Matthew Philips

Stories by Matthew Philips

  • MIDEAST RELATIONS: After His Son's Death, A New Life's Work

    Judea pearl, father of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, and former Pakistani diplomat Akbar Ahmed are among the winners of the inaugural Purpose Prize, an award created by think tank Civic Ventures to honor seniors who take on "society's biggest challenges." For the last two years, Pearl, 70, and Ahmed, 63, have done just that, engaging in a traveling dialogue where, in front of interfaith audiences around the world, the two men sit on a bare stage and discuss conflict in the Middle East and ways to improve Jewish-Muslim relations.For Pearl, the discussions carry a deeply personal undertone. While on assignment in Pakistan in 2002, his son was abducted by Islamic extremists, who later videotaped his brutal beheading. Transforming his grief into resolve, Pearl and his wife, Ruth--herself an Iraqi Jew--channeled their son's optimism and good will into the Daniel Pearl Foundation, which they run mostly from their son's childhood bedroom in their Encino, Calif., home,...
  • Tragedy and Opportunity

    Sitting at their kitchen table on a recent summer afternoon, Ruth and Judea Pearl think back to another day four and a half years ago when an FBI agent sat across from them with tears in her eyes. It was Feb. 21, 2002, and their only son, journalist Daniel Pearl, had been missing for 28 days, abducted by Islamic extremists while on assignment for The Wall Street Journal in Pakistan. After weeks of uncertainty and false reports, there was now terrible confirmation: a video of Danny being beheaded. Among his last words was the statement, “My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, I am Jewish.”Those words marked the end of Daniel Pearl’s life and the start of a new one for his parents. Through the Daniel Pearl Foundation, which they run mostly out of Danny’s childhood bedroom in their home in Encino, Calif., the Pearls bring Muslim journalists from around the world to work as fellows in U.S. newsrooms and at Jewish papers. As a tribute to Danny’s musical talents—he was an accomplished...
  • Radical Exec

    In 2003, Duke Energy asked its former president, Paul Anderson, to come out of retirement to help lead the Fortune 500 company out of the post-Enron ditch that much of the energy industry had fallen into. Anderson had been gone since 1998, when he left Duke for Australia to run one of the world's largest mining companies, BHP Billiton. There, Anderson got to know Tim Flannery, a research scientist at the Australian Museum in Sydney. Though they made for strange bedfellows, the two forged a unique relationship based on a common belief: reducing carbon emissions is the major challenge facing mankind.Before stepping down in April as CEO, Anderson helped Duke regain its financial footing. Now, as chair of Duke, Anderson has begun turning his attention toward issues of climate change. To the surprise of environmentalists and energy industry insiders alike, Anderson's forward to Flannery's 2005 book, "The Weather Makers," made an impassioned call for immediate action, lest we face...