Steve Coll (born October 8, 1958 in Washington, D.C.) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist and writer. Coll is currently president and CEO of the New America Foundation. Prior to assuming that post on September 17, 2007, Coll was a staff writer for The New Yorker, and served as managing editor of The Washington Post from 1998 to 2004. Coll was also an associate editor for The Post from late 2004 to August 2005. Coll regularly maintains a blog on The New Yorker website entitled Think Tank, where he writes primarily on issues of foreign and public policy, and American national security.
Born in Washington, DC, Coll graduated from Thomas S. Wootton High School in Rockville, Maryland in 1976. He moved to the west coast, attending Occidental College in Los Angeles, California, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1980 with majors in English and History.
He is the writer of numerous books, including the 2005 Pulitzer Prize winner for general non-fiction, The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001. Coll also won a Pulitzer Prize in 1990 for explanatory journalism for his coverage of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Coll's career as a journalist began at California magazine, where he eventually became a contributing editor. Coll started working for the Post as a general assignment feature writer in 1985 for the paper's Style section, quickly moving up to become a New York stationed financial correspondent in 1987. He subsequently moved to New Delhi in 1989, becoming the Post's South Asia bureau chief. From 1995-1998, he worked for the Washington Post Magazine, serving as publisher beginning in 1996.
On July 23, 2007, Coll was named to become the next director of the New America Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy institute headquartered in Washington, D.C. Quoted in an article appearing in The New York Times, Coll said, “Nonprofits have to fill up some of the space that newspapers are inevitably leaving behind” as the industry changes.
His book The Bin Ladens was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award.