that followed, he reported from five continents and more than 55 countries, and wrote three consecutive Man of the Year cover stories. As a TIME Magazine Senior Correspondent and foreign correspondent, he interviewed numerous major world figures, from Mother Teresa to Manuel Noriega, from Alexander Solzhenitsyn to Pham Van Dong, from Boris Yeltsin to Billy Graham. Dr. Aikman was assigned to bureaus in Hong Kong, from where he covered the entire Asian region; in Beijing, China; in Berlin, Germany, where he covered all of Eastern Europe; and in Jerusalem, Israel, where he covered the entire Middle East. He was bureau chief in Berlin, Jerusalem and Beijing before returning to the United States to cover the State Department until his departure in 1994 to devote his time to writing books.
Dr. Aikman was a Senior Fellow at the Washington-based Ethics and Public Policy Center from 1998 to 2002. During that time, he also served as editor-at-large of Newsroom, an Internet-based news organization reporting on the religious aspect of news events around the world.
Dr. Aikman has written extensively on religious persecution based on first-hand, news-breaking reporting in countries including Russia, China, Egypt, and Pakistan. His expertise in religious freedom in Asia and the Middle East goes back 25 years, with first-hand reports for Foreign Affairs, The American Spectator, The Weekly Standard, Citizen Magazine as well as several issues of TIME. His September 1997 cover story "The Laogai Archipelago" in The Weekly Standard was the most detailed journalistic account to date of China's prison and labor camp system.
In April and August 1998 and in September 1999, Dr. Aikman visited Russia and China, respectively, to investigate the status of religious freedom in both those countries. He returned to China for three months in the summer of 2002 and traveled extensively throughout the country, interviewing Chinese Christians from all walks of life and backgrounds for Jesus in Beijing: How Christianity is Transforming China and Changing the Global Balance of Power, the most comprehensive and up-to-date book-length account of the situation of Christianity in China today and the historical influences on its development.
Dr. Aikman is the author of ten published books on a wide range of topics, and the editor or co-author of four others. His 2004 biography, A Man of Faith: The Spiritual Journey of George W. Bush (W Group), was a best-seller and was translated into Chinese and published – entirely uncensored – in China. The presidential biography has also been released in Norwegian. Jesus in Beijing has been translated into several languages, including Korean and Swedish, and been published worldwide. It is considered a must-read for anyone interested in the church in China.
Dr. Aikman's extensive radio experience and television experience, in addition to the aforementioned regular appearances on VOA and Salem, include multiple guest appearances on C-Span and CNN, as well as on NBC's "Today Show," on ABC's "Nightline," and on local television and radio stations around the country, in connection with breaking world events, especially in the Middle East or in Asia, religious persecution around the world, and his books.
Dr. Aikman's wide-ranging speaking engagements have included multiple appearances at Harvard University, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and other colleges and universities across the country; to the Council on Foreign Relations, the RAND Corporation and other think tanks; and to church groups and religious conferences, especially those focused on China, Israel or the media. He was a featured speaker at the annual board meeting of the National Religious Broadcasters in 2004, a plenary speaker (along with rock star Bono) at the Senate Republican Conference annual retreat in 2002, and has been a frequent witness at Congressional hearings on China and on Christian persecution, including the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, the House International Sub-Committee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations, and Religious Freedom Day on the Hill in June 2006. He is also a regular moderator for seminars hosted by The Trinity Forum, and a popular "enrichment" lecturer on the Cunard Line of cruise ships. (To book Dr. Aikman, click here.)
September 1990-July 1994:
Summer 1993, covered Secretary of State Warren Christopher's trips to the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
Spring 1993, in Moscow, covered Russian constitutional crisis and events before April referendum; in China, reported on its emerging superpower status, students returned from the United States, and the underground church.
September 1990-1993, reported from North Africa and Middle East on Islamic fundamentalism; from Saudi Arabia on build-up to Desert Storm; and from Russia and Soviet Central Asia (the only Western reporter to cover the 1990 Tajikistan revolt) on Soviet Islam. Was the only Western reporter to interview Boris Yeltsin in Moscow, then to accompany him around the United States (1989 and 1991) and travel on his election campaign plane (June 1991).
Acting Bureau Chief in Moscow, April-May 1986, during Chernobyl nuclear disaster;
Reported three consecutive Time Man-Of-The-Year cover stories, on Deng Xiaoping (1985), Corazon Aquino (1986) and Mikhail Gorbachev (1987). Research on Gorbachev led to co-authorship of Gorbachev: An Intimate Biography (1988);
Covered Central America, including Nicaragua, in March 1987. Interviewed Sandinista leader Umberto Ortega in presence of (later identified) CIA aide.
Elected Chairman of the Foreign Press Association of Israel, 1982.
Also reported from Mongolia and wrote Time Essay in 1978 excoriating Khmer Rouge atrocities (before the Vietnamese invaded Cambodia and confirmed archeologically the Khmer Rouge record).
Reported from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos during last three years of Indochina War, then India, Burma, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. Was last Time correspondent to leave Phnom Penh, Indochina, 10 days before arrival of Khmer Rouge. Witnessed the take-over of Laos by Pathet Lao forces in August 1975. Reported arrival of first Vietnamese airlift refugees in the Philippines and Guam, April 1975.
Was one of the first Western reporters to interview Khmer Communist leader Khieu Samphan (in Sri Lanka) after reports of Khmer Rouge atrocities.