Sacha Pfeiffer

Sacha Pfeiffer (born September 7, 1971) is an American Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and radio host. In November 2018, she joined NPR as an investigations correspondent.[2]

Sacha Pfeiffer
Born (1971-09-07) September 7, 1971 (age 48)
Alma materBoston University (B.A., M.A.)
OccupationNewspaper reporter, former public radio reporter
Spouse(s)Hansi Kalkofen[1]
Parent(s)Richard Pfeiffer
Janet Preskenis
AwardsGoldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting
Worth Bingham Prize
Investigative Reporters and Editors Award
Edward R. Murrow Award

Pfeiffer is known for her work with the Spotlight team run by The Boston Globe.[3] She was a member of the group of reporters whose work in exposing the Roman Catholic church's cover-up of clergy sex abuse earned the newspaper the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.[4]

Personal life and careerEdit

Pfeiffer was born in Columbus, Ohio, the daughter of Janet (née Preskenis) and Richard Pfeiffer.[5] She has a younger sister, Sonya, and a younger brother, Seth. Her father, a former state senator, is currently the city attorney for Columbus, Ohio, and her mother is a retired teacher. Her mother is of Lithuanian descent. Her grandmother was Alice Preskenis, a devout Catholic,[6] and a lifelong resident of South Boston who spent 40 years working at Pober's Clothing Store,[7] and specialized in dressing children.[8] Her uncle was Ken Preskenis, a well-known figure in South Boston through his involvement in community outreach.[9] Pfeiffer graduated from Bishop Watterson High School.[10]

She left Ohio for college, moving to Boston. She graduated with a B.A. in liberal studies with a double major in English and history and M.A. from Boston University.[11] In 2005, she was named a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University.[12] She started her journalism career at the Dedham Times in Dedham, Massachusetts.[13] Pfeiffer originally joined The Boston Globe as a reporter in 1995, left in 2008 to work for WBUR-FM in Boston and NPR, returning to The Boston Globe in 2014.[14][15] During her nearly seven years in public radio, Pfeiffer was a local host of All Things Considered and Radio Boston at WBUR, as well as a guest host of NPR's nationally syndicated On Point and Here & Now.[16][17] Her on-air work received a National Edward R. Murrow Award for broadcast reporting, as well as numerous other awards.[18]

Pfeiffer currently writes at The Boston Globe about wealth, philanthropy, and nonprofits,[19] and has also covered travel,[20] legal affairs, and the Massachusetts state courts.

She volunteers as an English-as-second-language teacher.[21]

After the Spotlight team published its work, the team created a book about the events. Pfeiffer is a co-author of Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church.[22]

In November 2018, she joined NPR as an investigations correspondent.

Pfeiffer has also worked as an adjunct communications and journalism professor.

Portrayal in mediaEdit

In the 2015 film Spotlight, Pfeiffer is portrayed by Canadian actress Rachel McAdams. McAdams was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance.


  1. ^ Meet Sacha Pfeiffer accessed 12/6/2016
  2. ^ "Sacha Pfeiffer, Cheryl W. Thompson Join Investigations Team; Howard Berkes To Retire". Retrieved 2018-10-22.
  3. ^ "Boston Globe / Spotlight / Abuse in the Catholic Church". Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  4. ^ 10, November. "Timeline of Spotlight report stories - The Boston Globe". Retrieved 2015-11-12.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Richard Pfeiffer bio Archived 2016-09-30 at the Wayback Machine accessed 11-7-2015
  6. ^ Alice Preskenis Abstract accessed 12-26-2015
  7. ^ Unwrapped, South Boston (2012-08-28). "Caught in Southie". Caught in Southie. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  8. ^ "Alice Preskenis, 94; kept South Boston in style - The Boston Globe (Boston, MA) | HighBeam Research". Archived from the original on 2016-03-01. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  9. ^ Team Comes Through for Coach accessed 12-26-2015
  10. ^ Blundo, Joe. [1] "Columbus native finds herself on the big screen." The Columbus Dispatch 16 Nov. 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2020
  11. ^ "Special Spotlight Screened for BU Audience | BU Today | Boston University". BU Today. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  12. ^ "Class of 2005: Sacha Pfeiffer". Knight Fellowships Stanford University. Retrieved 2015-11-13.
  13. ^ "A Dedham Connection at The Oscars". The Dedham Times. February 26, 2016. p. 11.
  14. ^ "Pulitzer Winning Reporter Joins WBUR". Boston University. 2008-06-12. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  15. ^ "Boston Globe Beefs up its Business Coverage". Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  16. ^ "Black Lives Matter And The 2016 Election". onpoint. 2015-08-17. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  17. ^ "Here & Now". Here & Now. 2015-11-12. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  18. ^ "WBUR takes home two Murrow Awards". Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  19. ^ "Boston nonprofits pressure McDonald's to end 'McTeacher's Night' - The Boston Globe". Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  20. ^ Pfeiffer, Sacha (2007-02-04). "There, behind the buildup, open, pristine Outer Banks". Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  21. ^ "Friends of the Community Learning Center — Meet a Donor". Archived from the original on 2011-12-03. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  22. ^ "Book Discussion on Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church". Retrieved 2015-11-12.