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Jeff Leen

Jeff Leen, MA '82, is the assistant managing editor in charge of The Washington Post’s Investigative Unit, where he was part of a four-reporter team whose examination of police shootings in Washington, D.C., won the 1999 Pulitzer Gold Medal for Meritorious Public Service, the paper's first since Watergate. 

He joined The Post as an investigative reporter in the unit in 1997. He became investigations editor in 1999 and assistant managing editor in 2003.

Prior to then, he worked for 10 years on the investigative team for the Miami Herald, where he co-authored a 10-part series on the Medellin Cartel that was later turned into a book, Kings of Cocaine: An Astonishing True Story of Murder, Money and International Corruption (Simon & Schuster, 1989). He joined the Herald as a reporter in 1982, working in the Naples, Delray Beach and West Palm Beach bureaus before becoming a general assignment reporter covering the Miami drug trade in 1985.

As a reporter or an editor, Leen has worked on investigations that have been honored with seven Pulitzer Prizes: Hurricane Andrew’s impact on South Florida (Gold Medal, 1993), D.C. police shootings (Gold Medal, 1999) abuse in D.C. group homes (Gold Medal, 2000), deaths among children monitored by D.C. social services (Investigative Reporting, 2002,) the Sept. 11 plot (National Reporting, 2002), the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal (Investigative Reporting, 2006) and the Dick Cheney vice presidency (National Reporting, 2008). Four other investigations have been Pulitzer finalists, including examinations of police overtime abuse in South Florida, the Nature Conservancy, the Abu Ghraib prison scandal and federal farm subsidies. 

His other national reporting awards include: a Selden Ring Award, a Sigma Delta Chi Award, a medal and a certificate from Investigative Reporters & Editors, Inc., and two Silver Gavel Awards from the American Bar Association.

He is also the author of The Queen of the Ring: Sex, Muscles, Diamonds and the Making of an American Legend (Atlantic Monthly, 2009).

He is a 1975 graduate of Ritenour Senior High School in Overland, Mo., and received a BA in English Literature and Drama in 1979 from Washington University in St. Louis.  He is married to Lynn Medford, The Post’s Sunday Style, Arts and Magazine editor, and they live in Annapolis, Md.