nys writers logo


Maureen Dowd
Maureen Dowd


NYS Writers Institute, March 10, 2011
8:00 p.m. Discussion | Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, Downtown Campus

Maureen Dowd, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist known for witty commentary on political affairs, will make a rare public appearance to discuss her work and answer questions on Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. in Page Hall on the University at Albany’s downtown campus. The event is sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute, and is free and open to the public.

For the second time, the New York State Writers Institute will host a rare public appearance by Maureen Dowd, the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist renowned for her witty and acerbic commentaries on the culture and politics of Washington, D.C. She is widely regarded as one of America’s most influential political commentators.


Dowd last visited the Institute in September 2004.

A self-proclaimed “equal opportunity skeptic,” Dowd is famous for attacking hypocrisy, ridiculing stupidity, and making fun of blunders among Democrats, Republicans, Obama supporters, Tea Party activists, the Bush and Clinton families, liberals, conservatives, populists, elitists, feminists, and evangelicals. Though sometimes berated for her skepticism, Dowd told a Boston Globe interviewer, “I believe in skepticism because I believe that’s [journalism’s] role in democracy. ...”

Dowd’s biting and satirical but playful style of writing is widely imitated by writers across the ideological spectrum. But, said A. O. Scott writing for Slate, “no other regular newspaper columnist matches her gimlet eye, her sense of phrase, or her unpredictability….”

Born to a working class Irish Catholic family, Dowd is the youngest of five children of a Washington, D.C. police officer. She joined the New York Times as a metropolitan New York City reporter in October 1983. In 1986, she was reassigned to the Washington bureau of the Times, where she has covered four presidential campaigns and served as White House correspondent. She is credited with knocking Joe Biden out of the 1988 Democratic primaries, after demonstrating similarities between speeches by the Delaware Senator and those of UK Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock.

In 1992, Dowd was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for national reporting. She became a columnist for the paper’s editorial page in 1995, filling a slot left vacant by Anna Quindlen. Dowd’s other prizes include the 1992 Breakthrough Award from the Columbia University School of Journalism and the 1994 Matrix Award from New York Women in Communications in 1994. She was named a “Woman of the Year” by Glamour in 1996. She received the Pulitzer Prize for “distinguished commentary” in 1999 for her coverage of the Clinton sex scandals, and the Damon Runyon Award for outstanding contributions to journalism in 2000.

Two collections of her columns have been published in book form, Bushworld (2004) and Are Men Necessary? (2005).

Previous Visit
September 14, 2004

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at https://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.