Helene Cooper is a Pentagon correspondent for The New York Times. Prior to this assignment, she covered the White House and was The Times' diplomatic correspondent. She joined the newspaper in 2004 as the assistant editorial page editor, a position she held for two years before she ran out of opinions and returned to news. She has reported from 64 countries, from Pakistan to the Congo.
Previously, Helene worked for 12 years at The Wall Street Journal, where she was a foreign correspondent, reporter and editor, working in the London, Washington and Atlanta bureaus. She is the winner of the Raymond Clapper award for Washington reporting (2000), the Sandy Hume award for best reporter under the age of 35 (2001), the Missouri Lifestyle award for feature writing (2002), a National Association of Black Journalists award for feature writing (2004), and the Urbino Press Award for foreign reporting (2011). In 2015 she won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting, an Overseas Press Club Award for International Reporting, and a George Polk Award for Health Reporting, all three for her coverage of the Ebola crisis.
Born in Monrovia, Liberia, Helene is the author of The House at Sugar Beach: In Search of a Lost African Childhood (Simon & Schuster), a New York Times bestseller and a National Book Critics Circle finalist in autobiography in 2009. In 2009 and 2010, she appeared on the TV quiz show, Jeopardy!, as a clue. She has also appeared on Meet the Press, Washington Week, The Tavis Smiley Show, The Chris Matthews Show, and This Week. Her latest book, Madame President, published by Simon & Schuster, is the harrowing, but triumphant story of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, leader of the Liberian women’s movement, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, and the first democratically elected female president in African history.
Helene holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.