Russell Lewis

As NPR's Southern Bureau chief, Russell Lewis covers issues and people of the Southeast for NPR — from Florida to Virginia to Texas, including West Virginia, Kentucky, and Oklahoma. His work brings context and dimension to issues ranging from immigration, transportation, and oil and gas drilling for NPR listeners across the nation and around the world.

In addition to developing and expanding NPR's coverage of the region, Lewis assigns and edits stories from station-based reporters and freelancers that air on NPR's news programs, working closely with local correspondents and public radio stations. He spent a year in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, coordinating NPR's coverage of the massive rebuilding effort and the reverberations of the storm in local communities. He joined NPR in 2006 and is based in Birmingham, Alabama.

Lewis is also a key member of NPR's 'Go Team' — a small group of experienced NPR producers and reporters who respond to major disasters worldwide. He is often among the first on the scene for NPR — both reporting from these sites as well as managing the logistics of bringing additional NPR reporters into disaster areas that lack functioning transportation systems, basic utilities, food, water, and security.

He was dispatched to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, where he helped manage a group of NPR journalists. He created an overland supply line for the NPR team between the Dominican Republic and Haiti and brought listeners stories about the slow pace of supply distribution because of border bottlenecks. In Japan in 2011, he was quickly on the scene after the earthquake and tsunami to help coordinate NPR's intensive coverage. In 2013, he was on the ground overseeing NPR's reporting in the Philippines in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan. Covering the impact of the massive earthquake in Nepal in 2015, he field-produced NPR's coverage and also reported how a lack of coordination by the government and aid workers slowed response. Lewis managed NPR's on-the-ground coverage in 2015 of the terrorist attacks in Paris, France, and reported from Brussels, Belgium. He returned to Brussels in 2016 after the terrorist bombings at the airport and metro station. He helped field-produce NPR's coverage and also reported several stories about the response and recovery. In 2018, he went to Indonesia to field-produce and edit coverage following the earthquake and tsunami in Palu.

Lewis also oversees NPR's sports coverage. He spent six weeks in Brazil in 2014 handling logistics and reporting on the World Cup. In 2015, he did the same in Canada for the Women's World Cup. In 2016, Lewis reported and oversaw NPR's team of journalists at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. He also led NPR's coverage from Pyeongchang, South Korea, at the 2018 Winter Olympics and from Tokyo at the delayed Summer Olympics in 2021.

In 2010, the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University awarded him a prestigious Ochberg Fellowship. The Fellowship is designed to improve reporting on violence, conflict, and tragedy. Lewis has continued his work with the Dart Center and has trained reporters on behalf of the organization in Trinidad and Tobago, the Cayman Islands, and Puerto Rico.

A graduate of the University of Florida, Lewis began his public radio career in 1992 as reporter and executive producer at NPR member station WUFT in Gainesville, Florida. He also spent time at WSVH in Savannah, Georgia, and was Statehouse Bureau Chief at Kansas Public Radio. For six years he worked at KPBS in San Diego as a senior editor and reporter. He also was a talk show host and assistant news director at WGCU in Fort Myers, Florida.

When he's not busy at work, Lewis can be found being creative in the kitchen or outside refereeing soccer games.

Updated August 27, 2021 at 2:55 PM ET

A Florida judge has ruled that school districts in the state can require students to wear masks. At least 10 school districts — including some in many of the largest cities — had been defying state rules set by Gov. Ron DeSantis banning mask mandates.

TOKYO — They were called the "COVID Olympics." The "pandemic Olympics." The "anger Olympics." Many Japanese people were upset to host such a huge and risky event in the middle of the pandemic, and many outside observers were surprised it happened at all.

TOKYO — On the final day of the Tokyo Summer Olympics, the U.S. women's volleyball team did something it had never done before: win a gold medal. The squad defeated Brazil 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-14) at Ariake Arena.

It was the sixth volleyball medal for the United States. It had previously won three silver and two bronze and it was the fourth Olympics in a row that the U.S. had medaled. But this was the most complete effort of any previous team. The U.S. lost just one of its eight matches in Tokyo.

TOKYO — The U.S. women's basketball team was simply golden in the Tokyo Olympics. The U.S. trounced host Japan 90-75 to win the gold medal and continue a string of unparalleled titles and victories at the Olympics.

The U.S. has not lost at the Olympics since the Barcelona Games in 1992 — a remarkable stretch of 55 straight wins. This victory landed the U.S. its seventh-straight Olympic gold medal.

TOKYO — American Nelly Korda finished with a one-shot victory in the Olympic women's golf competition battling both the rain and her opponents in the final round. With the win, the United States swept the gold medals in golf.

Korda, 23, continued her sparkling season after winning her first major, the Women's PGA Championship in June, as well as two other tournaments, and then snagging the world number one ranking. Now she can add an Olympic gold medal to her collection of firsts this year.

TOKYO — It was not the color medal the U.S. Women's National Soccer team had hoped to win at the Olympics. But the dominant 4-3 victory over Australia gave the top-ranked U.S. the bronze medal. In the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, the U.S. was bounced out of the Olympics in the quarterfinals.

TOKYO — U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher will not play in Thursday's Olympic bronze medal women's soccer match. Naeher exited Monday's semifinal game against Canada with an injury.

In the 22nd minute, Naeher leaped for a ball, bumped into U.S. defender Julie Ertz and landed awkwardly. U.S. Soccer says Naeher "suffered a hyperextension of her right knee and a bone contusion."

TOKYO — We're in the home stretch of the most dramatic Olympics in recent memory, held against great odds amid a global pandemic in a country where many Japanese residents didn't want it to happen at all.

Updated August 2, 2021 at 5:57 AM ET

TOKYO — In an upset, the top-ranked U.S. women's soccer team lost its semifinal game to Canada 1-0 at the Tokyo Olympics, pushing it out of contention for a gold medal.

The World Cup champs could still take bronze if they win their next game against Australia on Thursday.

TOKYO — American swimmer Katie Ledecky is once again the Olympic champion at the 800-meter freestyle.

She touched the wall first at 8:12.57, besting her Australian rival Ariarne Titmus who cruised to silver at 8:13.83. Italy's Simona Quadarella took the bronze. American Katie Grimes was fourth.

It was Ledecky's second individual gold at the Tokyo Olympics, after her win in the 1,500-meter freestyle.

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