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Jennifer Ludden is a correspondent on NPR's National Desk. She covers a range of stories on family life and social issues.
In recent years, Ludden has reported on the changing economics of marriage, the changing face of retirement as the baby boomers enter old age, and the ethical challenges of modern reproductive technology.
Ludden helped cover national security after the 9/11 attacks, then reported on the Bush administration's crackdown on illegal immigrants as well as Congressional efforts to pass a sweeping legalization. She traveled to the Philippines for a story on how an overburdened immigration bureaucracy keeps families separated for years, and to El Salvador to profile migrants who had been deported or turned back at the border.
Prior to moving into her current assignment in 2002, Ludden spent six years as a foreign reporter for NPR covering the Middle East, Europe, and West and Central Africa. She followed the collapse of the decade-long Oslo peace process, shared in two awards (Overseas Press Club and Society of Professional Journalists) for NPR's coverage of the Kosovo war in 1999, and won the Robert F. Kennedy award for her coverage of the overthrow of Mobutu Sese Seko in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
When not navigating war zones, Ludden reported on cultural trends, including the dying tradition of storytellers in Syria, the emergence of Persian pop music in Iran, and the rise of a new form of urban polygamy in Africa.
Before joining NPR in 1995, Ludden reported in Canada, and at public radio stations in Boston and Maine.
Ludden graduated from Syracuse University in 1988 with a bachelor's degree in English and Television, Radio and Film Production.
NPR correspondent Alix Spiegel works on the Science desk and covers psychology.
Arriving at NPR in 2003, much of Spiegel's reporting has been on emotion mental health. She has reported on everything from the psychological impact of killing another person, to the emotional devastation of Katrina, to psycho-therapeutic approaches to transgender children.
Over the course of her career in public radio, Spiegel has won awards including the George Foster Peabody Award, Livingston Award, and Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award. Spiegel's 2007 documentary revealing mental health issues and crime plaguing a Southern Mississippi FEMA trailer park housing Katrina victims was recognized with Scripps Howard National Journalism Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. Her radio documentary 81 Words, about the removal of homosexuality from psychiatry's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, is being turned into a film by HBO.
Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Spiegel graduated from Oberlin College. She began her career in radio in 1995 as one of the founding producers of the public radio show This American Life. Spiegel left the show in 1999 to become a full time reporter. She has also written for The New Yorker magazine and The New York Times.
Tovia Smith is an award-winning NPR News National Desk correspondent based in Boston.
For the last 25 years, Smith has been covering news around New England and beyond. She's reported extensively on the debate over gay marriage in Massachusetts and the sexual abuse scandal within the Catholic Church, including breaking the news of the Pope's secret meeting with survivors.
Smith has traveled to New Hampshire to report on seven consecutive Primary elections, to the Gulf Coast after the BP oil spill, and to Ground Zero in New York City after the September 11, 2001 attacks. She covered landmark court cases — from the trials of British au pair Louise Woodward, and abortion clinic gunman John Salvi, to the proceedings against shoe bomber Richard Reid.
Through the years, Smith has brought to air the distinct voices of Boston area residents, whether reacting to the capture of reputed Mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger, or mourning the death of U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy.
In all of her reporting, Smith aims to tell personal stories that evoke the emotion and issues of the day. She has filed countless stories on legal, social, and political controversies from the biggies like abortion to smaller-scale disputes over whether to require students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in classrooms.
With reporting that always push past the polemics, Smith advances the debate with more thoughtful, and thought-provoking, nuanced arguments from both –or all— sides. She has produced award-winning broadcasts on everything from race relations in Boston, adoption and juvenile crime, and has filed several documentary-length reports, including an award-winning half-hour special on modern-day orphanages.
Smith took a leave of absence from NPR in 1998, to launch Here and Now, a daily news magazine produced by NPR Member Station WBUR in Boston. As co-host of the program, she conducted live daily interviews on issues ranging from the impeachment of President Bill Clinton to allegations of sexual abuse in Massachusetts prisons, as well as regular features on cooking and movies.
In 1996, Smith worked as a radio consultant and journalism instructor in Africa. She spent several months teaching and reporting in Ethiopia, Guinea, and Tunisia. Smith filed her first on-air stories as a reporter for local affiliate WBUR in Boston in 1987.
Throughout her career, Smith has won more than two dozen national journalism awards including the Casey Medal, the Unity Award, a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award Honorable Mention, Ohio State Award, Radio and Television News Directors Association Award, and numerous honors from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Public Radio News Directors Association, and the Associated Press.
She is a graduate of Tufts University, with a degree in international relations.
David Greene is NPR's Morning Programming Host/Correspondent. In this role he is the primary substitute host for Morning Edition as well as Weekend Edition Saturday and Sunday. When he is not hosting he brings his deep reporting talents to these programs.
For two years prior to taking on his current role in 2012, Greene was an NPR foreign correspondent based in Moscow covering the region from Ukraine and the Baltics, east to Siberia. During that time he brought listeners stories as wide ranging as Chernobyl 25 years later and Beatles-singing Russian Babushkas. He spent a month in Libya reporting riveting stories in the most difficult of circumstances as NATO bombs fell on Tripoli. He was honored with the 2011 Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize from WBUR and Boston University for that coverage of the Arab Spring.
Greene's voice became familiar to NPR listeners from his four years covering the White House. To report on former President George W. Bush's second term, Greene spent hours in NPR's spacious booth in the basement of the West Wing (it's about the size of your average broom closet). He also spent time trekking across five continents, reporting on White House visits to places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Rwanda, Uruguay – and, of course, Crawford, Texas.
During the days following Hurricane Katrina, Greene was aboard Air Force One when President Bush flew low over the Gulf Coast and caught his first glimpse of the storm's destruction. On the ground in New Orleans, Greene brought listeners a moving interview with the late Ethel Williams, a then-74-year-old flood victim who got an unexpected visit from the president.
Greene was an integral part of NPR's coverage of the historic 2008 election, covering Hillary Clinton's campaign from start to finish, and also focusing on how racial attitudes were playing into voters' decisions. The White House Correspondents Association took special note of Greene's report on a speech by then-candidate Barack Obama, addressing the nation's racial divide. Greene was given the association's 2008 Merriman Smith award for deadline coverage of the presidency.
After President Obama took office, Greene kept one eye trained on the White House and the other eye on the road. He spent three months driving across America – with a recorder, camera and lots of caffeine – to learn how the recession was touching Americans during President Obama's first 100 days in office. The series was called "100 Days: On the Road in Troubled Times."
Before joining NPR in 2005, Greene spent nearly seven years as a newspaper reporter for the Baltimore Sun. He covered the White House during the Bush administration's first term, and wrote about an array of other topics for the paper: Why Oklahomans love the sport of cockfighting, why two Amish men in Pennsylvania were caught trafficking methamphetamine and how one woman brought Christmas back to a small town in Maryland.
Before graduating magna cum laude from Harvard in 1998 with a degree in government, Greene worked as the senior editor on the Harvard Crimson. In 2004, he was named co-volunteer of the year for Coaching for College, a Washington, D.C., program offering tutoring to inner-city youth.