November 5, 2012 — The Program Board Speakers Committee, USC Institute for Global Health and USC Spectrum co-hosted this rousing discussion of the global movement and book, Half the Sky, presented by Nicholas Kristof, noted global health journalist and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner.
Kristof’s original reporting from under-represented regions of the world has helped establish him as regarded voice in the world of opinion journalism. Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide is a passionate call to arms against our era’s most pervasive human rights violation: the oppression of women and girls in the developing world. Inspired by journalists Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s book of the same name, the Half the Sky Movement is cutting across platforms to ignite the change needed to put an end to the oppression of women and girls worldwide, the defining issue of our time.
The New York Times
Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof is often called the “reporter’s reporter” for his human rights advocacy and his efforts to give a voice to the voiceless. In 1990 Kristof and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, also a New York Times journalist, won the Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of China’s Tiananmen Square democracy movement, making them the first married couple to win a Pulitzer for journalism. Their most recent book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, immediately hit The New York Times Bestseller List after being published in September 2009. Kristof and WuDunn also wrote China Wakes: The Struggle for the Soul of a Rising Power and Thunder from the East: Portrait of a Rising Asia.
Kristof graduated from Harvard College, Phi Beta Kappa, and won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, where he studied law and graduated with first class honors. He later studied Arabic in Cairo and Chinese in Taipei. After working in France he began backpacking in Africa and Asia, writing articles to cover his expenses. Kristof has lived on four continents, reported on six, traveled to 140 countries, all 50 states, every Chinese province, and every main Japanese island. He is also one of the few Americans to be at least a two-time visitor to each member of the “Axis of Evil.” During his travels, he caught malaria, experienced wars, saw an Indonesian mob carrying heads on pikes, and survived an African airplane crash.
After joining The New York Times in 1984, initially covering economics, Kristof served as a correspondent in Los Angeles and as bureau chief in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Tokyo. In 2000, he covered the presidential campaign and, in particular, then-Governor George W. Bush. Kristof has taken a special interest in web journalism and was the first blogger on The New York Times website. A documentary about him, Reporter, premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2009. Haunted by what he has seen in Darfur, Kristof traveled to the region four times to provide coverage of the genocide unfolding, winning his second Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 2006 “for his graphic, deeply reported columns that, at personal risk, focused attention on genocide in Darfur and that gave voice to the voiceless in other parts of the world.”
Kristof has also won the George Polk Award, the Overseas Press Club award, the Michael Kelly award, the Online News Association award, and the American Society of Newspaper Editors award.