Scott Shane

SNF Agora Visiting Fellow, AY 19-20

Scott Shane was a reporter from 2004 to 2019 in the Washington bureau of The New York Times, writing on national security and other issues. He won Pulitzer Prizes in 2017 and 2018 with Times colleagues for coverage of the Russian interference in the 2016 election and related topics. His 2015 book, Objective Troy: A Terrorist, A President and the Rise of the Drone, examines the life and death of the late American-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, killed in a drone strike in Yemen in 2011 at the orders of President Obama. It won the Lionel Gelber Prize, awarded each year to the best book in English on foreign affairs. In addition to the debate over terrorism and targeted killing, he has written on the Russian cyber attack on the 2016 election; Hillary Clinton and the intervention in Libya; Saudi influence on global Islam; the National Security Agency and Edward Snowden’s leaked documents; WikiLeaks and confidential State Department cables; and the Obama’s administration’s prosecution of leaks of classified information. Other stories have explored interrogation and torture, the anthrax investigation, the government’s secret effort to reclassify historical documents and the explosion in federal contracting. His work with Times colleagues has twice been a Pulitzer finalist: on interrogation in 2007 and on ISIS recruiting in 2015.

From 1983 to 2004, he was a reporter for The Baltimore Sun, covering a range of beats from courts to medicine and writing series of articles on brain surgery, schizophrenia, a drug corner, guns and crime and other topics. He was Moscow correspondent from 1988 to 1991 and wrote a book on the Soviet collapse, Dismantling Utopia: How Information Ended the Soviet Union, which the Los Angeles Times described as “one of the essential works on the fall of the Soviet Union.” In 1995, he co-wrote a six-part explanatory series of articles on the National Security Agency, the first major investigation of NSA since James Bamford’s 1982 book The Puzzle Palace. His series on a public health project in Nepal won the nation’s top science-writing award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2001.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Williams College and a master’s from Oxford University.

He lives in Baltimore with his wife, Francie Weeks, who teaches English to foreign students. They have three children.