Bio

Sebastian Rotella is an award-winning author, investigative journalist and foreign correspondent. He is the author of the novels Rip Crew (2018), The Convert’s Song (2014), and Triple Crossing (2011), which the New York Times Sunday Book Review named favorite debut crime novel and action thriller of 2011. His non-fiction works include Twilight on the Line: Underworlds and Politics at the U.S.-Mexico Border (1998); and two e-books: Finding Oscar: Massacre, Memory and Justice in Guatemala (2012), and Pakistan and the Mumbai Attacks: The Untold Story (2011). Sebastian is a senior reporter for ProPublica, a newsroom dedicated to investigative journalism in the public interest. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Frontline PBS and other major media outlets. He covers terrorism, organized crime, intelligence, migration and other international security issues. He has reported in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa, and speaks Spanish, French, Italian and some Portuguese. During 23 years at the Los Angeles Times, he served as bureau chief in Paris and Buenos Aires and correspondent at the Mexican border. His border coverage inspired two songs by Bruce Springsteen, Balboa Park and The Line, on The Ghost of Tom Joad album in 1995. Sebastian’s journalism honors include a Peabody Award; Columbia University’s Maria Moors Cabot Award for career Latin American coverage, as well as the university’s Dart Award for Excellence in Reporting on Trauma; the German Marshall Fund’s Weitz Prize for European reporting; multiple awards from the Overseas Press Club and Inter-American Press Association; and the Urbino Press Award of Italy. Sebastian was a Pulitzer finalist for international reporting in 2006, and an Emmy nominee as correspondent and narrator of A Perfect Terrorist (2011), a Frontline documentary. He has given talks at the FBI; the Office of the Director of National Intelligence; the U.S. Army; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; the New York Police Department; the United Nations; the Hudson Institute; the Jamestown Foundation; the U.S. embassies in Paris and Buenos Aires; the Real Instituto Elcano in Madrid; Cornell University; Penn State University; SUNY Stony Brook, and other locales. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan, studied at the University of Barcelona, and was born in Chicago in 1962.