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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Helena Hicks has remained active in Baltimore through eras of desegregation and the drug trade. Now she gives back to her childhood neighborhood, the same one where Freddie Gray lived. Jennifer Ludden/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Jennifer Ludden/NPR

Najuel Gaylord plays foosball at the Lillian S. Jones Recreation Center in West Baltimore's Sandtown neighborhood. Local recreation centers, which have a long tradition in Baltimore, provide a much-needed refuge for children in some of the city's poorest areas. Jennifer Ludden/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Jennifer Ludden/NPR

Abortion-rights supporters (foreground) try to disrupt an anti-abortion march to the Texas Capitol during a Texas Rally for Life on Jan. 24 in Austin, Texas. Eric Gay/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Eric Gay/AP

A Baltimore police officer attempts to secure a crime scene with tape at the scene of a shooting at the intersection of West North Avenue and Druid Hill Avenue in West Baltimore, Md., on May 30. Local media have reported more than 35 murders in the city since the April rioting over the death of 25-year-old resident Freddie Gray. Jim Bourg/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Jim Bourg/Reuters/Landov

A resident in the neighborhood where Freddie Gray was arrested and where residents rioted over his death in April looks on at the scene of a shooting at the intersection of West North Avenue and Druid Hill Avenue in West Baltimore, Md., on May 30. Jim Bourg/Reuters /Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Jim Bourg/Reuters /Landov

Graduates of a training program pose for a portrait after a completion ceremony at the Center for Urban Families. Courtesy of the Center for Urban Families hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the Center for Urban Families