Rob Capriccioso is the Washington, D.C. Bureau Chief for Indian Country Media Network (ICMN), a position he has held since 2011 after joining the publication in 2008 as a general assignment staff reporter. During his time with ICMN, he has become a leading writer on tribal-federal relations, scoring several scoops, including a Q&A with President Barack Obama on Native issues and interviews with top political leaders, such as former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Cabinet leaders, many members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, former White House Chief of Staff Pete Rouse, and Bolivian President Evo Morales. His reporting on a White House plan to avoid paying a substantial amount of contract support costs owed to tribes received much attention in Indian country, and the Obama administration later reversed course on the plan.
A citizen of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Capriccioso grew up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where his mom and dad previously worked for the tribe in various health, legal, and economic development capacities. Interested in journalism from an early age, Capriccioso studied communications at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, graduating with dual degrees in political science and psychology. At U of M, he helped produce the Michiganensian and was a member of the Native American Student Association.
Upon moving to the Washington, D.C. area after graduation, Capriccioso worked as a federal relations associate for the American Indian Higher Education Association where he was able to contribute articles to the Tribal College Journal. He then began freelancing for American Indian Report, News from Indian Country, and Emerging Markets magazine. His first on-staff journalism positions were for Connect for Kids and Inside Higher Ed, where he focused on education reporting. At Connect for Kids, he pressed for answers on youth issues from then-President George W. Bush. The president eventually responded in what was one of the first presidential Q&As of its kind for an Internet publication.
Capriccioso went on to help Politico launch its website and founded a D.C.-focused satire website, while also writing youth-focused education supplements for The New York Times and contributing political, education, and cultural coverage to mainstream publications, including Campaigns & Elections, TMZ, The New York Sun, The New York Post’s PageSix.com, High Country News, and The Guardian. He also contributed to True/Slant, the Forbes-backed online network, and later collaborated with NPR, PBS, and The Smithsonian Magazine.
His coverage has been recognized by the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) many times since 2004, including a beat award in 2015 for general excellence in coverage of Washington, D.C. His educational reporting has also been recognized by the Association for College and University College Counseling Directors. In 2015-16, he served on the Board of Directors for NAJA.
Capriccioso resides in the metro D.C. area with his wife and their four children.