Rachel Swarns


Rachel L. Swarns ’84 served as managing editor of Youth Communication’s YCteen magazine, where she published more than a dozen stories while she was a high school student. Rachel has been a reporter for The New York Times since 1995. Her articles about Georgetown University’s roots in slavery touched off a national conversation about American universities and their ties to this painful period of history.  She has reported from Russia, Cuba, Guatemala and southern Africa, where she served as the Times’ Johannesburg bureau chief. She has also served as a Metro columnist in New York City.  She is the author of American Tapestry: The Story of the Black, White, and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama, which was named one of the 100 Notable Books of 2012 by The New York Times Book Review and one of the “year’s outstanding books for public library collections” by Booklist. Rachel joined New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute as an associate professor in 2017.

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