Joe Stephens

Founding Director, Program in Journalism; Ferris Professor of Journalism in Residence

Photo of Joe Stephens
Photo by Sameer A. Khan/Fotobuddy

(609) 258–6946


31F Joseph Henry House


Joe Stephens is the founding director of the Program in Journalism and 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 joined the Washington Post in 1999, where he was a member of the investigative projects team for nearly two decades. He has written extensively on presidential politicspolitical 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 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. Stephens was a member of The Washington Post staff in 2002, when it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting, for coverage of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

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 directed 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.

Stephens believes that the best journalism flows from research and analysis conducted before the first question is asked. He teaches core courses in investigative reporting and news literacy. He has led numerous reporting trips with students to document conditions and life stories in refugee camps and squats in Europe; journalism from those expeditions has been published around the country and abroad, including in the international edition of The New York Times.

Courses taught:

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