John Dimsdale has spent almost 40 years in radio. As head of Marketplace’s Washington, D.C., bureau, he provides insightful commentary on the intersection of government and money for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

As Dimsdale notes, “Sooner or later, every story in the world comes through Washington,” and reporting on those issues is like “… going to school with all the best professors and then reporting to listeners what I found out at the end of the day … Can you believe they pay me to do that?”

Dimsdale began working for Marketplace in 1990, when he opened the D.C. bureau. The next day, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, triggering the first Gulf War, and Dimsdale has been busy ever since.

In his 20 years at Marketplace, Dimsdale has reported on two wars, the dot-com boom, the housing bust, healthcare reform and the greening of energy. His interviews with four U.S. Presidents, four Hall-of-Famers, broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite, computer scientist Sergey Brin, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson and former U.S. Vice President Hubert Humphrey stand out as favorites. Some of his greatest contributions include a series on government land-use policies and later, a series on the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste disposal site.

Before joining Marketplace, Dimsdale worked at NPR, the Pennsylvania Public Television Network, Post-Newsweek Stations and Independent Network News.

A native of Washington, D.C., and the son of a federal government employee, Dimsdale has been passionate about public policy since the Vietnam War. He holds a bachelor’s degree in International Studies from Washington College in Chestertown, Md., and a master’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo.

Dimsdale and his wife, Claire, live in the suburb of Silver Spring, Md., and when not working, he enjoys traveling, carpentry, photography, videography, swimming and home brewing.


Features by John Dimsdale

State of the Union - Health

President Bush delivers his State of the Union address tonight. Among other things, he plans to propose new initiatives for health insurance. John Dimsdale has a preview.
Posted In: Economy, Health

Hamas funding

Major world powers met today in London and Brussels to discuss what's next in their dealings with the new Hamas-led Palestinian government. U.S., U.N. and European officials maintained a united stand against financial aid to the country unless Hamas renounces its call for the violent overthrow of Israel. Hamas said it might turn to Arab and Muslim sources to make up for whatever western nations might withhold. Some Middle East experts are now questioning whether financial isolation might only hurt the cause of peace. Marketplace's John Dimsdale has more.


Halliburton said today that it plans to spin off a stake of its KBR unit, which is the largest US contractor in Iraq. But KBR isn't as profitable as many of Halliburton's other businesses. John Dimsdale looks into whether the deal makes sense.
Posted In: Wall Street

Lobbying hearings

Congress continues its headlong rush to change the rules for lobbying. Democrat or Republican, House or Senate, everyone's got lobby reform as a top priority this year. Some proposals were considered in a Senate hearing today. John Dimsdale reports.

Reforming national flood insurance

A Senate committee today takes up the issue of whether to reform the National Flood Insurance Program in light of last fall's devastating hurricane season. John Dimsdale has more.

Environmental Performance Index

A group of researchers from Yale and Columbia has devised a scorecard to rate countries on how well they manage their environmental and natural resources. As John Dimsdale reports, the US lags behind most of the developed world.

Getting their earmarks boxed

In the wake of recent bribery and lobbying scandals, lawmakers from both parties have already endorsed reforms, including limits on "earmarks." That's Beltway lingo for provisions inserted into spending bills, directing that money be spent on pet projects... often in a lawmaker's own district. John Dimsdale reports.

Capitol preview

The Senate reconvenes this week after a long holiday recess. John Dimsdale takes a look at what's on the economic agenda for the upper house.
Posted In: Economy

The crowded race for majority leader

The field of Representatives vying for Tom Delay's old job as House majority leader grew today. Arizona Rep. John Shadegg entered the race, joining contenders Roy Blunt and John Boehner. In the wake of the Jack Abramoff scandal, all 3 are vowing to reform lobbying practices established by Delay. John Dimsdale reports.

Rebuilding the Gulf Coast

President Bush was back visiting the Gulf Coast today. The president says the federal government is still committed to help rebuild the area. That commitment has been questioned recently, as John Dimsdale reports.


With Generous Support From...

Sustainability Coverage

  • The Kendeda Fund
  • Wealth & Poverty Coverage

  • The Ford Foundation