HFAssociate Professor, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism


Languages: English, French, Mandarin, Spanish

Bio: Howard French worked as a French–English translator in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, in the early 1980s, and began a career in journalism as a freelance reporter for The Washington Post and many other publications in West Africa. He was hired by The New York Times in 1986, and from 1990 to 2008 reported for The Times as bureau chief for Central America and the Caribbean, West Africa, Japan and the Koreas, and China in Shanghai. During this time, his work was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize; he was twice the recipient of an Overseas Press Club Award, and he has also won the Grantham Environmental Award, among other awards. From 2005 to 2008 alongside his work for The Times, Mr. French was a weekly columnist on global affairs for the International Herald Tribune. He is the author of the recently released China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in Africa and A Continent for the Taking: The Tragedy and Hope of Africa (2004), and has been published in The Atlantic, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, The Nation, Rolling Stone, and other publications. He is also a documentary photographer, whose book, Disappearing Shanghai: Images and Poems of an Intimate Way of Life, with Qiu Xiaolong, was published in 2012. French was a 2011 fellow of the Open Society Foundation and is presently researching a book about the geopolitics of East Asia.