Jennifer Ludden - 2014 i
John Poole/NPR
Jennifer Ludden - 2014
John Poole/NPR

Jennifer Ludden

Correspondent, National Desk

Jennifer Ludden is a correspondent on NPR's National Desk. She covers a range of stories on family life and social issues.

In recent years, Ludden has reported on the changing economics of marriage, the changing role of dads, the impact of rising student debt loads, and the ethical challenges of modern reproductive technology.

Ludden helped cover national security after the 9/11 attacks, then reported on the Bush administration's crackdown on illegal immigrants as well as Congressional efforts to pass a sweeping legalization. She traveled to the Philippines for a story on how an overburdened immigration bureaucracy keeps families separated for years, and to El Salvador to profile migrants who had been deported or turned back at the border.

Prior to moving into her current assignment in 2002, Ludden spent six years as a foreign reporter for NPR covering the Middle East, Europe, and West and Central Africa. She followed the collapse of the decade-long Oslo peace process, shared in two awards (Overseas Press Club and Society of Professional Journalists) for NPR's coverage of the Kosovo war in 1999, and won the Robert F. Kennedy award for her coverage of the overthrow of Mobutu Sese Seko in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

When not navigating war zones, Ludden reported on cultural trends, including the dying tradition of storytellers in Syria, the emergence of Persian pop music in Iran, and the rise of a new form of urban polygamy in Africa.

Before joining NPR in 1995, Ludden reported in Canada, and at public radio stations in Boston and Maine.

Ludden graduated from Syracuse University in 1988 with a bachelor's degree in English and Television, Radio and Film Production.

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Abortion-rights opponent Brian Normile of Beavercreek, Ohio, holds up a poster during a prayer vigil outside Planned Parenthood in Washington, D.C., in January. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

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People who practice free-range parenting say it makes kids more independent, but others see it as neglect. State and local laws don't specify what children are allowed to do on their own. iStockphoto hide caption

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The Southwestern Women's Surgery Center in Dallas is one of the clinics in Texas that has doctors with admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, a requirement of HB2. Rex C. Curry/AP hide caption

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Protesters rally outside the Supreme Court during the March for Life on Jan. 25, 2013, in Washington, D.C. Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images hide caption

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Demonstrators on both sides of the abortion debate protest in front of the Supreme Court in 2011. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

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The number of grandparents living with their grandchildren is up sharply. Stephanie Wunderlich/Getty Images/Ikon Images hide caption

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The University of Virginia is trying to crack down on excessive and underage drinking at fraternities. Jay Paul/Getty Images hide caption

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