Russell Lewis i

Russell Lewis Beau Gustafson/Big Swede Inc. hide caption

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Russell Lewis

Russell Lewis

Beau Gustafson/Big Swede Inc.

Russell Lewis

Southern Bureau Chief

As NPR's Southern Bureau Chief, Russell Lewis covers issues and people of the Southeast for NPR — from Florida to Virginia to Texas, including West Virginia, Kentucky and Oklahoma. His work brings context and dimension to issues ranging from immigration, transportation and oil and gas drilling for NPR listeners across the nation and around the world.

In addition to developing and expanding NPR's coverage of the region, Lewis assigns and edits stories from station-based reporters and freelancers that air on NPR's news programs, working closely with local correspondents and public radio station stations. He spent a year in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, coordinating NPR's coverage of the massive rebuilding effort and the reverberations of the storm in local communities. He joined NPR in 2006 and is based in Birmingham, Alabama.

Lewis is also a key member of NPR's 'Go Team' a small group of experienced NPR producers and reporters who respond to major disasters worldwide. He is often among the first on the scene for NPR — both reporting from these sites as well as managing the logistics of bringing additional NPR reporters into disaster areas that lack functioning transportation systems, basic utilities, food, water and security.

He was dispatched to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, where he helped manage a team of NPR journalists. He created an overland supply line for the NPR team between the Dominican Republic and Haiti and brought listeners stories about the slow pace of supplies because of border bottlenecks. In Japan in 2011 he was quickly on the scene after the earthquake and tsunami to help coordinate NPR's intensive coverage. In 2013, he was on the ground overseeing NPR's reporting in the Philippines in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan. Covering the impact of the massive earthquake in Nepal in 2015, he field-produced NPR's coverage and also reported how a lack of coordination by the government and aid workers slowed response.

Lewis's international coverage also includes spending six weeks in Brazil in 2014 handling logistics and reporting on the World Cup. In 2015, he did the same in Canada for the Women's World Cup.

In 2010, the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University awarded him a prestigious Ochberg Fellowship. The Fellowship is designed to improve reporting on violence, conflict and tragedy. Lewis has continued his work with the Dart Center and has trained reporters on behalf of the organization in Trinidad and Tobago and the Cayman Islands.

Lewis began his public radio career in 1992 as reporter and executive producer at NPR member station WUFT in Gainesville, Florida. He also spent time at WSVH in Savannah, Georgia and was Statehouse Bureau Chief at Kansas Public Radio. For six years he worked at KPBS in San Diego as a senior editor and reporter. He also was a talk show host and assistant news director at WGCU in Fort Myers, Florida.

When he's not busy at work, Lewis can be found being creative in the kitchen or outside refereeing soccer games.

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A piece of a wing, apparently from a Boeing 777, has been found on Reunion, an island in the Indian Ocean. It's not clear yet whether the debris is from the Malaysia Airlines jet that disappeared from radar during a flight last year. Yannick Pitou/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Tyler Saladino throws out Chicago Cubs catcher Taylor Teagarden during a game between the crosstown rivals at Chicago's Wrigley Field on July 10. Tannen Maury/EPA/Landov hide caption

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Japan fans are wildly outnumbered by red, white and blue ahead of the game on Sunday, but these three are decked out and ready to go. From left, Asuka Tsujimoto Keiko Tsujii and Yuri Nakayama came to Vancouver to cheer their country on. Melissa Block/NPR hide caption

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Carli Lloyd of the U.S. (in white) celebrates after scoring on a penalty kick Tuesday night in the Americans' 2-0 World Cup semifinal victory against Germany. Elsa/Getty Images hide caption

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Goalie Hope Solo of the United States celebrates with midfielder Carli Lloyd on Friday after defeating China 1-0 in the Women's World Cup quarterfinals in Ottawa, Canada. Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images hide caption

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Lauren Holiday of the United States is given a yellow card Monday in the first half against Colombia in a Women's World Cup match in Edmonton, Canada. She also received one in an earlier match against Australia, so Holiday will be suspended for the Americans' next match. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images hide caption

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Abby Wambach of the U.S. (from right) celebrates with teammates Lauren Holiday and Tobin Heath after scoring against Nigeria at the end of the first half Tuesday during the FIFA Women's World Cup in Vancouver, Canada. Ben Nelms/EPA/Landov hide caption

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Nigerian fans stand and deliver cheers at a match against Australia, played during the Women's World Cup in Winnipeg, Canada. Russell Lewis/NPR hide caption

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Goats and Soda

Nigerian Soccer Fans Really Know How To Have A Ball

The U.S. team, which plays Nigeria tonight at the Women's World Cup, is a tournament favorite. But Nigeria's funtastic fans deserve a cup of their own.

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Defenders Meghan Klingenberg, left, and Becky Sauerbrunn of the United States sandwich Sofia Jakobsson of Sweden on Friday during their Group D World Cup match in Winnipeg, Canada. Wang Lili/Xinhua/Landov hide caption

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