SFS Alumna Katie Kingsbury (F'01) Wins Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing

Kathleen "Katie" Kingsbury (F'01) is Ideas Editor for Boston Globe Media

When Katie Kingsbury joined the Boston Globe editorial board in 2013, she noticed that the issue of income inequality would come up frequently in discussions. The board wanted to weigh in on this glaring social problem in the paper and thought the best way to do so was to find a narrow focus.

Kingsbury found that although restaurant/food service is one of the fastest growing industries, a large amount of its workers remain in poverty—the restaurant industry carries a poverty rate three times that of any other industry in the country.

“This is a huge group of Americans that we all interact with on a regular basis,” said Kingsbury. “That felt like a good starting place.”

Kingsbury spent the majority of 2014 writing the editorial series “Service Not Included,” which focused on the financial plight of restaurant workers and the effects of income inequality. Instead of simply criticizing the current predicament of the workers, however, Kingsbury and the writing team sought solutions and sent out calls to action to the people of Boston to pay attention to the practices of the restaurants they patronized.

“We wanted to try to offer some concrete solutions to these issues,” she explained.

The series has won several distinguished awards for editorial writing, including the Walker Stone Award for Editorial Writing, the ASNE Burl Osborne Award for Editorial Leadership and, most recently, the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing.

She credits her Boston Globe family for helping her with the award-winning series.

“It was great to celebrate [winning the Pulitzer Prize] because it was such a team effort. So many of us worked on it, and to be recognized for that is the ultimate honor,” she said.

Finding her path at Georgetown

Although Kingsbury attended Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service (SFS) to study Global Studies and learn Mandarin, she realized her love for reporting and writing after taking her first journalism class with professor Kitty Eisele.

“I loved that class,” said Kingsbury. “After graduation, I returned to my hometown of Boston and became a metro reporter.”

She went on to attend Columbia University to pursue her master’s degree in journalism. She graduated first in her class, and her outstanding work earned her the Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship in 2004.

Kingsbury’s fellowship took her to Shanghai, where she worked for BusinessWeek. She later became foreign correspondent for Time, and covered the entire region of Asia. She credits her time at SFS and her study-abroad experience as valuable preparation for her business travel.

“It inspires you,” she said. “You want go to these places you’ve studied and then you meet so many interesting people.”

Since then, she has also contributed to the New York Times, Reuters, The Daily Beast, Reuters, BusinessWeek and Fortune.