Joel Simon

Senior Visiting Fellow

Joel Simon

Joel Simon is a senior visiting fellow at the Knight Institute and was executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists from 2006 through 2021. While at the Institute in 2022, Simon will focus on the increasingly harsh treatment of U.S. journalists by police, compiling a report that draws on five years of data from the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, as well as interviews with media and law enforcement stakeholders.

During his 15 years as head of the Committee to Protect Journalists, he has written widely on press freedom issues for publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and The Wall Street Journal, and is a regular columnist for Columbia Journalism Review. Under his leadership, CPJ has been honored with numerous awards, including the Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights, a News & Documentary Emmy, and the 2018 Chatham House Prize, given for the most significant contribution to the improvement of international relations in the previous year.

Prior to joining CPJ in 1997 as Americas program coordinator, Simon worked for a decade as a freelance journalist in Latin America. He covered the Guatemalan civil war, the Zapatista uprising in Southern Mexico, the debate over the North American Free Trade Agreement, and the economic turmoil in Cuba following the collapse of the Soviet Union. A graduate of Amherst College and Stanford University, he is the author of Endangered Mexico: An Environment on the Edge (Sierra Club Books, 1997), The New Censorship: Inside the Global Battle for Media Freedom (Columbia University Press 2015); and We Want to Negotiate: The Secret World of Kidnapping, Hostages, and Ransom (Columbia Global Reports 2018).

Joel Simon

Writings & Appearances