I'm a New York Times reporter who investigates city and state government for the Metro Desk. I live in New York City, but I occasionally travel to Albany or elsewhere in the state.
New York has not always been home. I grew up in Indiana, attended college outside Chicago (at Northwestern University) and have worked in three other states. My longest previous stops were at the Houston Chronicle and The Seattle Times, where I cut my teeth covering schools and local government.
I was part of the Seattle Times reporting team that won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News for coverage of a deadly mudslide. I was a finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Public Service for an investigation about special education in Texas. I have won the Selden Ring Award, a George Polk Award and a medal from the Investigative Reporters and Editors, in addition to other honors.
More importantly, my work has made a difference. The special education investigation forced Texas to end a secret cap on special ed enrollments that had shut out tens of thousands of kids with disabilities for more than a decade. Another project, on questionable spending by Texas government officials, sparked criminal investigations, personnel changes and legislative reforms. In Seattle, my reporting on the mental health system was cited in a landmark state Supreme Court case. And at Northwestern, a series on wrongdoing by a famous journalism professor led the school to boost ethics rules.
A lobbyist implicated in a story once said in a deposition that he was “infuriated talking about Rosenthal even” (a sentiment I had previously heard only from ex-girlfriends). Another time, a spokesman for a state agency threatened to name its public records division after me.
But my biggest career highlight has probably been this: I once managed to get the word “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” into a story on the front page of The Seattle Times.