Sylvester Monroe is a Senior Fellow at the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy. Before retiring from newsroom journalism in 2018, Monroe served as Assistant Foreign Editor at The Washington Post in charge of reporting from Europe and South Asia from August 2014 to December 2017. During his storied career, Monroe has had a variety of important assignments with NewsweekTIMEThe San Jose Mercury News, the Atlanta Journal ConstitutionEbony, and Marketplace, the public radio show. He is currently working on a book about the black students in Harvard’s 1973 graduating class.

Monroe graduated from Harvard University cum laude with a B.A. in Social Studies in 1973. He then started as a full-time correspondent in Newsweek’s Boston bureau, where he covered the Kenneth Edelin abortion trial and school desegregation in South Boston. He served as a Newsweek correspondent in the Chicago bureau from 1976 to 1978, as Deputy Bureau Chief from 1978 to 1983 and as Boston Bureau Chief from 1983 to 1985, when he joined Newsweek’s Washington bureau.

Monroe won several awards for his reporting while at Newsweek on such stories as “Why Johnny Can’t Write”, “American Innovation” and the three part series “Why Public Schools are Flunking”. Monroe covered Harold Washington’s successful Chicago mayoral campaign in 1983 and Reverend Jesse L. Jackson’s bids for the U.S. presidency in 1984 and 1988. In 1987, Newsweek featured a groundbreaking cover story about Monroe’s return to Chicago’s housing projects to follow up on 11 of his childhood friends. The story, “Brothers”, co-authored with Newsweek senior editor, Peter Goldman, developed into a best selling book, Brothers: Black and Poor—A True Story of Courage and Survival.

Monroe joined TIME Magazine in 1989 as a Los Angeles-based correspondent. There, he worked as a principal reporter for post riot coverage of the Rodney King trial, as well as on the 1993 cover story, “Is L.A. Going to Hell?” He also covered the racial tensions surrounding the O.J Simpson trial and a 1994 featured cover story about Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan. Monroe became an assistant managing editor in charge of national, foreign, business and technology news at the San Jose Mercury News in 2000. In 2003, he joined the Atlanta Journal – Constitution as Sunday editor for the National /Foreign Desk. In 2006, Monroe joined the staff of Ebony Magazine as Senior Editor, where he was political editor and covered Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign. Since leaving Ebony in 2009, he has worked as a freelance editor and writer for several publications including The and The Monroe has been a contract editor and writer on the Corporate Citizenship Team at Oracle Corp. and Oracle Education Foundation.

A longtime member  of the National Association of Black Journalists, Monroe has won or been part of a team that has won the NABJ magazine writing award five times. Outside of journalism, Monroe served on the Board of Trustees St. George’s School in Newport, Rhode Island, his high school alma mater, The A Better Chance Program and Neighbor to Family, a non-profit foster care agency based in Daytona Beach, Florida. He is a frequently sought after public speaker on college and school campuses, at conventions and other public forums. He lives in Los Angeles and can be reached at