Jake Tapper is an award-winning journalist currently serving as Chief Washington Correspondent for CNN. Tapper, who joined the network in 2013, also anchors an hour-long weekday program, 'The Lead with Jake Tapper.' Typically, the show covers domestic and international stories, with a wide range of topics, such as breaking news in politics, money, sports, and popular culture. Known for being a skilled and tenacious questioner, Tapper moderated two of the GOP primary debates during the 2016 presidential election cycle. Additionally, Tapper authored The New York Times bestseller 'The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor,' a history of an isolated outpost in Afghanistan where eight U.S. soldiers died defending their base from the attack of hundreds of Taliban fighters. For his reporting, the newsman has been awarded two National Headliner Awards—Best Newscast and Best Coverage of a Major News Event—for his team’s non-stop coverage of the devastating 2015 Paris Terror Attacks. Before CNN, Tapper worked for ABC News for nine years, where he served as Senior White House Correspondent and was awarded the Merriman Smith Award for presidential coverage under deadline pressure by the White House Correspondents’ Association an unprecedented three years in a row. More recently, in 2017, Tapper added several more awards to his shelf, including the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Political Journalism.
Before Tapper established himself as one of the nation’s most respected political correspondents, he got his start as a cartoonist at Dartmouth College. He drew the Doonesbury-esque strip 'Static Cling' for the student newspaper. At Dartmouth, Tapper majored in history modified by visual studies, an unusual combination that the history department approved in support of his interest in political cartooning. Tapper was also involved in numerous social events on campus and was a member of Alpha Chi Alpha fraternity. In 1991, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Dartmouth.
As the son of a Dartmouth graduate, Tapper has been visiting the campus before he was old enough to vote. In 1986, while still in high school, he made one of his first campus visits as part of his father's 25th Dartmouth reunion. Since graduating, the CNN correspondent has returned to his old stomping grounds on numerous occasions, mostly to take part in public events hosted by University leaders. Most notably, Tapper delivered the Dartmouth College 2017 commencement speech, where he urged students to, "Don't just work hard at your job—work hard at everything."
A few years later, he was invited back to his alma mater for a much-anticipated discussion being held at Rockefeller Center in November 2020. Coming from his unique position, Tapper offered the Dartmouth community his post-election analysis. Moreover, when asked by students what advice he could give new graduates facing uncertain times, Tapper replied, "The best thing I can say about being a college student in 2020 is, I swear to God it’s going to get better."