Keith B. Richburg, Director of the Journalism and Media Studies Centre at the University of Hong Kong, spent more than 20 years overseas for The Washington Post, serving as bureau chief in Beijing, Paris, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Nairobi and Manila as well as New York City. He also was the Post’s Foreign Editor during 2005–2007. Richburg was Journalist-in-Residence at the East-West Center in Hawaii in 1990 and was president of the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents Club in 1997, during the year of Hong Kong’s handover to China. Now a Professor of Practice in Hong Kong, he teaches courses on Feature Writing, Covering China and Covering Global Affairs, while continuing his career as a freelance writer and an author.

During his time at the Post, he reported on the invasion in Iraq, the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the U.S. military intervention in Somalia, the genocide in Rwanda, the 1997 Hong Kong handover, the Asian economic crisis, and the Chinese Communist Party's 18th Party Congress in Beijing in 2012. He has won several awards, including the George Polk Award, the Overseas Press Club Award, the National Association of Black Journalists Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting from Africa. Richburg speaks English and French, a smattering of Spanish, and has been studying Mandarin Chinese.

A native of Detroit and a lifelong Detroit Tigers baseball fan, Richburg began working for the Post as a summer intern in 1978. He received a B.A. from the University of Michigan and a Master’s Degree in international relations from The London School of Economics in 1984. He began his career in journalism as the political cartoonist for The Michigan Daily, the student-run newspaper of the University of Michigan, and he still dabbles in cartooning.

Richburg was the Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University in the Spring of 2014, where he taught an undergraduate course, "Foreign Policy, Public Opinion and the Press," and he was a 2013 Spring Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy Institute of Politics, where he led a weekly study group called "China Rising."

Richburg is the author of the acclaimed book, Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa (Basic Books, 1997) that was described by USA TODAY as “the most honest book to emerge from Africa in a long time.”

His regular media appearances include CNN, NBC, Al JazeeraC-SPANSky News and France 24, among others. He is a regular speaker and moderator at academic conferences and media panels worldwide, and was most recently a featured speaker in Ukraine under the U.S. Embassy Speakers' Program.

Richburg can be contacted at keith@keithrichburg.com.



Out of America

A Black Man Confronts Africa

Cover of Out of America, A Black Man Confronts Africa, orange silhouette of map of Africa on reddish wood grain
Nothing in Keith Richburg’s long and respected journalistic career at The Washington Post prepared him for what he would encounter as the paper’s correspondent in Africa.

He found a continent where brutal murder had become routine, where dictators and warlords silenced dissent with machine guns and machetes, and where starvation had become depressingly common.

With a great deal of personal anguish, Richburg faced a difficult question: If this is Africa, what does it mean to be an African American? Read more


Freelance journalist and former China correspondent Keith B. Richburg has spent more than 20 years overseas for The Washington Post, serving as bureau chief in Paris, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Nairobi and Manila. He covered the invasion in Iraq, the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the U.S. military intervention in Somalia, the genocide in Rwanda and the 1997 handover of Hong Kong to China.

A native of Detroit, Richburg began working for the Post as a summer intern in 1978. He was the Post’s foreign editor from 2005 to 2007 and the New York bureau chief from 2007 to 2009. He has a B.A. from the University of Michigan and a Master’s Degree in international relations from The London School of Economics.

Richburg is the author of Out Of America; A Black Man Confronts Africa (Basic Books, 1997). He speaks English and French and has been learning Mandarin.

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August 27, 2016

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March 31, 2016

A New Position, A New Challenge

By Keith B. Richburg, March 31, 2016 Yes, it’s official. In September, I will be taking over as Director of the Journalism and Media Studies Centre (JMSC) […]
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ASEAN leaders must look beyond US primaries chaos

By Keith B. Richburg, January 29, 2016 Here’s my latest piece for Nikkei Asian Review, written before the January 28 debate in Des Moines.  Just three days […]
January 24, 2016

Unlikely surge of public opinion may force China rethink on North Korea

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