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David Yepsen

David Yepsen

David Yepsen is a longtime Iowa journalist. Most recently, he was the host of Iowa PBS's weekly Iowa Press program.

Prior to that, he served as director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where he also taught a class in public affairs reporting in the journalism school. He had a 34-year career with the Des Moines Register, serving as the paper’s chief political writer, political editor and political columnist. He covered local, Iowa and presidential campaigns. He started his career at the Quad City Times and at The Daily Iowan at the University of Iowa.

In his book about his 1988 presidential race, Illinois Sen. Paul Simon praised Yepsen’s objectivity. “Every four years the chief political reporter for the Des Moines Register becomes the most important reporter in the nation,” he said. “It is a position that could cause vanity and abuse. To his credit, David Yepsen handled this position with sensitivity and balance. And he worked hard.”

In 2010, the U.S. State Department invited him to lecture about American politics and political reporting to groups in Uganda and Zambia. In 2012, he was again invited by the department to do a similar series of lectures in Malaysia. In 1989 he was a fellow at the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. In 2008, he was a fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard and in 2019 he was a fellow at the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago.

He is a graduate of the University of Iowa and holds a Masters in Public Administration (MPA) degree from Drake. Drafted in 1972, he fulfilled his military obligation with a six-year stint in the Iowa Army National Guard, where he served in the public information office.

He is a native of Jefferson, Iowa, and is married to Dr. Mary Stuart of Des Moines. They are the parents of a daughter, Elizabeth, of Zurich, Switzerland.