John Henry Smith | Connecticut Public Radio

John Henry Smith

Host, All Things Considered

John Henry Smith is Connecticut Public’s host of All Things Considered, its flagship afternoon new program. In his 19th year as a professional broadcaster, he’s covered both news and sports. 

Before coming to Connecticut Public, John Henry served as sports director for NBC Connecticut and as a Public Relations Specialist for Baldwin Media in New Britain.

Earlier in his career, John Henry spent a year-and-a-half as a news anchor and reporter for News 12 Networks. While there, he won a Deadline Award for his breaking news coverage of a shooting at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital. He’s also worked in various roles across the country, including as a morning show reporter and anchor for nationally broadcast Al Jazeera America in New York City, as a sports reporter in the San Francisco Bay Area for Comcast Sports Net Bay Area. 

John is a 1990 graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga. He worked as a Financial Analyst in the banking industry before getting a M.B.A. from the University of Rochester (New York) and going to work for Eli Lilly and Company. He also earned his masters degree from Syracuse University in 1999.

John was born in San Francisco, CA and raised in Detroit, Mich.  He and his wife, Belinda, have a daughter, Isabella, and a beloved cat named “Scout.” 

Chris Watt / Government of Scotland / Creative Commons

Amazon workers in the company’s Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse last week voted overwhelmingly not to join a union. This happened despite tales from inside Amazon warehouses across the country of grueling work conditions and little time for bathroom breaks.

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Now that COVID-19 vaccination shots are becoming more widely available across the country, political and business leaders have been openly discussing instituting “vaccine passports,” a digital or hard-copy document that would serve as a way for people to prove they’ve been vaccinated and thus gain entry into places where groups gather, like airplanes, restaurants and sports and entertainment venues.

Courtesy: House Dems

Connecticut lawmakers are considering two cannabis legalization bills. Gov. Ned Lamont is backing a Senate bill, which was voted out of the Judiciary Committee this week. The other is a House bill. Rep. Robyn Porter has championed that measure, which was voted through to the House for debate in late March.

Ebong Udoma / WSHU

While 2020 will be remembered for the start of the coronavirus pandemic and the world’s racial reckoning after George Floyd’s death, one thing 2021 is sure to be remembered for is the ugly rise in attacks on Asian Americans. William Tong, Connecticut’s first Asian American attorney general, joined All Things Considered to talk about how the Asian American community is processing this nationwide phenomenon. He also talked about the legal powers he’s fighting for to combat anti-Asian crimes. 

A gated mansion in Westport, where 3.4% of housing is considered affordable.
Monica Jorge / CT Mirror

The last day of March was a big day in the legislature for the future of affordable housing and desegregated neighborhoods in Connecticut. The General Assembly’s Planning and Development Committee moved forward to the House and Senate a few measures aimed at achieving more equitable housing access statewide. An organization that championed some of the measures is Desegregate CT.

Connecticut Treasurer Shawn Wooden
Chion Wolf / WNPR

According to a 2019 report by the Federal Reserve, the typical white family in America has five times the wealth of the typical Hispanic family and eight times the wealth of the typical Black family. One thing this means is that kids from these families are at a disadvantage from birth compared with kids from wealthier families.

More than 80 handguns were turned in at the 10th Annual Capital Region Gun Buyback. Officers used the back of the tags to write down information about the guns, which aren't actually loaded.
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Predictably, it’s already been suggested that the recent mass shooting in Colorado was more an issue of mental health than anything else. Kathy Flaherty of the Connecticut Legal Rights Project says that kind of thinking tends to be both a mistake and harmful to people with psychiatric disabilities. She spoke about this on Connecticut Public Radio’s All Things Considered.

Connecticut Public

The Hartford has rejected Chubb's $23 billion acquisition bid. Insurance industry expert Frederick McKinney of Quinnipiac University spoke to Connecticut Public Radio's All Things Considered about why he thinks the company made this decision, and whether the saga is really over.

Connecticut Public Radio

Insurance giant Chubb has made an unsolicited $23.24 billion offer to acquire locally based The Hartford Financial Services Group. To mull over what will and what could happen here, insurance industry expert Frederick McKinney of Quinnipiac visited with All Things Considered.

Harriet Jones / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut lawmakers passed a bill two years ago that gradually increases the state minimum wage to levels that will peak in 2023 at $15 per hour. At first glance, that seems like a win for working people. But Lauren Ruth, research and policy director with Connecticut Voices for Children, has co-authored a report that says with the state taking away key benefits at the same time, the minimum wage hike represents only a partial win for working people.

Kate Ferris-Morrell, Foodshare
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

April 1 marks one year since Gov. Ned Lamont announced the formation of the Connecticut COVID-19 Charity Connection, otherwise known as 4-CT. It was billed as an effort to fill in the gaps for those in need after charitable donations decreased due to our pandemic-ravaged economy. The announcement came this week that 4-CT Chief Executive Officer Ted Yang was stepping down. He joined All Things Considered to talk about why now was the right time to leave and about his successor, Catalina Samper Horak.

Modeling proper mask wearing: Lamont waits his turn to speak at a news conference on June 23 in Waterbury about the partial reopening of in-person DMV services.
Yehyun Kim /

As we reflect on our year of living with the coronavirus, the consensus seems to be that Gov. Ned Lamont has performed well in dealing with the pandemic. Mark Pazniokas of the Connecticut Mirror joined All Things Considered to talk about a column he wrote recently, titled Ned Lamont’s Year in the Shadow of COVID.

Ingram Publishing / Thinkstock

While humanity has made strides over the past year in slowing down the coronavirus pandemic, there’s been no such success in slowing down the “infodemic” -- the spread of misinformation and disinformation around COVID-19, the 2020 election and myriad other topics. To talk about this, Peter Adams joined Connecticut Public Radio’s All Things Considered. He’s the senior vice president of education with the News Literacy Project.

a closed sign
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Gov. Ned Lamont let it be known last week that most pandemic-induced venue capacity limits statewide would be a thing of the past as of March 19. Many are hailing this move as a harbinger of a return to normalcy after a year of dealing with the coronavirus. But not everyone is so sanguine. Nathan Grubaugh is an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health. He joined All Things Considered to talk about the Twitter thread he dropped on Thursday soon after the governor’s announcement.

Courtesy: City of New Haven

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker this week unveiled two city budget proposals: One assumes increased funding from the state and Yale. The other assumes no such additional support, instead balancing the budget with a big tax increase, layoffs and the closing of a library, firehouse and senior center. On All Things Considered, the mayor talked about how the budget pressures his city is facing has him imploring Yale and the state to help out.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Gov. Ned Lamont’s decision to move to a purely age-based schedule for COVID-19 vaccine distribution has critics wondering how equitable that is for underserved communities. Also, it's been said frequently of late that people of color aren't getting the vaccine out of fear and mistrust. To talk about these issues, Camelo Communication founder Wilson Camelo joined All Things Considered. Camelo Communication is the Hispanic marketing agency for Hartford HealthCare.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

When Gov. Ned Lamont announced he was switching to an age-based vaccine rollout plan going forward, he made a carve-out for teachers and child care workers to jump to the head of the line. They’ll be eligible to sign up for an appointment on March 1 along with folks over the age of 55.

Connie French, of Vernon, turns her head away as Community Health Centers worker Nadya Gonzalez gives her the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
Cloe Poisson /

Gov. Ned Lamont says the state is moving to an age-based vaccine rollout plan. That means essential workers and those with comorbidities are no longer next in line -- except, that is, for teachers and child care workers.

The Feb. 18 edition of Connecticut Public’s Cutline is titled Everyday White Supremacy. This hourlong special features frank discussions with thought leaders from Connecticut -- and around the country -- on the depth to which both violent and nonviolent white supremacy infect modern society, why people espouse these views and what everyone can do to make for a more equitable world.

Julianne Varacchi / Connecticut Public

John Henry Smith will host Cutline: Everyday White Supremacy, which will air on Thursday, Feb. 18, at 8 p.m. on Connecticut Public Television. This hourlong special features frank discussions with thought leaders from around Connecticut -- and the country -- on the depth to which both violent and nonviolent white supremacy infects modern society, why people espouse these views and what everyone can do to make for a more equitable world.  

Jahana Hayes speaking on WNPR's "Where We Live" after winning the National Teacher of the Year Award in 2016.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Make no mistake: Many elected officials were traumatized by the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan 6. Connecticut Congresswoman Jahana Hayes says she is still working out her own feelings. On All Things Considered, Hayes gave a thoughtful, personal response to the question of whether Jan. 6 will have a chilling effect on people wanting to run for public office.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

The U.S. House of Representatives has stripped Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) of her two committee assignments in a process initiated by Connecticut Congresswoman Jahana Hayes.

Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

The associate dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Southern Connecticut State, Jonathan Wharton, was also once a congressional staffer. In the aftermath of the invasion by pro-Trump extremists into Congress, he talked with All Things Considered host John Henry Smith about what happened in the previously hallowed hallways he once roamed, as well as what it all means going forward.

An illustration picture shows vials with COVID-19 vaccine stickers attached and syringes with the logo of U.S. biotechnology company Moderna on November 17.

As he weighs free agent offers this offseason, former Yankee Didi Gregorius is partnering with Johns Hopkins to encourage folks who have tested positive for coronavirus to enroll in a clinical trial for a new covid therapy. 

Johns Hopkins wants to see if plasma drawn from an asymptomatic COVID-19 patient and injected into someone who has tested positive within 6 days could help that newly diagnosed patient recover faster. 

Ingram Publishing / Thinkstock

Earlier this month, a cybersecurity company named SolarWinds revealed it had been hacked. And because it had been hacked, many of SolarWinds’ clients got hacked too -- including most of the federal government. Cybersecurity expert Tim Weber of Farmington-based ADNET Technologies joined All Things Considered to talk about why this hack is a big deal and what it can teach us about being safer online.

Donna Sullivan visits with her longtime partner, Walter Zbikowski, through a window at Parkway Pavilion at Enfield nursing home.
Cloe Poisson /

A Hartford architect says outdated nursing home designs probably contributed to the rampant spread of the coronavirus among nursing home communities. Myles Brown, a principal at Amenta Emma Architects, says many nursing homes statewide are decades old and were designed in a way that discourages social distancing. Though he acknowledges the cost of either retrofitting existing homes or building new ones will be high, he says the cost of doing nothing will be higher. He spoke on All Things Considered.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Now that COVID-19 vaccines are starting to roll out, will schools and workplaces require their people to be vaccinated? Is that even legal? To talk more about this, Pullman & Comley attorney Mark Sommaruga joined All Things Considered.

Richard Drew / Associated Press

Connecticut’s own William Tong is one of 48 state attorneys general suing Facebook over its alleged anti-competitive practices. What’s the harm of Facebook’s practices? And what are the chances this lawsuit will succeed? To answer those questions, we invited Bloomberg News journalist Sarah Frier to join us on All Thing Considered. She covers social media companies extensively, and she’s written a book called No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

With the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine already here in Connecticut and the Moderna version reportedly close behind, the big question now is: Will enough of us actually take the vaccine? Recently, Yale infectious diseases specialist Dr. Manisha Juthani joined All Things Considered to talk about why we should not fear taking these new COVID vaccines.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Some 31,000 doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine arrived in Connecticut Monday -- a mere nine months after America and much of the world shut down due to the pandemic. Multiple experts have told us here at Connecticut Public Radio that vaccines usually take years to develop and that a key factor in expediting the novel coronavirus vaccine has been the over 40,000 people worldwide who have volunteered for clinical trials.