Patterson Professor of the Practice of Journalism & Public Policy

Director, Rutherfurd Living History Program

Special Projects Editor, PBS FRONTLINE


140 Sanford Building


In The News

  • “Professor Phil Bennett Wins Emmy for Documentary on Clinton and Trump.” Sanford School of Public Policy, 10/9/2017. Article link
  • “From Sanford’s Philip Bennett: New Frontline Documentary Explores Rise of Stephen Bannon, Tonight.” 5/23/2017. Article link
  • “Duke Team Writes Code for Interactive Script of PBS Documentary.” Sanford School of Public Policy, 2/16/2017. Article link


Philip Bennett has spent more than 30 years as a foreign correspondent, newspaper editor and television journalist. Bennett was the managing editor of The Washington Post between 2005-2009, and has been an editor of international and national security coverage, a local news reporter and a foreign correspondent. He was the foreign editor of The Post for six years in which the paper’s international staff won many awards, including two Pulitzer prizes. As The Post’s managing editor, the paper’s second-ranking editor, Bennett helped supervise 800 journalists. The Post won ten Pulitzer Prizes during his tenure.

Bennett’s journalism career started in 1982 at The Lima Times in Peru, where he became the paper’s editor. He was hired as a metropolitan reporter by The Boston Globe in 1984 and was named the newspaper’s Latin American correspondent, based in Mexico City. He covered wars in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala, the U.S. invasion of Panama, and wrote about Mexico, Cuba and Brazil. Bennett was later the Globe’s foreign editor.

Bennett has worked on new media projects for The Washington Post Co. and has lectured on the future of journalism. He joined the Duke University faculty in 2009. He is director of the Rutherfurd Living History Program. He teaches about journalism and national security reporting, the art of the interview, and coverage of war.

While on the Duke faculty, Bennett was the managing editor of FRONTLINE, the public affairs television series broadcast on PBS from 2011-13, and rejoined FRONTLINE in 2017 to served as Special Projects Editor.

Representative Publications