David Hammer winner NHMA 2012 award

David Hammer is an award-winning reporter for The Times-Picayune in New Orleans. Since 2007, he’s led the paper’s coverage of multi-billion-dollar Hurricane Katrina recovery programs, especially the Road Home rebuilding effort and associated Hazard Mitigation aid. He exposed inequities in federal and state regulations and forced major policy changes in Baton Rouge and Washington. When the recovery money arrived in New Orleans, he unearthed the first case of Road Home fraud and shined light on local government bribery schemes, winning major regional awards for stories in 2007 and 2009. He won the Associated Press Managing Editors’ award for investigative reporting for his 2011 work uncovering graft and fraud in Louisiana’s home-elevation grant program.
David Hammer also led the paper’s investigation of what went wrong on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 and broke several stories about key engineering decisions that contributed to the BP well blowout. That work won Hammer first prize for best beat reporting of 2010 from the Society of Environmental Journalists. And he was part of a team of journalists that won the National Journalism Awards’ 2010 Edward J. Meeman Prize for environmental reporting and The Associated Press Managing Editors’ top regional news writing award.
Hammer is a seventh-generation New Orleanian and a 1997 graduate of Harvard University. He worked almost six years for newspapers in New England and four years with The Associated Press in Little Rock, Ark., and Washington, D.C.