Earleen Fisher


The Media School Distinguished Alumni Award (2012)
B.A., 1968


In more than 30 years as a reporter, editor and bureau chief with the Associated Press, Earleen Fisher covered major stories in some of the world's most volatile political regions and interviewed subjects such as former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and the Dalai Lama.

Fisher began reporting for her hometown paper, The Milford (Indiana) Mail, as a sophomore in high school. At IU, she worked for the Indiana Daily Student, becoming managing editor her senior year. AP hired her as a part-time newswoman in its Indianapolis bureau that spring and gave her a full-time job after graduation. She transferred to AP's New York office in 1971 to work as a supervisor on the U.S. news report.

In 1977, Fisher moved to Cairo as a freelance writer, stringing for AP, the New York Times and Voice of America. She covered the rise of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and the signing of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. She rejoined the AP in 1980, working in Beirut and Tel Aviv. In 1985, she returned to New York, working as a supervisor on the foreign desk. In 1987, AP appointed her bureau chief in New Delhi, where she reported and directed news coverage for India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Afghanistan and the Maldives. In 1992, she became chief of the AP's Middle East Services, based first in Cyprus and later in Cairo. She directed news coverage for 16 countries and supervised more than 100 full-time staff members. Under her leadership, the bureau covered stories such as the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan.

After leaving the AP in 2004, Fisher taught at the American University in Cairo, and worked in Beirut on a U.S.-funded media development program for the Middle East and North Africa.