Russell Lewis Russell Lewis is a Deputy National Editor on NPR's National Desk.
Russell Lewis
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Russell Lewis

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Russell Lewis
Beau Gustafson/Big Swede Inc.

Russell Lewis

Deputy National Editor

Russell Lewis is a Deputy National Editor on NPR's National Desk. He coordinates coverage of breaking news and long-range planning of domestic reporting. Lewis is the network's sports editor and he also guides NPR's reporting on transportation and human spaceflight.

Before assuming this role in 2024, he spent two years as a Supervising Editor, and was Southern Bureau chief for 15 years before that. He worked with station-based reporters and freelancers in 14 states to develop and expand NPR's coverage of the region. His work brought context and dimension to issues ranging from immigration, the environment, abortion, transportation, and oil and gas drilling. He also spent a year in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, coordinating NPR's coverage of the massive rebuilding effort and the reverberations of the storm in local communities. He joined NPR in 2006 and is based in Birmingham, Alabama.

Lewis is also a key member of NPR's 'Go Team' — a small group of experienced NPR producers and reporters who respond to major disasters worldwide. He is often among the first on the scene for NPR — both reporting from these sites as well as managing the logistics of bringing additional NPR reporters into disaster areas that lack functioning transportation systems, basic utilities, food, water, and security.

He was dispatched to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, where he helped manage a group of NPR journalists. He created an overland supply line for the NPR team between the Dominican Republic and Haiti and brought listeners stories about the slow pace of supply distribution because of border bottlenecks. In Japan in 2011, he was quickly on the scene after the earthquake and tsunami to help coordinate NPR's intensive coverage. In 2013, he was on the ground overseeing NPR's reporting in the Philippines in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan. Covering the impact of the massive earthquake in Nepal in 2015, he field-produced NPR's coverage and also reported how a lack of coordination by the government and aid workers slowed response. Lewis managed NPR's on-the-ground coverage in 2015 of the terrorist attacks in Paris, France, and reported from Brussels, Belgium. He returned to Brussels in 2016 after the terrorist bombings at the airport and metro station. He helped field-produce NPR's coverage and also reported several stories about the response and recovery. In 2018, he went to Indonesia to field-produce and edit coverage following the earthquake and tsunami in Palu. He twice traveled to Marsh Harbour in the Bahamas in 2019 to provide logistics and editorial support after Hurricane Dorian decimated Abaco Island. In 2024, he spent several weeks in Israel coordinating coverage of the Israel-Hamas war.

Lewis also oversees NPR's sports coverage. He spent six weeks in Brazil in 2014 handling logistics and reporting on the World Cup. In 2015, he did the same in Canada for the Women's World Cup and from Qatar in 2022 at the World Cup. In 2016, Lewis reported and oversaw NPR's team of journalists at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. He also led NPR's coverage from Pyeongchang, South Korea, at the 2018 Winter Olympics, from Tokyo at the delayed Summer Olympics in 2021 and in Beijing at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

In 2010, the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University awarded him a prestigious Ochberg Fellowship. The Fellowship is designed to improve reporting on violence, conflict, and tragedy. Lewis has continued his work with the Dart Center and has trained reporters on behalf of the organization in Trinidad and Tobago, the Cayman Islands, and Puerto Rico.

A graduate of the University of Florida, Lewis began his public radio career in 1992 as reporter and executive producer at NPR member station WUFT in Gainesville, Florida. He also spent time at WSVH in Savannah, Georgia, and was Statehouse Bureau Chief at Kansas Public Radio. For six years he worked at KPBS in San Diego as a senior editor and reporter. He also was a talk show host and assistant news director at WGCU in Fort Myers, Florida.

When he's not busy at work, Lewis can be found being creative in the kitchen or outside refereeing soccer games.

Story Archive

Tuesday

A federal judge, appointed by Donald Trump when he was president, has delayed the start of the Mar-a-Lago classified documents trial. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

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Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Monday

The FAA says it's investigating Boeing after some required inspections of the 787 Dreamliner were not performed as required. Dreamliners are shown under production at Boeing's manufacturing facility in North Charleston, S.C. Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

Monday

British gymnast Ondine Achampong announced Monday she's torn her ACL. The injury will likely keep her out of this Summer Olympics in Paris where she was expected to be a medalist. Naomi Baker/Getty Images hide caption

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Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Sunday

Friday

Thursday

O.J. Simpson, accompanied by his parents, his son, Jason, and Ralph Wilson, owner of the Buffalo Bills, is inducted into the Wall of Fame in Rich Stadium on Sept. 14, 1980. Ross Lewis/Getty Images hide caption

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Ross Lewis/Getty Images

O.J. Simpson, football legend acquitted of notorious killings, dies at 76

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Tuesday

Monday

Boeing announced a major managerial shakeup — including that CEO Dave Calhoun will step down at the end of the year. The embattled planemaker also said the president of the commercial airplanes division would retire and its board chairman would not stand for reelection. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images hide caption

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Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Monday

Astronaut Tom Stafford (left) and cosmonaut Alexey Leonov shake hands after the first docking of U.S. and Soviet spacecraft in 1975. AP hide caption

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AP

NASA astronaut Tom Stafford, famed for U.S.-Soviet orbital handshake, has died at 93

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Tuesday

The four members of NASA's Crew-7 mission pose for a portrait inside their crew quarters on the International Space Station. Clockwise from bottom are, astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli, Andreas Mogensen, Satoshi Furukawa, and Loral O'Hara. The SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule splashed down at 5:48 a.m. ET on Tuesday, March 12, 2024 to end a six-month mission. NASA hide caption

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NASA

Monday

Boeing workers at the Renton Municipal Airport in Washington finalize assembly of an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max jet on Feb. 27. An FAA audit faulted Boeing for "multiple instances" of quality control shortcomings. Jovelle Tamayo for NPR hide caption

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Jovelle Tamayo for NPR

Sunday

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon Endeavour capsule carrying the Crew-8 mission launches from launch pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on March 3, 2024. Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Tuesday

An Alaska Airlines 737 Max 9 that made an emergency landing at Portland International Airport on Jan. 5 is parked in Portland, Ore., on Jan. 23. A door plug blew out shortly after the plane took off from Portland. There were no serious injuries, but it has renewed concerns about Boeing and production lapses. Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

NTSB says key bolts were missing from the door plug that blew off a Boeing 737 Max 9

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Thursday

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with its Crew Dragon capsule launches from pad LC-39A during Axiom Space's Ax-3 Mission at the Kennedy Space Center, in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on January 18, 2024. Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Thursday

Apollo 8 crew member Frank Borman speaks during a 2008 NASA TV program at the Newseum in Washington, DC. The former astronauts participated in a discussion on the 1968 lunar orbital mission and how the success of Apollo 8 contributed to the overall moon landing effort. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

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Alex Wong/Getty Images

Apollo astronaut Frank Borman, who first orbited moon, dies at age 95

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Thursday

Retired astronaut Ken Mattingly has died. He's pictured (center) with crewmates Jim Lovell (left) and Fred Haise (right) at a news conference about a mission he ended up missing, the ill-fated Apollo 13. Ed Kolenovsky/AP hide caption

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Ed Kolenovsky/AP

Tuesday

An Alaska Airlines plane, like this one operated by Horizon Air, had to divert to Portland, Ore. on Sunday after an off-duty pilot tried to turn off the engines in flight. Ted S. Warren/AP hide caption

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Ted S. Warren/AP

'I'm not okay,' off-duty Alaska pilot allegedly said before trying to cut the engines

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Friday

This satellite image provided by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration shows Hurricane Lee (right) in the Atlantic Ocean at 4:50 p.m. ET Friday. NOAA via AP hide caption

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NOAA via AP

Thursday

Hurricane Lee formed a well-defined eye wall on Thursday. The storm is seen here in a satellite image from around noon ET Thursday, showing the Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico to the west. NOAA/NESDIS/STAR hide caption

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NOAA/NESDIS/STAR

Tuesday

This National Hurricane Center graphic, produced at 10 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023, shows the projected path and strengthening of Hurricane Lee as it moves across the Atlantic Ocean. Credit: NOAA/National Hurricane Center hide caption

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Credit: NOAA/National Hurricane Center

Monday

In this image from video made available by NASA, the SpaceX Crew Dragon, slowed by parachutes, splashes down in the Atlantic Ocean off the Florida coast, Monday, Sept. 4, 2023, as it returns to Earth with NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, United Arab Emirates astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev after a six-month stay at the International Space Station. NASA via AP hide caption

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NASA via AP

Thursday

Tuesday

In an aerial view, a fire is seen as flood waters inundate the downtown area after Hurricane Idalia passed offshore Wednesday in Tarpon Springs, Fla. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

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Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Saturday

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying NASA's SpaceX Crew-7 mission lifts off from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on August 26, 2023 in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images hide caption

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Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images