Coll to Speak at Commencement
Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Steve Coll ’80, a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine, will be the featured speaker at Occidental College’s 124th commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 21 in the Remsen Bird Hillside Theater on the Occidental campus.
Coll’s latest book, “Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden,” won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction, as well as the Council on Foreign Relations’ Arthur Ross Award for the best book on foreign affairs during the last two years. The work also won the Overseas Press Club Award and the Lionel Gelber Prize for the best book published on international affairs during 2004. While a staff writer at the Washington Post, Coll also won a Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism for his 1990 series, with David A. Vise, on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Coll became a staff writer at The New Yorker in September 2005, after having served as a foreign correspondent and editor at the Post for the prior 10 years. In 1989, he moved to New Delhi to become the newspaper’s South Asia correspondent. For three years he covered India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
In 1992, Coll was appointed the Post’s first international investigative correspondent, based in London, from where he traveled widely to cover emerging transnational subjects such as terrorism, nuclear proliferation, and global economic integration.
Coll’s South Asia correspondence won the 1992 Livingston Award for outstanding foreign reporting. In 2000, he received the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Award for his coverage of the civil war in Sierra Leone, as well as the Overseas Press Club Award for international magazine writing.
Coll graduated Phi Beta Kappa, cum laude, from Occidental with a degree in English and history. He received an honorary doctor of humane letters from the college in 2000.