Jennifer Ludden

Jennifer Ludden is a correspondent on NPR's National Desk. She covers a range of stories on family life and social issues.

In recent years, Ludden has reported on the changing economics of marriage, the changing role of dads, the impact of rising student debt loads, and the ethical challenges of modern reproductive technology.

Ludden helped cover national security after the 9/11 attacks, then reported on the Bush administration's crackdown on illegal immigrants as well as Congressional efforts to pass a sweeping legalization. She traveled to the Philippines for a story on how an overburdened immigration bureaucracy keeps families separated for years, and to El Salvador to profile migrants who had been deported or turned back at the border.

Prior to moving into her current assignment in 2002, Ludden spent six years as a foreign reporter for NPR covering the Middle East, Europe, and West and Central Africa. She followed the collapse of the decade-long Oslo peace process, shared in two awards (Overseas Press Club and Society of Professional Journalists) for NPR's coverage of the Kosovo war in 1999, and won the Robert F. Kennedy award for her coverage of the overthrow of Mobutu Sese Seko in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

When not navigating war zones, Ludden reported on cultural trends, including the dying tradition of storytellers in Syria, the emergence of Persian pop music in Iran, and the rise of a new form of urban polygamy in Africa.

Before joining NPR in 1995, Ludden reported in Canada, and at public radio stations in Boston and Maine.

Ludden graduated from Syracuse University in 1988 with a bachelor's degree in English and Television, Radio and Film Production.

Despite momentum for same-sex marriage in legislatures, the courts and public opinion, there's one place that seems out of step with this shift: the workplace. A recent study finds that about half of gay and lesbian white-collar workers are not "out" when they're in the office.

The change was abrupt for Todd Sears. He says he had nothing but positive experiences after coming out in high school. In college, he was even the openly gay rush chairman at a conservative Southern fraternity. But all that changed two weeks after Sears landed a job on Wall Street.

Though it may come as a surprise to stressed-out working moms, a new report says American men now experience more work-life conflict than women. The Families and Work Institute tries to explain why in a study, The New Male Mystique, that takes its cue from Betty Friedan.

On Monday, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) announced he had tweeted to the world a lewd photo of himself he had meant to send to one woman privately.

For many, the reaction to Weiner's lewd photo texts has been disgust and bewilderment. But the phenomenon is more common than you may think. Even the AARP has covered the trend, with the headline: "Sexting Not Just for Kids."

As many Americans watch their job benefits shrink amid tight budgets, Connecticut is about to defy the trend: It's set to become the first state to mandate paid sick days for some low-wage workers.

Across the country, 40 million people have no paid sick time, and advocates now see momentum for a national movement.

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