Jose Antonio Vargas is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, filmmaker, and the founder of Define American, a campaign that seeks to elevate the conversation around immigration. In June 2011, the New York Times Magazine published a groundbreaking essay he wrote in which he revealed and chronicled his life in America as an undocumented immigrant, stunning media and political circles and attracting worldwide coverage. A year later, he appeared on the cover of TIME magazine internationally with fellow undocumented immigrants as part of a follow-up cover story.
Since then, he has testified at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on immigration reform, and written and directed Documented a feature documentary film on his undocumented experience. It world premiered in June 2013 as the centerpiece of the AFIDOCS film festival in Washington, D.C. He’s written for daily newspapers (Philadelphia Daily News, San Francisco Chronicle) and national magazines (The Atlantic, Rolling Stone) and was a senior contributing editor at The Huffington Post. At The Washington Post, he was part of the team that won a Pulitzer Prize for covering the Virginia Tech massacre, and his 2006 series on HIV/AIDS in Washington, D.C. inspired a feature documentary film, The Other City, which he co-produced and wrote. It world premiered at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival and aired on Showtime. That same year, he wrote an exclusive profile of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg for The New Yorker.