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Nicholas Kristof

The Womens Conference

How He Empowers Others

Nicholas D. Kristof, a columnist for The Times since 2001, is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner who writes op-ed columns that appear twice a week. Mr. Kristof grew up on a sheep and cherry farm near Yamhill, Oregon. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College and then studied law at Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, graduating with first class honors. He later studied Arabic in Cairo and Chinese in Taipei.

While working in France after high school, he caught the travel bug and began backpacking around Africa and Asia during his student years, writing articles to cover his expenses. Mr. Kristof has lived on four continents, reported on six, and traveled to more than 140 countries, plus all 50 states, every Chinese province and every main Japanese island. He's also one of the very few Americans to be at least a two-time visitor to every member of the Axis of Evil.

During his travels, he has had unpleasant experiences with malaria, mobs and an African airplane crash. After joining The New York Times in 1984, initially covering economics, he served as a Times correspondent in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Beijing and Tokyo. He also covered presidential politics and is the author of the chapter on President George W. Bush in the reference book "The Presidents." He later was Associate Managing Editor of the Times, responsible for Sunday editions.

In 1990 Mr. Kristof and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, then also a Times journalist, won a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of China's Tiananmen Square democracy movement. They were the first married couple to win a Pulitzer for journalism. Mr. Kristof won a second Pulitzer in 2006, for commentary for what the judges called "his graphic, deeply reported columns that, at personal risk, focused attention on genocide in Darfur and that gave voice to the voiceless in other parts of the world." He has also won other prizes including the George Polk Award, the Overseas Press Club award, the Michael Kelly award, the Online News Association award and the American Society of Newspaper Editors award.

Mr. Kristof has taken a special interest in Web journalism and was the first blogger on The New York Times Web site; he also Twitters and has a Facebook fan page and a channel on YouTube. A documentary about him, "Reporter," premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2009 and will be shown on HBO.

In his column, Mr. Kristof was an early opponent of the Iraq war, and among the first to warn that we were losing ground to the Taliban in southern Afghanistan. He was among the first to raise doubts about WMD in Iraq, he was the first to report that President Bush's State of the Union claim about Iraq seeking uranium from Africa was contradicted by the administration's own investigation. His columns have often focused on global health, poverty and gender issues in the developing world. In particular, since 2004 he has written dozens of columns about Darfur and visited the area ten times.

Mr. Kristof and Ms. WuDunn are authors of "China Wakes: The Struggle for the Soul of a Rising Power", "Thunder from the East: Portrait of a Rising Asia" and their latest, "Half the Sky: From Oppression to Opportunity for Women Worldwide." Mr. Kristof and Ms. WuDunn are the parents of Gregory, Geoffrey and Caroline. Mr. Kristof enjoys running, backpacking, and having his Chinese and Japanese corrected by his children.