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)
Stories By

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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Story Archive

A Look At The Early Voting Turnout And Voter Concerns So Far

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Supreme Court Hands Down Several Decisions On Ballots, Days Ahead Of Election Night

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How Voting Is Different This Year

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Voters fill out their ballots in Miami this week. Pandemic-driven changes to voting have led to a flood of disinformation about the election process. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

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Robocalls, Rumors And Emails: Last-Minute Election Disinformation Floods Voters

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Federal Government Issues Advisory On Russian Hackers' Election Interference

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Mail-in ballots that need to be reviewed because of signature discrepancies sit in boxes at the Miami-Dade County Elections Department in Doral, Fla., on Oct. 15. Signature problems are a frequent reason that ballots are rejected, though many states allow voters to fix those problems before Election Day. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

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Race For A (Ballot) Cure: The Scramble To Fix Absentee-Ballot Problems

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Voting Rights Groups Help Americans 'Cure' Rejected Ballots

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A woman drops her ballot by mail at Broward County Supervisor Of Elections Office in Lauderhill, Fla., on Monday. Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Challenges To State Voting Rules Could End Up Before The Supreme Court

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Two Million Americans Have Already Voted

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Voters wait in line to cast their ballot at an early voting location in Fairfax, Va., on Sept. 18. Growing tensions in the country have some election officials worried about potential violence at polling places. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Democrats Worry GOP Efforts To Recruit Poll Watchers May Lead To Voter Intimidation

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