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Andrew Lehren

I am passionate about IRE and seek your support to further diversify the organization, ensure its financial stability, and make its trainings more affordable and accessible to a wider reach of journalists.

IRE has been life changing for me. I was just out of college, at a tiny Philadelphia newspaper, when a friend told me about a nonprofit that helps you report deeply stories that matter. I couch surfed to my first conference. It was revelatory — the methods to do better stories and the sense of community that we help each other.

Since then, I’ve volunteered as a speaker and trainer at more than 30 conferences. And I've also gone further — I joined IRE’s staff, serving as associate director for projects and running NICAR’s data operations for three years.

Even today, I work tirelessly to give back. I have been the lead local organizer for three New York regional IRE conferences. These are affordable for people who can't attend our annual gatherings and attract new members. The success of these events has been a model for other regional conferences. I am one of the lead organizers for IRE’s meetups in New York City, a regular gathering that has brought together hundreds of journalists, broadened IRE’s membership and helped build ties with other journalism groups. And last year I was lead mentor for a Chauncey Bailey Journalist Of Color reporting fellow, among the many times I have been an IRE mentor.

At the same time, I know what it means to take what you learn at IRE and use it for your work.

I have been an investigative reporter — a New York Times projects editor and an NBC News senior investigations editor. Among many honors are four IRE awards, including one exposing racial injustices in policing in America.

At CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism, I am director of investigative reporting, striving to help the next generation. CUNY is one of the most diverse journalism schools in America. It is one of the most affordable. Its values echo my dedication to diversity and affordability. The lessons from IRE show in their work: My class has won the IRE student investigations awards.

I carry the IRE ethos by helping journalism organizations around the world, like the AAJA, Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism, SPJ, GIJN, Ukrainian journalism groups and NAHJ — building bridges with other journalism organizations is another way I want to further IRE’s reach.

Outside journalism, I have been a guide for more than a decade for a visually impaired athlete in marathons.

I work constantly to help others. I have a demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and work tirelessly on these issues. I have done fundraising successfully for IRE and want to ensure it is on firm financial footing, especially during this difficult economic period in our profession.

Paying it forward — and making sure all IRE remains vital and vibrant, and accessible to all — is why I seek your vote.


Ron Nixon, The Associated Press – I am writing to nominate Andy Lehren for the board of IRE. I have known Andy for more than two decades and he and I were colleagues at the New York Times for more than 12 years. More importantly, Andy has been heavily involved with IRE over the years, training, mentoring and helping to develop curriculum for the organization for years. Andy has helped to develop and train countless journalists and represented IRE at events around the world. He has also developed several generations of investigative reporters through his teaching at conferences and in his role at City University of New York. I can think of no one better to serve on the board of this great organization.

Cheryl Phillips, Stanford University – I’m not sure I remember an IRE conference without Andy Lehren. He’s an indefatigable supporter of training journalists. His ethos of giving his time and expertise is the IRE ethos. He – like many IRE staffers – pulled off conferences every year by doing practically everything, moving computers, loading software, and leading the trainings themselves. More recently, I’ve collaborated with Andy on student journalism investigations through our respective universities. He is universally collaborative, eager to help others learn, inclusive and insightful. He is ready to keep IRE on the right track, from fundraising to developing strategies to keep IRE a preeminent training organization. He will help IRE continue to expand its reach by making it more affordable and accessible. Andy’s desire to serve and his history with IRE will make him an excellent board member. I am proud to nominate him.

Candidate Q & A

Current position

  • Director of Investigative Reporting, CUNY Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, 2007 - present.

Prior experience

  • NBC News, senior investigations editor and investigative producer, 1997-2005, 2017-2024.
  • The New York Times, projects editor and investigative reporter, 2005-2017.
  • IRE, associate director for projects, NICAR database library director, 1995-1997.
  • Philadelphia Business Journal, senior reporter, 1985-1995.
  • James H. Ottaway Sr. Visiting Professor of Journalism, State University of New York.
  • Freelancer for Reuters, Philadelphia Daily News.
  • Contributor to bestselling books, Open Secrets and Losers.
  • Adjunct professor, Columbia Journalism School, University of Missouri.

IRE experience

  • Worked at IRE, 1995-1997. Associate Director for Projects. Director of the Database Library. Staff trainer at conferences from Omaha to NABJ and many places in between.
  • Attended almost every NICAR conference, from the first to the most recent. Attended most IRE conferences during the past 30 years. Panelist at more than 30 conferences. IRE mentor.
  • Chauncey Bailey Journalist Of Color reporting fellow lead mentor. Mentor program member. IRE contest judge screener.
  • Co-author of Mapping for Story, the IRE handbook on using GIS for investigations.

Experience with other journalism organizations

  • US: Trainer or speaker for conferences held by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, American Asian Journalists Association, Society for Professional Journalists, the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting.
  • Guest speaker: University of Alabama, Georgia State University, Flagler College, the New School.
  • Internationally: Speaker and trainer for the Global Investigative Journalism Network on four continents; SKUP-Norway. Ukraine journalism training. Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism. Wits University, South Africa. EVN Media Fest, Armenia.
  • Board member for the past seven years, the Mykolaiv Center for Investigative Reporting, Ukraine.


Print, broadcast and digital. Investigative reporting. Data journalism. Osint. FOIA. Document digging. Reporting, editing, production. Teaching.

Professional work


  • Peabody, Polk, contributed to Pulitzer winning investigation, Pulitzer finalist team member. Four IRE awards. Three times IRE finalist. Two Columbia-duPonts. Pulitzer Center fellow for the Rainforest Investigations Network. Multiple Murrow, Overseas Press Club, Daniel Pearl, Scripps, Sabew, Loeb honors. Emmy and Emmy nominations. New York Times Punch Sulzberger Award, three New York Times publisher awards. Among more than 100 honors.
  • Guided students to dozens of student journalism honors, including three IRE awards and four IRE finalists, among dozens of accolades.

Issues you would like to address as a board member

I owe so much to IRE and want to continue giving back. Here are my goals:

  • Widen and deepen its work with journalists from a wide variety of backgrounds, to widen its diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Ensure its financial stability, including bolstering fundraising, so that it can continue to deliver more top-notch training,
  • Build bridges and partnerships with other journalism organizations to extend IRE’s reach.
  • Broaden the opportunities for all journalists to be involved in IRE.
  • Strengthen IRE’s ability to connect journalists with jobs.
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