Bob Davis has covered most every big economic story of the past 40 years including the rise of China, the challenge from Japan and the global financial crisis. Along the way, he covered the Gulf War and the space program and was posted overseas in China and Europe. He was part of a team of reporters who won a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Russian financial crisis.
In 2022, Davis retired from the Wall Street Journal as a senior editor in Washington DC after decades at the newspaper. He continues to write for the Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy, Politico Magazine, The Wire China and other publications.
His 2020 book, “Superpower Showdown,” with Lingling Wei on the U.S.-China trade and economic battles was chosen by Book Authority as one of the top economy books of the year.
While he wrote the book, he was a Public Policy Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Kissinger Institute on China and the United States. Davis and Wei were also part of a Wall Street Journal team that won a New York Press Club award in 2019 for coverage of “Trump’s Trade Turmoil.”
During the fall of 2017, Davis was Ferris professor at Princeton University, where he taught a journalism course in covering economic policy making.
In 2016, he traveled around the U.S. examining the economic and social changes behind the Trump and Sanders phenomenon. He won a SABEW, Best in the Business Award, for a series of stories based on that work.
From 2011 through 2014, he covered the Chinese economy from Beijing and traveled widely throughout China. He frequently wrote about the slowdown in the Chinese economy, and China’s many strengths. He and his wife wrote an e-book in 2015 for the Wall Street Journal based on their experiences, called "Beijing from A-to-Z."
Before that assignment, he was international economics correspondent based in Washington DC where he was responsible for looking broadly at globalization, development, and international economic relations. He was also acting bureau chief of the global economy bureau, based in Washington D.C., during much of the global financial crisis of 2008 and 2009.
From 2004 through 2007, Davis was the Journal’s Latin America bureau chief based in Washington D.C. and oversaw bureaus in Mexico and Brazil. Under his direction, the Journal won the Overseas Press Club’s Robert Spiers Benjamin award for Latin America coverage in 2005 and won a citation for Latin American coverage in 2006.
From 2002 to 2004, Davis was the Washington D.C. news editor responsible for coverage of economic policy making; he also reported on economic trends. During 2001 and 2002, he was the Wall Street Journal’s Brussels bureau chief.
In 2000, he was awarded the Raymond Clapper award for Washington reporting for coverage of White House negotiations with China over the World Trade Organization. A year earlier, he was part of a team of Journal reporters that won the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting for coverage of the Russian financial crisis. He also placed second in the SAIS award for international reporting.
In 1998, he co-authored with Wall Street Journal reporter David Wessel, “Prosperity,” which was selected by Business Week as one of the year’s 10 best business books.
Davis was White House correspondent at the end of the Clinton administration and also covered the Gore presidential campaign. Earlier, the Journal nominated his Nafta coverage for a Pulitzer Prize; he was also a finalist in the 1993 Loeb awards.
In 1991, Davis covered the Gulf War for the Journal. Before that, he covered high-technology subjects including the space program and communications. He started working in Washington in 1986.
Between 1982 and 1986, Davis worked in the Journal's Boston bureau, covering the rise of the personal computer industry. In 1981, he was founding editor of a new magazine in Boston that covered the video industry. In 1975, Davis founded and owned a weekly newspaper in Oneonta, N.Y., called the Susquehanna Sentinel. His company also composed and printed newspapers in upstate New York.
Davis is a graduate of Queens College in New York City.