military correspondent, New York Times
Schmitt was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and earned a bachelor’s degree in International Relations at Williams College in Massachusetts, where he majored in third-world development. He also studied in Harvard University’s Executive Program on National and International Security. He began his journalism career as an education reporter in 1982 at the Tri-City Herald in Kennewick, Washington. He moved to the New York Times in 1983, where he worked his way up from assistant to the columnist James Reston and a news clerk to a reporter covering a range of beats: business and commercial aviation, national transportation, metro news and Long Island, the Pentagon, Congress and immigration. Since Sept. 2001 he has covered the Pentagon and the U.S. military in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, a job that has taken him to Iraq for nine reporting trips and to Afghanistan four times. He has covered every war and major military operation involving American troops since the 1991 Persian Gulf War. In 1999, he shared a Pulitzer Prize in National Reporting with five New York Times colleagues for a series of articles that disclosed the corporate sale of American technology to China, with U.S. government approval despite national security risks, prompting investigations and significant changes in policy.
Information on this page is from the fellowship year.