Yepsen | College of Mass Communication and Media Arts | SIU

Southern Illinois University



David Yepsen

Director, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute

Photo of David Yepsen

Telephone: 618-453-4004

David A. Yepsen is director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. 

Before assuming that position in 2009, he had a 34 year career with the Des Moines Register, serving as the paper’s chief political writer, political editor and political columnist.  He covered nine presidential caucus campaigns for the paper. 

He is an Iowa native and is a 1972 graduate of the University of Iowa.  He has also done graduate work in journalism and mass communication at Iowa State University and in 1985 earned a Masters in Public Administration (MPA) degree from Drake University. 

In 1989 he was a fellow at the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. In 2008, he was a fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard where he led a study group on the nation’s presidential selection processes. 

In his book about his 1988 presidential race, the late Illinois Senator Paul Simon praised Yepsen’s objectivity.  

“Every four years the chief political reporter for the Des Moines Register becomes the most important reporter in the nation,” he said. “It is a position that could cause vanity and abuse. To his credit, David Yepsen handled this position with sensitivity and balance.  And he worked hard.”