«Class of 2009

Geri Smith

Mexico bureau chief and chief Latin American correspondent, BusinessWeek, Mexico City

Smith was born in Winter Park, Florida. She graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor’s degree and received a master’s from Tufts University. In 1979, she moved to Latin America and has reported from the region ever since. She started with United Press International in 1980, as a bureau chief in Chile and Argentina and a correspondent in Brazil. From 1988-1992, she reported from Brazil for the Dallas Morning News, U.S. News & World Report, the Chicago Tribune, the St. Petersburg Times, and BusinessWeek Magazine. In 1992, she became the Mexico bureau chief and Latin American correspondent for BusinessWeek. She covered Latin America’s 1980s foreign debt crisis, the shift from military rule to democracy and free markets, Mexico’s 1994 economic crisis, and poverty-reduction efforts. She has received a number of awards, including the Maria Moors Cabot award from Columbia University in 1995 for “sustained and distinguished contribution to inter-American understanding through coverage of the Americas.” She was a finalist for the Harry Chapin Media award for her cover story “Mexico: Was Nafta Worth It?” in 2004. In 2007, her investigative article on “The Ugly Side of Micro-lending,” part of a series on poverty, received the Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Overseas Press Club citation for human condition reporting, and was a finalist for the Gerald Loeb Awards as well as the Harry Chapin Media Award for coverage of hunger and poverty issues.

Information on this page is from the fellowship year.