Biography

Lawrence Pintak, PhD is an award-winning journalist, academic leader, and media development expert who has reported from four continents and led projects in the Middle East, South Asia, Africa, and the Caucasus that support the independence and viability of journalism. He served as dean of the Graduate School of Media and Communications at The Aga Khan University in East Africa, founding dean of The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University, helped found Pakistan’s Centre for Excellence in Journalism, and directed the Arab world’s leading media training center in the years leading up to the Arab Spring. A former CBS News Middle East correspondent, Pintak is the author of five books at the intersection of religion, media, and international relations, and was named a Fellow of the Society of Professional Journalists in 2017 for “extraordinary service to the profession of journalism” around the world. He holds a PhD in Islamic Studies.

Pintak reported on the birth of modern suicide bombing and the rise of Hezbollah in Beirut, the Iran-Iraq War, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and a variety of other stories across the Middle East. His career extends from the Carter White House to the Indonesian revolution, the Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict to Zimbabwe’s independence war. He has won two Overseas Press Club awards and was twice nominated for international Emmys. 

Pintak’s non-fiction books include America & Islam: Soundbites, Suicide Bombs and the Road to Donald Trump (2019), which was a finalist for the 2020 Religion News Association annual book award; Islam for Journalists (co-editor, 2014); The New Arab Journalist (2011); Reflections in a Bloodshot Lens: America, Islam & the War of Ideas (2006); Seeds of Hate: How America’s Flawed Middle East Policy Ignited the Jihad (2003); and Beirut Outtakes (1988). His work appears in The New York Times, ForeignPolicy.com, CNN.com, Axios.com, Vox.com, The Seattle Times and a variety of other publications and he is frequently interviewed by NPR, CNN, Al Jazeera, the BBC and news organizations around the world. He has also written on Buddhism and Eastern spirituality for publications such as Lion's Roar (Shambhala Sun), Buddhadharma, and Beliefnet.

His first novel, Target: Hollywood, was published in 2022.

Pintak holds a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and has served as a non-resident scholar at the Middle East Institute and the Atlantic Council.