Special Advisor to the President
Alan Elsner has had a long career at the top ranks of American and international journalism prior to joining J Street. As State Department and later White House correspondent for Reuters News Agency, Elsner traveled the world with Secretaries of State and was on first name terms with presidents and vice presidents. His sharp questioning during the Rwanda genocide forced the United States to change its policy and was later highlighted in the Hollywood movie “Hotel Rwanda.” As Reuters National Correspondent, Elsner was the agency’s chief writer on 9/11/2001 and his byline was featured on the agency’s stories that day and through the subsequent period. Elsner is the author of two novels and two works of non-fiction. His first book, “Gates of Injustice: The Crisis in America’s Prisons,” was hailed by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy as a “wake-up call” and welcomed by the political left and right. Elsner later testified to governmental and independent commissions on prison reform. His first novel, “The Nazi Hunter,” was described by Publishers’ Weekly as “a gripping debut thriller and a compelling tale.” Winner of the Knight International Journalism fellowship, Elsner spent a year in Romania in 2007 teaching journalism to students and professionals and strengthening the values of a free media.