Awards & Honors

Senior Fellow
  Jan Goodwin

  • 2012 Exceptional Merit in Media Awards (EMMA) "The VA Healthcare System's Dishonorable Conduct"
  • 2011 Clarion Awards for "The VA Healthcare System's Dishonorable Conduct"
  • 2011 Clarion Awards for "Broken Promises"
  • 2010 James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism for "Broken Promises"
  • New York Times Notable Book for "Price of Honor"
  • Book of the Year by Nobel Laureate Doris Lessing for the London Sunday Times for "Caught in the Crossfire"
  • Recipient of three Amnesty International Media Awards
  • Front Page Award for Outstanding Journalism for "War Torn" series
  • Clarion Award for Anti-Child Pornography series
  • Two Emma Awards for political coverage
  • Soros Foundation Media Fellowship award

Where to find Goodwin
on the web

Schuster Senior Fellow and war correspondent Jan Goodwin talked with media about the role of women as suicide bombers and the recent Moscow subway bomb blasts, Tue., March 30, 2010.

(To listen to Jan on WHYS, search and download '03 Mar 10 Are Women the Most Effective Killers?' on BBC Podcasts.)

Jan Goodwin

Jan Goodwin

Reporting and editorial experience
Investigative highlights
Awards and honors
Human Rights Activist
Non-profit experience
Public speaking
Other affiliations
Selected articles


Jan Goodwin’s journalistic career has been committed to focusing attention on social justice and human rights, both international and domestic. Her articles have brought important issues to the attention of mass audiences, who often knew little about the countries on which she wrote, and less about what was happening in them. In many of the nations from which Goodwin reports, local journalists risk censorship, incarceration, and even death, if they attempt to write on such topics, which is why they often opt not to challenge the authorities.
    Goodwin is an award-winning journalist and author, who has written for such publications as The New York Times Magazine, The Nation, Harper's Bazaar, More Magazine, Marie-Claire, O, the Oprah Magazine, Reader's Digest, Family Circle, Good Housekeeping, Ladies' Home Journal, Redbook, Glamour, New York Magazine, Discover, Self, AARP, and UN publications. Article topics include reportage, war, conflict and human rights, criminal justice, medicine and health, and individual profiles. She also has a one-hour social justice radio show on NPR’s Radio Castkill.
She is a Soros Media Fellow and a Kiplinger Fellow. 
     She has been a Contributing Editor for More Magazine and a Senior International Editor for Marie-Claire Magazine.
Goodwin was a reporter on and off camera for "Defending Our Daughters," an award-winning documentary by two-time Academy Award winner Barbara Kopple on women's international human rights. Narrated by Meryl Streep, the film aired on Lifetime Television.

Goodwin is the author of "Price of Honor," (Little Brown, Plume paperback) which examines how Islamic extremism affects the lives of Muslim women. To research the book, Goodwin, who has lived and worked in the Islamic world, traveled to 10 countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Israel (West Bank & Gaza), and Egypt. The book shows how Muslim women are the weathervanes of change in the Islamic world. The growing extremism targeting them illustrates how much control militant Islam has achieved, and how Islam has been hijacked for political power.
    "Price of Honor" was a Book-of-the-Month Club Selection and a New York Times "notable book," and is a course requirement at colleges around the U.S.

She is also the author of "Caught in the Crossfire"(E.P. Dutton for which she spent three months traveling with the Afghan resistance behind enemy lines during the Soviet-Afghan war. It was nominated the best book on the war by the Los Angeles Times, and book of the year by Nobel Laureate Doris Lessing for the London SundayTimes.
    The first female journalist to report from behind Soviet lines, Goodwin detailed the atrocities perpetrated on the Afghan nation, which were so brutal that a third of the population became refugees, then making up fifty percent of the world’s total refugee populations. Yet for the first five years of the war, Pravda and Investia, the two leading national Soviet newspapers, repeatedly stated that the Russian presence in Afghanistan was purely humanitarian. At that time, the Kremlin had sealed the borders of Afghanistan, and warned that any foreign journalists found there would be killed. On return to the U.S., Goodwin testified before Congress on the Soviet carnage and human rights violations in Afghanistan.
    Goodwin later testified that by permitting American funding of $3 billion to the Afghan mujahideen to be funneled through an Islamist Pakistani government, and to be matched by an equally fundamentalist Saudi government, the U.S. was turning Afghanistan into an extremist country. The State Department publicly disagreed at the time. Until then, Afghans had predominantly been adherents to a moderate form of Islam. Three years later, the State Department acknowledged that this was the case. By then, Al Qaeda was established and growing. The Afghan civil war, which led to the formation of the Taliban, was underway.
    Both "Caught in the Crossfire" and "Price of Honor" have been translated into a number of languages.
Reporting and editorial experience
Goodwin has served as executive editor at Ladies' Home Journal; as editor-in-chief of On The Issues, a political women's quarterly; as a radio reporter for the BBC; as news editor of Britain's largest news and feature syndication agency; and on staff at The New York Times Magazine Development Company.
Goodwin interviews include heads of state, royalty and rebel leaders.
She has covered wars/unrest in Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of Congo, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Kosovo, the Middle East and Gulf, Northern Ireland, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Uganda.
Investigative highlights

Drew world attention to child soldiers in the Sierra Leone conflict

In a February 1999 article in the New York Times Magazine, Goodwin told the stories of three child soldiers in Sierra Leone. In doing so, she drew world attention to the forcible conscription--by both government and rebel forces
—of children as young as seven. The day after the article ran, the United Nations Security Council discussed the issue, citing this article. Shortly after, the U.S. permitted child soldiers to obtain political asylum in this country, since they were minors when their actions were forced on them under threat of death.

Exposed the life imprisonment of Nepali women for a stillbirth, miscarriage, or abortion

Goodwin investigated the fact that an estimated two-thirds of Nepal’s female prisoners were jailed for infanticide, a charge that included stillbirths, miscarriages, abortions, and infant abandonment—much of which, she showed, resulted from a lack of reproductive health care: no contraception, gynecological care, obstetrical care, or medical assistance during complicated deliveries. Goodwin’s research showed that such charges were often brought by male relatives in land grabs because women were not allowed to own property if found guilty, which they invariably were. After the articles appeared in On the Issues and The Utne Reader, the subject was discussed in the Nepalese government and elsewhere. Shortly afterward, the long-standing law was dropped.

Investigated restorative justice programs in maximum security prisons

Coming face-to-face with the people whose horrifying crimes forever altered their lives, some victims have found a measure of peace, control, and resolution.  Goodwin researched something more surprising: how restorative justice affects criminals themselves. With a Soros Media Fellowship, Goodwin investigated restorative justice programs in U.S. maximum security prisons, which are designed to give family survivors or victims of violent crimes some emotional closure—and to make criminals take responsibility, often for the first time, for their crimes. Goodwin presented her findings in four national magazines: O, The Oprah Magazine; Marie-Claire; Reader’s Digest; and Family Circle. 

In the 1990s, exposed how Afghan women were treated under the Taliban

Goodwin researched one of the first articles to detail the oppressive lives for Afghan women under the Taliban. Her publications included interviews with leading Talib officials and the mullah who headed the Department of Virtue and Vice, responsible for the dictates that led Afghanistan to be known as a “human rights catastrophe.” Goodwin also interviewed young Talib armed zealots dedicated to memorizing the Q’uran in Arabic, a language they could not understand—and therefore giving them no insight into the rights Islam gives to women. Goodwin’s work revealed the Taliban leadership’s hypocrisy. For instance, although the regime banned female education, the Afghani Taliban ambassador to the U.S. sent his daughter to school abroad. And while the regime punished smoking by public flogging, officials were smoking in every office in the Taliban’s Kabul headquarters.

Awards and honors

A longtime human rights activist and the recipient of three Amnesty International Media Awards, Goodwin has testified before Congress on a number of occasions, and has been an expert witness in political asylum cases. She was one of four journalists featured in an hour-long PBS-TV documentary "Witnesses" on journalists who covered the Afghan war. She served on the White House Cambodia Crisis Committee. Other national honors include a Front Page Award for Outstanding Journalism for her "War Torn" series; a Clarion award for an anti-child pornography series, for which she was honored by the White House, two Emmas for political coverage, a Clarion Award for an investigation into sex abuse in the military, and the poor healthcare female veterans receive, and a second Clarion for an expose on mistreatment of American political asylees. This is the first time a journalist had won two Clarions in the same year.  A James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism.

Human Rights Activist:
** Testified before Congress on a number of occasions.
** Expert witness in political asylum cases. 
** One of four journalists featured in an hour-long PBS-TV documentary "Witnesses" on journalists who covered the Afghan war. 
** Served on the White House Cambodia Crisis Committee. 
Non-profit experience

Between 1988 and 1992, Goodwin took a hiatus from journalism to start and run Save the Children's Peshawar-based multimillion humanitarian program in war-torn Afghanistan. Funded by USAID, the UN and the EU, its projects included reconstruction of bomb-damaged infrastructure, including schools, hospitals and clinics; transporting humanitarian aid during war; mother and child health programs; and income-generating/microenterprise projects.      

Public speaking

Goodwin lectures extensively both in the U.S., and abroad to audiences ranging from Congressional breakfasts, the Foreign Policy Association, the National Press Club, women's and professional organizations, and universities. Her TV appearances include: "The Today Show," "Good Morning America," CBS News, NBC News, CNN, MSNBC, "Leonard Lopate," "Nightline," and Oxygen. She has given many print and radio interviews.

Other affiliations

Goodwin is a member of the Committee to Protect Journalists; the Authors Guild; and the American Society of Journalists and Authors. She is a former judge for the National Magazine Awards, the magazine world’s Pulitzer Prizes.

Selected articles

"Broken Promises: Seeking Political Asylum in America," Ladies Home Journal, April 2010.

"The VA Health-Care System's Dishonorable Conduct," Good Housekeeping, March, 2010.

"Marriage Under Fire: Military Couples," Ladies Home Journal, June 2009.

“When the Suicide Bomber Is a Woman,” Marie-Claire Magazine, September, 2007.

“Please Daddy, No," O, The Oprah Magazine, November 2006.

“Too Young to Kill,” O, The Oprah Magazine, July 2005.

“After Violence, the Possibility of Healing,”  O, The Oprah Magazine, April 2004.

“Silence = Rape: While the world looks the other way, sexual violence spreads in the Congo,” The Nation, March 8, 2004.

“Rescued from Hell," Marie Claire Magazine, July 2003. 

“Babies in Prison,” Marie-Claire Magazine, 2001. [Female prisoners are shackled while giving birth.]

“Heart of Darkness,” Harper’s Bazaar, March 2000. [AIDS funerals in Zambia.]

“Sierra Leone Is No Place To Be Young,” New York Times Magazine, Sunday, February 14, 1999.   

“Buried Alive: Afghan Women Under the Taliban,” On The Issues, Summer 1998.

“Prisoners: Loving Babies, Hating Women,” On the Issues, Fall 1996. Excerpted as "In Nepal, There's No Abortion Debate, Just a Life Sentence," Utne Reader, Jan.-Feb. 1997.

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