Robert Siegel

Robert Siegel is senior host of NPR's award-winning evening newsmagazine All Things Considered. With 40 years of experience working in radio news, Siegel is still at it hosting the country's most-listened-to, afternoon-drive-time news radio program and reporting on stories and happenings all over the globe. As a host, Siegel has reported from a variety of locations across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia.

In 2010, Siegel was recognized by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism with the John Chancellor Award. Siegel has been honored with three Silver Batons from Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University, first in 1984 for All Things Considered's coverage of peace movements in East and West Germany. He shared in NPR's 1996 Silver Baton Award for "The Changing of the Guard: The Republican Revolution," for coverage of the first 100 days of the 104th Congress. He was part of the NPR team that won a Silver Baton for the network's coverage of the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan Province, China.

Other awards Siegel has earned include a 1997 American Bar Association's Silver Gavel Award for the two-part documentary, "Murder, Punishment, and Parole in Alabama" and the National Mental Health Association's 1991 Mental Health Award for his interviews conducted on the streets of New York in an All Things Considered story, "The Mentally Ill Homeless."

Siegel joined NPR in December 1976 as a newscaster and became an editor the following year. In 1979, Siegel became NPR's first staffer based overseas when he was chosen to open NPR's London bureau, where he worked as senior editor until 1983. After London, Siegel served for four years as director of the News and Information Department, overseeing production of NPR's newsmagazines All Things Considered and Morning Edition, as well as special events and other news programming. During his tenure, NPR launched its popular Saturday and Sunday newsmagazine Weekend Edition.

Before coming to NPR, Siegel worked for WRVR Radio in New York City as a reporter, host and news director. He was part of the WRVR team honored with an Armstrong Award for the series, "Rockefeller's Drug Law." Prior to WRVR, he was morning news reporter and telephone talk show host for WGLI Radio in Babylon, New York.

A graduate of New York's Stuyvesant High School and Columbia University, Siegel began his career in radio at Columbia's radio station, WKCR-FM. As a student he anchored coverage of the 1968 Columbia demonstrations and contributed to the work that earned the station an award from the Writers Guild of America East.

Siegel is the editor of The NPR Interviews 1994, The NPR Interviews 1995 and The NPR Interviews 1996, compilations of NPR's most popular radio conversations from each year.

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News
2:02 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

What's Known — And Still Unclear — About The Fort Hood Shooting

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 5:34 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. We're continuing to follow developments in yesterday's deadly shooting at Fort Hood that left four people dead and 16 wounded. This afternoon, the commander of Fort Hood, Lieutenant General Mark Milley, confirmed the identity of the shooter.

LIEUTENTANT GENERAL MARK MILLEY: We are able to release, his next kin have been notified. The alleged shooter is Specialist Ivan A. Lopez. He is 34 years old, originally from Puerto Rico.

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From Our Listeners
2:21 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Letters: 'The Big Broadcast' And Laughing Down The Hall

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 6:14 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Time now for your letters. First, two corrections. On Monday, we took you to the South by Southwest Festival in Austin to tell you about something called Oculus Rift. It is a virtual reality headset. And in our story, we mistakenly said that it would be available to consumers in 18 to 20 months. In fact, there is no release date yet for a consumer model. Only the development kit is currently available.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Politics
2:32 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

To Sell Health Care To Young People, Obama Steps 'Between Two Ferns'

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 4:51 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Long-time fans of the comedy website, "Funny or Die," know this already. But for the rest of you, this is the theme song of "Between Two Ferns." The Web series mimics a low-budget, cable-access interview program.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

It's the brainchild of actor and comedian Zach Galifinakis. He plays an unprepared host who fumbles through awkward conversations with celebrities. But the guest of his latest episode, released today, was a little different.

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Health
2:19 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

'Bluish' Light May Help Alzheimer's Patients Find Bearings

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 7:59 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now, health and electrical lighting. Last month, Mariana Figueiro showed me something she has developed to help seniors avoid falls in the night. Figueiro researches health applications at the Lighting Research Center at Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. Her project is a nightlight. But it's not just a single bulb. It's a string of yellow lights that border the darkened entrance to, say, a bathroom.

It's a doorway and around the frame of the doorway are the yellow LEDs?

MARIANA FIGUEIRO: That's correct.

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Politics
3:48 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

The (Email) Thread That Tied Up The George Washington Bridge

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 8:29 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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Middle East
2:36 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

In Gas-Rich And Fast-Growing Qatar, A Focus On Food Security

The Gulf nation of Qatar has nearly depleted its groundwater, and will increasingly need to import food. Some farms still operates on ground water, but in the long haul, Qatar is counting on desalination and using money to import food.

Arts & Life
2:47 pm
Wed December 25, 2013

The Dark Roots Of 'The Nutcracker' And The Man Who Wrote It

This is the time of year when one man's work is widely - if indirectly - celebrated. His name used to be hugely famous, but nowadays, it draws blank stares, even from people who know that work. E.T.A. Hoffman, who lived from 1776 to 1822 in the Kingdom of Prussia, was responsible for a work that is a staple the holiday season, the original author of The Nutcracker. You can read more about the story, which aired last Christmas, here.

Parallels
2:47 pm
Wed December 25, 2013

Instead Of Sending Students Abroad, Qatar Imports U.S. Colleges

A man walks along a pathway at the Texas A&M University campus in Doha, Qatar.
Osama Faisal AP

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 8:53 pm

In Qatar's rapid race to modernity, the emirate has created a distinctive approach to educating its young: It has effectively imported a host of American universities.

Dr. Sheikha Aisha bint Faleh bin Nasser Al-Thani, a member of Qatar's ruling family, sits on the Supreme Education Council and owns a few independent schools. For her own children, she wanted a top-flight college education. Her sons were educated in Britain.

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Parallels
12:23 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

As World Cup Looms, Qatar's Migrant Worker System Faces Scrutiny

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 6:02 pm

Over the past decade, Qatar's population has soared from 660,000 to more than 2 million. Here's the catch: Qataris themselves number only around 260,000.

The rest, more than 85 percent of the population, are not citizens. As Professor Mehran Kamrava, an American scholar at Georgetown University's campus in Qatar, says, they are all migrant workers of varying types.

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Africa
2:29 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Fighting, Fears Escalate In South Sudan

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 3:56 pm

The United Nations' chief is calling for additional peacekeepers for South Sudan where fighting between forces loyal to the president and those loyal to his former deputy is spiraling.

Health Care
2:20 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

White House Gives Another Day For Health Exchange Sign Ups

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 3:56 pm

People who are uninsured now have one more day to sign up for health coverage that start on the first of 2014. On Monday, the White House extended the deadline to sign up for plans under the Affordable Care Act from midnight on Dec. 23 to Christmas Eve at midnight, describing the move as a way to accommodate people in different time zones.

Parallels
11:40 am
Mon December 23, 2013

How Tiny Qatar 'Punches Above Its Weight'

Soldiers on camels take part in a military parade on Qatar's National Day in the capital Doha last Wednesday. The city's rapidly growing skyline is in the background. Despite its small size, Qatar has used its wealth to play an outsized role in regional affairs.
Chen Shaojin/Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 7:31 am

Qatar is a tiny place that insists on being heard.

The Arab nation just off the coast of Saudi Arabia has made itself a major diplomatic player, a generous donor of foreign aid, and a leader in modernizing education in the region. The ultra-modern capital Doha is full of skyscrapers, museums and history, much of it dating as far back as ... the 1990s.

Qatar is also a commercial capital that aims to become a cultural, sports and tourist center for the Gulf region despite having just 260,000 citizens.

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Technology
2:44 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Bitcoin Goes To Washington As Senators Parse Currency's Legality

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 4:27 pm

The digital currency Bitcoin is becoming more prevalent, both for benign purchases and as a way for criminals to conduct illicit transactions. Bitcoins have been used on underground websites to facilitate sales of narcotics and child pornography. But even those most concerned about criminal activity agree that the emerging digital currency has arrived and can have beneficial uses.

Asia
2:44 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Damaged Fuel Rods Removed At Fukushima Nuclear Plant

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 4:27 pm

Workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant successfully removed some radioactive fuel from one of the damaged reactors on Monday. It's an important first step, but there's a long way to go before the situation at the plant can be said to be completely under control

Media
3:51 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Why The Dearth Of Black Commediennes In 'SNL' Cast?

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 4:49 pm

Scandal star Kerry Washington's turn hosting NBC's Saturday Night Live this Saturday has revived criticism of the show's lack of black female cast members. The issue was raised earlier this year when SNL announced five new cast members — four male, all white. The show's lack of black women — only three have ever been cast in 38 years — forces the show's black males to dress as black women, which echoes historic, demeaning issues for black male comics.

Around the Nation
3:37 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

NYPD Officer Arrested In Motorcycle Road Rage Case

An undercover NYPD officer was arraigned Wednesday in connection with a road rage incident that's been viewed thousands of times on YouTube. Det. Wojciech Braszczok is one of several motorcycle riders who've been arrested for their roles in an attack on Alexian Lien, an SUV driver who led bikers on a high-speed chase last month and that ended in his beating.

Business
3:38 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

BlackBerry Agrees To Sell Itself For $4.7 Billion

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 6:38 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

I'm Robert Siegel, and it's time now for All Tech Considered.

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The U.S. Response To Syria
4:05 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Bipartisan Senators Support Delaying Vote On Syria Strike

President Obama, scheduled to address the nation from the White House on Tuesday evening, trekked to the Capitol in the afternoon to address the Democratic and Republican Senate luncheons.

Sports
4:05 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

New Head Of Olympic Committee Faces A Number Of Challenges

The International Olympic committee (IOC) has elected a new president, Thomas Bach of Germany. He assumes leadership of an organization that faces criticism over politics, costs and what some view as its insular approach to which sports are offered during the games. The new president succeeds Jacques Rogge, who lead the IOC for 12 years.

Sports
2:51 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

NFL Settles Players' Concussions Dispute For $765 Million

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 4:01 pm

The NFL has agreed to a $765 million settlement with more than 4,500 former players and families over concussions. The money will fund medical exams and treatment and provide compensation to players and families.

Law
3:13 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Fort Hood Shooter Sentenced To Death Penalty

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 4:39 pm

A jury has sentenced Nidal Hasan to the death penalty for a shooting rampage at Fort Hood that left 13 people dead and 31 others injured.

Middle East
2:46 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

U.S. May Fire Cruise Missiles On Syrian Military

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 3:30 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And we turn now to NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman for more on what the Obama administration might do in Syria. And, Tom, as we just heard in Michele's report, Secretary Kerry made the case today that Syria's government did use chemical weapons last week against its own people. Did he provide any evidence?

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Around the Nation
2:45 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Fire Near Yosemite Grows To Nearly 150,000 Acres

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 3:30 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

I'm Robert Siegel and we begin this hour in California, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, not far from Yosemite National Park. That's where fire crews are starting to make some progress in their fight against the massive Rim Fire that's been burning for nine days now. It has scorched nearly 150,000 acres. Relatively few structures have been lost so far, but thousands of people remain under evacuation orders.

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Africa
2:59 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Morsi Supporters Fear Nearing Crackdown On Islamist Groups

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 10:01 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

In Egypt, the ousted president, Mohammed Morsi, has been formally detained, pending an investigation into a string of charges. They include murder, arson and conspiring with the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Also today, rival groups of protesters filled Egypt's streets.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Foreign language spoken)

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (Foreign language spoken)

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Sports
2:59 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

The Yankees Want Him Out But Alex Rodriguez Wants To Stay

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 10:01 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. One criticism of baseball is that it's too prone to long stretches of inaction, players sitting around not doing much. Well, if that's what baseball is, then Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees has been Mr. Baseball this season. He's been on the disabled list, but he claims he's healthy enough to play. His team begs to differ. Here to talk about the confusion is NPR's Mike Pesca, who joins us from New York. Hi, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello.

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Education
3:12 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Common Core Could Be Disrupted As States Drop Out Of PARCC

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 3:43 pm

In addition to Georgia, a handful of other states — Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, and Alabama — have dropped out of or scaled back their participation in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness in College and Career (PARCC) consortium. Florida's education commissioner is mulling a similar decision. We discuss what it could mean for the success of the standards.

Around the Nation
3:12 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Undocumented Immigrants With Criminal Records Face Uncertain Future

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 3:43 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

In all the current talk about helping 11 million undocumented immigrants come out of the shadows, there's typically broad agreement about who shouldn't get a path to legal residence: law breakers. There are lists of offenses that rule people out, whether it's under existing immigration law or under the immigration bill the Senate passed, or under President Obama's program to help the so-called Dreamers - the ones who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

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National Security
5:03 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

House Rejects Measure That Would Have Curbed NSA Program

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 5:58 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

On Capitol Hill, an effort to limit the authority of the National Security Agency has fallen short. It was the first chance for House lawmakers to vote on the government's phone surveillance program since news of it was leaked by Edward Snowden. They rejected an amendment that the White House and top intelligence officials had lobbied hard against.

NPR's Tamara Keith joins us from Capitol Hill. And, Tamara, the amendment was defeated. How close was it?

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National Security
2:45 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Proposed House Amendment Would Limit NSA's Authority

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 5:21 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

House lawmakers will have their first chance today to vote on the government's phone surveillance program, since news of it was leaked by Edward Snowden. The House is considering an amendment that would limit the authority of the National Security Agency. It's an amendment the White House and top intelligence officials have urged lawmakers to vote down.

For more, we're joined from the Capitol by Tamara Keith. Hi, Tamara.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Hi, Robert.

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Arts & Life
2:43 pm
Thu July 4, 2013

The Man Behind The Mask: A Profile Of The Lone Ranger

Originally published on Thu July 4, 2013 7:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

My colleague, Robert Siegel, is off today for the holiday. But, we're going to return with him now to a thrilling day of yesteryear. Yesteryear being five years ago. That's right it's a shameless re-run. And our excuse is the new "Lone Ranger" movie, which has opened to mixed reviews. The old TV show, which aired in the 1950s, was a favorite of Robert's when he was a boy. So, for our 2008 series, In Character, Robert marked "The Lone Ranger's" 75th anniversary.

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