This annual award, which carries a cash prize of $10,000, honors a journalist not only for a distinguished body of work, but also for the particular way that work has helped American readers to understand the complexities of Asia. It is awarded jointly by the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Center at Stanford University, and the Shorenstein Center on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University, part of the Kennedy School of Government. Events have been hosted alternately at both centers.
Barbara Crossette serves as United Nations correspondent for The Nation and is a freelance writer on foreign policy and international affairs. Her articles and essays have appeared periodically in World Policy Journal, published at the New School University in New York. "Will John Bolton Ruin the UN?" an article published in Foreign Policy, in the July/August 2006, presaged the campaign that led to the resignation of the ambassador.
Crossette was the New York Times bureau chief at the United Nations from 1994 to 2001. She was earlier a Times chief correspondent in Southeast Asia and South Asia and a diplomatic reporter in Washington. She has also reported from Central America, the Caribbean, and Canada, and been deputy foreign editor and senior editor in charge of the Times' weekend news operations. Before joining newspaper paper in 1973, Crossette worked for The Evening and Sunday Bulletin in Philadelphia and The Birmingham Post in Birmingham, England.
She is the author of several books on Asia, including So Close to Heaven: The Vanishing Buddhist Kingdoms of the Himalayas (1995) and The Great Hill Stations of Asia (1998). The latter was a New York Times notable book of the year in 1998. In 2000, Crossette wrote a survey of India and Indian-American relations, India: Old Civilization in a New World, for the Foreign Policy Association in New York. She is also the author of India Facing the 21st Century (1993). Most recently she was a co-author with George Perkovich of a section on India in the 2009 book Powers and Principles: International Leadership in a Shrinking World.
In 1999, Crossette received the Business Council of the United Nations' Korn Ferry Award for outstanding reporting on the organization, and in 2003 the United Nations Correspondents' Association's lifetime achievement award. In 2008, she was awarded a Fulbright prize for her contributions to international understanding.
Crossette has taught journalism, politics, and international affairs at a broad range of institutions, including the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Punjab University, Princeton University, Bard College, and the Royal University of Phnom Penh. In 2004 and 2005 she also worked with journalists in Brazil as a Knight International Press Fellow.
Born in Philadelphia, Crossette received a BA in history and political science from Muhlenberg College. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Women's Foreign Policy Group.