Co-Director, Scripps in DC Semester. Scripps Howard Visiting Professional. Former Washington Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander is an award-winning journalist and news industry leader who has been a reporter, editor and Washington bureau chief during a career that spans four decades.
He has reported from more than 50 countries and won or shared in prizes for distinguished Washington correspondence and investigative journalism.
And as a strong open government advocate, he has written and spoken extensively about the public’s right to know. He helped launch the national Sunshine Week initiative, which each year focuses public attention on freedom of information and the dangers of government secrecy.
Mr. Alexander grew up in a small town in western Ohio and graduated with a journalism degree from Ohio University. He started reporting while still in college, working summers in Australia for the Melbourne Herald. Also before graduating, he spent a summer as a correspondent covering the war in Vietnam and covered the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia.
Before joining The Washington Post in early 2009, he had spent his entire career with the Cox Newspapers chain. He began at a Cox paper in Dayton, Ohio and in 1976 was transferred to the Cox Newspapers Washington Bureau, where he covered Congress and politics. After reporting from the nation’s capital and extended overseas assignments, he moved into editing roles beginning in the late 1980s, first as foreign editor and then as deputy chief in the Cox bureau.
In 1997, he was named bureau chief, overseeing a Washington staff of roughly 25 and foreign bureaus in London, Jerusalem, Beijing, Moscow, Mexico City, Baghdad and the Caribbean, as well as domestic bureaus in New York and on the West Coast. During his time as chief, the Cox Washington bureau shared in the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting.
Mr. Alexander serves on numerous boards related to journalism.
He has served on the board of the American Society of News Editors and is a former chairman and co-chairman of its Freedom of Information Committee. He also served as president of the ASNE Foundation.
He is a Senior Adviser to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, helping foreign journalists who have been subjected to attacks, arrests and harassment by repressive regimes. He chairs CPJ’s Development Committee.
And he has served on the Accrediting Committee of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.
In addition, Mr. Alexander is a member and officer of the Gridiron Club, Washington’s oldest and most prestigious organization of journalists.
He also has served on the board of the National Press Club. And he is a member of the advisory council for the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University, which has awarded him its Medal of Merit as a distinguish alumnus. In 2011, he was inducted into the Scripps College of Communication Hall of Fame, which recognizes lifetime achievement. And in the fall of 2011, he will be recognized as Ohio University’s Alumnus of the Year.
For his work on behalf of open government, Mr. Alexander in 2006 was inducted into the First Amendment Center’s National Freedom of Information Act Hall of Fame.
He is married to Beverly Jones, an attorney and consultant. They live in Washington, D.C. and Rappahannock County, Virginia.