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#SPA80for80: Betsy Fischer Martin, SPA/BA ’92

Betsy Fischer Martin

Like 90 percent of students at AU’s School of Public Affairs, Betsy Fischer Martin took advantage of the school’s exceptional internship program during her time as an AU undergrad.

Fischer Martin interned on the Hill her Junior year, then at NBC’s “Meet the Press” her senior year. That NBC internship expanded into a full-time position as political researcher. Ten years later, she was leading the Sunday morning public affairs program as executive producer, where she oversaw editorial content, guest-selection, strategic planning, production, marketing, and financial decision-making. In 2013, Fischer Martin became the senior executive producer and managing editor of NBC News Political Programming, where she provided editorial direction for all political coverage at NBC. In 2014 she decided to leave NBC after 23 years for a portfolio of new projects that include writing and consulting.

Among her many accolades, Fischer Martin has earned two News and Documentary Emmys, the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Political Journalism, and a Gracie Award from American Women in Radio and Television. In 2008, the World Economic Forum welcomed her into the class of Young Global Leaders.

She praises SPA for building networks to establish opportunities for students in Washington, DC. She also gained valuable experience at SPA in her work-study with James Thurber, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies. The academic and research skills she gained in that role prepared her for her work as a political researcher at NBC.

Fischer Martin graduated cum laude from SPA in 1992 and earned a Master of Arts in Broadcast Journalism from AU’s School of Communications in 1995.


“The School of Public Affairs has established relationships and internship programs with so many prominent institutions, it really makes getting your foot in the door quite possible.”