The Authors

Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

New York Times reporters and Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn guide readers on an odyssey through Africa and Asia to meet the extraordinary women struggling there.

Nicholas Kristof

Kristof01-04.jpg

Nicholas Kristof in Nairobi, Kenya

Photo by David Smoler

Nicholas D. Kristof, a columnist for The New York Times since November 2001, is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner who writes op-ed columns that appear twice a week.

Mr. Kristof grew up on a sheep and cherry farm near Yamhill, Oregon. He graduated from Harvard College, Phi Beta Kappa, and then won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, where he studied law and graduated with first class honors. He later studied Arabic in Cairo and Chinese in Taipei. After working in France, he caught the travel bug and began backpacking around Africa and Asia, writing articles to cover his expenses. Mr. Kristof has lived on four continents, reported on six, and traveled to more than 150 countries, plus all 50 states, every Chinese province and every main Japanese island. He’s also one of the very few Americans to be at least a two-time visitor to every member of the “Axis of Evil.” During his travels, he has had unpleasant experiences with malaria, mobs and an African airplane crash.

After joining The New York Times in 1984, initially covering economics, he served as a correspondent in Los Angeles and as bureau chief in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Tokyo. In 2000, he covered the presidential campaign, and he is the author of the chapter on George W. Bush in the reference book The Presidents. He later was Associate Managing Editor of The New York Times, responsible for Sunday editions.

In 1990 Mr. Kristof and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, until recently also a New York Times journalist, won a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of China’s Tiananmen Square movement. They were the first married couple to win a Pulitzer for journalism. Mr. Kristof won a second Pulitzer in 2006, for what the judges called “his graphic, deeply reported columns that, at personal risk, focused attention on genocide in Darfur.” Mr. Kristof has also won other prizes including the George Polk award, the Overseas Press Club award, the Michael Kelly award, the Online News Association award, and the American Society of Newspaper Editors award. Mr. Kristof has taken a special interest in Web journalism and was the first blogger on The New York Times Web site; he has a Facebook fan page and a channel on YouTube, as well as more than 1 million followers on Twitter.

In his column, Mr. Kristof was an early opponent of the Iraq war and was among the first to warn that we were losing ground in Afghanistan. He has regularly focused attention on global poverty, health and gender issues, as well as climate change. Since 2004, he has written dozens of columns about Darfur and has visited the region around Darfur eleven times.

Mr. Kristof and Ms. WuDunn are authors of three best-selling books: China Wakes: The Struggle for the Soul of a Rising Power in 1994; Thunder from the East: Portrait of a Rising Asia in 2000; and Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide in 2009. Mr. Kristof is also the subject of an HBO documentary executive-produced by Ben Affleck, Reporter, and serves on the boards of Harvard University and the American Association of Rhodes Scholars. He has received a number of honorary doctorates and other honors. Mr. Kristof and Ms. WuDunn are the parents of three children. Mr. Kristof enjoys running, backpacking, and having his Chinese and Japanese corrected by his children.

Visit his blog On the Ground, join him on Facebook and Google+, watch his YouTube videos and follow him on Twitter.

Sheryl WuDunn

WuDunn01-04.jpg

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide co-author Sheryl WuDunn

Photo by Jenni Morello

Sheryl WuDunn, the first Asian-American reporter to win a Pulitzer Prize, is a business executive, lecturer, and best-selling author. Currently, she is a senior managing director with Mid-Market Securities, an investment banking boutique helping growth companies, including those operating in the emerging markets. At MMS, she raises capital for a variety of clients: men and women entrepreneurs in new media, media technology and social enterprise. She was also a Senior Lecturer at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs in fall 2011.

Previously, Ms. WuDunn has been vice president, in the role of investment advisor for private clients, in the investment management division at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and a commercial loan officer at Bankers Trust. She also worked at The New York Times as both an executive and journalist: in management roles in both the Strategic Planning and Circulation Sales departments at The Times; as editor for international markets, energy and industry; as The Times’s first anchor of an evening news headlines program for a digital cable TV channel, the Discovery-Times; and as a foreign correspondent for The Times in Tokyo and Beijing, where she wrote about economic, financial, political and social issues.

She is co-author of Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, a New York Times best-selling book about the challenges facing women around the globe, published in 2009 by Knopf and featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Colbert Report and other network television shows. Ms. WuDunn also helped launch the development of the multimedia effort for the project – creating a thoughtful, effective philanthropic strategy that includes an online social game and a documentary series.

With her husband, Nicholas D. Kristof, she has co-authored two other best-selling books about Asia: Thunder from the East and China Wakes. Ms. WuDunn won a Pulitzer Prize with her husband for covering China, along with the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Lifetime Achievement. She has also won other journalism prizes, including the George Polk Award and Overseas Press Club awards. Ms. WuDunn has also won a White House Project EPIC award, and she has been a judge for the State Department “Secretary’s Innovation Award for Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment.” She has won other awards, including the Asia Women in Business Corporate Leadership Award, the Pearl S. Buck Woman of the Year Award, the Harriet Beecher Stowe Prize, among numerous other awards. In 2011, Newsweek cited Ms. WuDunn as one of the “150 Women Who Shake the World.”

She graduated from Cornell University, where she is a member of the Board of Trustees, a member of the Board’s Finance Committee, a former co-chair of the Board’s Academic Affairs Committee and former member of the $4 billion endowment’s Investment Committee. She earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and an M.P.A. from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, where she was a member of its Advisory Council. Ms. WuDunn received an honorary doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania and Middlebury College. Ms. WuDunn lectures around the United States and abroad on economic, political and social topics related to women in the developing world, the global economy, China and the emerging markets. Ms. WuDunn has discussed China economic issues on television and radio programs, such as Fox Business News, The Colbert Report, Charlie Rose and NPR, and she has discussed philanthropic issues on programs such as NBC’s Dateline.

Join her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

Presented by ITVS, funded by Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional program funding provided by the Ikea Foundation, US Agency for International Development (USAID) (in partnership with FHI-360 and C-Change), Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women, the Ford Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Coca-Cola Foundation, the NoVo Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Seedling Foundation, the Nike Foundation, the United Nations Foundation. 

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide is not in any way affiliated with or in partnership with the Half the Sky Foundation, a nonprofit organization created in 1998 to enrich the lives and enhance the prospects for orphaned children in China. For more information about the Half the Sky Foundation, visit halfthesky.org.