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

A crowd attends a rally as part of the 2021 Missouri Voting Rights Lobby Day at the state Capitol in Jefferson City, Mo., on March 31. The Republican-led House approved a bill that would impose strict photo ID and other requirements on voting. Jacob Moscovitch for NPR hide caption

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Jacob Moscovitch for NPR

Missouri's Long Fight Over Voting Rules Is Now Part Of A Larger National Battle

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Missouri's Deep Partisan Divide Over Who Has Access To Voting Polls

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Homeless individuals sleep near a National Guard truck ahead of the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington, D.C. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

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HUD: Growth Of Homelessness During 2020 Was 'Devastating,' Even Before The Pandemic

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Katherine Patterson, a single mother with a 3-year-old son, who lives in Kenner, La., lost her job last March and has had trouble since paying rent. Katherine Patterson hide caption

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Katherine Patterson

States Try To Push Out Billions Of Emergency Rental Aid To Families

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Congress Approved Rental Aid — But It'll Be Hard To Get It To Many Who Need It Most

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Aniya's overnight shift at an Amazon warehouse became impractical when daycare and school were canceled for her two children because of the pandemic. She was able to avoid eviction with the help of a lawyer and emergency rental assistance but she recently received a letter saying that her lease would not be renewed and she had to vacate the apartment. Pam Fessler/NPR hide caption

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Pam Fessler/NPR

For Black Families, Evictions Are Still At A Crisis Point — Despite Moratorium

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Senate Panel To Hear From Biden's HUD Nominee Rep. Marcia Fudge

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Tents of homeless people line a street in Washington, D.C., in April. Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images hide caption

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Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

For Many Areas, Count Of Homeless Population Is Canceled, Or Delayed

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A West Bloomfield, Mich., Clerk's Office employee sorts absentee ballots by the precinct and ballot number on Oct. 31. Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

Efforts To Help Absentee Voters Drove Down Mail-In Ballot Rejection Rates

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Matthew Masterson, then a senior cybersecurity adviser at the Department of Homeland Security, testifies before a House Judiciary Committee hearing in 2019. He left his post on Friday. Susan Walsh/AP hide caption

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Susan Walsh/AP

Trump Lawyers Allege Massive Vote Tampering

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