Eric Westervelt

After nearly a decade as an award-winning Foreign Correspondent with NPR's international desk, Eric Westervelt returned in September 2013 to domestic news with a new national beat covering American education as an Education Correspondent.

In this role, he covers the news, issues, and trends in classrooms across the country, from pre-K to higher education. He has a strong interest in the multiple ways in which technology is disrupting traditional pedagogy.

Westervelt recently returned from a 2013 John S Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University. The fellowship focused on journalistic innovation, leadership, entrepreneurship and the future of news.

Previously, he was a foreign correspondent based in the Middle East and then Europe. From 2009 to 2012 Westervelt was Berlin Bureau Chief and Correspondent coverage a broad range of news across Europe from the debt crisis to political challenges in Eastern Europe. In 2011 and 2012 his work included coverage of the revolutions in North Africa from the popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt to the civil war and NATO intervention in Libya.

As a foreign correspondent, Westervelt has covered numerous wars and their repercussions across the Middle East for NPR as Jerusalem Bureau Chief and as Pentagon Correspondent. Prior to his current assignment, he spent several years living in the Middle East reporting on the war in Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Afghanistan and elsewhere. As Jerusalem Bureau Chief he covered the turmoil in the Gaza Strip, and the 2006 Second Lebanon war between the Israeli military and Hezbollah. He also reported in-depth on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict across Israel and the occupied West Bank.

During the US-led invasion of Iraq, Westervelt traveled with the lead element of the U.S. Third Infantry Division, which was the first army unit to reach Baghdad. He later helped cover the Iraqi insurgency, sectarian violence and the on-going struggle to rebuild the country in the post-Saddam Hussein era. Westervelt was one of the few western reporters on the ground in Gaza during the Fatah-Hamas civil war and he reported on multiple Israeli offensives in the coastal territory. Additionally, he has reported from the Horn of Africa, Yemen and the Persian Gulf countries.

Prior to his Middle East assignments, Westervelt covered military affairs and the Pentagon reporting on a wide range of defense, national security as well as foreign policy issues.

Before joining NPR's Foreign Desk nearly a decade ago, Westervelt covered some of the biggest domestic stories as a reporter on NPR's National Desk. His assignments spanned from the explosion of TWA flight 800 to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. He also covered the mass shooting at Columbine High School, the presidential vote recount following the 2000 Presidential Election, among other major stories. He also covered national trends in law enforcement and crime fighting, including police tactics, use of force, the drug war, racial profiling and the legal and political battles over firearms in America.

The breadth and depth of his work has been honored with the highest awards in broadcast journalism. He contributed to NPR's 2002 George Foster Peabody Award for coverage of the 9/11 attacks and the aftermath; the 2003 Alfred I. duPont - Columbia University award also for 9/11 coverage and the war in Afghanistan; and a 2004 and a 2007 duPont-Columbia University Award for NPR's coverage of the war in Iraq and its effect on Iraqi society.

Westervelt's 2009 multi-media series with NPR photojournalist David Gilkey won the Overseas Press Club of America's Lowell Thomas Award Citation for Excellence.

In lighter news, Westervelt occasionally does features for NPR's Arts Desk. His profile of roots rock pioneer Roy Orbison was part of NPR's 50 Great Voices series. His feature on the making of John Coltrane's classic "A Love Supreme," was part of the NPR series on the most influential American musical works of the 20th century, which was recognized with a Peabody Award.

Before joining NPR, Westervelt worked as a freelance reporter in Oregon, a news director and reporter in New Hampshire and reported for Monitor Radio, the broadcast edition of the Christian Science Monitor.

Westervelt is a graduate of the Putney School and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Reed College.

Some college lectures aren't just dull, they're ineffective. Discuss, people. You did. Our recent stories on the Nobel Prize winning Stanford physicist who's pushing for big changes in how large universities teach science to undergraduates generated lots of interest, comments, questions, shares and listens — online and on NPR One. Professor Carl Wieman is a huge proponent of ditching the large lecture in favor of evidence-based, active learning techniques. Several studies have shown...

Bloodletting to keep the " humors " in balance was a leading medical treatment from ancient Greece to the late 19th century. That's hard to believe now, in the age of robot-assisted surgery, but "doctors" trusted lancets and leeches for centuries. To Nobel laureate Carl Wieman, the college lecture is the educational equivalent of bloodletting, one long overdue for revision. "It's a very good analogy," the Stanford professor says. "You let some blood out and go away and they get well. Was it...

John B. King Jr was recently confirmed by the Senate as the new U.S. Secretary of Education for the remainder of President Obama's term, succeeding Arne Duncan . With a slew of pressing issues from pre-K to college debt, I wanted to find out what King thinks he can get done in such a short window of time. Here's our conversation. You've got just 10 months left in President Obama's term to help close the equity and achievement gaps, promote access and opportunity, and implement the...

Kelly Henderson loves her job, teaching at Newton South High School in a suburb west of Boston. But she's frustrated she can't afford to live in the community where she teaches: It's part of the 10th most expensive housing market in the nation. "For people in the private sector, they're probably saying 'Oh poor you, you can't live in the community where you work, what's the big deal?' " says Henderson, 35. "And I guess part of the nature of public education and why it's a different kind of...

Has American education research mostly languished in an echo chamber for much of the last half century? Harvard's Thomas Kane thinks so. Why have the medical and pharmaceutical industries and Silicon Valley all created clear paths to turn top research into game-changing innovations, he asks, while education research mostly remains trapped in glossy journals? Kane, a professor of education at Harvard's Graduate School of Education, points out that there is no effective educational equivalent...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ERIC WESTERVELT, HOST: Today, we're going to dig into the challenges people of color face when it comes to navigating the tech industry. For African-Americans, rising through the ranks of the tech world is challenging on its own. Aaron Saunders is taking what he's learned and using it to prepare young black programmers-in-training for the tough realities of a career where almost everyone is white. As part of our Black...

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ERIC WESTERVELT, HOST: Donald Trump's continued strength gives many establishment Republicans heartburn. To find out more about whether the Republican Party is prepared to stand behind a possible Trump nomination, we called former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour. He's also former chairman of the Republican National Committee. When we got him on the phone, Barbour said this election campaign was one for the books. HALEY...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ERIC WESTERVELT, HOST: It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Eric Westervelt in for Michel Martin. The presidential campaign has spread out far and wide. The early states of Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina behind them, Republican and Democratic candidates are racing about a dozen states ahead of Super Tuesday, now less than 48 hours away, and our reporters are also racing around those states. We're...

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The Fillmore District of San Francisco was once known as the "Harlem of the West" for its rich African-American culture and jazz roots. This week, the neighborhood's beloved Saint John Coltrane African Orthodox Church may be forced to find a new home. "The church is almost like going to Jerusalem or going to Mecca, so people pilgrim here from all over the globe," says Archbishop Franzo Wayne King Sr., who co-founded the church of John Coltrane devotees in 1969. The church went up as a way to...

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ERIC WESTERVELT, HOST: World financial leaders have just wrapped up talks in Shanghai over how to upend gloomy economic growth that's plaguing many nations in Europe, South America and Asia and even within the country hosting the meetings - China. China is the world's second-largest economy. Communist Party leaders have been quietly managing a slowdown in their manufacturing sector, a stumbling stock market and a...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ERIC WESTERVELT, HOST: Ever thought of getting rid of the $100 bill? What about the 500-euro note? The European Central Bank right now is talking about getting rid of the big note, which is a controversial move for some countries tied to the euro, especially Germany. Critics of the 500-euro note saying it's the currency of choice for organized crime groups looking to use cash for drug trafficking, corruption, money...

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