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Pulitzer Center Update August 5, 2018

Indira Lakshmanan Joins Pulitzer Center as Executive Editor

Pulitzer Center Executive Editor Indira Lakshmanan
Pulitzer Center Executive Editor Indira Lakshmanan

The Pulitzer Center is pleased to announce the appointment of Indira Lakshmanan as executive editor.

Currently the Newmark chair in journalism ethics at the Poynter Institute and a Boston Globe columnist, Lakshmanan began her career on the foreign desk at NPR and as a freelance reporter in Latin America, and has covered coups, campaigns, and revolutions in 80 countries, for the The Boston Globe, Bloomberg, The International New York Times, and others.

Jon Sawyer, the Pulitzer Center's founder and executive director, called Lakshmanan's appointment a signal of the Center's commitment to be a permanent presence in American journalism and education, addressing the deep divides that threaten our future well-being and democracy itself.

"We are honored that Indira is joining the Center," Sawyer said. "She is a proven leader, a compelling voice both for the maintenance of essential journalism standards and for engagement with the global issues that affect us all. My colleagues and I are eager to work with her to expand our reach."

"I am thrilled to join the amazing team at the Pulitzer Center who make possible the highest quality reporting on global affairs in U.S. media outlets," Lakshmanan said.

"I've watched in dismay as shrinking revenue in the news industry forced news outlets to shut bureaus and put international coverage on the chopping block, depriving journalists of opportunities and American audiences of important perspectives from around the world," she said. "I passionately believe in the Pulitzer Center's mission to find the best reporters and resources for stories that would otherwise go untold—and to share them with students and engaged citizens.

"Helping news consumers understand the interconnectedness of our world is more important than ever," she said. "At an incredibly difficult time in our industry, the Pulitzer Center makes that best kind of journalism a reality."

Lakshmanan covered foreign policy and politics for Bloomberg for eight years, and has been a columnist for The Boston Globe since 2016. She also wrote a "Letter from Washington" column for the international edition of The New York Times, and has contributed to PBS Newshour and Politico Magazine. She has guest-hosted national public radio programs including "1A," "The Diane Rehm Show," "Here and Now," "On Point," "Weekend Edition," and "The Takeaway," and is a frequent TV contributor. 

Lakshmanan spent a dozen years as an international correspondent for The Boston Globe from the Balkans and Latin America to Afghanistan and China. She covered the Bosnian War and the fall of the Taliban, and interviewed and profiled leaders including Benazir Bhutto, Fidel Castro, and Hugo Chavez. She embedded with sea pirates in the Philippines, Maoist rebels in Nepal, and Khmer Rouge holdouts in Cambodia. Her reporting exposed child labor in Bolivia, illegal logging in Brazil, corruption in China; it helped end the incarceration of innocent children in Nepal.

At Poynter, Lakshmanan spurred thought leadership on restoring trust in journalism across the political spectrum through transparency and accountability. She commissioned the Poynter Media Trust Surveys, and convened leading journalists and media critics to discuss truth-telling and trust at a time when the White House is trying to discredit the press.

Indira graduated from Harvard University and did graduate studies at Oxford University. Her awards include a Nieman journalism fellowship. She and her husband, photojournalist Dermot Tatlow, have two sons.

About the Pulitzer Center:

The Pulitzer Center, founded in 2006 and based in Washington, DC, has become a major source of support for enterprise reporting on global issues—and an innovative leader in working with schools and universities to bring those issues into classrooms everywhere.

The Center now supports over 150 reporting projects a year. Its work with PBS NewsHour won both a Peabody, for a series on Putin's Russia, and three national Emmys, for work on HIV/AIDS and child labor in artisanal gold mines. The Center's projects have been among the winners each of the past three years at the RFK Awards and the Overseas Press Club; the Center itself has been recognized for best online reporting by the National Press Foundation, the National Press Club, and the Society of Professional Journalists.

Its current projects include "Losing Earth," a 30,000-word report on climate change for The New York Times Magazine that was the newspaper's most-viewed article for three days in a row this past week, and "Contested Lands," a full issue of Pacific Standard produced in collaboration with six Magnum photographers on land-rights issues faced by indigenous women across the globe.

The Pulitzer Center's educational network now numbers three dozen colleges and universities and several hundred secondary and middle schools across the country. The Center organizes nearly 700 events a year, bringing its journalism and issues into classrooms and other public venues; it also sponsors international reporting fellowships for students attending its Campus Consortium member schools.

The Center's emergence as a leader in the hybrid journalism/education space has depended on support from a wide array of foundations and individual contributors. Among the major current donors are the MacArthur Foundation, Omidyar Network, Humanity United, Henry Luce Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Art for Justice Fund, Green Cross Switzerland, and Foundation for a Just Society.

For more information contact Jeff Barrus, director of communications ([email protected], 202-460-4710).