Tom Squitieri

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Tom Squitieri
Squitieri Tom.jpg
Squitieri in 2012
Born (1953-08-25) August 25, 1953 (age 62)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Alma mater Washington & Jefferson College
Occupation Journalist; educator, public speaker, author, news show guest

Tom Squitieri (born August 25, 1953) is an American journalist, public speaker, educator, author and a regular guest on U.S. national news network and cable shows including CNN[1] and MSNBC.[2]


Squitieri was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and raised in the Allegheny River mill town of Lower Burrell. In high school, he was active in the creation, publication and distribution of a student underground newspaper[citation needed] that led him to be hired as a news assistant at his hometown newspaper, the Valley News Dispatch, when he graduated from high school in 1971.

He attended Washington & Jefferson College, earning a degree in political science in 1975. While attending school, he worked as a reporter at the Observer–Reporter. .[citation needed]

Early newspaper career[edit]

After college, Squitieri went to work full-time as a general assignment reporter, county government and political reporter at the Valley News Dispatch, in the Alle-Kiski valley northeast of Pittsburgh. He was promoted to Westmoreland County Bureau chief in 1977, expanding his work into political and government coverage. In February 1979, Squitieri was hired by Thomson Newspapers as a reporter in the Washington bureau. His beat focused on Southern economic and political issues. He also covered the first of many national political conventions in 1980.[citation needed]

He was hired by The Sun in October 1981 as its Washington-based correspondent. He was responsible for developing national and regional stories from Capitol Hill and the White House; coverage of national politics and foreign affairs, including national political campaigns and assignments in Lebanon, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras,[3] Costa Rica, Cyprus and Thailand. He covered a wide variety of national political figures, including Edward Kennedy, Tip O’Neill, John Kerry,[4] Paul Tsongas, Edward Markey, Barney Frank, Silvio Conte and Michael Dukakis.

During his tenure at The Sun, he was elected four times as secretary of the National Press Club, once as vice president and once as treasurer. He also won first place in the Overseas Press Club Madeline Dane Ross award for a series of stories on Cambodian refugees living in Thai refugee camps who had relatives in Lowell.[citation needed]

From October 1986 to August 1989, he wrote a monthly political column for the Boston Business Journal.

In October 1987, he became the Washington-based correspondent for The Boston Herald, responsible for economic and political stories, coverage of the Massachusetts congressional delegation, the 1988 presidential campaign, and foreign affairs, including assignments to Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Mexico, and Costa Rica.

USA Today[edit]

Squitieri joined USA Today[5] as a national correspondent in September 1989, focusing first on breaking news stories, national crime issues and news-features, including the disappearance of Chandra Levy.

Squitieri later[6] expanded into a return to foreign correspondence and a focus on military, defense and intelligence issues; foreign affairs; and national politics.

After the September 11, 2001 attacks,[7][8] he reported from the Pentagon[9] as well as Iraq,[10] Uzbekistan, Afghanistan,[11] Turkey and Italy. Other experience included presidential and congressional campaigns in 2000[12] and 1996, Capitol Hill, various Bill Clinton and political scandals, crime, drugs, arms smuggling and lead reporting on breaking news stories. Foreign assignments include an array of conflicts around the world, including the 1989 Panama invasion, Haiti (1991–1997), Northern Ireland, 1991 Gulf War (Iran, Iraq, Turkey), Moldova (1992), former Yugoslavia (1992–1996), Burundi and Rwanda[13] (1993–1994), Central Asia and Afghanistan[14][15] ] (2001–2003), Iraq[16] (2003–2004).

He was wounded in Bosnia on March 5, 1993 when the truck he was in was blown up by a rocket-propelled grenade and he had to carry the unconscious driver through gunfire to safety.[citation needed] He was also beaten by a mob,[17] shot at and missed and almost killed in Haiti [18] on Sept. 30, 1994.

During this time he expanded his appearances on national network and cable news shows, including stints on NBC “Today Show,” CBS News’ Face The Nation,[19] MSNBC[20](including being a guest host), Fox, CNBC, Court Television, WJLA, WUSA, C-SPAN,[21] PBS, CTV, CBC, Extra, BBC, and TF1.

While at USA Today, Squitieri won three White House Correspondents’ Association awards, the only reporter ever to win three in a row.[citation needed] He also won two citations from the Overseas Press Club. In 2003, he was the featured speaker at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania commencement.[22]

Squitieri was forced to resign from USA Today[23] in May 2005 after a dispute over attribution of quotes[24] he reported in a story revealing Pentagon failures to properly up-armor vehicles in Iraq.

Further career[edit]

Squitieri was elected to the Board of Governors of the Overseas Press Club of America in August 2011.[25] He serves on the club’s Freedom of Press Committee and has served as a judge for the club's annual awards.[26]

He has continued a varied freelance portfolio including columns for the Foreign Policy Association,[27] The Hill[28] and The Huffington Post,[29][30][31] articles for Newsmax magazine[32][33] ] and CD publications, and op-eds for The Miami Herald international edition.

Communications and teaching[edit]

Squitieri was hired by Dittus Communications in May 2005 as a senior media advisor, to work across the firm’s client base as a writer and content creator. He also worked on specific client portfolios and developed a media training program for the company. In 2007, he won a Communicator Award of Distinction. Squitieri launched TS Navigations LLC in August 2007, with the goal of capturing ideas and crafting them into smart, creative, compelling prose.

Squitieri was hired by Qorvis Communications, a Washington, D.C.-based public affairs firm, in September 2011, where he is a managing director.


  • 1986 Overseas Press Club Madeline Dane Ross Award.
  • 1987 New England/Associated Press feature writing.
  • 1991 Overseas Press Club citation, coverage of Haiti.
  • 1991 White House Correspondents Association Raymond Clapper Award, coverage of Haiti.
  • 1992 White House Correspondents Association Barnet Nover Award, coverage of Bosnia.
  • 1993 Overseas Press Club citation, coverage of Burundi, Haiti and Bosnia.
  • 1993 White House Correspondents Association Raymond Clapper Award, coverage of Burundi, Haiti and Bosnia.
  • 2007 Communicator Awards, "Award of Distinction," for client book From Weapons To Wetlands.


  1. ^ CNN "USA Today reporter discusses Condit-Levy relationship" Check |url= scheme (help). CNN. July 5, 2001. 
  2. ^ "Countdown with Keith Olbermann". MSNBC. Dec 14, 2004. 
  3. ^ "Covering Civil War in Latin America". Newseum. May 16, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Countdown with Keith Olbermann". MSNBC/Keith Olbermann. Sep 20, 2004. 
  5. ^ "Tom Squitieri bio". USA Today. March 5, 1999. 
  6. ^ "Tom Squitieri on Getting Wounded in War". Newseum. 
  7. ^ Squitieri, Tom (May 5, 2002). "Cyberspace full of terror targets". USA Today. 
  8. ^ Squitieri, Tom (April 18, 2004). "NORAD had drills of jets as weapons". USA Today. 
  9. ^ Squitieri, Tom (Oct 27, 2003). "Nation's back off on sending troops to Iraq". USA Today. 
  10. ^ Squitieri, Tom (July 22, 2004). "Army: Much higher estimates of abuse in Iraq, Afghanistan". USA Today. 
  11. ^ "Covering War in the first Gulf War". Newseum. May 16, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Tom Squitieri at the 2000 Republican National Convention". Getty Images. 
  13. ^ "Africa – Continent in Need of Coverage". Newseum. 
  14. ^ "Back From The Front: Journalists Report on Their Experiences in Afghanistan". Brookings Institution. 
  15. ^ "Countdown with Keith Olbermann". MSNBC. July 23, 2004. 
  16. ^ Squitieri, Tom (April 1, 2004). "Role of security companies likely to become more visible". USA Today. 
  17. ^ "Nearly killed in Haiti". Newseum. 
  18. ^ "War reporter recalls 'worst moment of my life' covering fighting in Haiti". Sept. 27, 2001. Newseum. 
  19. ^ "Face The Nation". CBS News. July 29, 2001. 
  20. ^ "Countdown with Keith Olbermann". MSNBC. July 14, 2004. 
  21. ^ Appearances on C-SPAN
  22. ^ "Graduation Ceremony Finalized, USA Today journalist to speak". Newspaper Archive. 
  23. ^ "USA Tomorrow". American Journalism Review. August–September 2005. 
  24. ^ "Food for thought on Squitieri firing". A Capital Idea. 
  25. ^ "Tom Squitieri, Active Board". Overseas Press Club of America. 
  26. ^ "Award Sponsors and Judges". Overseas Press Club of America. 
  27. ^ Squitieri, Tom. "Tom Squitieri archive". Foreign Policy Association. 
  28. ^ Squitieri, Tom. "On an island far, far away..". The Hill. 
  29. ^ Squitieri, Tom (Oct 5, 2011). "A very fine house". The Huffington Post. 
  30. ^ Squitieri, Tom (Oct 2, 2011). "A Lighter Shade of Gray". The Huffington Post. 
  31. ^ Squitieri, Tom (Sep 21, 2011). "It's not the same old story". The Huffington Post. 
  32. ^ Squitieri, Tom. "A Godsend to the GOP". Newsmax. 
  33. ^ Squitieri, Tom (May 14, 2010). "Palin Says a New 'Emerging Feminist Coalition' Will Change the nation". Newsmax.