Journalist, playwright and regional newspaper editor named to Pulitzer Prize Board

October 22, 2012

A prominent journalist, an honored playwright and the editor of a distinguished regional newspaper have been elected to the Pulitzer Prize Board, Columbia University announced today.

They are Steve Coll, a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper correspondent and nonfiction author, who is a staff writer for "The New Yorker" magazine; Quiara Alegría Hudes, author of a Pulitzer Prize-winning drama; and Aminda (Mindy) Marqués Gonzalez, vice president and executive editor of "The Miami Herald," which has won 20 Pulitzer Prizes in its history and was twice a Pulitzer finalist in recent years.

Steve Coll

After a distinguished 20-year career at The Washington Post, rising from general assignment reporter to managing editor, Coll joined The New Yorker staff in 2005. The author of seven books, he has also served as president of the New America Foundation, a nonpartisan research and public policy institution, since 2007. He plans to step down as foundation president after a successor is selected.

Coll has twice received the Pulitzer Prize, once for Explanatory Reporting, for a series of Washington Post articles that he co-authored with David A. Vise in 1990 about the Securities and Exchange Commission, and in 2005, for General Nonfiction, for his book, "Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the C.I.A., Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, From the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001."

Joining "The Washington Post" in 1985 as a reporter, Coll moved two years later to New York City to cover the world of corporate takeovers on Wall Street, the stock market crash, the Michael Milken investigations and the SEC as the newspaper’s financial correspondent. In 1989, he moved to New Delhi to become the paper’s South Asia correspondent. For three years he covered India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal. In 1992, he was appointed the newspaper’s first international investigative correspondent, based in London, from where he traveled widely to cover emerging trans-national subjects such as terrorism, nuclear proliferation and global economic integration.

His other professional awards include the 1992 Livingston Award for outstanding foreign reporting. He received the 2000 Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Award for his coverage of the civil war in Sierra Leone, as well as the Overseas Press Club Award for international magazine writing. His 2008 book, "The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century," received P.E.N. America’s John Kenneth Galbraith prize, and was a Pulitzer finalist in Biography. His latest book, "Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power," has been shortlisted for the Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year award.

His other books are: "The Deal of the Century: The Break Up of AT&T" (1986); "The Taking of Getty Oil" (1987); "Eagle on the Street," based on the Pulitzer-winning account of the SEC's battle with Wall Street (with David A. Vise, 1991); "On the Grand Trunk Road: A Journey into South Asia" (1994).

Coll graduated cum laude and a member of Phi Beta Kappa, from Occidental College in 1980 with a degree in English and history. He lives in New York.

Quiara Alegría Hudes

A playwright and educator, Hudes won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play "Water by the Spoonful." Variety hailed the play as “a combination poem, prayer and app on how to cope in an age of uncertainty, speed and chaos.”

Hudes made her New York debut with the drama "Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue," which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2007. The "New York Times" welcomed Hudes' "confident and arresting voice," calling the play "a theater work that succeeds on every level while creating something new."

Hudes’ book for Broadway’s "In the Heights" was also a Pulitzer finalist and a Tony nominee, and the piece won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2008 before touring nationally and internationally to widespread acclaim. "New York" magazine called In the Heights "an extraordinary blend of old and new, a stylistically groundbreaking 21st-century musical."

Originally trained as a musician, Hudes studied classical piano, Afro-Cuban piano, American music, and composition. She received a bachelor’s degree in music composition from Yale University and a master of fine arts degree in playwriting from Brown University. Though she no longer composes, Hudes continues to engage music as a deep and common thread in her playwriting. She has collaborated with master musicians like Michel Camilo and Nelson Gonzales, folding their profound musical expression into her dramatic structures.

Hudes serves on the Dramatists Guild Council and as a Board Member at Philadelphia Young Playwrights, the organization that produced her first play in the 10th grade. Much of Hudes’ writing is set in Philadelphia, her hometown. She has been honored for her creative exploration of that city’s divergent communities, including a Resolution from the City of Philadelphia and her personal favorite honor – being among the first group of women inducted into the Central High School Hall of Fame since the public school’s founding in 1836.

Hudes lives in New York with her husband and daughter.

Aminda (Mindy) Marqués Gonzalez

As executive editor of "The Miami Herald," Marqués has oversight and responsibility for the newspaper’s print and online news operation, which reaches 1.2 million readers a week. A 1986 graduate of the University of Florida, she began her journalism career 25 years ago as a summer intern at the newspaper covering community news. During nearly a decade of local reporting, Marqués went on to cover Hialeah, the second largest city in the newspaper’s home county, and followed the landmark case involving the Santeria religion to the U.S. Supreme Court. She moved to editing in 1994, where she directed government reporting, local politics and breaking news. Named deputy metro editor in 2000, she oversaw metro, state and community news operations.

From 2002 to 2007, Marqués was Miami bureau chief for "People" magazine, overseeing coverage for the southeast U.S., the Caribbean and Latin America. She returned to "The Miami Herald" in 2007 as a multimedia editor to help launch, the newspaper’s entertainment website. As executive features/Sunday editor, she directed a redesign of the lifestyle sections from tabloid to broadsheet. She also was responsible for the newsroom’s enterprise stories and for oversight of the Sunday paper. Named managing editor in 2010, Marqués led a wide-ranging newsroom reorganization building teams around content, design and the distribution of stories across platforms. During her tenure as managing editor, The Miami Herald was a 2011 Pulitzer Prize finalist for coverage of the earthquake in Haiti.

In November 2010, Marqués was named executive editor, the newspaper’s first Hispanic editor and only the second woman to hold the post. During her editorship, "The Miami Herald" was a 2012 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Public Service for a series detailing the state’s systemic failures in regulating assisted-living facilities. She is a member of the National Advisory Board of the Poynter Institute, sits on the board of the Associated Press Media Editors and has served as a Pulitzer journalism juror. She was named one of the 2011-2012 Alumni of Distinction for the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications.

Marqués and her husband have two children.


The Pulitzer Prizes, which are administered at Columbia University, were established by Joseph Pulitzer, a Hungarian-American journalist and newspaper publisher, who left money to Columbia University upon his death in 1911. A portion of his bequest was used to found the School of Journalism in 1912 and establish the Pulitzer Prizes, which were first awarded in 1917.

The 19-member board is composed mainly of leading journalists or news executives from media outlets across the U.S., as well as five academics or persons in the arts. The dean of Columbia's journalism school and the administrator of the prizes are nonvoting members. The chair rotates annually to the most senior member or members. The board is self-perpetuating in the election of members. Voting members may serve three terms of three years for a total of nine years.