Rachel Martin

Rachel Martin is the host of Weekend Edition Sunday.

Prior to moving into the host position in the fall of 2012, Martin started as National Security Correspondent for NPR in May 2010. In that position she covered both defense and intelligence issues. She traveled regularly to Iraq and Afghanistan with the Secretary of Defense, reporting on the U.S. wars and the effectiveness of the Pentagon's counterinsurgency strategy. Martin also reported extensively on the changing demographic of the U.S. military – from the debate over whether to allow women to fight in combat units – to the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell. Her reporting on how the military is changing also took her to a U.S. Air Force base in New Mexico for a rare look at how the military trains drone pilots.

Martin was part of the team that launched NPR's experimental morning news show, The Bryant Park Project, based in New York — a two-hour daily multimedia program that she co-hosted with Alison Stewart and Mike Pesca.

In 2006-2007, Martin served as NPR's religion correspondent. Her piece on Islam in America was awarded "Best Radio Feature" by the Religion News Writers Association in 2007. As one of NPR's reporters assigned to cover the Virginia Tech massacre that same year, she was on the school's campus within hours of the shooting and on the ground in Blacksburg, Va., covering the investigation and emotional aftermath in the following days.

Based in Berlin, Germany, Martin worked as a NPR foreign correspondent from 2005-2006. During her time in Europe, she covered the London terrorist attacks, the federal elections in Germany, the 2006 World Cup and issues surrounding immigration and shifting cultural identities in Europe.

Her foreign reporting experience extends beyond Europe. Martin has also worked extensively in Afghanistan. She began reporting from there as a freelancer during the summer of 2003, covering the reconstruction effort in the wake of the U.S. invasion. In fall 2004, Martin returned for several months to cover Afghanistan's first democratic presidential election. She has reported widely on women's issues in Afghanistan, the fledgling political and governance system and the U.S.-NATO fight against the insurgency. She has also reported from Iraq, where she covered U.S. military operations and the strategic alliance between Sunni sheiks and the U.S. military in Anbar province.

Martin started her career at public radio station KQED in San Francisco, as a producer and reporter.

She holds an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, and a Master's degree in International Affairs from Columbia University.

Pages

U.S.
8:27 am
Sun June 21, 2015

In The Abortion Debate, Rigorous Empathy And Common Ground

Rosie Mami (center) and her sister Ayleana Mami, 19, of Cullman, Ala., (right), sit on their friends' shoulders as they lead a chant about loving babies, with other members of St. Bernard Prep, as anti-abortion demonstrators rallied at the annual March for Life, Jan. 22, 2015, on the National Mall in Washington.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Sun June 21, 2015 3:48 pm

In 1973, one U.S. Supreme Court decision launched 40 years of acrimonious public debate and legal challenges.

The legal fights over abortion continue today.

Last week, the abortion rights movement marked a win in North Carolina, when the high court turned down a request to revisit a North Carolina law requiring women to have an ultrasound before undergoing an abortion.

Read more
Iraq
7:48 am
Sun June 14, 2015

Will The U.S. Win A Second Chance At A Sunni Awakening?

An Iraqi soldier takes position in Iraq's Anbar province. The U.S. will send 450 military advisers to Iraq to help in the fight against ISIS, but they will have a another challenge to gain the trust of Sunni leaders, as they did in 2007.
Haidar Hamdani AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 14, 2015 11:02 am

Five years after the U.S. ended its combat mission in Iraq, the Obama administration is ramping up the U.S. presence there. The White House announced last week that it will send 450 military advisers to Anbar province to support Iraqi forces fighting the so-called Islamic State.

It's a complicated choice for President Obama, who in 2007 as a senator, raised concerns about sending more forces to stabilize Iraq.

Read more
Around the Nation
9:51 am
Sun June 7, 2015

In Newark, Reversing 40 Years Of Neighborhood Neglect

The view looking west on Market Street in Downtown Newark, N.J.
Alex Welsh for NPR

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 11:37 am

In cities with high crime rates, like Newark, N.J., figuring out the right balance of police engagement is especially hard.

In 2013, Newark had 40 homicides per 100,000 residents, the third-highest homicide rate in the country.

Last fall, the new mayor, Ras Baraka, announced a plan to tackle the crime and neglect that have plagued the city's worst neighborhoods. He started by focusing on two of the toughest: Clinton Hill and the Lower West Ward. I asked him in January how he'll know the program is working.

Read more
National Security
9:39 am
Sun May 24, 2015

At Dover Air Force Base, Bringing Home The Fallen With Grief And Joy

A carry team at Dover Air Force Base trains on the proper protocol for a dignified transfer.
Ariel Zambelich NPR

Originally published on Sun May 24, 2015 1:44 pm

There is a grim kind of math that comes with war.

Most of the troops who died during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were flown to Dover Air Force base in Delaware. And for most of the wars, those dignified transfers were off limits to the press. That changed in 2009, when President Obama lifted the media ban and paid a visit to Dover himself.

Read more
Business
8:03 am
Sun May 17, 2015

The Outsized Optimism Of The Entrepreneur

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun May 17, 2015 7:23 pm

It is part of the American dream, the notion that if you have a good idea and a fire in your belly, you can turn an idea into a successful business. It's that entrepreneurial spirit that drives the global economy.

That message is everywhere in our culture. President Obama echoed it last week, at a summit on entrepreneurship at the White House.

"We have a lot of brainpower here," he said. "We've got innovators and investors, business leaders, entrepreneurs. We've even got a few Sharks."

Read more
Around the Nation
9:24 am
Sun May 10, 2015

Being Transgender At Work Can Be Hard, But Made Easier With An Ally

Bjorn Rune Lie Ikon Images/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 4:44 pm

Bruce Jenner's national TV interview with Diane Sawyer in April ended months of speculation. The former Olympian turned reality TV star revealed that he now identifies as a transgender woman — though he still prefers to be called "he" for the time being.

Jenner was hailed as a hero for his openness on an issue that has caused real heartache for many. National surveys show an unusually high rate of attempted suicide among people who are transgender.

Read more
History
8:23 am
Sun April 26, 2015

Remembering The Doomed First Flight Of Operation Babylift

On April 4, 1975, a Lockheed C-5A Galaxy participating in Operation Babylift crashed on approach during an emergency landing at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, South Vietnam.
Courtesy of Bud Traynor

Originally published on Sun April 26, 2015 4:56 pm

Forty years ago this month, North Vietnamese troops captured Saigon. The long war in Vietnam was coming to an end.

In the midst of the political fallout, the U.S. government announced an unusual plan to get thousands of displaced Vietnamese children out of the country. President Ford directed that money from a special foreign aid children's fund be made available to fly 2,000 South Vietnamese orphans to the United States.

Read more
Around the Nation
8:02 am
Sun April 19, 2015

'This Is Going To Be Too Hard': Keeping Kids From Using Pot

Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 19, 2015 11:00 am

Public perceptions of marijuana have come a long way. Once a symbol of the counterculture, pot has become part of the culture.

In Colorado, it's part of everyday culture.

Colorado has allowed medical marijuana since 2001, but voters amended the state constitution in 2012 to allow private marijuana consumption for adults aged 21 or older. The first-ever stores to sell state-regulated recreational pot opened their doors on Jan. 1, 2014.

The law has raised serious concerns for parents and those working with kids to keep young people away from drugs.

Read more
Technology
7:47 am
Sun April 19, 2015

VW Camper Van Gets An Electric Makeover

Originally published on Sun April 19, 2015 11:00 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TRUCKIN'")

GRATEFUL DEAD: (Singing) What a long, strange trip it's been.

Read more
Asia
7:47 am
Sun April 19, 2015

Nepal Diverts Climbing Fees To Sherpa Welfare Fund

Originally published on Sun April 19, 2015 11:00 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Read more
Mental Health
8:28 am
Sun April 12, 2015

Working Through Depression: Many Stay On The Job, Despite Mental Illness

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 12:53 pm

When a pilot crashed a Germanwings plane into a mountainside in the French Alps last month, one word kept coming up over and over in the media coverage: depression. What did the airline know about the pilot's mental health, and what was he required to tell them?

Of course, being depressed is a very different thing from wanting to take the lives of others. But experts we talked with said that an event like this one — a violent act carried out by someone with a mental illness — increases the stigma for everyone with mental illness.

Read more
Europe
8:33 am
Sun April 5, 2015

In Greece, Getting By On The Brink Of A Financial Meltdown

People walk by closed shops in Thessaloniki in March. Greece, though it has once again averted bankruptcy, is still struggling economically.
Sakis Mitrolidis AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 12:29 pm

For many countries, the worst of the Great Recession is over. Things aren't perfect by any stretch, but economies are growing again, employment rates are up and consumers feel more optimistic, which is important.

But that is not the case in Greece.

In the last 48 hours, this battered country has once again averted the latest threat of bankruptcy: Somehow, Greece has found the money to pay back hundreds of millions of dollars to the IMF. But the Greek government says the coffers are now almost empty, making Europe seriously worried.

Read more
Around the Nation
8:33 am
Sun April 5, 2015

In New York, A Sculptor's Got Some S'plaining To Do

Originally published on Mon April 6, 2015 9:38 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Read more
The Two-Way
6:02 pm
Fri April 3, 2015

#NPRreads: Obsessing Over A Murder And The Times' Man In Tehran

Originally published on Mon April 6, 2015 12:56 pm

#NPRreads is a new feature we're testing out on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers throughout our newsroom will share pieces that have kept them reading. They'll share tidbits on Twitter using the #NPRreads hashtag, and on occasion we'll share a longer take here on the blog.

This week, we bring you threes reads and — we're cheating — one watch.

First, from Rachel Martin, host of Weekend Edition Sunday:

Read more
Law
8:43 am
Sun March 29, 2015

For Undercover Agents, On-The-Job Adrenaline Can Be Addictive

Retired agent Michael Vigil on a search and destroy operation in the Colombian jungle. "As an undercover, you're basically kind of an independent operator ... and it's very addictive." says Laura Brodie, a criminal and forensic psychologist.
Courtesy Michael Vigil

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 12:30 pm

Danger, subterfuge, adrenaline — as more agencies use undercover operatives, we take a look at what it's like to take on a false identity professionally.

A recent report out says the agency has made major improvements since Sept. 11, but still needs to boost its ability to collect intelligence.

Read more
Sports
9:19 am
Sun March 22, 2015

For The Underdogs, Winning The NCAA Was Extra Sweet

The 1988 Kansas Jayhawks hold up their trophy after winning the championship game of the NCAA Final Four Tournament.
Susan Ragan AP

Originally published on Sun March 22, 2015 3:08 pm

Every March, the madness takes hold.

The NCAA college basketball tournament might be the most emotional event in college sports. Sixty-four teams in a single-elimination tournament. The regular season can be blown away in a single game.

After that one tournament, it's all gone. But we always remember those ultimate underdogs — George Mason, Butler, Richmond. This year, it was Georgia State — until Saturday, when the Panthers fell to the Xavier Musketeers.

Read more
Interviews
10:25 am
Sun March 15, 2015

The Truth About Humanitarian Work: High Ideals Vs. Hard Realities

UNICEF workers assemble "school infection prevention kits" in Monrovia, Liberia, to stop the spread of Ebola back in January.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 12:31 pm

The Syrian civil war has dragged on for four years now. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have died and more than 3 million have been displaced.

The refugee crisis there has attracted humanitarian aid workers hoping to make a difference. Kayla Mueller was one of them. The 26-year-old Arizona native was captured by the self-proclaimed Islamic State in August of 2013. She was killed last month.

Read more
Around the Nation
10:25 am
Sun March 15, 2015

Instead Of Tickets, N.H. Police Hand Out Good-Deed Coupons

Originally published on Sun March 15, 2015 11:03 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Police in Farmington, N.H., are issuing tickets all over town. But these are tickets you might not mind getting.

CHIEF JOHN DRURY: They're for a slice of pizza or a small French fry.

Read more
Strange News
9:38 am
Sun March 15, 2015

Haunted Dolls Are A Thing, And They're Not Cheap, Either

Some dolls just don't seem quite right.
Jak Hutchcraft

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 12:56 pm

Some childhood symbols straddle the line between adorable and terrifying. Like clowns. Or Furbys.

Some dolls fit the category, too, with spooky eyes that seem to move or a porcelain pallor. They're not all Chucky, but some of them just don't seem quite right.

Listener Anne McLaughlin grew up with a cabinet full of dolls — including a pretty dancer doll and a set of wooden nesting dolls. But one, she says, stood out.

Read more
Interviews
8:56 am
Sun March 8, 2015

Learning The Hard Truth About Lying

Marilee Jones, former MIT dean of admissions and now a college admissions consultant.
Courtesy Marilee Jones

Originally published on Sun March 8, 2015 1:08 pm

We all lie sometimes. But if you're in the public eye, the lie can take on a life of its own.

NBC's Brian Williams became the victim of his own story last month, exaggerating the danger he faced while reporting in Iraq in 2003. It lead to an on-air mea culpa and a temporary suspension from the anchor desk.

Read more

Pages