Anne Nelson

Anne Nelson is an author and lecturer in the fields of international affairs, media and human rights. As a journalist she covered the conflicts in El Salvador and Guatemala, and won the Livingston Award for best international reporting from the Philippines. She served as the director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. In 1995 she became the director the international program at the Columbia School of Journalism, where she created the first curriculum in human rights reporting.

Since 2003 Nelson has been teaching at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), where her classes and research explore how digital media can support the under-served populations of the world through public health, education and culture.

Nelson is a widely published author. Her book "Shadow Network: Media, Money and the Secret Hub of the Radical Right" is now out in paperback. Shadow Network shines a light on a secretive network of right-wing fundamentalists, oil barons, and other interests, who have waged a forty-year campaign to take over Washington. It coordinates the political activism of many member organizations, including the National Rifle Association, the Federalist Society, and Family Research Council. In 2016 its members cut a deal with Donald Trump, who has been advancing their agendas from the White House. This eye-opening account describes their media platforms, their digital campaign strategy, and their chilling plans for America’s future, as they wage war against public health, public education, and the public interest. Past and present members include Kellyanne Conway, Steve Bannon, Jay Sekulow, Richard DeVos, and Wayne LaPierre.

Her book Her 2009 book “Red Orchestra” describes the way media was used for both propaganda and resistance in Nazi Germany, and was published to wide acclaim in the U.S. and Germany. In October 2017, Simon & Schuster published her book “Suzanne’s Children: A Daring Rescue in Nazi Paris,” telling the story of a rescue network in Paris that saved hundreds of Jewish children from deportation.   The Wall Street Journal praised the way the book “vividly dramatizes the stakes of acting morally in a time of brutality.”  It was named a finalist in the National Jewish Book Awards.  The work was published as “Codename: Suzette” in the UK, and as “La Vie Heroique de Suzanne Spaak” by Robert Laffont in France.  It is available as an audiobook, read by Nelson, and was released in paperback in October 2018.


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