Christopher J. Welles Memorial Prize

Honoring outstanding work by a Knight-Bagehot alum

The Welles Prize was launched in memory of former Knight-Bagehot Fellowship Director Christopher J. Welles. A leading business writer and editor for 40 years, Welles was known for his penetrating accounts of corporate abuse and misbehavior. The Welles Prize is awarded annually for an exceptional business story or series by a former Knight-Bagehot fellow.

The recipient of the Welles Prize receives $500. The winner will be announced in October 2024.



  • The Welles Prize is open to alumni of the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship.
  • The work should reflect the rigor and sophistication expected of Knight-Bagehot fellows.
  • The work must have been published between January 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024.
  • Self-nominations are welcome.
  • Stories with shared bylines may be submitted if the work was driven by the Knight-Bagehot alum. Please elaborate on the alum’s role in the cover note. Only Knight-Bagehot alumni will be presented an award on stories with shared bylines.
  • Nominations for a multi-year body of work are acceptable so long they are also reflected in work done in the entry timeframe.
  • There is no entry fee.

Please fill out the entry submission form. We do not expect you to do any heavy-lifting for your recommendation. Most importantly, tell us in your own words why this person is deserving of the Welles Prize in 2024. If you have links to the person's work, please add them. 

DEADLINE TO ENTER: Monday, July 15 2024 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern.


2023 Winners

Jon Hilsenrath

Jon Hilsenrath

Jon Hilsenrath was awarded the Welles Prize for his biography, "Yellen: The Trailblazing Economist Who Navigated an Era of Upheaval."

The book tells the story of Janet Yellen and her marriage to Nobel Prize winner George Ackerlof while giving an inside look at the biggest economic challenges and crises of the last several decades.

A Class of 1996 alum, Hilsenrath worked at The Wall Street Journal for nearly 26 years. The Welles judges called the book a culmination of his stellar reporting on economics.




John Tozzi

John Tozzi

John Tozzi was awarded the Welles Prize for his series of stories in Bloomberg News exposing how New Jersey’s health insurer overpaid claims by millions of dollars and yet continued to do business with the insurer.

Tozzi, Class of 2017, wrote multiple stories that showed how a lack of accountability led to rising premiums. Lawmakers called for an investigation based on his reporting. His work highlights the essential impact of beat reporting, the Welles judges said.

See more details about the prize and the winners here.


Contact Amy Singer, deputy director, Knight-Bagehot Fellowship.