Masha Gessen began contributing to The New Yorker in 2014 and became a staff writer in 2017. They are the author of eleven books, including Surviving Autocracy and The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia, which won the National Book Award in 2017. Gessen has also been a prolific contributor to such publications as The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, New Statesman, Granta, Slate, Vanity Fair, Harper's Magazine, and U.S. News & World Report. On a parallel track, Gessen has been a science journalist, writing about AIDS, medical genetics, and mathematics. They were dismissed as editor of the Russian popular-science magazine Vokrug Sveta for refusing to send a reporter to observe Putin hang-gliding with the Siberian cranes. Gessen is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at Bard College and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship, a Nieman Fellowship, the Hitchens Prize, and the Overseas Press Club Award for Best Commentary. After more than twenty years as a journalist and editor in Moscow, they have been living in New York since 2013.
The John Chancellor Award was established in 1995 by Ira A. Lipman. Mr. Lipman, who died in 2019, was the founder of Guardsmark, LLC, one of the world's largest security service firms. The jury is chaired by Lynn Sherr, and in addition to Ira Lipman’s son Josh Lipman, includes Dean Jelani Cobb, Cheryl Gould, Hank Klibanoff, Michele Norris, Bill Wheatley, and Mark Whitaker, as well as John Chancellor’s daughter Mary Chancellor.
About Columbia Journalism School: For more than a century, the Columbia Journalism School has been preparing journalists in programs that stress academic rigor, ethics, journalistic inquiry and professional practice. Founded with a gift from Joseph Pulitzer, the school opened in 1912 and offers Master of Science, Master of Arts, Master of Science in Data Journalism, a joint Master of Science degree in Computer Science and Journalism, The Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism and a Doctor of Philosophy in Communications. It houses the Columbia Journalism Review, the Brown Institute for Media Innovation, The Tow Center for Digital Journalism, The Ira A. Lipman Center for Journalism and Civil and Human Rights and the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. The school also administers many of the leading journalism awards, including the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, the Maria Moors Cabot Prizes, the John Chancellor Award, the John B. Oakes Award for Distinguished Environmental Journalism, the Dart Awards for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma, the Paul Tobenkin Memorial Award, and the Mike Berger Award.
Links to reporting by Masha Gessen:
- Reaching the Critical Masses (Lingua Franca, May/June 1994)
- The Day After Technology (Wired, March 1996)
- Autocracy Rules for Survival (The New York Review of Books, November 11, 2016)
- Collecting Bodies in Bucha (The New Yorker, April 6, 2022)
- The Russians Fleeing Putin’s Wartime Crackdown (The New Yorker, March 20, 2022)
Gessen is the author of 11 books, including their latest, Surviving Autocracy (June 2020).