Peter Bergen is a print, podcast and television journalist, producer, think tank executive, professor, and the author or editor of ten books, three of which were New York Times bestsellers and four of which were named among the non-fiction books of the year by the Washington Post. The books have been translated into twenty-four languages and turned into four documentaries, two of which were nominated for Emmys and one of which won an Emmy.He has testified before US Congressional committees 18 times about national security issues, and he has held teaching positions teaching graduate students at Harvard and John Hopkins University. Bergen has produced films for CNN, HBO, Discovery, National Geographic, and Showtime. He has written for every major newspaper and magazine in the United States and newspapers and magazines around the world. His work has been cited by other experts more than 4,600 times, according to Google Scholar.

He is Vice President for Global Studies and Fellows and the Director of the Future Security program at New America in Washington D.C.; Professor of Practice at the School of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University, where he is the co-director of the Future Security Initiative; CNN’s national security analyst, the host of the Audible podcast “In the Room with Peter Bergen,” and a fellow at Fordham University’s Center on National Security.

Bergen is on the editorial board of Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, a leading scholarly journal, and has testified before multiple congressional committees about Afghanistan, Pakistan, ISIS, al-Qaeda, drones, and other national security issues. He is a Homeland Security Experts Group member and writes a weekly column for Bergen is the chairman of the board of the Global Special Operations Foundation, a non-profit advocating for the interests of special operations forces. He is also on the advisory council of the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation, which advocates for Americans who are being held hostage.

In 2021 Bergen published The Rise and Fall of Osama bin Laden. It was named one of the best nonfiction books of the year by the Los Angeles Times and Kirkus Reviews. The New York Times described it as “Meticulously documented, fluidly written and replete with riveting detail… Equally revealing about the Americans and their pursuit of him.”

In 2019, he published Trump and His Generals: The Cost of Chaos, which was revised and updated for the 2022 paperback The Cost of Chaos: The Trump Administration and the World. The Washington Post described it as “the best single account of Trump’s foreign policy to date.”

United States of Jihad: Investigating America’s Homegrown Terrorists was published in 2016. It was named one of the best non-fiction books of 2016 by the Washington Post. Director Greg Barker adapted the book for the HBO film Homegrown: The Counter-Terror Dilemma.

His previous book, a 2012 New York Times bestseller, was Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden, from 9/11 to Abbottabad. The book was translated into nine languages, and HBO produced, Manhunt, a documentary based on it. The film, for which Bergen was the executive producer, was in the Sundance Film 2013 competition, and it won the Emmy for best documentary in 2013. The Washington Post named Manhunt one of the best non-fiction books of 2012, and The Guardian named it one of the key books on Islamist extremism. The Sunday Times (UK) named it the best current affairs book of 2012, and The Times (UK) named it one of the best non-fiction books of 2012. The book was awarded the Overseas Press Club Cornelius Ryan Award for best non-fiction book of 2012 on international affairs. Bergen was awarded the Stephen Ambrose History Award in 2014.

His 2011 New York Times bestseller was The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda. New York Times book reviewer Michiko Kakutani writes, “For readers interested in a highly informed, wide-angled, single-volume briefing on the war on terror so far, “The Longest War” is clearly that essential book.” Tom Ricks, also writing in the Times, described the book as “stunning.” Longest War won the $30,000 Gold Prize for best book on the Middle East of 2011 from the Washington Institute. Newsweek and the Guardian named Longest War as one of the key books about terrorism of the past decade. And Amazon, Kirkus, and Foreign Policy named Longest War as one of the best books of 2011.

His previous book was The Osama bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of al Qaeda’s Leader (Free Press, 2006). It was named one of the best non-fiction books of 2006 by the Washington Post. The Osama bin Laden I Know was translated into French, Spanish, and Polish, and CNN produced a two-hour documentary, In the Footsteps of bin Laden, based on the book. Bergen was one of the producers of the CNN documentary, named the best documentary of 2006 by the Society of Professional Journalists, and was nominated for an Emmy.

Bergen is also the author of Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Bin Laden. (Free Press, 2001). Holy War, Inc. was a New York Times bestseller, has been translated into eighteen languages, and was named one of the best non-fiction books of 2001 by the Washington Post. A documentary based on Holy War, Inc., which aired on National Geographic Television, was nominated for an Emmy in 2002. Bergen received the 2000 Leonard Silk Journalism Fellowship and was the Pew Journalist in Residence at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in 2001 while writing Holy War, Inc.

Talibanistan: Negotiating the Borders Between Terror, Politics, and Religion is a collection of essays about the Taliban that Bergen edited with Katherine Tiedemann published by Oxford University Press in 2013. The New York Review of Books described the book as “a frequently brilliant collection of essays by different experts on the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan.” Cambridge University Press published Drone Wars: Transforming Conflict, Law, and Policy in 2014, which Bergen edited with Daniel Rothenberg, in which a variety of experts consider how armed drones are reshaping warfare and the legal norms that surround it.

Bergen has worked as a correspondent, executive producer, or producer for multiple documentaries aired on Discovery, HBO, National Geographic, Showtime, and CNN. With his wife, Tresha Mabile, he produced “American War Generals,” a film for National Geographic Television that aired in 2014. They also produced “Legion of Brothers” for CNN Films, which was shown at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and released theatrically in the summer of 2017. The film was nominated for an Emmy for Best Political/Government Documentary in 2018. In 2020, with the producers of Homeland, he produced the Showtime documentary, The Longest War, which documented the CIA’s long involvement in Afghanistan. He was a producer of the 2023 docudrama series “Ghosts of Beirut” for Showtime, which examined the long conflict between Hezbollah and the CIA.

He was a contributing editor at The New Republic for many years, where he wrote several cover stories, and he was the editor of the South Asia Channel and the South Asia Daily, online publications of Foreign Policy magazine from 2009 to 2016. He was a fellow at New York University’s Center on Law & Security between 2003 and 2011. He was the founder of the Coronavirus Daily Brief.

Bergen has reported from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the drug wars in Colombia and Mexico, and on jihadist groups in Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. Bergen has written about al-Qaeda, counterterrorism, homeland security, ISIS, and countries around the Middle East for a range of American newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Foreign Affairs, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, TIME, The Nation, The National Interest, Mother Jones, Newsweek, Washington Times and Vanity Fair. His story on extraordinary rendition for Mother Jones was part of a package of stories nominated for a 2008 National Magazine Award. He has also written for newspapers and magazines around the world, such as The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, International Herald Tribune, Prospect, El Mundo, La Repubblica, The National, Der Spiegel, Die Welt, and Focus. And he has worked as a correspondent, executive producer, or producer for multiple documentaries aired on Discovery, HBO, National Geographic, Showtime, and CNN. The AfPak Channel, for which Bergen was the editor, was nominated in 2011 for a National Magazine Award for Best Online Department.

In 1997, as a producer for CNN, Bergen produced bin Laden’s first television interview, in which he declared war against the United States for the first time to a Western audience. In 1994 he won the Overseas Press Club Edward R. Murrow award for best foreign affairs documentary for the CNN program, Kingdom of Cocaine, which was also nominated for an Emmy. Bergen co-produced the CNN documentary Terror Nation, which traced the links between Afghanistan and the bombers who attacked the World Trade Center for the first time in 1993. The documentary, which was shot in Afghanistan during the civil war there and aired in 1994, concluded that the country would be the source of additional anti-Western terrorism. From 1998 to 1999, Bergen worked as a correspondent-producer for CNN. He was program editor for “CNN Impact,” a co-production of CNN and TIME, from 1997 to 1998.

Previously, he worked for CNN as a producer on various international and U.S. national stories. From 1985 to 1990, he worked for ABC News in New York. In 1983, he traveled to Pakistan for the first time with two friends to make a documentary about the Afghan refugees fleeing the Soviet invasion of their country. The subsequent documentary, Refugees of Faith, was shown on Channel 4 (UK).

Bergen has a degree in Modern History from New College, Oxford University. He won an Open Scholarship when he went up to New College in 1981. Before that, he attended Ampleforth. He was born in Minneapolis in 1962 and was raised in London.

He is married to the documentary director/producer Tresha Mabile. Her website can be found here They have a son and a daughter.


– 2023 Audible’s 20 Best Podcasts of 2023, Audible’s top Nonfiction category.
Best Host, “Limited Series & Specials” Signal Awards 2023.

– 2023, International Public Service Award, American University of Afghanistan

– 2018 Emmy nomination for “Legion of Brothers” for best Political/Government documentary.

– 2014 Stephen E. Ambrose Oral History Award

– 2013: Cornelius Ryan award, Overseas Press Club, for Manhunt. Best non-fiction book on international affairs.

– 2011: Gold Prize, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, for The Longest War. Best book on the Middle East. $30,000 award.

– 2008: National Magazine Award nomination for a story on extraordinary rendition in Mother Jones series, “Torture Hits Home.”

– 2006: Emmy nomination for best news documentary for CNN’s “Footsteps of Bin Laden.” It was also named best documentary of 2006 by the Society of Professional Journalists.

– 2002: Emmy nomination (research) for Holy War, Inc., a National Geographic documentary.

– 2001: Leonard Silk Journalism Fellowship, Century Foundation, for Holy War, Inc. Named after the late New York Times columnist, the Silk fellowship is awarded to “a single journalist whose project best exemplifies the ideals of public instruction, social betterment and intellectual conviction that marked Leonard Silk’s own life work.”

– 2001: Pew Journalist-in-Residence, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University

– 1997: Joan Shorenstein Barone award for Washington reporting and National Headliner award, first place, for CNN’s ‘Democracy in America’ series; and Livingston Award, finalist, for CNN’s ‘War on the Cocaine Cartel.’

– 1996: Emmy (group award) for CNN coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing.

– 1995: Emmy nomination (writing) for CNN’s ‘Kingdom of Cocaine.’

– 1994: Edward R. Murrow award, Overseas Press Club, for CNN’s ‘Kingdom of Cocaine.’