Washington Post Columnist Steven Pearlstein to Join Mason

Posted: December 6, 2010 at 1:04 am, Last Updated: December 6, 2010 at 8:34 am

By James Greif

Steven Pearlstein. Photo courtesy of The Washington Post

Steven Pearlstein, Washington Post columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner, will join Mason’s faculty as Clarence J. Robinson Professor of Public and International Affairs in fall 2011.

Pearlstein will teach classes related to economics, public affairs and the media. In addition to his academic duties, he will continue writing a weekly column for The Washington Post and moderate its leadership website, On Leadership.

“George Mason University is pleased and proud to have Steve Pearlstein join our faculty as a Robinson professor,” says Mason President Alan Merten.

“Since the creation of the program, our institution has been fortunate to have many distinguished scholars serve as Robinson professors. As a leading voice for our region and a nationally recognized journalist, Steve will enrich our academic reputation. He will work directly with students and provide them invaluable insights into the world as well as showcase our institution’s commitment to teaching and advanced scholarship.”

At The Washington Post, Pearlstein writes about a wide range of business and economic issues, from international trade to health care policy to regional economic development.

In 2008, Pearlstein won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary for his columns explaining and anticipating the recent financial crises.

During his 22 years at The Washington Post, Pearlstein has served as deputy business editor, defense industry reporter, economics correspondent and Canada correspondent.

Before joining The Post, Pearlstein was a reporter at WGBH-TV in Boston, an editor at Inc. magazine and founding editor and publisher of the Boston Observer. He also served as administrative assistant to Sen. John A. Durkin and Rep. Michael J. Harrington.

“Steve’s insight and knowledge of business and the economy, and his originality as a writer and thinker, bring great value to The Washington Post and its readers,” says Marcus Brauchli, executive editor at The Washington Post. “With this additional role, he is sure to inspire a new generation at Mason.”

The Robinson Professors program was established in 1984 by a bequest from the late Clarence J. Robinson, a businessman and civic leader in Northern Virginia. The program has allowed Mason to hire distinguished scholars in the liberal arts and sciences. The mission of these educators is to enrich the academic experiences of undergraduate students while continuing their scholarly pursuits and public engagements.

“I’m excited — and a little bit nervous — to be embarking on this new career as college professor,” says Pearlstein. “And yet I still get to keep my hand in journalism and maintain my association with one of the world’s best news organizations.

“I’ve always been impressed by the excitement and energy at Mason and the diversity of its student body, and I’m honored by the appointment as a Robinson Professor. I look forward to getting to know better my many new colleagues and students and contributing to the rich academic life on the Fairfax Campus.”

Pearlstein will be the second Washington Post Pulitzer Prize winner to join the Robinson Professor program. Roger Wilkins, Clarence J. Robinson Professor Emeritus, was part of the editorial team at The Washington Post that won the Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the Watergate scandal.

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