Eric Westervelt Eric Westervelt is a San Francisco-based correspondent for NPR's National Desk.
Stories By

Eric Westervelt

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Eric Westervelt at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., September 27, 2018. (photo by Allison Shelley)
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Eric Westervelt

Correspondent

Correspondent-Editor Eric Westervelt has covered defining conflicts and major stories across the world and America for NPR News. He's served as a correspondent and Bureau Chief in Jerusalem, Baghdad and Berlin, covering the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine, as well as conflicts across the Middle East including Israel-Palestine, Israel-Lebanon, the Gaza Strip and the North African revolutions that swept Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. In Europe he covered everything from the economic crisis and migration to Bach's Christmas Oratorio.

Stateside Westervelt has reported on big breaking news stories such as mass shootings and natural disasters including catastrophic wildfires from California to West Maui and the deadliest mass killing in modern U.S. history. He's reported news features on everything from the homeless crisis and opioid addiction to a nonprofit that supports indigent blues musicians.

As an editor for NPR's National Desk Westervelt has worked with reporters across the Western U.S. and Texas. He also serves as an occasional guest host for NPR news shows, interviewing greats from Jimmy Carter to poet Claudia Rankine.

Additionally, Westervelt helped launch NPR's innovative, award-winning education platform NPR Ed and helped build a collaborative team that covers America's criminal justice system including state and local courts, prisons, juvenile justice and policing.

Westervelt was also a contributing producer for Pictures on the Radio, a photo and essay book honoring NPR journalist David Gilkey's award-winning photography and career. Gilkey was killed in a Taliban ambush while covering Afghanistan in 2016.

After nearly a decade with NPR's International Desk, Westervelt was awarded a prestigious Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University in 2013.

His work has been honored with broadcast journalism's highest honors including the 2002 George Foster Peabody Award for coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the aftermath; the 2003 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University award for the war in Afghanistan and for also for 2001 terrorist attacks; 2004 and 2007 duPont-Columbia Awards for NPR's in-depth coverage of the war in Iraq and its effect on Iraqi society. Westervelt's 2009 multimedia series on Israel's massive 439-mile West Bank wall with NPR's David Gilkey won an Overseas Press Club award. He also shared an Edward R. Murrow RTNDA award with NPR Ed for his coverage of education, teaching and learning.

Prior to his work overseas, Westervelt covered military affairs and the Pentagon out of Washington, D.C. reporting on a wide range of defense, national security as well as foreign policy issues. Before that he covered some of the biggest domestic stories as a reporter on NPR's National Desk covering everything from the mass killing at Columbine High School to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

A guitar player in his other life, he occasionally does music features including profiles and remembrances of musicians including rocker David Crosby, blues and rock greats Freddie King and Otis Rush, Eric Clapton and J. J. Cale, and Roy Orbison, and the enduring allure of the Fender Stratocaster. His feature on the making of John Coltrane's classic A Love Supreme was part of the NPR series on the most influential American musical works of the 20th century, which was recognized with a George Foster Peabody Award.

Before joining NPR, Westervelt freelanced in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest and worked as news director, host and reporter in New Hampshire for NHPR and as a contributing reporter for Monitor Radio, the broadcast edition of the Christian Science Monitor.

He is a graduate of the Putney School and Reed College in Portland, Oregon.

Story Archive

Friday

Monday

Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen Jr. visits a distribution center at Lahaina Crossing. A deadly wildfire destroyed the city of Lahaina, Maui. Deanne Fitzmaurice for NPR hide caption

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Deanne Fitzmaurice for NPR

Massive mental health toll in Maui wildfires: 'They've lost everything'

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Saturday

Officials in Lahaina are trying to get mental health support to displaced residents

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Friday

Niko Sena, right, hugs a friend who has been helping with the effort. Deanne Fitzmaurice for NPR hide caption

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On Maui, another fire is burning but capturing less attention than Lahaina

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Thursday

About 25 miles from devastated Lahaina, another wildfire is burning on Maui

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Monday

Oregon Republicans' walkouts trigger a new state law on reelection

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Sunday

Saint Columba Catholic Church in Oakland, Calif., commemorates every murder in the city with wooden crosses in its front garden. The city's homicide rate remains stubbornly high while its murder clearance rate remains well under the already low national average. Eric Westervelt/NPR hide caption

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More people are getting away with murder. Unsolved killings reach a record high

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Saturday

More people are getting away with murder. Unsolved killings reach a record high

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Wednesday

Trump pleads not guilty to 34 felony counts. Supporters and detractors speak out

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Wednesday

In Rancho Cordova, Calif., Diana and Lorrin Burdick host an informal support group lunch at their house for parents of children struggling with severe mental health problems, including schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. Eric Westervelt/NPR hide caption

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Need help for loved ones with severe mental health illness? California has a plan

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Monday

Parts of California to have Care Court for those with untreated severe mental illness

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Monday

Soldiers of the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry Division secure a field near Najaf, Iraq, at sunrise on March 23, 2003. John Moore/AP hide caption

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Capturing the sound of war as U.S. forces charged for Baghdad

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Wednesday

Oakland police chief placed on leave after scathing report showing oversight

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Saturday

Two men have been charged for the mass shooting in San Joaquin Valley

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Wednesday

Californians are reeling from 2 mass shootings that left at least 18 people dead

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Tuesday

There's been another shooting massacre in California. This one in Half Moon Bay

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Thursday

David Crosby, an icon of American rock, has died at age 81

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Friday

California's San Quentin prison houses the state's only death row for male inmates. Death row for men and women will soon be dismantled. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

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California says it will dismantle death row. The move brings cheers and anger

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Thursday

California moves ahead with efforts to dismantle the nation's largest death row

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Thursday

The latest on the storm that has knocked out power to tens of thousands in California

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Wednesday

Dire warnings of flooding, power outages and mudslides as storms hit California

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Saturday

UC students on strike say they are overworked and underpaid

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