Geeta Anand named interim IRP director



Date: July 18, 2019

To: The Berkeley Journalism community

From: Edward Wasserman, Dean

Earlier this week we had the pleasure of announcing the appointment of four-time Pulitzer winner David Barstow of The New York Times to replace retired Prof. Lowell Bergman as the Reva and David Logan Distinguished Chair in Investigative Journalism and head of the School’s Investigative Reporting Program (IRP).

With this change come other changes. 

Geeta Anand, herself a Pulitzer winner and currently Acting Professor of Reporting at the School, will become interim director of the IRP, succeeding Associate Adjunct Professor John Temple, who has served as IRP director since 2017. John will be leaving the School in August to focus on his growing software business and his own journalism.

John has assembled a strong record of achievement as IRP director, for which the School is deeply grateful, and we are confident he will extend his career-long record of success to his next pursuits.

As I said in announcing David Barstow’s hiring, among the changes we hope to see will be efforts to integrate the IRP’s signature strengths into our core master’s program in a thoroughgoing way, so the entire School will be known for the investigative reporting it fosters. We are convinced David is the right the person to lead that process, and we’re excited that he will be launching his efforts with the support of Geeta, a former New York Times colleague with a glittering list of journalistic accomplishments.

An author and former foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal as well as The Times, Geeta Anand became a faculty member of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism in 2018. She was already acquainted with David Barstow.

“When I joined The New York Times, there was one veteran reporter who stood out because he offered to be my guide in navigating the difficult political waters of a new organization,” said Geeta. “That same reporter was the only one who advised me to always share credit on my stories with the younger local reporters in the countries we covered. That reporter was David Barstow, who I discovered possessed a generosity of spirit that matched his brilliance as an investigative journalist. I could not be more excited to work with him on the critically important job of educating the next generation of investigative journalists.” 

“I am so pleased Geeta has agreed to step into this role at the IRP,” said David. “She is a fabulous, world-class journalist with a wealth of investigative reporting experience, especially in the area of health care. More than that, she is a wise and generous colleague, teacher and mentor.” 

“I’m excited to see what David and Geeta will do as they build on what Lowell and I accomplished at the Investigative Reporting Program,” said John Temple. “I was a member of the search committee that recommended Geeta be hired to join the School’s faculty and remain a big fan.”

Geeta has been a journalist for 29 years, specializing in investigative reporting and narrative writing. A graduate of Dartmouth College, she began her career at newspapers in New England where she covered courts, crime and local government. She went on to report on politics at The Boston Globe and then joined The Wall Street Journal, where she developed a specialty in investigative work and health care. She was part of a team of reporters that won the 2003 Pulitzer in explanatory journalism for a series on the impact of corporate scandals in America. She also turned one of her stories from the biotech beat into a 2006 book, The Cure: How a Father Raised $100 Million–And Bucked the Medical Establishment–In a Quest to Save His Children, which was made into the CBS movie “Extraordinary Measures,” starring Harrison Ford.

Before coming to Berkeley, Geeta spent 10 years, most recently with The New York Times, as a foreign correspondent in India, where she was born. Her work on how hidden decision-makers make life-and-death choices about who gets health care in America was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004, and her series on drug prices and how lawmakers created legal monopolies that allowed prices to soar won a 2006 Gerald Loeb award, the most prestigious prize in business reporting. In 2007, the National Council for the Advancement of Science Writing awarded her the Victor Kohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Science Reporting. In 2013, her series on how tuberculosis became drug-resistant in India won first place in cross-border investigative reporting from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

Please join me in welcoming Geeta to her new role as interim IRP director and David to the School’s prestigious faculty.



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