Pam Fessler

Pam Fessler is a correspondent on NPR's National Desk, where she covers poverty and philanthropy.

In her reporting, Fessler covers homelessness, hunger, and the impact of the recession on the nation's less fortunate. She reports on non-profit groups, how they're trying to address poverty and other social issues, and how they've been affected by the economic downturn. Her poverty reporting was recognized by a 2011 First Place Headliner Award in the human interest category.

Previously, Fessler reported primarily on homeland security, including security at U.S. ports, airlines, and borders. She has also reported on the government's response to Hurricane Katrina, the 9/11 Commission investigation, and such issues as Social Security and election reform. Fessler was also 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 oversaw the network's coverage of the impeachment of President Clinton and the 1998 mid-term elections. She was NPR's chief election editor in 1996, and coordinated all network coverage of the presidential, congressional, and state elections. Prior to that role, Fessler was the deputy Washington editor and Midwest National Desk editor.

Before coming to NPR in 1993, she was a senior writer at Congressional Quarterly magazine. Fessler worked at CQ 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, NJ.

Fessler has a Masters of Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and a bachelor's degree from Douglass College in New Jersey.

Remember a couple of years ago, when it seemed like we were all one big happy family, Americans of every age and political stripe, joined in common pursuit? Millions of us spent that summer pouring buckets of ice water on our heads, to raise money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Philanthropy has always played a big role in the United States, helping to shape who we are, what we do and how. Now it's the subject of a new exhibit called "Giving in...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: Republicans will soon control the White House, Congress and the governments of half of the states in the country. That level of control has changed the landscape for voting laws. It's made it more difficult for Democrats and civil rights groups to fight new voting restrictions, like ID requirements. NPR's Pam Fessler reports. PAM FESSLER, BYLINE: Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick has released a to-do list for...

Homelessness in the U.S. declined over the past year. Even so, there were large increases in several cities, including Los Angeles and Seattle. Overall, almost 550,000 individuals were homeless on a single night earlier this year, according to a new report by the Department of Housing and Urban Development . (This report will be available online after 10:30 a.m. ET) That's a 3 percent decline from 2015, and continues a downward trend in homelessness over the past few years. The numbers are...

Poverty was one of the forgotten issues on the campaign trail this election season. Now, many who work with the nation's poor worry that it will be even more forgotten under a Trump administration and the new Republican Congress. Mariana Chilton, who runs the Center for Hunger Free Communities at Drexel University, doesn't remember Donald Trump saying much about poor people during the presidential campaign, but she does remember a comment he made about a protester who was being removed from...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: Voting around much of the country has gone fairly smoothly today despite fears of widespread disruptions at the polls. Still, there have been some scattered reports of problems like voting machine malfunctions. NPR's Pam Fessler has been watching the voting today, joins us now in studio. And Pam, what have you been seeing so far? PAM FESSLER, BYLINE: Well, Audie, we went into this election today expecting a lot...

The U.S. Justice Department says it will have more than 500 monitors and observers out Tuesday watching polling sites in 28 states. They'll be looking for any voting rights violations, such as whether voters are discriminated against because of their race or language. "The bedrock of our democracy is the right to vote, and the Department of Justice works tirelessly to uphold that right, not only on Election Day, but every day," Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement. This number...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. MICHEL MARTIN, HOST: There's been a lot of talk this election season about the integrity of Tuesday's vote. Donald Trump has repeatedly suggested the vote might be rigged against him and urged his supporters to monitor the polls. Democrats say that could cause illegal voter intimidation or even violence. But even before that, Democrats and some others have complained that some states are trying to find other ways to keep Democratic...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: There's always a lot of last minute legal activity before an election. Right now it's Democrats suing Republicans. The Democratic Party says the GOP is conspiring with the Trump campaign to intimidate and discourage minority voters, which they say would violate a 1982 consent decree that prohibits the Republican National Committee from challenging voters at the polls. We're joined in the studio now by NPR's Pam...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZALIhqzMEM One question on many people's minds is whether polling places will be disrupted on Election Day. There are concerns that vigilantes, armed with cameras and notebooks, will intimidate voters they suspect of committing fraud. Such groups insist they'll follow the law, but civil rights groups are on alert just in case. There have already been some disturbing incidents. In Durham, N.C., a voter reported someone videotaping license plates outside an early...

Vote flipping. The stories and conspiracy theories have begun. In every recent election, there have been reports of voters pressing one candidate's name on a touch-screen machine, only to have the opponent's name light up instead. It can be unnerving for voters and often leads to allegations that the machines have been "rigged" to favor one candidate over another. Enter election 2016, when the word "rigged" is more politically charged than ever. In the first few days of early voting, there...

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