August 14, 2017
For the second time since Philadelphia became the first World Heritage City in the United States, local leaders will gather next month to celebrate the recognition in solidarity with representatives from 270 other cities that share the distinction worldwide.
The keynote speaker for this year's event, scheduled for Sept. 7 at the Crystal Tea Room in Center City, will be CNN's anchor Jake Tapper, who spent most of his youth in Philadelphia.
The host of "State of the Union" and "The Lead with Jake Tapper" will receive an award for Distinguished Global Journalism and deliver an address to mark the importance of Philadelphia's status on the world stage.
“We’re glad to welcome Jake back to Philadelphia, especially on this occasion," said Mayor Jim Kenney. "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.”
Tapper and Kenney will be joined by former Gov. Ed Rendell and Julie Coker Graham, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, in delivering remarks to an audience comprising representatives from other World Heritage Cities.
The Organization of World Heritage Cities is a Quebec-based non-profit whose mission is to promote economic, managerial and cultural cooperation among member cities. Last year's inaugural ceremony in Philadelphia was keynoted by MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews, a Philadelphia native.
Tapper, the bestselling author of "The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor," announced earlier this year that he will publish his debut novel, "The Hellfire Club," in 2018.
"This award is particularly appropriate for Mr. Tapper," said Global Philadelphia Association board chair John F. Smith. "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.”