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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Story Archive

Trump Opposes Boosting Postal Service Funding To Block Expansion Of Mail-In Voting

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A voter inserts a ballot in a drive-up drop box last week in Renton, Wash., in that state's primary. With more states expanding absentee voting due to the pandemic, the use of drop boxes is growing and leading to legal challenges from some Republicans. Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images

Ballot Drop Boxes Gain Popularity As An Alternative To In-Person And Mail-In Voting

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Voters in New York City last month during the state's primary elections. With about 100 days until Nov. 3, election officials face a variety of challenges pulling off this year's election. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

President Trump Fights Anthony Fauci. Nearly 140,000 Americans Are Dead.

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NPR Analysis: Thousands Of Mail-In Ballots Rejected For Arriving Too Late

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A rally outside the Montclair, N.J., town hall on July 1. Protesters hung 1,101 absentee ballots to represent the number of votes that weren't counted in a mayoral election that was decided by just 195 votes. Kate Albright/Montclair Local hide caption

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Kate Albright/Montclair Local

Signed, Sealed, Undelivered: Thousands Of Mail-In Ballots Rejected For Tardiness

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Former Pennsylvania Gov. and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge lamented President Trump's denigration of voting by mail because Ridge says it may wind up hurting Republicans. Haraz N. Ghanbari/Associated Press hide caption

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Haraz N. Ghanbari/Associated Press

Voter registration efforts have been disrupted by the pandemic and engagement by black and Latino voters has come into focus amid the national discussion about race and law enforcement. Charlie Riedel/AP hide caption

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Charlie Riedel/AP

There's little consensus on what needs to be done by November. Democrats would like to send every voter a mail-in ballot and extend deadlines for getting them in. Republicans insist that would lead to fraud and undermine the integrity of the election. Brynn Anderson/AP hide caption

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Brynn Anderson/AP

Chaos In Primary Elections Raises Fears For November

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Voters stand in line as they wait to cast their ballots during primary voting in Braddock, Pa., on Tuesday. Problems with absentee ballots and a smaller number of polling places led to long lines in several states as primary elections that were delayed by the coronavirus resumed. Gene J. Puskar/AP hide caption

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Gene J. Puskar/AP

8 States And D.C. Hold Primary Elections Amid Pandemic And Civil Unrest

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An election worker in Renton, Wash., begins processing mail-in ballots during that state's presidential primary in March. Varying state-by-state requirements around signatures and other rules have become the focus of legal fights as absentee voting expands due to the pandemic. Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images

The Legal Fight Over Mail-In And Absentee Voting Intensifies During The Pandemic

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A voter registration volunteer in Philadelphia in 2018. New registrations had surged going into 2020 but have dropped off dramatically as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Dominick Reuter/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Dominick Reuter/AFP via Getty Images

Pandemic Puts A Crimp On Voter Registration, Potentially Altering Electorate

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