Carl Stern

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Carl Stern

Emeritus Professor of Media and Public Affairs


Email: Carl Stern
Office Phone: (202) 994-6227

Carl Stern joined the SMPA faculty in 1996 as the J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor Emeritus of Media and Public Affairs at The George Washington University. He was formerly the Director of the Office of Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Justice under Attorney General Janet Reno. Prior to that, he served for 26 years as the law correspondent for NBC News, covering the Supreme Court and the Justice Department and many of the nation’s most newsworthy trials. Stern has been a member of the Ohio and D.C. bars since the 1960s. He was a founding member of the Forum Committee on Communications Law of the American Bar Association, and served on several ABA committees. In 1975 the ABA honored him as the first fulltime broadcast network reporter covering legal affairs. He is the recipient of the Justice Department’s highest honor, the Edmund J. Randolph Award, and broadcasting’s Peabody Award for “exceptional journalistic enterprise” in connection with his coverage of Watergate and his use of FOIA to uncover the FBI’s secret Cointelpro actions to harass, neutralize and destroy organizations and individuals it regarded as politically pernicious. In 2014 the American University Washington College of Law’s Collaboration on Government Secrecy presented him with its “FOIA Legends Award” for his “unique role over four decades” as a pioneering journalist, litigant and scholar in influencing the development of FOIA. Professor Stern has B.A. and M.S. (Journalism) degrees from Columbia University and a J.D. magna cum laude from Cleveland State University, as well as several honorary degrees.

Media law, rights and duties of the press, government-media relations, Justice Department issues, Federal Freedom of Information Act.

J.D., Cleveland State University, 1966.
J.D., (Honorary) New England School of Law, 1977
J.D., (Honorary) Cleveland State University, 1975
M.S., Journalism, Columbia University, 1959
B.A., Columbia University, 1958.