Stephen Thompson is an editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he curates Song of the Day, fusses over the placement of commas and appears as a frequent panelist on the podcasts All Songs Considered and Pop Culture Happy Hour. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the weekly NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk.
In 1993, Thompson founded The Onion's entertainment section, The A.V. Club, which he edited until December 2004. In the years since, he has provided music-themed commentaries for the NPR programs Weekend Edition Sunday, Weekend All Things Considered and Morning Edition, on which he earned the distinction of becoming the only member of the NPR Music staff ever to sing on an NPR newsmagazine. (Later, the magic of AutoTune transformed him from a 12th-rate David Archuleta into a fourth-rate Cher.) Thompson's entertainment writing has also run in Paste magazine, The Washington Post and The London Guardian.
During his tenure at The Onion, Thompson edited the 2002 book The Tenacity of the Cockroach: Conversations with Entertainment's Most Enduring Outsiders (Crown) and copy-edited six best-selling comedy books. While there, he also coached The Onion's softball team to a sizzling 21-42 record, and was once outscored 72-0 in a span of 10 innings. Later in life, Thompson redeemed himself by teaming up with the small gaggle of fleet-footed twentysomethings who won the 2008 NPR Relay Race, a triumph he documents in a hard-hitting essay for the forthcoming anthology This Is NPR: The First Forty Years (Chronicle).
A 1994 graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Thompson now lives in Silver Spring, Md., with his two children and a Frogger machine. His hobbies include watching reality television without shame, eating Pringles until his hand has involuntarily twisted itself into a gnarled claw, using the size of his Twitter following to assess his self-worth, touting the immutable moral superiority of the Green Bay Packers and maintaining a fierce rivalry with all Midwestern states other than Wisconsin.
David Welna is NPR's congressional correspondent.
Serving in this role since the final days of the Clinton administration and primarily following the Senate, Welna reports on many issues he covered earlier in his career reporting both inside and outside of the United States. In addition he's covered the September 11, 2001 attacks, the wars that followed, and the economic downturn and recession. Prior to this position, Welna covered the 2000 presidential election and the post-election vote count battle in Florida.
In mid-1998, after 15 years of reporting from abroad for NPR, Welna joined NPR's Chicago bureau. During that posting, he reported on a wide range of issues: changes in Midwestern agriculture that are putting pressures on small farmers, how foreign conflicts and economic crises affect people in the heartland, and efforts to improve public education. His background in Latin America informed his coverage of the saga of Elian Gonzalez both in Miami and Cuba.
Welna first filed stories for NPR as a freelancer in 1982, based in Buenos Aires. From there, and subsequently from Rio de Janeiro, he covered events throughout South America. In 1995, Welna became the chief of NPR's Mexico bureau.
Additionally, he has reported for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, The Financial Times, and The Times of London. Welna's photography has appeared in Esquire, The New York Times, The Paris Review, and The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Covering a wide range of stories in Latin America, Welna chronicled the wrenching 1985 trial of Argentina's former military leaders who presided over the disappearance of tens of thousands of suspected dissidents. In Brazil, he visited a town in Sao Paulo state called Americana where former slaveholders from America relocated after the Civil War. Welna covered the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, the mass exodus of Cubans who fled the island on rafts in 1994, the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas, Mexico, and the US intervention in Haiti to restore Jean Bertrand Aristide to Haiti's presidency.
Welna was honored with the 2011 Everett McKinley Dirksen Award for Distinguished Reporting of Congress, given by the National Press Foundation. In 1995, Welna he was awarded an Overseas Press Club award for his coverage of Haiti. During that same year he was chosen by the Latin American Studies Association to receive their annual award for distinguished coverage of Latin America. Welna was awarded a 1997 Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University. In 2002, Welna was elected by his colleagues to a two-year term as a member of the Executive Committee of the Congressional Radio-Television Correspondents' Galleries.
A native of Minnesota, Welna graduated magna cum laude from Carleton College in Northfield, MN, with a Bachelor of Arts and distinction in Latin American Studies. He speaks fluent Spanish, French, and Portuguese.
Ari Shapiro has been NPR's White House Correspondent since 2010. His stories appear on all of NPR's newsmagazines, including All Things Considered and Morning Edition, where he is also a frequent guest host.
Shapiro began reporting on the White House after five years as NPR's Justice Correspondent, covering national security and counterterrorism during one of the most tumultuous periods in the Justice Department's history.
He spent 2012 on the campaign trail, leading NPR's coverage of Mitt Romney during the primary and general election. He also travels widely overseas in his reporting, including visits to Afghanistan with President Obama and to Iraq with Attorney General Michael Mukasey.
The first NPR reporter to be promoted to correspondent before age 30, Shapiro has been recognized with several journalism prizes, including The American Bar Association's Silver Gavel for his coverage of prisoners lost in Louisiana's detention system after Hurricane Katrina; The Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize for his investigation of methamphetamine use and HIV transmission; the Columbia Journalism Review's "laurel" recognition of his investigation into disability benefits for injured veterans; and the American Judges' Association's American Gavel for a body of work reporting on courts and the justice system. He regularly appears as a guest analyst on CNN, PBS, NBC, and other TV news outlets.
Before covering the Justice Department, Shapiro worked as a public radio reporter in Atlanta, Miami, and Boston.
Shapiro moonlights as a guest singer with the "little orchestra" Pink Martini, based in his hometown of Portland, Oregon. Since he debuted with them at the Hollywood Bowl in 2009, he has performed with the band at many of the world's most storied venues, including Carnegie Hall in New York, L'Olympia in Paris, and Mount Lycabettus in Athens. He has recorded songs on three of Pink Martini's albums, in five languages.
Shapiro is a magna cum laude graduate of Yale. He began his journalism career in 2001 in the office of NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg. Shapiro was born in Fargo, North Dakota, and grew up in Portland, Oregon.
A former NPR Moscow bureau chief, Michele Kelemen now covers the State Department and Washington's diplomatic corps. Her reports can be heard on all NPR News programs, including Morning Edition and All Things Considered.
In her latest beat, Kelemen has been traveling with Secretary of State John Kerry and Hillary Clinton before him, tracking the Obama administration's broad foreign policy agenda from Asia to the Middle East. She also followed President Bush's Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell and was part of the NPR team that won the 2007 Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award for coverage of the war in Iraq.
As NPR's Moscow bureau chief, Kelemen chronicled the end of the Yeltsin era and Vladimir Putin's consolidation of power. She recounted the terrible toll of the latest war in Chechnya, while also reporting on a lighter side of Russia, with stories about modern day Russian literature and sports.
Kelemen came to NPR in September 1998, after eight years working for the Voice of America. There, she learned the ropes as a news writer, newscaster and show host.
Michele earned her Bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master's degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Russian and East European Affairs and International Economics.