Joel Simon

Executive Director


Since his appointment as executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists in 2006, Simon has led the organization through a period of expansion. He has spearheaded CPJ's efforts to defend press freedom in the digital space and, under his guidance, the organization has launched the Global Campaign Against Impunity and established a Journalist Assistance program.

Simon has led and participated in CPJ missions around the world, from Argentina to Zimbabwe. Under his leadership, CPJ has been honored with the prestigious Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights and a News & Documentary Emmy for its work in defense of press freedom.

Simon has written widely on press freedom issues for publications including Slate, Columbia Journalism Review, The New York Review of Books, World Policy Journal, Asahi Shimbun, and The Times of India. His analysis of press freedom issues is featured regularly in major media, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, the BBC, and CNN.

Simon joined CPJ in 1997 as Americas program coordinator, became deputy director in 2000, and was chosen to head the organization in 2006. As a journalist in Latin America, he has covered the Guatemalan civil war, the Zapatista uprising in Southern Mexico, the debate over the North American Free Trade Agreement, and the economic turmoil in Cuba following the collapse of the Soviet Union. A graduate of Amherst College and Stanford University, Simon is the author of Endangered Mexico: An Environment on the Edge (Sierra Club Books, 1997). His second book, The New Censorship: Inside the Global Battle for Media Freedom, was published by Columbia University Press in November 2014. His public GPG encryption key can be found here.

English, Spanish

New York


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