Cheryl W. Thompson, president of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), is an associate professor of journalism at George Washington University and writes investigative stories for The Washington Post.
Since coming to The Post in 1997, Thompson has written extensively about law enforcement, political corruption and guns, including an investigative series on firearms, which tracked guns used to kill 511 police officers in the U.S. She co-authored a Washington Post e-book Guns in America in 2012 and another in January 2016 on police shootings in the U.S.
She was part of a Post team that reported on a year-long series on police-involved shooting that won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting. In 2002, Thompson was part of a Post team of reporters awarded the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for stories on 9/11. She also is a 2011 recipient of an Emmy Award from the National Capital Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for a prison interview of a Chicago man sentenced to life for killing a police officer, and a Freedom of Information Medal from Investigative Reporters and Editors. Thompson has received two Salute to Excellence awards from the National Association of Black Journalists, including one for an investigation into the killing of a 14-year-old boy by a D.C. police officer.
Thompson has also won more than two dozen other awards, including a National Headliner and White House News Photographers Association award. She was named the 2017 Journalist Educator of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists.
Her most recent work, published in May, examined the unsolved murders of six black girls in the nation’s capital nearly 50 years ago. She has also investigated myriad problems and missteps at Howard University Hospital, including the deaths of dozens of patients, and spent three years investigating a corrupt Maryland politician, who eventually went to prison for nearly six years.
Prior to coming to The Post, Thompson was an investigative reporter for the Kansas City Star and worked for the Daily News of Los Angeles and the Chicago Tribune. She was elected the first African-American president of IRE in June, and also serves on the board of the Fund for Investigative Journalism.
A Chicago native, Thompson has a bachelor’s degree in speech communication and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.