Pam Fessler Pam Fessler is a correspondent on NPR's National Desk, where she covers poverty and philanthropy.
Pam Fessler at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., March 19, 2019. (photo by Allison Shelley)
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Pam Fessler

Allison Shelley/NPR
Pam Fessler at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., March 19, 2019. (photo by Allison Shelley)
Allison Shelley/NPR

Pam Fessler

Correspondent, National Desk

Pam Fessler is a correspondent on NPR's National Desk, where she covers poverty, philanthropy, and voting issues.

In her reporting at NPR, Fessler does stories on homelessness, hunger, affordable housing, and income inequality. She reports on what non-profit groups, the government, and others are doing to reduce poverty and how those efforts are working. Her poverty reporting was recognized with a 2011 First Place National Headliner Award.

Fessler also covers elections and voting, including efforts to make voting more accessible, accurate, and secure. She has done countless stories on everything from the debate over state voter identification laws to Russian hacking attempts and long lines at the polls.

After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Fessler became NPR's first Homeland Security correspondent. For seven years, she reported on efforts to tighten security at ports, airports, and borders, and the debate over the impact on privacy and civil rights. She also reported on the government's response to Hurricane Katrina, The 9/11 Commission Report, Social Security, and the Census. Fessler was one of NPR's White House reporters during the Clinton and Bush administrations.

Before becoming a correspondent, Fessler was the acting senior editor on the Washington Desk and NPR's chief election editor. She coordinated all network coverage of the presidential, congressional, and state elections in 1996 and 1998. In her more than 25 years at NPR, Fessler has also been deputy Washington Desk editor and Midwest National Desk editor.

Earlier in her career, she was a senior writer at Congressional Quarterly magazine. Fessler worked there for 13 years as both a reporter and editor, covering tax, budget, and other news. She also worked as a budget specialist at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and was a reporter at The Record newspaper in Hackensack, New Jersey.

Fessler has a master's of public administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and a bachelor's degree from Douglass College in New Jersey.

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California's Homeless Advocates Puzzled By Trump's Threats

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Los Angeles Has A Homeless Problem, Now The Trump Administration Is Getting Involved

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Lawrence, Mass., has struggled to find its economic base since the decline of manufacturing. While the city is witnessing pockets of investment, as of August 2019, one-third of Lawrence's children lived in poverty, 36 percent of residents received aid under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and just over 24 percent of residents lived in poverty. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

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A food pantry client adds a carton of yogurt to her cart at the food pantry at Jewish Family Services in Denver, Colo. Seth McConnell/Denver Post via Getty Images hide caption

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Seth McConnell/Denver Post via Getty Images

Attendees in Bucks County, Pa. test-drove new voting machines at an event aimed at helping the county decide which equipment to buy. Security is a major focus in the 2020 presidential race. Pam Fessler/NPR hide caption

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Pam Fessler/NPR

States Upgrade Election Equipment — Wary Of 'A Race Without A Finish Line'

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A Transportation Security Administration employee stands at a booth to learn about a food stamp program at a food drive at Newark Liberty International Airport, on Jan. 23, 2019, in Newark, N.J. A number of new rules and actions proposed by the Trump administration could affect poor or low-income people who use government safety net programs. Julio Cortez/AP hide caption

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Julio Cortez/AP

Critics Of Trump's Public Charge Rule Say It Will Cost Americans More In The Long Run

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Advocates Oppose Rule That Penalizes Immigrants For Needing Benefits

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Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, speaks during a briefing at the White House on Monday. Trump administration officials announced new rules that aim to deny permanent residency to migrants who may need to use food stamps, Medicaid and other public benefits. Brendan Smialowski /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Grigory Vodolazov's 3-year-old son peers into his family's apartment complex from their unit in Bellevue, Wash. The Vodolazov family is part of Creating Moves to Opportunity, a housing voucher experiment that uses incentives and counseling to encourage low-income families to move to what are called "high opportunity" areas. Jovelle Tamayo for NPR hide caption

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Jovelle Tamayo for NPR

Listen: Seattle Housing Experiment

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A grocery store in New York City advertises that it accepts food stamps. A Trump administration proposal could result in 3 million people losing their food assistance. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

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Top Intelligence Boss Creates A New Role: The Election Threats Executive

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Working Class Americans Are Finding It Increasingly Difficult To Afford Housing

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