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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Karina Shumate, 21, a college student, filled out a voter registration form in Richardson, Texas on Jan. 18. One big registration effort this year has drawn controversy among elections officials. LM Otero/AP hide caption

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A Big Vote Registration Push Reaches Millions — But Divides Elections Officials

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Decades ago, people with leprosy were confined to a hospital in Carville, La. The fear of being forcibly isolated in this place led many patients to avoid seeking treatment and hide their disease. In the 1950s, the Daughters of Charity worked at the hospital and the research lab it housed. Richard Tolbert/AP hide caption

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Precinct captain Carl Voss of Des Moines displays the Iowa Democratic Party caucus reporting app on his phone outside the Iowa Democratic Party headquarters on Tuesday. Nati Harnik/AP hide caption

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Nati Harnik/AP

Then-Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann electronically cast his ballot in Jackson, Miss., on Nov. 5, 2019. Rogelio V. Solis/AP hide caption

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Election Officials To Convene Amid Historic Focus On Voting And Interference

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As Americans Fear Foreign Interference, Federal Agencies Work To Secure Elections

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American Distrust Of The Voting Process Is Widespread, NPR Poll Finds

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Trump Continues Criticism Of Democrats On Homelessness, But Hasn't Intervened

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Jonathan Jones is Albany's commissioner of recreation, youth and workforce services. He credits his single mother's persistence for pushing him to take advantage of every available academic opportunity and getting him to where he is today. Richard Beaven for NPR hide caption

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Richard Beaven for NPR

'Somebody's On My Side': 3 Men Who Escaped Poverty Help Others Find A Way Out

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Are States Purging Or Cleaning Voter Registration Rolls?

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Vacant homes marked as unsafe structures in the West Hill neighborhood of Albany, N.Y. New data from the Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy at Brandeis University reveal a sharp racial divide in access to opportunities in almost every major metropolitan area of the country, including Albany. Richard Beaven for NPR hide caption

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In Nearly Every U.S. Metro Area, New Data Show Opportunity Lags For Kids Of Color

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The Trump administration has finalized a rule to limit food stamp benefits for single able-bodied adults who can't show that they work more than 20 hours a week, though legal challenges are possible. Robert F. Bukaty/AP hide caption

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Nearly 700,000 SNAP Recipients Could Lose Benefits Under New Trump Rule

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A voter casts a ballot in Louisville, Ky., this month. Long-serving election officials around the country are retiring ahead of the 2020 election, which could be among the most challenging to administer in the country's history. John Sommers II/Getty Images hide caption

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As 2020 Approaches, Some Experienced Election Officials Head To The Exits

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