Award-winning journalist Jill Lawrence is a columnist for USA Today and other publications. A former USA Today commentary editor and editorial board member, she is also a former columnist for U.S. News and World Report and Creators Syndicate; author of the 2017 book The Art of the Political Deal: How Congress Beat the Odds and Broke Through Gridlock; and a contributor to The Surge: 2014's Big GOP Win and What It Means for the Next Presidential Race. She is on the board of the nonprofit Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization (PLATO), which promotes K-12 philosophy and ethics teaching that fosters curiosity, critical thinking and respectful discussion, and chairs PLATO's media committee.
Lawrence has covered or chronicled every presidential campaign since 1988, as well as historic events such as the 1998 Clinton impeachment, the 2000 Florida recount, the health reform battles of the Clinton and Obama eras, and the Donald Trump presidency. She is co-author of Governors and the Presidency: How They Campaign, How They Govern, for the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers, and Phoning It In and Failing to Show: The Story of the 2014 House Primaries, for the Brookings Institution.
Her positions have included senior correspondent and managing editor for politics at National Journal; senior correspondent and columnist for Politics Daily; national political correspondent for USA Today, and national political writer for The Associated Press. Her writing on politics, policy and culture has also appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Bulwark, NBC News Think, The Daily Beast, Politico Magazine, The Week, Al Jazeera America Opinion, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Among Lawrence's national awards and honors are the 2021 National Society of Newspaper Columnists award for online columns, the National Press Club's 2016 Lee Walczak Award for Political Analysis, a 2010 Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society of Professional Journalists for her Politics Daily columns, and a 1995 National Headliner Award for her AP columns. Columbia Journalism Review named her one of the top 10 campaign reporters in the country in 2004. Washingtonian magazine included her on its list of 50 "best and most influential journalists" in 2005.
A highlight of her tenure at USA Today was "One Nation, Divided," a series which she proposed after the stalemated 2000 election and which ran in 2002. The stories were based on research and reporting throughout 2001, both before and after the 9/11 attacks, in the archetypal blue and red towns of Montclair, N.J., and Franklin, Tenn. In 2003, the IRE Journal published an article Lawrence wrote about how and why the towns were chosen and the tools she used to find the information she needed.
A thoughtful analyst as well as a social-media aficionado, Lawrence has discussed political and policy developments on MSNBC, C-SPAN, Sirius-XM, public radio and many other media outlets. She was an adjunct professorial lecturer at American University in 2014, teaching on the relationship between politics and the media.