Jill Lawrence is the commentary editor and a columnist for USA Today. A former columnist for Creators Syndicate, U.S. News & World Report and the Associated Press, she has won National Press Club, Sigma Delta Chi and National Headliner awards for her writing.
Lawrence is the co-author of “Governors and the Presidency: How They Campaign, How They Govern,” for the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers, and “Phoning It In and Failing to Show: The Story of the 2014 House Primaries,” for the Brookings Institution. She also is a contributor to "The Surge: 2014’s Big GOP Win and What It Means for the Next Presidential Race."
She has covered every presidential campaign since 1988, as well as historic events such as the 1998 Clinton impeachment, the 2000 Florida recount and the health-reform battles of the Clinton and Obama eras. Her positions have included managing editor for politics at National Journal, senior correspondent at AOL’s Politics Daily, national political correspondent at USA Today, and national political writer for the AP. Her work has also appeared online in Politico Magazine, The Week, The Daily Beast and The Atlantic.
Columbia Journalism Review named Lawrence one of the top 10 campaign reporters in the country in 2004, when she covered Democratic nominee John Kerry for USA Today. Washingtonian magazine included her on its list of 50 “best and most influential journalists” in 2005.
A highlight of her earlier tenure at USA Today was “One Nation, Divided,” a series which she proposed after the stalemated 2000 election and which ran in 2002. The stories were based on research and reporting throughout 2001, both before and after the 9/11 attacks, in the archetypal blue and red towns of Montclair, New Jersey, and Franklin, Tennessee. In 2003, the IRE Journal published an article she wrote about how and why the towns were chosen and the tools she used to dig out the information she needed.
Lawrence has a master’s degree in journalism from New York University and a bachelor’s degree in music literature from the University of Michigan. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, John, an editor. They have two sons.