Jon Sawyer is Washington bureau chief for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He has been with the newspaper since 1974 and during that time has reported from some three dozen countries around the world. His areas of reporting interest have ranged from environment to economics and from Congress to defense and national political campaigns. His current project is a series of in-depth articles on the federal budget deficit and the prospects and implications of bringing the budget into fiscal balance.
Mr. Sawyer's foreign reporting includes special projects for the Post-Dispatch in southern Africa, first in 1986 and then again in 1990 and 1994; coverage of Cuba, Haiti, Grenada and other Caribbean countries during the 1980s; travel throughout Eastern Europe in 1989 and in the former Soviet Union in 1991 and again in 1994. In 1995 he reported from Bosnia at the time of the Dayton peace accords and from Israel and the West Bank just after the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
Mr. Sawyer's foreign reporting was selected three years in a row for the National Press Club's Hood Award for diplomatic reporting. He has been honored as well by the Overseas Press Club, the Inter-American Press Association and the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, which selected him for the Weintel Prize in Diplomatic Correspondence. Mr. Sawyer's reporting on defense procurement contract abuses during the mid 1980s won the top investigative reporting prize among large newspapers from IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors). His reporting during the 1970s on the problems of nuclear waste disposal was honored by both the Atomic Industrial Forum and the American Academy for the Advancement of Science.
Mr. Sawyer has held his current job, supervising a staff of eight, since 1993. He has been a member of the Washington Bureau since 1980 and before that worked in St. Louis, first as an editorial writer and then as a staff reporter on the City Desk and Financial News. He received a B.A. degree from Yale University in 1974, majoring in English literature and history, and during the 1978-79 academic year was an Alfred Sloan Fellow in Economics Journalism at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy. In the fall of 1992 he was a research fellow affiliated with the Center of Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Mr. Sawyer was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He attended public schools there and is a graduate of the Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire. He now lives in Washington with his wife, Kem Knapp Sawyer, and their three daughters.