Billie Jean Sweeney

Editor, Free Expression Advocate


For seven years, I was one of the main assignment editors on the International Desk of The New York Times, coordinating and editing breaking news coverage worldwide. As day editor from 2021 to 2024, I helped lead its award-winning coverage of the wars in Israel-Gaza and Ukraine.

At the Associated Press, I was New York City news editor during and after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Free Expression

My background also includes extensive experience in human rights and press freedom. I worked for nearly a decade as the editorial director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, a nonpartisan, international nonprofit that defends all journalists whose ability to report freely and whose lives, safety and freedom are at risk.


My expertise includes staff and project management, innovation and adherence to standards in high-intensity situations and news production in all formats. I’m a member of the Trans Journalists Association.