Engelberg has been managing editor of ProPublica, the online, non-profit investigative newsroom, since its inception in 2008. He oversees the organization’s day-to-day editorial operations, long-term projects and Web strategy.
During his time as managing editor, ProPublica became the first online news organization to win Pulitzer Prizes. In 2010, it won the Investigative Reporting prize for chronicling the life-and-death decisions by a hospital’s exhausted doctors when they were isolated by the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina. A year later, it won the National Reporting prize for exposing Wall Street practices that contributed to the nation’s economic meltdown.
Before joining ProPublica, he worked for The Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, The Dallas Morning News, The New York Times and The Oregonian of Portland, Ore., where he was a managing editor. During his years at The Oregonian, the paper won the Pulitzer for Breaking News Reporting and was a finalist for its investigative work on methamphetamines and on charities intended to help the disabled.
Engelberg was with The Times for 18 years, including stints in Washington, DC, and Warsaw, Poland, as well as in New York. After serving as the bureau chief in Warsaw following the collapse of Communism, he resumed work as an investigative reporter. Engelberg shared in two George Polk Awards for reporting: the first, in 1989, for articles on nuclear proliferation; the second, in 1994, for articles on U.S. immigration. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize as a reporter in 1998 for an investigation of the crash of a commuter airplane.
Since 1996, Engelberg has concentrated on editing investigative projects. Engelberg was the first editor of The Times’ investigative unit and directed teams of reporters who won Pulitzer Prizes for national, foreign and explanatory journalism. Among the winning projects were ones that examined Mexican corruption (published in 1997) and the rise of Al Qaeda (published beginning in January 2001).
Engelberg is the co-author of Germs: Biological Weapons and America’s Secret War. He shared an Emmy in 2001 for work on a documentary on biological warfare by the PBS program Nova.
A native of Lexington, Mass., Engelberg graduated from Princeton University in 1979 with a degree in history. He lives in Montclair, N.J., with his wife, Gabrielle Glaser, and three daughters.
The Pulitzer Prizes, which are administered at Columbia University, were established by Joseph Pulitzer, a Hungarian-American journalist and newspaper publisher, who left money to Columbia University upon his death in 1911. A portion of his bequest was used to found the School of Journalism in 1912 and establish the Pulitzer Prizes, which were first awarded in 1917.
The 19-member board is composed mainly of leading editors or news executives from media outlets across the U.S., as well as five academics. The dean of Columbia's journalism school and the administrator of the prizes are nonvoting members. The chair rotates annually to the most senior member or members. The board is self-perpetuating in the election of members. Voting members may serve three terms of three years for a total of nine years.