Jere Van Dyk

Investigative Journalist

Jere Van Dyk is a Pulitzer-nominated journalist who was kidnapped by the Taliban in 2008 and held captive for 45 days. His memoir about his time in captivity is Captive and he recently wrote The Trade.
Absolutely amazing — time stopped while Jere was talking. —Culture Leader, Fluent

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Jere Van Dyk is a journalist and author who has focused much of his writing on Afghanistan and Pakistan. In the early 1980s, working as a correspondent for The New York Times, Jere Van Dyk lived with the mujahideen in Afghanistan as they fought against the Soviet Red Army, an experience that was recapped in his Pulitzer Prize-nominated articles. Twenty years later, he returned to Afghanistan to report on the U.S.-led war, only to be captured and held by the Taliban for 45 days in 2008. This harrowing experience is detailed in his book “Captive: My Time as a Prisoner of the Taliban,” which Foreign Affairs selected as one of its “Must-Read Books for the World Ahead.”

From 2013 – 2015, Jere Van Dyk traveled through the greater Middle East and South Asia for the Council on Foreign Relations researching the Haqqani Network, ISIS, the Taliban, al-Qaeda, their links to governments and to one another. During this time, he returned to Afghanistan and Pakistan to find out who really kidnapped him and why, after which he wrote “The Trade—My Journey into the Labyrinth of Political Kidnapping,” which was published in October 2017. The Trade was positively reviewed in the Sunday New York Times Book Review and chosen as an Editor’s Pick in the 12/24/17 issue.

Jere Van Dyk has appeared on a multitude of broadcast networks, including: BBC, CBS, CNN, WABC, WNBC, al-Jazeera, C-Span, FOX Radio, NPR, RT, VOA, Jon Stewart, Morning Joe, and Charlie Rose. He has given talks around the country and overseas, including at the U.S. State Department, the Carnegie Council, the New America Foundation, Google, Microsoft, the World Affairs Councils, public schools, universities, security companies, and private organizations around the country, and overseas.

Jere Van Dyk is currently working on a book on the Haqqani Network, with which he lived as a reporter for the New York Times in 1981 and which today is the oldest, most effective and most lethal anti-Western terrorist organization in the world. In 2015 and 2017 he met with the leadership of the Haqqanis, the only Western journalist to do so. The book is due out in 2018.

In 2014 and 2015 Jere Van Dyk worked with the Obama White House and the National Counterterrorism Center on a new U.S. hostage policy. Since then, and including today, he works with the National Security Council, the FBI, the State Department, and families, to help U.S. hostages return home.

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