Eric Schmitt (Moderator)
Mr. Eric Schmitt is a senior writer covering terrorism and national security for The New York Times. Since 2007, he has reported on terrorism issues, with assignments to Pakistan, Afghanistan, North Africa, Southeast Asia among others. He is the co-author, with The Times’s Thom Shanker, of Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America’s Secret Campaign Against al Qaeda, published in 2011.
He was first appointed as a Pentagon correspondent for The Times in May 1990. Mr. Schmitt served this position until February 1996, and then again from September 11, 2001, until 2006, covering issues of national security. Between 1996 and 2001, he worked as a domestic correspondent covering, among other subjects, Congress and immigration.
From 1983 until 1984, Mr. Schmitt was the clerk for James Reston, then the senior columnist. He joined The Times in 1983 where he has worked a number of assignments, including those in financial and business news, commercial aviation and the travel industry, and as a Long Island correspondent.
Some of Mr. Schmitt’s special projects at The Times include the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) investigation in Puerto Rico the spring of 1990, the Persian Gulf War in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait from January until March 1991, the war in Somalia in December 1992, and the conflict in Haiti in September 1994.
Before joining The Times, Mr. Schmitt was an education reporter at The Tri-City Herald in Kennewick, Wash., from September 1982 until September 1983.
Mr. Schmitt has shared three Pulitzer Prizes. In 1999, he was part of a team of New York Times reporters awarded the Pulitzer for coverage of the transfer of sensitive military technology to China. In 2009, he was a part of a team of New York Times reporters awarded the Pulitzer for coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan. And in 2017, he was part of a Pulitzer team that examined how Russia’s President Vladimir Putin projects power openly and covertly.
Mr. Schmitt was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on November 2, 1959, and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He received a B.A. in Political Science and third world development from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, in 1982. During that time, he also studied at El Instituto Internacional in Madrid for a year. He attended Harvard University’s Executive Program on National and International Security in 1991. Mr. Schmitt completed a Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University in the 2006-2007 academic year.