Sandy Tolan

Senior Producer, Board Vice President

Sandy Tolan is associate professor of journalism at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California and author of The Lemon Tree: An Arab, A Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East.

Sandy is a co-founder of Homelands Productions. Since 1982, he has produced dozens of documentaries and features for NPR, Public Radio International, American Public Media, and other public radio outlets. Much of his focus has been on land, water, natural resources, and indigenous affairs in the U.S., Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Central Europe, the Middle East, and South Asia.

His programs have won numerous awards, including three from the Overseas Press Club, the DuPont-Columbia Silver Baton, three Robert F. Kennedy awards for reporting on the disadvantaged, a Harry Chapin World Hunger Year award, and a United Nations Gold Medal award. Sandy was a 1993 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. He has written for The New York Times Magazine, Audubon, The Nation, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, and dozens of other publications.

His book The Lemon Tree: An Arab, A Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East (Bloomsbury USA, 2006) was based on his award-winning documentary for NPR’s Fresh Air about a Palestinian man and a Jewish woman whose families lived in the same house before and after the founding of Israel. The book won a Christopher Award for “affirming the highest values of the human spirit” and was Booklist’s “Editor’s Choice” for best adult non-fiction book of 2006. It was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His first book, Me and Hank (Free Press, 2000), is an exploration of heroes and race relations in America through the experience of baseball slugger Hank Aaron. His forthcoming book, Children of the Stone, about the building of a music school under occupation in the West Bank, will be published in the spring of 2015 by Bloomsbury.

From 2002 to 2007, Sandy directed the International Reporting Project at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley. In 2007, his students won the George Polk Award for a series for print and radio on the early signs of climate change around the world. It was the first time students had been honored in the history of the awards.

For more about Sandy Tolan and his work, and for the latest news about his projects and speaking appearances, please visit his personal website.


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