Michael Grabell writes about economic issues, labor, immigration and trade for ProPublica, a nonprofit journalism organization dedicated to in-depth stories in the public interest. He has reported on the ground from more than 35 states, as well as some of the remotest villages in Alaska and Guatemala. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic and The New York Times and on NPR, Vice, Univision and CBS News. He has won two George Polk Awards and has twice been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service -- in 2021, as part of a team covering Covid-19, and in 2019, for stories that helped expose the impact of family separation at the border and abuse in immigrant children's shelters. That latter series also won a Peabody Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting. He has previously won a Gerald Loeb award for business journalism, an IRE medal, an Edward R. Murrow award and an ASNE award for reporting on diversity. He has also been a finalist for the Shadid ethics award and the Taylor award for fairness in journalism.
Grabell's investigative work has included stories on Covid-19's effect on meatpacking workers, sexual abuse in immigrant children's shelters, how companies take advantage of immigrant workers, the dismantling of workers' comp, the growth of temp work, President Obama's economic stimulus package, the TSA's body scanners, the Lance Armstrong doping scandal, chemicals stored near schools and neighborhoods, and a bus fire that killed 23 nursing home patients.
His first book Money Well Spent?: The Truth Behind the Trillion-Dollar Stimulus, the Biggest Economic Recovery Plan in History was published in 2012 by PublicAffairs. He has been a guest on CNN, Fox News, CNBC, C-SPAN, PBS NewsHour, ABC News, CBS News, and NPR.
Outside of work, Grabell is an award-winning poet, whose first chapbook, Macho Man, won the Finishing Line Press chapbook competition in 2013 and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His poems have appeared in the Best American Poetry anthology, Best New Poets 2009, Southwest Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Alehouse, Rattle, and the Sow's Ear Poetry Review. His poetry has won a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg prize and was runner-up in the River Styx International Poetry Contest.
He has taught courses and advised students at Columbia University and in the MFA program at Western Connecticut State University, and he is the volunteer training and mentorship adviser for Princeton University's college newspaper, The Daily Princetonian. Originally from Montville, N.J., he currently lives in the New York suburbs with his wife and children.