Jon Sawyer is director of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, a non-profit organization that funds independent reporting with the intent of raising the standard of media coverage of global affairs. Sawyer became the center’s founding director earlier this year, after a 31-year career with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Sawyer was the Post-Dispatch Washington bureau chief from 1993 through 2005. His assignments have taken him to some five dozen countries, with special projects ranging from southern Africa, Cuba and Haiti to Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and China. Since 2001 Sawyer has focused much of his reporting on the Middle East and predominantly Muslim countries. In 2003 he made a five-nation tour through the Middle East just before the Iraq war and to Iran just after. He reported from Afghanistan in 2004 and from Beirut and England last fall as part of a project on Muslim communities in the United States and abroad. He recently returned from a three-week reporting trip in Sudan, including Darfur, for the public-television program Foreign Exchange.
Sawyer was selected three years in a row for the National Press Club’s award for best foreign reporting. His work has been honored by the Overseas Press Club, the Inter-American Press Association and the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
He received a B.A. degree from Yale University in 1974, majoring in English literature and history, and has held journalism fellowships at Princeton and Harvard Universities. Sawyer was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He attended public schools there and is a graduate of the Phillips Exeter Academy. He and his wife, children’s book author Kem Knapp Sawyer, have three daughters.
Our Choice, Too, On the Edge in Darfur