SMPA Welcomes New Terker Distinguished Fellow

Iranian-American journalist Jason Rezaian joins the school.

Jason Rezaian, Terker Distinguished Fellow
August 24, 2016

Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian joins the School of Media and Public Affairs as the 2016-2017 Terker Distinguished Fellow in Media and Public Affairs. In this role, he will participate in class discussions, student and faculty gatherings and public events throughout the academic year.In 2014, Rezaian, a U.S.-born Iranian-American, was arrested and held in Evin—an Iranian prison—for more than 18 months on charges related to espionage, which he denied. He was released by Iran on January 17, 2016.

“Jason Rezaian will bring a unique and invaluable perspective to SMPA,” said SMPA Director Frank Sesno. “His courage as a journalist and his commitment to tell the stories of Iran to the wider world will enlighten our students and illustrate the important role journalists play in informing and engaging our citizens.”

Before joining the Post, Rezaian was a freelance journalist based in Tehran, reporting since 2009 for publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, GlobalPost, Slate and Monocle. He reported on two presidential elections, Iran's nuclear negotiations with global powers, and environmental issues. In addition, he told the stories of everyday Iranians, reporting on human interest stories intended to make Iranians more accessible to readers.

“As a reporter who covered a key international beat and one that also experienced the very real threats faced by contemporary journalists, I hope to take part in an essential dialogue about reporting the news in a complicated world,” said Rezaian. “Particularly important to me is developing ways we can do our jobs more safely without lessening the power and scope of stories.”

Rezaian continued, “SMPA offers students and faculty the rare possibility to take part in the day’s great conversations in real time, right where they’re happening, often with people who are involved in shaping those policies and the corresponding stories. An intersection of policy and how we cover it, the environment is a unique one where I look forward to contributing to extraordinary discussions.”

About the Terker Distinguished Fellows Program

Established by Bruce and Cindy Terker in 2010, parents of Jennifer Terker, B.A. ’13, the Terker Distinguished Fellows in Media and Public Affairs program brings professionals from media, political communication and public affairs to SMPA each academic year. Past fellows have included former NPR correspondent Barbara Bradley Hagerty, CBS News White House correspondent Major Garrett and former U.S. Senator Bob Bennett, among others.