Robert Siegel

Robert Siegel is senior host of NPR's award-winning evening newsmagazine All Things Considered. With 40 years of experience working in radio news, Siegel is still at it hosting the country's most-listened-to, afternoon-drive-time news radio program and reporting on stories and happenings all over the globe. As a host, Siegel has reported from a variety of locations across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia.

In 2010, Siegel was recognized by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism with the John Chancellor Award. Siegel has been honored with three Silver Batons from Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University, first in 1984 for All Things Considered's coverage of peace movements in East and West Germany. He shared in NPR's 1996 Silver Baton Award for "The Changing of the Guard: The Republican Revolution," for coverage of the first 100 days of the 104th Congress. He was part of the NPR team that won a Silver Baton for the network's coverage of the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan Province, China.

Other awards Siegel has earned include a 1997 American Bar Association's Silver Gavel Award for the two-part documentary, "Murder, Punishment, and Parole in Alabama" and the National Mental Health Association's 1991 Mental Health Award for his interviews conducted on the streets of New York in an All Things Considered story, "The Mentally Ill Homeless."

Siegel joined NPR in December 1976 as a newscaster and became an editor the following year. In 1979, Siegel became NPR's first staffer based overseas when he was chosen to open NPR's London bureau, where he worked as senior editor until 1983. After London, Siegel served for four years as director of the News and Information Department, overseeing production of NPR's newsmagazines All Things Considered and Morning Edition, as well as special events and other news programming. During his tenure, NPR launched its popular Saturday and Sunday newsmagazine Weekend Edition.

Before coming to NPR, Siegel worked for WRVR Radio in New York City as a reporter, host and news director. He was part of the WRVR team honored with an Armstrong Award for the series, "Rockefeller's Drug Law." Prior to WRVR, he was morning news reporter and telephone talk show host for WGLI Radio in Babylon, New York.

A graduate of New York's Stuyvesant High School and Columbia University, Siegel began his career in radio at Columbia's radio station, WKCR-FM. As a student he anchored coverage of the 1968 Columbia demonstrations and contributed to the work that earned the station an award from the Writers Guild of America East.

Siegel is the editor of The NPR Interviews 1994, The NPR Interviews 1995 and The NPR Interviews 1996, compilations of NPR's most popular radio conversations from each year.

Iraq
3:09 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

U.S. Response In Iraq: From Emergency Solution To Slate Of Paths Forward

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 8:45 pm

The U.S. has begun airlifting humanitarian aid and conducting limited airstrikes in the attempt to protect Iraq's refugee populations of religious minorities. NPR's Tom Bowman talks with Robert Siegel about the possible policy options for the U.S. in Iraq.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Shots - Health News
4:06 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

What The Odds Fail To Capture When A Health Crisis Hits

Brian Zikmund-Fisher with his wife, Naomi, and daughter, Eve, in 1999, after he had a bone marrow transplant. He says he made the decision to have the treatment based on factors he couldn't quantify.
Courtesy of Brian Zikmund-Fisher

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 1:44 pm

How well do we understand and act on probabilities that something will happen? A 30 percent chance of this or an 80 percent chance of that?

As it turns out, making decisions based on the odds can be an extremely difficult thing to do, even for people who study the science of how we make decisions.

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News
3:28 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Tenuous Progress At Jet's Crash Site, As Clashes Flare Close By

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 5:35 pm

The first Dutch investigators have reached the crash site of the Malaysian airliner shot down in eastern Ukraine. Meanwhile, fighting broke out in the outskirts of Donetsk between separatists and armed groups supporting the government in Kiev.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

News
4:47 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Wrap-up: The Day's Events In Eastern Ukraine And Gaza

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 6:54 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now to recap the major stories of the day. The United States is pinning the blame for the crash of a passenger jet in Ukraine on pro-Russian separatists. President Obama said today that Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile from an area controlled by the separatists. Mr. Obama called for a cease-fire to allow for a full investigation.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Middle East
3:53 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Israel Launches A Ground Campaign Against Hamas In Gaza

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 7:40 pm

According to a statement from the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Defense Force has been instructed to begin a ground offensive into the Gaza Strip. The move comes 10 days after violence renewed between Hamas and Israel.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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News
3:53 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Malaysian Airliner Crashes In Eastern Ukraine

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 7:40 pm

A Malaysia Airlines flight carrying nearly 300 people has crashed in eastern Ukraine, near the Russian border. In the immediate aftermath, it is not clear whether the plane was shot down, but Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is calling for a swift investigation.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Middle East
3:13 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

In Battle Over Gaza, A Slow Build-up Shows No Signs Of Ending

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 5:13 pm

Israel stepped up its air assault on the Gaza Strip, following the killings of Israeli and Palestinian teens. Unlike air strikes in the past, Israel has tempered its initial show of force for several reasons, but the situation appears to be steadily intensifying.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Politics
3:42 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

GOP Completes Leadership Shuffle, As McCarthy And Scalise Step Up

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 6:12 pm

House Republicans voted Thursday on leadership positions in the party's caucus. While House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy stepped up to the role of majority leader, Rep. Steve Scalise overcame a more crowded competition to replace McCarthy.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Business
4:26 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Amazon Raises The Curtain On A Fire Of Its Own

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 6:08 pm

At an unveiling in Seattle, online retail giant Amazon announced its entry into the smartphone market with a new device called "Fire." NPR's Martin Kaste was at the unveiling in Seattle, and he offers his take on the event.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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National Security
3:06 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

U.S. Commandos Catch Alleged Leader Of Benghazi Attack

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 7:33 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, BYLINE: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. The United States has, in custody, a man they say was behind the terrorist attack in Benghazi. His name is Ahmed Abu Khatallah. President Obama announced the development earlier today.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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National Security
3:36 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

An American Suicide Bomber In Syria

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 6:07 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. The State Department has confirmed that a U.S. citizen was involved in the suicide bombing in Syria earlier this week. Today, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed the man's identity in response to a reporter's question.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Can you confirm, at least, the name that he went by - as was published - Abu Huraya al-Amriki?

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Music
3:08 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

On Auction Block: Draft Of 'Like A Rolling Stone,' And Some Doodles

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 10:17 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's not all politics here in Washington. On Pennsylvania Avenue, there used to be a hotel called the Roger Smith. The top of the hotel's stationery proclaimed it was just one block from the White House. And it's under that heading that one of rock 'n roll's most important figures scribbled out the lyrics to one of his biggest songs.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LIKE A ROLLING STONE")

BOB DYLAN: (Singing) Once upon a time you dressed so fine, you threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you?

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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News
3:02 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

What's Known — And Still Unclear — About The Fort Hood Shooting

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 6:34 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. We're continuing to follow developments in yesterday's deadly shooting at Fort Hood that left four people dead and 16 wounded. This afternoon, the commander of Fort Hood, Lieutenant General Mark Milley, confirmed the identity of the shooter.

LIEUTENTANT GENERAL MARK MILLEY: We are able to release, his next kin have been notified. The alleged shooter is Specialist Ivan A. Lopez. He is 34 years old, originally from Puerto Rico.

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Politics
3:12 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

To Sell Health Care To Young People, Obama Steps 'Between Two Ferns'

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 5:51 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Long-time fans of the comedy website, "Funny or Die," know this already. But for the rest of you, this is the theme song of "Between Two Ferns." The Web series mimics a low-budget, cable-access interview program.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

It's the brainchild of actor and comedian Zach Galifinakis. He plays an unprepared host who fumbles through awkward conversations with celebrities. But the guest of his latest episode, released today, was a little different.

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Health
3:19 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

'Bluish' Light May Help Alzheimer's Patients Find Bearings

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 8:59 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now, health and electrical lighting. Last month, Mariana Figueiro showed me something she has developed to help seniors avoid falls in the night. Figueiro researches health applications at the Lighting Research Center at Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. Her project is a nightlight. But it's not just a single bulb. It's a string of yellow lights that border the darkened entrance to, say, a bathroom.

It's a doorway and around the frame of the doorway are the yellow LEDs?

MARIANA FIGUEIRO: That's correct.

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Parallels
3:47 pm
Wed December 25, 2013

Instead Of Sending Students Abroad, Qatar Imports U.S. Colleges

A man walks along a pathway at the Texas A&M University campus in Doha, Qatar.
Osama Faisal AP

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 9:53 pm

In Qatar's rapid race to modernity, the emirate has created a distinctive approach to educating its young: It has effectively imported a host of American universities.

Dr. Sheikha Aisha bint Faleh bin Nasser Al-Thani, a member of Qatar's ruling family, sits on the Supreme Education Council and owns a few independent schools. For her own children, she wanted a top-flight college education. Her sons were educated in Britain.

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Parallels
1:23 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

As World Cup Looms, Qatar's Migrant Worker System Faces Scrutiny

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 7:02 pm

Over the past decade, Qatar's population has soared from 660,000 to more than 2 million. Here's the catch: Qataris themselves number only around 260,000.

The rest, more than 85 percent of the population, are not citizens. As Professor Mehran Kamrava, an American scholar at Georgetown University's campus in Qatar, says, they are all migrant workers of varying types.

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Parallels
12:40 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

How Tiny Qatar 'Punches Above Its Weight'

Soldiers on camels take part in a military parade on Qatar's National Day in the capital Doha last Wednesday. The city's rapidly growing skyline is in the background. Despite its small size, Qatar has used its wealth to play an outsized role in regional affairs.
Chen Shaojin/Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 8:31 am

Qatar is a tiny place that insists on being heard.

The Arab nation just off the coast of Saudi Arabia has made itself a major diplomatic player, a generous donor of foreign aid, and a leader in modernizing education in the region. The ultra-modern capital Doha is full of skyscrapers, museums and history, much of it dating as far back as ... the 1990s.

Qatar is also a commercial capital that aims to become a cultural, sports and tourist center for the Gulf region despite having just 260,000 citizens.

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NPR Story
4:18 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

New Head Of Olympic Committee Faces A Number Of Challenges

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 5:05 pm

The International Olympic committee (IOC) has elected a new president, Thomas Bach of Germany. He assumes leadership of an organization that faces criticism over politics, costs and what some view as its insular approach to which sports are offered during the games. The new president succeeds Jacques Rogge, who lead the IOC for 12 years.

NPR Story
3:59 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

The Yankees Want Him Out But Alex Rodriguez Wants To Stay

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 11:01 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. One criticism of baseball is that it's too prone to long stretches of inaction, players sitting around not doing much. Well, if that's what baseball is, then Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees has been Mr. Baseball this season. He's been on the disabled list, but he claims he's healthy enough to play. His team begs to differ. Here to talk about the confusion is NPR's Mike Pesca, who joins us from New York. Hi, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello.

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National Security
6:03 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

House Rejects Measure That Would Have Curbed NSA Program

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 6:58 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

On Capitol Hill, an effort to limit the authority of the National Security Agency has fallen short. It was the first chance for House lawmakers to vote on the government's phone surveillance program since news of it was leaked by Edward Snowden. They rejected an amendment that the White House and top intelligence officials had lobbied hard against.

NPR's Tamara Keith joins us from Capitol Hill. And, Tamara, the amendment was defeated. How close was it?

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National Security
6:23 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

U.S. Charges NSA Leaker Snowden With Espionage

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

NPR has learned that the U.S. Department of Justice has prepared the documents to formally charge Edward Snowden with espionage. Snowden is the former contractor who has publicized details of two U.S. surveillance programs through the British newspaper The Guardian. NPR's Carrie Johnson joins us now with the latest, and Carrie, everyone's been waiting for this shoe to drop. What do we know about the government's plans to proceed?

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Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
6:47 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Police Cordon Off Conn. Shooter's Mother's House

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 9:27 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And we turn now to NPR's Robert Smith. He has been outside the home of Adam Lanza's mother on the outskirts of Newtown, Connecticut. And, Robert, has the home also been a crime scene today?

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Asia
8:34 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

N. Korea Fires Long-Range Rocket

North Korea appears to have taken a step forward in its long-range missile program. The country has fired a long-range rocket in spite of warnings from the U.S. and the United Nations.

Election 2012
6:37 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

Polls Closed In Virginia, But Race Too Close To Call

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 7:08 pm

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Lynn Neary. And the results are starting to come in. At this hour, polls in six states have closed. That includes the all-important swing state of Virginia. It's the only state in the bunch that is too close to call. In South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky and Indiana, NPR projects that Mitt Romney will win. And in Vermont, the NPR projection is a win for President Obama. No surprises there.

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Around the Nation
6:41 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

In New York, Lights Are Back On But The Race Is Off

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

In New York City, the lights are coming back on and the race has been called off. For details, I'm joined now by NPR's Margot Adler in New York. And, Margot, first, where has the electricity been restored?

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U.S.
5:53 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Obama Wades Through New Jersey's Recovery

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

The most populous city in the country is drying out, and beginning a long and complicated recovery. One positive sign: Tomorrow, some New York City subway routes are scheduled to reopen. But today, gridlock ruled as people took to their cars. And that means it's carpool time.

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