James Risen

Jim Risen, a best-selling author and former New York Times reporter, is The Intercept’s senior national security correspondent, based in Washington, D.C.  

Risen also serves as director of First Look Media’s Press Freedom Defense Fund, which is dedicated to supporting news organizations, journalists, and whistleblowers in legal fights in which a substantial public interest, freedom of the press, or related human or civil right is at stake.

Risen was himself a target of the U.S. government’s crackdown on journalists and whistleblowers. He waged a seven-year battle, risking jail, after the Bush administration and later the Obama administration sought to force him to testify and reveal his confidential sources in a leak investigation. Risen never gave in, and the government finally backed down.

As a New York Times reporter, Risen won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for his stories about the National Security Agency’s domestic spying program, and he was a member of the reporting team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting for coverage of the September 11 attacks and terrorism.

Risen began his career as a reporter at the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, and later worked at the Miami Herald, the Detroit Free Press, and the Los Angeles Times. He joined the New York Times in 1998, where he remained until the summer of 2017. 

He is the author of four books: “Wrath of Angels: The American Abortion War”; “The Main Enemy: The Inside Story of the CIA’s Final Showdown With the KGB”; “State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration”; and “Pay Any Price: Greed, Power and Endless War.”

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