David Greene

David Greene is a correspondent for NPR News and lays claim to the network's coldest assignment: Moscow.

Greene jumped to NPR's foreign desk recently, after 5 years on the national desk. He took a brief break in between to study intensive Russian at Moscow State University. In January 2010, he returned to reporting. From Moscow, he'll be covering the entire region: Ukraine and the Baltics, east to Siberia.

Greene's voice became familiar to NPR listeners from his four years covering the White House. To report on former President George W. Bush's second term, Greene spent hours in NPR's spacious booth in the basement of the West Wing (it's about the size of your average broom closet). He also spent time trekking across five continents, reporting on White House visits to places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Rwanda, Uruguay – and, of course, Crawford, Texas.

During the days following Hurricane Katrina, Greene was aboard Air Force One when President Bush flew low over the Gulf Coast and caught his first glimpse of the storm's destruction. On the ground in New Orleans, Greene brought listeners a moving interview with the late Ethel Williams, a then-74-year-old flood victim who got an unexpected visit from the president.

Greene was an integral part of NPR's coverage of the historic 2008 election, covering Hillary Clinton's campaign from start to finish, and also focusing on how racial attitudes were playing into voters' decisions. The White House Correspondents Association took special note of Greene's report on a speech by then-candidate Barack Obama, addressing the nation's racial divide. Greene was given the association's 2008 Merriman Smith award for deadline coverage of the presidency.

After President Obama took office, Greene kept one eye trained on the White House and the other eye on the road. He spent three months driving across America – with a recorder, camera and lots of caffeine – to learn how the recession was touching Americans during President Obama's first 100 days in office. The series was called "100 Days: On the Road in Troubled Times."

Greene has also enjoyed guest hosting some of our news programs, including Morning Edition and Weekend Edition. He was in the host's chair when news broke that President Obama had nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. Greene was in the same chair when comedienne Kathy Griffin yelled at him: "I don't even have the real host today?" she asked. "I got the new guy filling in? Oh, this is so typical."

Before joining NPR in 2005, Greene spent nearly seven years as a newspaper reporter for the Baltimore Sun. He covered the White House during the Bush administration's first term, and wrote about an array of other topics for the paper: Why Oklahomans love the sport of cockfighting, why two Amish men in Pennsylvania were caught trafficking methamphetamine and how one woman brought Christmas back to a small town in Maryland.

Before graduating magna cum laude from Harvard in 1998 with a degree in government, Greene worked as the senior editor on the Harvard Crimson. In 2004, he was named co-volunteer of the year for Coaching for College, a Washington, D.C., program offering tutoring to inner-city youth.

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4:29am

Fri October 31, 2014
Parallels

As Crimea's Borders Change, So Do Lives

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 9:04 am

Valentin Danilov, 83, is a former executive officer on a Soviet sub who proudly wears his old Soviet military uniform. Crimeans like Danilov have, without changing their residence, lived in three different countries in the past 25 years — the Soviet Union, then Ukraine and now Russia.
Max Avdeev for NPR

It's like a scene from an old Soviet movie playing out before our eyes in 2014.

Dozens of young Crimeans, with innocent faces and crisp blue uniforms, stand at attention and declare oaths of loyalty to Russia.

They are the first class of Crimean recruits training to be officers in Russia's Interior Ministry. Many will likely serve in the domestic security service, the modern-day KGB. Soviet music blares as the young trainees march beneath the looming statue of Lenin in the city square.

Nearby, the Russian flag flaps above a government building.

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4:39am

Tue October 28, 2014
World

Crimean Tatars Pressured To Become Russian Citizens

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 1:17 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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4:36am

Mon October 27, 2014
Parallels

In Crimea, Many Signs Of Russia, Few Of Resistance

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 9:08 am

Russia established the Crimean port of Sevastopol in the 18th century. After the Soviet breakup in 1991, Russia and Ukraine shared the naval base. But Russia has now taken the entire base, including Ukrainian ships.
Max Avdeev for NPR

Morning Edition host David Greene and producer Lauren Migaki traveled to Crimea to see what's changed since Russia sent troops in this spring and shortly afterward annexed the territory despite widespread international criticism. Their stories will be on air and online this week.

We're traveling through flat farmland on a two-lane road in the far north of Crimea, when suddenly it's interrupted by a checkpoint. Actually, Russia now considers it the border, a physical reminder of the new divide between Russia and Ukraine — and the West.

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4:36am

Mon October 27, 2014
World

Closed McDonald's In Moscow Taken As A Political Message

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 7:32 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

3:27am

Mon September 29, 2014
American Made: The New Manufacturing Landscape

Rochester Focuses On A New Picture Of American Manufacturing

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 7:17 am

Tom Worden works on a fixed-abrasive grinding table at Exelis Inc. in Rochester, N.Y. Exelis is an aerospace and defense company, and employs numerous former Kodak workers in its facility.
Mike Bradley for NPR

Rochester, N.Y., was once the imaging capital of the world, home to Kodak, Xerox and the eye care company, Bausch + Lomb.

Led by these companies, the manufacturing sector once employed 60 percent of Rochester's workforce. Now, that's less than 10 percent. And so, like many cities in this country, Rochester is trying to build something new from its manufacturing heritage.

If you want to understand the story of Rochester, says historian Carolyn Vacca, you need to come to High Falls, where from a bridge visitors see a waterfall and a panoramic view of downtown.

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11:52am

Wed August 20, 2014
Africa

Liberia Blocks Off Neighborhood In Ebola Quarantine, Sparking Riot

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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3:17am

Thu June 26, 2014
Heirs Of The Revolution: A Changing Cuba

Tourism Money Flows Into Cuba, Bringing Economic Hopes And Fears

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 3:30 pm

A couple walks along the beach in the resort area of Varadero, Cuba. Varadero is home to upscale hotels and resorts that cater to foreign tourists.
David Gilkey NPR

Every morning, Manuel Landin Rodriguez walks past the luxurious state-owned Xanadu Mansion hotel and crosses its neatly trimmed golf course all the way to its edge. He camps out on the cliff overlooking the turquoise Caribbean waters that make the resort town of Varadero on Cuba's northern coast so famous.

Landin, a retired physical education teacher, comes to the spot to fish. When we meet him on the cliffs, he's trying to catch mojarras -- small silver fish that hang out in the shallow waters to avoid sharks — which he will use to feed his family of five.

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3:29am

Wed June 25, 2014
Heirs Of The Revolution: A Changing Cuba

Cuba's Mariel Port: Once An Escape, Now A Window To The Future

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 10:20 am

A fisherman walks the streets of Mariel, on Cuba's northwest coast. In the distance, construction is underway on the Port of Mariel, where the government is creating a special free-trade zone.
David Gilkey NPR

When you arrive at the Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, you're greeted with a barrage of billboards with the popular Cuban government slogan promoting tourism: "Cuba, where the past and the present converge."

Perhaps nowhere on the island is that statement more true than in the city of Mariel, about 30 miles from Havana on the northwestern coast.

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3:40am

Tue June 24, 2014
Parallels

Cuba's Budding Entrepreneurs Travel A Rocky Road Toward Success

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 12:57 pm

Cuban entrepreneur Barbara Fernandez Franco oversees two employees in the small living room of her home in Havana, the Cuban capital. Her boyfriend, Michel Perez Casanova (right), works in the tourism industry but also helps with her business.
David Gilkey NPR

When Americans think of business in Cuba, they think of government-owned enterprise. And the vast majority of Cubans do work for the state.

But in recent years, private business owners known as cuentapropistas have flourished on the island.

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7:23am

Mon May 26, 2014
Middle East

After Mubarak, Egypt Appears Ready To Elect Another Military Man

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And so as Leila just told us, Egyptians appear ready to elect a military man - which in a way seems amazing considering the images we remember from three years ago. At that point, a military dictator, Hosni Mubarak, was removed from power. At that time, it was NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro in Cairo. She was witnessing all of the celebration.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

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1:04pm

Wed April 2, 2014
Law

Supreme Court Strikes Down Key Part Of Campaign Finance Law

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

6:24am

Fri March 21, 2014
Asia

Search Planes Fail To Locate Objects Spotted By Satellite

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 7:45 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Two large objects showed up satellite images bobbing in a remote part of the Indian Ocean.

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5:43am

Fri March 21, 2014
Digital Life

Twitter Tool Lets Users Revist First Tweets

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 7:45 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

It is Twitter's 8th birthday. To celebrate, the site has put out a tool that lets you see any user's very first tweet. Some were naturals. Warren Buffett's first tweet, Warren is in the house, has been retweeted more than 40,000 times. Others might cringe at their first contribution. Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, tweeted about his dance lessons: No pain, no gain. Awkward but fun this dancing, I still can't do macarena. That's what he wrote.

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5:06am

Thu March 20, 2014
Asia

Wait. How Much Is That Doggy?

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 6:37 am

A Chinese property developer has reportedly paid close to $2 million for a golden-haired Tibetan mastiff puppy. The lion-looking dogs have become a status symbol for China's very rich.

5:02am

Thu March 20, 2014
Around the Nation

Tattoo Of Handgun Triggers Call To Police

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 6:37 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

Michael Smith, of Norridgewock, Maine, has a really convincing tattoo of a handgun on his lower stomach. This week, he woke up to a crew cutting trees outside. He marched out to tell them to stop with his shirt off. A bit later he woke up again, to a SWAT team with rifles trained. The tree cutters had mistaken his tattoo for a real gun tucked in his belt.

Smith told the police, quote, "I got plans today. I don't want to get shot." He was not charged.

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4:31am

Thu March 20, 2014
Asia

Objects Spotted In Indian Ocean Possibly Linked To Missing Jet

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 6:37 am

Australian officials say they are searching the Indian Ocean southwest of Perth after satellite images found objects that are possibly connected to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

5:49am

Wed March 19, 2014
Digital Life

Brit Uses Shakespeare To Exact Revenge

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 10:28 am

Edd Joseph bought a game console online, but he never received it. So he took revenge by texting 37 full Shakespeare plays to the seller's phone. That's nearly 30,000 messages.

5:24am

Tue March 18, 2014
Business

Primark To Pay $10 Million To Victims Of Bangladesh Factory Collapse

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with payouts in Bangladesh.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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5:24am

Tue March 18, 2014
Food

Red Robin Adds New Adult Milkshake To Menu

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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4:44am

Tue March 18, 2014
World

Sen. Durbin Says U.S. Is Ready To Provide Nonlethal Aid To Ukraine

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 3:07 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

Just before residents of Crimea voted to break away from Ukraine and join Russia, a group of U.S. senators visited Kiev. They were showing support for Ukraine's new government, and also offering U.S. help. Among them was Illinois Democrat Richard Durbin. We reached him by phone in Chicago, and asked if the U.S. and Europe have to accept that Crimea is now part of Russia.

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6:27am

Mon March 17, 2014
Business

Clothing Retailer Lands End To Split From Sears

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 11:59 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a split for Lands' End.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Lands' End, the outdoor clothing retailer, will spin off from Sears Holdings Corporation next month and operate as a standalone, publicly traded company.

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5:37am

Mon March 17, 2014
Around the Nation

Man Turns Himself In After Google Search Tells Him He's Wanted

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 11:59 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

Recently Christopher Viatafa did something many of us have done: He Googled his own name. But what he found wasn't so normal. It was his own face, on Northern California's Most Wanted website. He allegedly pulled a gun at a party last summer and fired it into the ground. In what authorities are calling an act of good judgment after a very bad call, Viatafa turned himself in. He's been charged with assault with a deadly weapon. He's now listed as a captured fugitive.

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5:07am

Mon March 17, 2014
Middle East

Negotiators Gather In Vienna For Talks On Iran's Nukes

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 11:59 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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5:07am

Mon March 17, 2014
Music Interviews

For Foster The People Frontman, Fame And Isolation

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 11:47 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PUMPED UP SUP KICK")

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

A few years ago, this song came out of nowhere, "Pumped Up Kicks" from Foster The People, an unsigned band from L.A. It became one of 2011's biggest hits.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PUMPED UP SUP KICK")

FOSTER THE PEOPLE: (Singing) All the other kids with the pumped up kicks, you better run, better run, outrun my gun. All the other...

GREENE: Song, as you can hear, has a summer party sound. The lyrics though tell a much darker story.

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12:19pm

Mon January 13, 2014
Law

Supreme Court Declines To Consider Arizona Abortion Law

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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4:39am

Fri January 3, 2014
Sports

NFL Playoffs To Start With Wild Card Teams In Action

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 7:51 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK. We've gotten through Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year's. But if you're an NFL fan, the next holiday up is Wild Card Weekend. There is football on Saturday and Sunday. Four wild card teams facing four teams that won their divisions. And there are some pretty interesting storylines to cover. Let's cover them with NPR's Mike Pesca. Hey, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Storyline number one - not all the teams playing are wild cards. It is called that but they get to play divisional leaders, don't they?

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4:20am

Mon December 23, 2013
Politics

Obama Fails To Accomplish Ambitious Agenda In 2013

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 8:00 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

Here's a way to look at the year 2013 for President Barack Obama: He began the year with two-thirds of Americas saying they approved of the job he was doing. He's ending the year with that number around 40 percent.

He began fresh off a hard-fought electoral victory, going into his second term with a pretty ambitious agenda. He's ending the year with many of his priorities stalled.

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5:37am

Wed December 18, 2013
Europe

Protesters In Ukraine Agitated By Economic Deal With Russia

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 8:02 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Yesterday, Ukraine got a big holiday present from its neighbor, Russia, in the form of a multi-billion dollar bailout. And now everyone is trying to figure out what strings Russia attached, and whether this could be a sign that Ukraine, a country of some 45 million people, is aligning itself more closely with the East than the West.

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4:34am

Tue December 17, 2013
Middle East

Destruction Plan To Be Announced For Syrian Chemical Weapons

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:30 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

You're listening to MORNING EDITION on NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

There's another milestone today in the long effort to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons. The international overseeing the effort is unveiling more details of its plan and this is all a bit complicated. The first stage could be the hardest - moving the chemicals overland in the middle of a civil war to a Syrian port.

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4:35am

Mon December 16, 2013
Movies

What's Your Favorite Holiday Movie?

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 9:36 am

Hey, 1988's Die Hard, starring Bruce Willis, might not be the most conventional holiday movie, but it's a holiday movie nonetheless.
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation/Photofest

[LATE-BREAKING CORRECTION: We misunderstood where the 24 hours of Elf was being planned. We thought it was USA, but it's actually Starz. Sorry, Starz!]

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