- Additional Positions at AU
- Executive Editor, Investigative Reporting Workshop
- Professor, American University School of Communication
- BA Political Science, University of Delaware; MA Johns Hopkins University (School of Advanced International Studies)
- Charles Lewis is a national investigative journalist, a former ABC News and CBS News 60 Minutes producer, a best-selling author or co-author of six books and the founder of two Pulitzer Prize-winning nonprofit news organizations, the Center for Public Integrity and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Named as “one of the most notable investigative reporters in the U.S. since World War I” by the Encyclopedia of Journalism (2009), he has been a Ferris Professor at Princeton University, a Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard University, and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. A MacArthur Fellow, winner of the PEN USA First Amendment Award (2004), and awarded the I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence in 2018, he is the founding executive editor of the Investigative Reporting Workshop and a tenured professor at American University in Washington. His most recent book is 935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America's Moral Integrity (2014).
Member, Board of Directors
The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism
Board of Directors
The Fund for Investigative Journalism
Member, Advisory Board
Open Democracy Advice Centre (South Africa)
George Polk Awards
Panel of Advisers
The Center for Public Integrity
Member, Advisory Board
Member, Advisory Board
Investigative News Network/later became the Institute for Nonprofit News
Co-founder, first Treasurer
More info on publications below here:
935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America's Moral Integrity
The Corruption Notebooks
The Buying of the President 2004: Who's Really Bankrolling Bush and His Democratic Challengers—and What They Expect in Return
The Cheating of America: How Tax Avoidance and Evasion by the Super Rich Are Costing the Country Billions — and What You Can Do About It
The Buying of the President 2000
The Buying of the Congress: How Special Interests Have Stolen Your Right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
The Buying of the President
Visiting Fellow, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, University of Oxford, Fall 2015
Fellow, Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, Harvard University, Spring 2006
Ferris Professor of Journalism, Princeton University, Fall 2005
Honors, Awards, and Fellowships
2018, I.F. Stone Medal for Independence in Journalism, awarded by the Nieman Foundation of Journalism at Harvard University.
2016, Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award and Bronze Medallion in the “Research about Journalism” category. This package of articles, co-authored with Pietro Lombardi and Daniel Farber-Ball, was published by the Investigative Reporting Workshop and entitled, “The New Newsrooms.”
2014, American University Award for "Outstanding Scholarship, Research, Creative Activity and Other Professional Contributions"
2014, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Sigma Delta Chi "Research about Journalism" Award
2013, Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism (U. of Missouri School of Journalism)
2009, Honorary Degree, University of Delaware
2005, Founder Award, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
2004, PEN USA First Amendment Award
1998, MacArthur Fellowship (awarded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation)
Center for Public Integrity reports (initiated, final edited and approved by the executive director) were honored more than 30 times by national journalism organizations, such as Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and others. In 2004, “Windfalls of War: U.S. contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan” won the George Polk award.
He has been interviewed hundreds of times by the major print and electronic news media about the influence of money on politics, abuses of power and other ethics-related issues at the state, national and international level. He has done numerous live and taped interviews for such programs as NBC’s The Today Show and Nightly News, ABC World News Tonight, Good Morning America, 20/20, Nightline; CBS News 60 Minutes, Evening News and Morning News, CNN, C-SPAN’s Washington Journal and Booknotes; PBS Frontline, NPR’s All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Talk of the Nation, Fresh Air, On the Media; The Daily Show, etc. Lewis has also been interviewed for various feature film documentaries, including Orwell Rolls in His Grave and Why We Fight.
The past three decades, through his work as the founder and first executive director of the award-winning Center for Public Integrity and its International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and since then, Lewis has been systematically investigating the origins and abuses of power in relation to the public policy decision-making processes in the United States and around the world. For example, in 1996, 2000 and 2004, he and his colleagues at the Center authored the popular and unprecedented The Buying of the President books, identifying the financial interests and unadvertised past behind the glossy candidate careers - always released for citizens before any votes were cast. He also initiated and oversaw The Koch Club project at the Investigative Reporting Workshop, which involved more than 20 students over more than two years.
From 1999 through 2004, Lewis and his colleagues created a new way of monitoring and reporting on corruption, government accountability and openness around the world, culminating in a 750,000-word report prepared by 200 social scientists and journalists in 25 countries on six continents. This project spawned a new, nonprofit organization, Global Integrity, which Lewis co-founded.
From 2005 to 2014, he researched the relationship between truth, political and corporate power and the national news media; the origins and trajectory of public relations and propaganda, deception by government and companies, and the truth-telling capacity of journalists and their news organizations. 935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity was published in June 2014. As part of this work, since 2007, he has conducted audio and video recorded interviews with some of the most respected U.S. reporters and editors whose independent reporting has had a significant impact on our nation's history since 1950. Investigating Power was released at the National Press Club in 2012 and is an ongoing work-in-progress, accessible at www.investigatingpower.org.
Lewis also has been exploring new economic models to create and deliver investigative journalism. His research evolves around this central question: how to expand the public reach and impact of investigative research and reporting in and outside the United States, one of the two core missions of Investigative Reporting Workshop, which he conceived and leads. He has a longstanding interest in the subject: for example, in 1997, Lewis began the Center's International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the first network of the world's premier investigative reporters (now 200+ journalists in roughly 70 countries across six continents), collaborating to produce cross-border, award-winning, public service journalism. He is currently conducting research about the future and potential of such investigative collaboration, within and beyond journalism.
Grants and Sponsored Research
- Investigative Reporting Workshop, supported by several foundations, 2008-
- The Fund for Independence in Journalism, 2005-2008
- The Center for Public Integrity, 1989-2004
As executive director of the Center for Public Integrity, Lewis conducted 35 news conferences at the National Press Club in Washington between 1990 and 2004. He has given scores of lectures and presentations on ethics, political influence, corruption or investigative reporting throughout the U.S. and in 25 countries on six continents. And he has guest lectured at more than two dozen major colleges and universities around the world.
- Founding Executive Editor, Investigative Reporting Workshop, 2008-Present
- Founding President, The Fund for Independence in Journalism, 2003-2008
- Founding Executive Director, The Center for Public Integrity, 1989-2004 (Chair of the Board, 1989-2000
Area of Expertise
Investigative journalism, the future of journalism, political corruption and the state of democracy, journalism ethics, whistleblowers in the media, etc.