Carl Stern
Biographical Sketch
Carl Stern is the J.B. & Maurice C. Shapiro Professor Emeritus of Media and Public Affairs at
The George Washington University and the former Director of the Office of Public Affairs at the
U.S. Department of Justice under Attorney General Janet Reno. Prior to that, he served for 26
years as the law correspondent for NBC News, covering the Supreme Court and the Justice
Department and many of the nation’s most newsworthy trials. Professor Stern has been a
member of the Ohio and D.C. bars for almost 50 years. He was a founding member of the
Forum Committee on Communications Law of the American Bar Association, and served on
several ABA committees. In 1975 the ABA honored him as the first fulltime broadcast network
reporter covering legal affairs. He is the recipient of the Justice Department’s highest honor, the
Edmund J. Randolph Award, and broadcasting’s Peabody Award for “exceptional journalistic
enterprise” in connection with his coverage of Watergate and his use of FOIA to uncover the
FBI’s secret Cointelpro actions to harass, neutralize and destroy organizations and individuals it
regarded as politically pernicious. In 2014 the American University Washington College of
Law’s Collaboration on Government Secrecy presented him with its “FOIA Legends Award” for
his “unique role over four decades” as a pioneering journalist, litigant and scholar in influencing
the development of FOIA. Professor Stern has B.A. and M.S. (Journalism) degrees from
Columbia University and a J.D. magna cum laude from Cleveland State University.