Keith B. Richburg 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 based in Bangkok, he is now devoting himself to freelance writing, teaching, media training and book writing.
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, 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." Currently dividing his time between Bangkok, Hong Kong and the U.S., he is a freelance writer and columnist, writing for, among others, The Edge Review and the Nikkei Asian Review. In addition, he leads media training workshops on request in Southeast Asia, including one held in Ho Chi Minh City for Vietnamese journalists, and he is now at work on his second book.
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 media appearances include MSNBC, CNN, The Washington Post, Al Jazeera, C-SPAN, Sky News and France 24. He has participated in forums and panels at the Overseas Press Club in New York, the East-West Center in Hawaii, Tsinghua University in Beijing as well as academic and professional panels in Washington, DC, New York, Indonesia, the Netherlands and Hong Kong.
Richburg can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at: keithrichburg.