Alumnus taking position that combines journalism and academia

John Sullivan ’93, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, is taking a position with American University and the Washington Post that will combine investigative reporting with graduate-level journalism training.

John Sullivan ’93
John Sullivan ’93

Sullivan was part of the Philadelphia Inquirer team that won the 2012 Pultizer Prize for public service reporting. In July 2011 Sullivan joined the faculty at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He’s the assistant director of Medill Watchdog, an initiative where students write public interest news stories.

His new role will involve both working with the Post’investigative reporting team and an Investigative Reporting practicum at American.

Sullivan majored in politics and philosophy and minored in classics, and earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri.

After graduating, he got a job at the News and Observer in Raleigh, N.C. After that, he moved to the Inquirer, where he served as an embedded reporter in Iraq, covered Gov. Ed Rendell and Philadelphia’s city government, and wrote for the paper’s science desk.

In 2009 articles he and two others wrote about how the Bush administration’s political interests made the Environmental Protection Agency less effective were finalists for a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. He also was on a team that won the 2007 Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism for stories about the Philadelphia Department of Human Services that resulted in a major restructuring of the department and, Sullivan believes, likely saved the lives of some children.