Steve Coll

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Steve Coll
Steve Coll, 2012
Steve Coll, 2012
Born (1958-10-08) October 8, 1958 (age 62)
Washington, D.C.
OccupationJournalist, author, business executive
Alma materOccidental College
Notable worksGhost Wars; The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century
Notable awardsPulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting (1990); Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction (2005)
SpouseEliza Griswold

Books-aj.svg aj ashton 01.svg Literature portal

Steve Coll (born October 8, 1958) is an American journalist, academic and executive. He is currently the dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where he is also the Henry R. Luce Professor of Journalism. A staff writer for The New Yorker, he served as the president and CEO of the New America think tank from 2007 to 2012.

He is the recipient of two Pulitzer Prize awards, two Overseas Press Club Awards, a PEN American Center John Kenneth Galbraith Award, an Arthur Ross Book Award, a Livingston Award, a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, a Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award, and the Lionel Gelber Prize. From 2012 to 2013, he was a voting member of the Pulitzer Prize Board before continuing to serve in an ex officio capacity as the dean of the Columbia Journalism School.

Early life and family[edit]

Steve Coll was born on October 8, 1958, in Washington, D.C. He attended Thomas S. Wootton High School in Rockville, Maryland, graduating in 1976. He moved to Los Angeles, California, and enrolled in Occidental College, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. In 1980, he graduated cum laude with majors in English and history. Coll also attended the University of Sussex during his studies.[1][2]

Coll is married to the journalist and poet Eliza Griswold.[3]



Coll (right) with Richard N. Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations

After college, Coll wrote for the Pasadena Weekly. He then wrote general-interest articles for California magazine.[4]

In 1985, he started working for The Washington Post as a general assignment feature writer for the paper's Style section. Two years later, he was promoted to serve as the financial correspondent for the newspaper, based in New York City. He and David A. Vise collaborated on a series of reports scrutinizing the Securities and Exchange Commission for which they received the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting and the Gerald Loeb Award for Large Newspapers.[5][6] In 1989, he moved to New Delhi, when he was appointed as the Post's South Asia bureau chief. He served as a foreign correspondent through 1995.[7]

Coll began working for the newspaper's Sunday magazine insert in 1995, serving as publisher of the magazine from 1996 to 1998. He was promoted to managing editor of the newspaper in 1998 and served in that capacity through 2004. He has also served as an associate editor for the newspaper from late 2004 to August 2005.

In September 2005, Coll joined the writing staff of The New Yorker. Based in Washington, D.C., he reported on foreign intelligence and national security.[8]

New America Foundation[edit]

On July 23, 2007, Coll was named as the next director of the New America Foundation, a non-profit, non-partisan think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C.[9][10] He has also contributed to the New York Review of Books, particularly about the war in Afghanistan. On June 25, 2012, Coll announced his resignation as President of the New America Foundation to pen a follow up to Ghost Wars.[11]

On October 23, 2012, Coll was elected to the Pulitzer Prize Board, administered by Columbia University.[12]

Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism[edit]

On March 18, 2013, Coll was announced to succeed Nick Lemann as the Dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, effective July 1, 2013.[2][13]

Honors and awards[edit]



  • Coll, Steve (1986). The deal of the century : the breakup of AT&T. Atheneum.
  • — (1987). The taking of Getty Oil : the full story of the most spectacular & catastrophic takeover of all time. Scribner.
  • Vise, David A. & Steve Coll (1991). Eagle on the Street : based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the SEC's battle with Wall Street. New York: Scribner's.
  • Coll, Steve (1993). On the Grand Trunk Road : a journey into South Asia. Crown Press.
  • — (2004). Ghost wars : the secret history of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden, from the Soviet invasion to September 10, 2001. Penguin.
  • — (2008). The Bin Ladens : an Arabian family in the American Century. Penguin.
  • — (2012). Private empire : ExxonMobil and American power. Penguin.
  • — (2018). Directorate S : the C.I.A. and America's secret wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, 2001–2016. Penguin.



  1. ^ Coll, Steve (June 10, 1990). "Growing Up Suburban". Washington Post Magazine.
  2. ^ a b "Steve Coll named Dean of J-School". Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Archived from the original on March 19, 2013. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
  3. ^ "Steve Coll". Columbia Journalism School. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Conversations with History" (Interview). Interviewed by Harry Kreisler. University of California, Berkeley. March 15, 2005. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  5. ^ "Historical Winners List". UCLA Anderson School of Management. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  6. ^ "Government Investment Series Wins Loeb Award". Los Angeles Times. May 2, 1995. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  7. ^ a b "The Pulitzer Prizes | Awards". Retrieved March 17, 2013.
  8. ^ "Contributors: Steve Coll". Archived from the original on March 12, 2013. Retrieved March 17, 2013.
  9. ^ Cohen, Patricia (July 23, 2007). "Journalist Chosen to Lead a Public Policy Institute". The New York Times.
  10. ^ "Steve Coll". Archived from the original on January 31, 2013. Retrieved March 17, 2013.
  11. ^ "Abiz Top 50 Business Luncheon - August 23, 2012".
  12. ^ "The Pulitzer Prizes | Journalist, playwright and regional newspaper editor named to Pulitzer Prize Board". Retrieved March 17, 2013.
  13. ^ Kaminer, Ariel (March 18, 2013). "Columbia Names New Dean for Journalism School". Retrieved March 18, 2013.
  14. ^ "Past Winners | Livingston Awards". Archived from the original on March 22, 2013. Retrieved March 17, 2013.
  15. ^ Award Name:  10 The Ed Cunningham Award. "The Ed Cunningham Award 2000 | Overseas Press Club of America". Retrieved March 17, 2013.
  16. ^ Award Name:  14 The Cornelius Ryan Award. "The Cornelius Ryan Award 2004 | Overseas Press Club of America". Retrieved March 17, 2013.
  17. ^ "The Pulitzer Prizes | Citation". March 11, 2013. Retrieved March 17, 2013.
  18. ^ "National Book Critics Circle: 2008 NBCC Finalists Announced".
  19. ^ Laurie Muchnick (November 3, 2012). "Steve Coll Wins FT/Goldman Prize for Exxon Mobil Study". Business Week. Retrieved November 4, 2012.
  20. ^ John Williams (January 14, 2012). "National Book Critics Circle Names 2012 Award Finalists". New York Times. Retrieved January 15, 2013.
  21. ^ Hillel Italie (March 14, 2018). "Zadie Smith, Anna Burns among winners of critics prizes". The Washington Post. The Associated Press. Retrieved March 15, 2019.

External links[edit]