Debbie Cenziper


Photo of Debbie Cenziper

Debbie Cenziper is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and nonfiction author who writes for ProPublica’s national desk. She spent more than a decade at The Washington Post.

Over 30 years, Cenziper’s stories have changed laws, prompted congressional and FBI investigations, and helped secure more funding for affordable housing, mental health care and public schools.

She has won dozens of awards in American print journalism, including the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for local reporting about corrupt affordable housing developers in Miami. She was a Pulitzer finalist in 2006 for a series about breakdowns in the nation’s hurricane-warning system.

Cenziper was one of the lead reporters at The Washington Post on the award-winning Pandora Papers, a 2021 investigation about the secret movement of wealth around the world. In 2022, while at ProPublica, she co-authored “Shadow Diplomats,” an investigation about troubled volunteer diplomats that has spurred reforms in nine countries.

She is the author of “Citizen 865: The Hunt for Hitler’s Hidden Soldiers in America,” and “Love Wins: The Lovers and Lawyers Who Fought the Landmark Case for Marriage Equality,” named one of the most notable books of the year by The Washington Post.

Cenziper is a professor at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Philips Agrees to Pay $1 Billion to Patients Who Say They Were Injured by Breathing Machines

The proposed settlement will effectively end more than 700 lawsuits filed after the 2021 recall of millions of the company’s widely used sleep apnea devices and ventilators.

FDA Repeatedly Rejected Safety Claims Made by Philips After the CPAP Recall but Waited to Alert the Public, Emails Show

As Philips reassured patients that millions of recalled machines were safe, internal emails show federal regulators privately told the company its testing didn’t account for the impact of long-term harm from tainted devices.

Amid Recall Crisis, Philips Agrees to Stop Selling Sleep Apnea Machines in the United States

The breathing machine manufacturer has faced relentless criticism over its handling of the 2021 recall of millions of devices. Philips must meet the requirements outlined in an agreement with the Justice Department before it can resume sales.

Congressional Watchdog Will Launch Inquiry Into FDA Oversight of Medical Device Recalls

Sens. Dick Durbin and Richard Blumenthal asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate the regulatory agency, citing ProPublica and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports on the 2021 recall of Philips breathing machines.

Philips Recalled Breathing Machines in 2021. Chemicals of “Concern” Found in Replacement Machines Raised New Alarm.

Amid a massive recall in 2021, the medical device maker Philips raced to overcome troubling questions about its replacement machines as customers waited for help.

“With Every Breath” Captures the Human Toll of Philips’ Failure to Disclose Dangerous Defects of Its CPAP Devices

A new short documentary from ProPublica and the Pittsburgh Post- Gazette follows patients and a doctor navigating the fallout of the massive recall of Philips breathing machines.

“Unacceptable”: Senators Call on GAO to Probe FDA’s Oversight of Medical Devices, Citing Series on Philips CPAP Recall

Sens. Dick Durbin and Richard Blumenthal sent a letter noting how the agency missed opportunities to protect the public from faulty medical devices, citing reporting by ProPublica and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Millions of People Used Tainted Breathing Machines. The FDA Failed to Use Its Power to Protect Them.

The FDA’s complaint-tracking system for medical devices allowed Philips to obscure when it knew about dangerous CPAPs. New reporting shows the regulatory lapses extend to many devices and companies.

Senator Calls for DOJ Action Against Philips for Keeping CPAP Machine Complaints Secret

The FDA also said it is “unsatisfied” with the company’s response to the crisis. Share prices dropped in early trading.

What You Need to Know About the Philips Respironics CPAP Recall

We found answers to some of the most critical questions about the ongoing recall of millions of CPAP machines, ventilators and other breathing devices.

We Spent a Year Investigating the Philips CPAP Recall. Here’s How We Did It.

An international team of reporters reviewed thousands of records and interviewed insiders to expose what went wrong in the global corporation.

Help ProPublica and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Investigate the Recall of Philips Respironics Breathing Machines

If you’ve reported a death or injury or struggled to get a device replaced, we’d like to hear about your experience with the company.

Philips Kept Complaints About Dangerous Breathing Machines Secret While Company Profits Soared

Tainted CPAP machines and ventilators went to children, the elderly and at least 700,000 veterans despite internal warnings. Company insiders said the devices posed an “unacceptable” risk.

These Documents Reveal Abuses and Breakdowns in Rogue System of Global Diplomacy

As countries call for change, nine documents from around the world show how journalists in an international reporting effort built the first comprehensive account of wrongdoing by volunteer diplomats known as honorary consuls.

Nazi Germany Used Honorary Consuls to Advance Agenda Globally, Records Show

A ProPublica-ICIJ investigation into shadow diplomats identified about 20 honorary consuls suspected of supporting the Third Reich through espionage and other activities.

Shadow Diplomats Have Posed a Threat for Decades. The World’s Governments Looked the Other Way.

The U.S. State Department trusts foreign governments to nominate reputable honorary consuls, despite global accounts of wrongdoing.

The Global Threat of Rogue Diplomacy

How honorary consuls leverage perks, wield political power amid reports of wrongdoing.

Governments Call for Reforms to Centuries-Old Honorary Consul System

Authorities launch probes and propose overhauls following ProPublica and ICIJ’s global “Shadow Diplomats” investigation.

Agents of Influence: How Russia Deploys an Army of Shadow Diplomats

Under Vladimir Putin, Russia has appointed dozens of honorary consuls. Many have spread pro-Kremlin sentiment around the world.

The Global Threat of Rogue Diplomacy

Honorary consuls were meant to foster ties between countries. Accused terrorist financiers, arms traffickers and drug runners are among those who have wielded diplomatic protection, a global investigation finds.

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