Cheryl W. Thompson
Cheryl W. Thompson
Associate Professor of Journalism
Cheryl W. Thompson joined the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs in 2013 from The Washington Post, where she distinguished herself as an award-winning investigative journalist covering politics, crime and corruption. She joined NPR as an investigative correspondent in January 2019 after 22 years at The Washington Post.
At the Post, her fearless reporting led to the prosecution and imprisonment of former Prince George's County (MD) executive Jack Johnson. Thompson has more than 25 years of newspaper reporting experience, including at The Gainesville Sun (Florida), the Los Angeles Daily News, the Chicago Tribune and The Kansas City Star. She arrived at The Washington Post in 1997, where she was a Metro Reporter and National Reporter before moving to the Investigative Unit. She also served as a White House Correspondent during part of President Obama’s first term.
Thompson did undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and also has a certificate in Investigative Reporting from the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg, Florida. She was an adjunct lecturer at Georgetown and Howard University and the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. Thompson has won numerous local, regional and national awards, including two Salute to Excellence awards from the National Association of Black Journalists for an examination of homicides in the nation’s capital and the shooting death of a 14-year-old boy by a D.C. police officer over a stolen minibike.
She was part of the Washington Post team that reported on a year-long series on police-involved shootings that won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting. In 2002, Thompson was part of a team of Washington Post reporters awarded the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting. She also is a 2011 recipient of an Emmy Award from the National Capital Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and the Freedom of Information Medal from Investigative Reporters and Editors.
Thompson is president of the Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) board and became the first African American to lead the 43-year-old organization when she was elected in 2018. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and was named the 2017 NABJ Educator of the Year. Professor Thompson also won the 2018 Robert and Christine Staub Faculty Excellence Award and the 2014 GW Honey Nashman Spark a Life Award for Faculty Member of the Year and serves on the board at the Fund for Investigative Journalism.