Joe Stephens is the founding director of the Program in Journalism and a Ferris Professor of Journalism in Residence. A veteran investigative reporter, he is a three-time winner of the George Polk Award and a three-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
Stephens is a former staff writer for The Washington Post, where he joined the investigative projects team in 1999. He has written extensively on presidential politics, political corruption, the war against terrorism, Afghan reconstruction, the federal judiciary, and drug experiments conducted on children in the developing world.
He has reported and lectured in Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and across the U.S. His stories have led to Congressional hearings, national legislative reforms, criminal convictions, and millions of dollars in fines.
Stephens was a member of the Washington Post staff that won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 2002 for team coverage of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. He has won more than a dozen other national honors, including top awards from the Overseas Press Club, the Gerald Loeb Foundation, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Scripps Howard Foundation, Investigative Reporters and Editors, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
He has been a finalist on multiple occasions for Harvard’s Goldsmith Prize, the Gerald Loeb award for financial reporting, and the Investigative Reporters and Editors award. Stephens has judged many major contests, and served on Pulitzer Prize juries in 2019 (Criticism) and 2020 (Investigative Reporting). He serves on the board of the Fund for Investigative Journalism.
Since 2014, Stephens has produced and moderated the University’s Newsmaker Dinner series, a public affairs discussion group (formerly known as the Walter Lord Society). In 2016, he was named Faculty in Residence at Mathey College.