Jelani Cobb joined the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism faculty in 2016 and became dean in 2022. He has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2015. He received a Peabody Award for his 2020 PBS Frontline film “Whose Vote Counts?” and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Commentary in 2018. He has also been a political analyst for MSNBC since 2019.
He is the author of The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress and To the Break of Dawn: A Freestyle on the Hip Hop Aesthetic. He is the editor or co-editor of several volumes, including The Matter of Black Lives, a collection of The New Yorker’s writings on race, and The Essential Kerner Commission Report. He is producer or co-producer on a number of documentaries including “Lincoln’s Dilemma,” “Obama: A More Perfect Union,” and “Policing the Police.”
Dr. Cobb was educated at Jamaica High School in Queens, N.Y., Howard University, where he earned a B.A. in English, and Rutgers University, where he completed his M.A. and doctorate in American History in 2003. He is also a recipient of fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Fulbright Foundation, and the Shorenstein Center at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.