former Berlin bureau chief, Time Magazine
Project: Develop a prototype web site to link editors and writers around the world to enhance foreign news coverage.
Purvis was born and raised in Montreal. He received a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College and master’s from Columbia. He began his journalism career as a city reporter for the Western News, a neighborhood weekly in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1983. In 1987 he joined the Vancouver Sun, specializing in science reporting. He joined Time magazine as a medical reporter in 1989. He was appointed Africa bureau chief in 1992 and later served as bureau chief in Canada, the Balkans and Eastern Europe, Turkey and Germany, where he wrote for Time and other publications and oversaw reporters in thirty-five countries. Purvis presided over Time’s coverage of the US intervention in Somalia, the genocide in Rwanda, terrorist attacks in Europe and the war in Georgia. He has reported and written extensively on the transition to democracy in Eastern Europe and political Islam in Turkey. His stories on Serbian paramilitaries in the Balkans were cited by war crimes prosecutors in the Hague as part of their case for genocide against the regime in Belgrade and his Somalia reporting was cited by Time in a compilation of the best reporting of the past century.
Information on this page is from the fellowship year.