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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Andrea Lerner (left), and her husband, Ira Lerner, sift through the mail-in applications at the Voter Registration office in the Lehigh County Government Center in Allentown, Pa. Hannah Yoon for NPR hide caption

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Hannah Yoon for NPR

'We're Rolling With It': Election Workers Scramble To Adjust To Changing Voting Rules

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North Carolina Becomes 1st State To Send Out Mail-In Ballots For November Election

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Workers prepare absentee ballots for mailing Thursday at the Wake County Board of Elections in Raleigh. Other states will soon follow North Carolina in sending out ballots as the general election voting season gets underway. Gerry Broome/AP hide caption

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Gerry Broome/AP

Ballots are stored at the Franklin County Board of Elections in Columbus, Ohio, on April 28, the final day of that state's primary election. An NPR analysis finds that more than 500,000 absentee ballots were rejected in primaries this year. Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images hide caption

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Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images

More Than 550,000 Primary Absentee Ballots Rejected In 2020, Far Outpacing 2016

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With voting by mail set for a major expansion because of the pandemic, some worry that thousands of absentee ballots could be rejected because the Postal Service may not postmark the envelope. Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

States Mull Rule Changes To Make Sure Mail-In Ballots Are Counted

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Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is under fire for management changes he has made to the Postal Service that some say could slow the delivery of absentee ballots this fall. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

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Alex Wong/Getty Images

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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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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