Washington, DC   |  www.pulitzercenter.org


The Pulitzer Center is an innovative award-winning non-profit journalism organization dedicated to raising awareness of underreported global issues through direct support for quality journalism across all media platforms and a unique program of outreach and education to schools and universities.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Mr. Jon Sawyer

Main address

1779 Massachusetts Ave NW, Ste 615

Washington, DC 20036 USA

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NTEE code info

Public, Society Benefit - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (W99)

Media, Communications Organizations (A30)

Promotion of International Understanding (Q20)

IRS filing requirement

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The global issues we too often ignore are the same ones that define our deep interdependence with the world at large—from social and economic justice to the environment and from public health to the root causes of conflicts. Yet, increasingly, the news marketplace surfaces the “news we want" over the “news we need," making it challenging to reach wide audiences on matters that fall outside of our real or perceived borders. There is no shortage of gifted journalists who are committed to telling these stories—and no shortage of news outlets that still see their mission as one of advancing a public good. What they lack are resources.

And in the education space, it has been recognized that global awareness and analysis of informational texts are critical competencies, yet teachers often lack the resources to integrate this kind of material in their classrooms.

Solid reporting on global issues—and informed public engagement with those issues has never been more urgent.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

International reporting on issues that matter

The Pulitzer Center supports over 150 professional reporting projects each year, providing nearly $2 million in direct support of journalists and placing the work in top-tier outlets in the U.S. and abroad. We aim for the widest reach possible for the reporting we support.

Population(s) Served

The Pulitzer Center brings pressing international issues, and the journalists who cover them, into secondary and middle school classrooms. Through our in-school programming and online curricular resources, students and teachers access Pulitzer Center reporting projects from hundreds of professional journalists for powerful educational experiences. Our programs encourage students to think critically about the creation and dissemination of news, become better writers, develop their analytical and multimedia skills—and become better informed consumers of news. Watch "The World in Your Classroom" for an inside look at our K-12 programs: http://pulitzercenter.org/pulitzer-center-k-12-education-programs.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

The Pulitzer Center’s Campus Consortium now partners with 37 colleges and universities from across the country. Journalists present campus-wide lectures and lead workshops with small groups of students—igniting curiosity and increasing global awareness. Hear from Pulitzer Center grantee and photographer Sean Gallagher during a visit to the University of Iowa, a campus partner: https://youtu.be/O9oxr_EW88w.

Population(s) Served

In 2017, 37 students traveled to 27 countries to report on human rights, public health, climate change, refugees, and marginalized communities—producing video and publishing stories and photo essays. These international reporting fellowships change lives: See our student fellows at work at this year’s Washington Weekend gathering: http://pulitzercenter.org/blog/2017-student-fellows-washington-weekend-highlights.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Pulitzer Center's mission is to inform and engage American audiences on the most critical global issues of our time, advancing scientific, cultural, religious, environmental, political, and social understanding—across borders and within local communities. We achieve this by providing direct financial support to reporters and news organizations covering underreported global stories, as well as through bringing those stories to middle school, high school, and college classrooms across the country.

We are committed to promoting the vital role of journalism in sustaining our democracy and increasing the credibility of journalism with the public.

By providing support to cover the hard costs of reporting, we build bridges between journalists and news outlets. We facilitate collaborative projects across multiple top-tier news outlets, from documentary productions and e-books to interactive presentations and live performances. And for the freelance journalists who carry an increasing burden of global reporting in an era of vastly decreased investment in permanent foreign bureaus, we work to create sustainable and safe careers, providing the editorial infrastructure freelancers often lack.

We are positioned to serve global public interest journalism in a way few organizations can—by engaging wide audiences on deeply reported topics and inspiring the next generation to value news and cross-cultural understanding.

The intended outcomes are:

- A public with a deeper understanding of critical global issues and an increased appetite for quality international reporting;
- Resources for journalists to effectively cover global issues;
- Top-tier news outlets more likely to partner to bring global stories to their audiences;
- Teachers more likely to teach global issues in their classrooms;
- Students with an increased knowledge of global issues, an appetite for more, and a deeper appreciation of what “quality" news is.

It starts with a unique model designed to take advantage of existing platforms, adapting as needed to a rapidly changing media landscape—and always reaching as wide and diverse an audience as possible. We are now the largest single source of funding for international enterprise reporting—and the only organization incorporating this reporting into comprehensive educational programs that extend the impact of the reporting and allows students and the public to engage directly on the issues.

Our full-cycle model incorporates:

- Direct support for freelance and staff journalists reporting on global issues;
- Strengthening relationships with leading news media outlets and talented journalists committed to global reporting;
- Targeted outreach that brings our journalism to audiences that it might not otherwise reach;
- The development of online resources for teachers to integrate global journalism into their classrooms;
- In-person journalist classroom visits where students are educated on the issues shaping our world and the news media landscape;
- Ongoing explorations of new platforms and digital storytelling opportunities to find creative and engaging ways to bring “foreign" issues home.

The Center employs strong editorial standards in the selection of reporting projects to support and then works with its network of media outlets and educational partners to maximize the impact of that work. The Center also serves as a buffer between donors and journalists, assuring the proper role of each.

Some recent highlights:

- The White House claimed that a U.S. special forces raid in Yemen, the first military venture of the Trump administration, was “a huge success." Grantee Iona Craig, reporting for the Intercept, was the only journalist able to reach the site of the attack and gather first-hand accounts of an operation that was more fraught than it appeared in official U.S. government statements.

- Grantee Ben Taub, just a year out of journalism school, gained access to an explosive trove of material documenting Syrian war crimes. The Pulitzer Center provided support for a three-month investigation. The result, the New Yorker article “The Assad Files," was recognized by both the Overseas Press Club and the Robert F. Kennedy Awards.

- “Fractured Lands," an ambitious package of reporting, photography, and virtual-reality video on the tragedy of the modern Middle East that took over an entire issue of The New York Times Magazine in August 2016, won the Society of Professional Journalists' prize for public service, received wide attention for its bold approach and illuminating reporting, and became the basis for extensive educational outreach that amplified the impact of the reporting.

- The Pulitzer Center partnered with regional news outlets including The Texas Tribune, the Milwaukee Journal, the Des Moines Register, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and the Miami Herald.

The Pulitzer Center has a proven track record, a strong brand, and a growing network of more than 800 journalist grantees and scores of established top-tier media partners, including The Washington Post, PBS NewsHour, The New Yorker, Foreign Policy, Financial Times, PRI's The World, The Guardian, NPR, Harper's, The New York Times, National Geographic, and more.

With over $1.8 million a year going directly to journalists and their reporting projects, we are the largest single source of money for international enterprise reporting—and the only such non-partisan, non-profit journalism organization to incorporate this reporting directly into educational programs and curriculum.

We are unique in that we are not a free-standing “destination" news site, and we do not depend on a large staff or on a limited number of news outlets. Because the work we fund is published directly by news outlets, those outlets are our enthusiastic partners, guaranteeing a wide reach for our projects.


Jon Sawyer, the Pulitzer Center's founding director, is a former Washington bureau chief for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He is supported by a full time staff of 17, plus 2 interns, and consultants on web design and curriculum development.

Jon has reported from five dozen countries around the world and is a three-time winner of the National Press Club prize for best foreign correspondence. Jon has witnessed first-hand the collapse of the traditional foreign news model, and for twelve years now with the Pulitzer Center has dedicated himself to filling that gap through practical, creative solutions that have grown in sync with, and often in advance of, the needs and demands of the media landscape.

The Center has a strong, passionate, and dedicated team in place to support our current model. This includes a diverse mix of age groups and experience–offering a balance of wisdom from veteran reporters, documentary and online producers, and fresh insights from young graduates versed in the social media landscape, who are savvy about marketing and targeting audiences to engage them in meaningful ways.

Our education work is supported by a team that brings teaching experience, interactive design, reporting, and years of experience forging this unique model. Most importantly we all work closely together to connect the range of efforts we take on and to coordinate the full-cycle model we've developed.

We've allowed our team, and our model, to develop organically, growing significantly over 9 years, but also specifically to meet the needs we saw in the larger media and education landscapes in pragmatic and innovative ways.

The Pulitzer Center's long-standing and close relationships with respected news outlets, leading academic institutions, and a global network of journalists position us to continue to bring significant attention to otherwise under-reported issues.

Since 2006, the Pulitzer Center has supported over 800 projects from close to 150 countries, with over 6,000 stories placed in hundreds of top-tier news outlets. In 2017, the Center supported 130 projects with professional journalists (and another 37 via our fellowships for students), providing over $2 million in direct support of journalists and placing the work in over 150 news outlets—ranging from The New York Times and PBS NewsHour to The New Yorker, Science, National Geographic, The Guardian, and Elle.

Projects supported by the Pulitzer Center have won nearly every major journalism award, from the Pulitzer Prize and national Emmys to World Press Photo and RFK Awards, as well as best online journalism awards from the National Press Club, the National Press Foundation, and the Society of Professional Journalists.

The Center has facilitated over 2,000 events reaching over 150,000 people, with nearly 500 events for public, K-12, and college audiences per year. Through our outreach programs across the country, we are sparking dialogues across diverse audiences about what is actually happening in the world, the role of the media in covering those events, and our responsibility as citizens to get the best information we can on the issues that affect us all.

We're very much embedded in communities across the United States with programming taking place throughout the year.

In spring 2017, the Center organized a tour to Philadelphia and St. Louis with Madeleine Albright and Stephen Hadley. This “Bridging Divides" series grew out of our support for The New York Times Magazine's special "Fractured Lands" edition and is a great model for constructive bi-partisan dialogue resulting in powerful and timely conversations with students and the larger public.

At a time when the news business is struggling to find a profitable footing on an ever-shifting digital terrain, we offer a proven model that leverages donor dollars to maximum effect. Our focus on exploring the root causes of global challenges has enabled reporting that continues to have lasting impact, long after the headlines fade away—helping inform the public, policy makers, and the next generation.

Though others share our commitment to building awareness of global issues, there are several key differentiators: scale of investment in reporting projects, follow-on engagements beyond reporting trips, a diverse network of leading media partners and award-winning journalists, the range of issues covered in our reporting, and an educational network unmatched by any media organization.

Our work is the basis and impetus for civil discourse, of tackling together the urgent challenges that will shape our future. The mission has never been more urgent: to support accurate, responsible journalism and to do everything we can to engage all people, across the political spectrum and the divides of class and race and religion, in the big issues that affect us all.



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Board of directors
as of 07/13/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mrs Emily Rauh Pulitzer

Pulitzer Arts Foundation

Term: 2006 -

William Bush

BDT Capital Partners

Betsy Dietel

Dietel Partners

Betsy Karel

Joel Motley

Public Capital Advisors LLC

Richard W. Moore

Day Pitney, LLP

Joseph Pulitzer V

David Rohde

Thomson Reuters

Jon Sawyer

Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

Linda Winslow

PBS NewsHour (retired)

Sam Dolnick

The New York Times

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 7/12/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data


No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data