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Brianne Pfannenstiel

Political Journalist

Lawrence High School




Brianne Pfannenstiel is an award-winning journalist and 2006 graduate of Lawrence High School. She was born in Lawrence, Kansas to Pat and Peggy Pfannenstiel, and she graduated from the University of Kansas in 2010 with degrees in journalism and mass communication and Italian language and culture.

Brianne has worked for publications like The Lawrence Journal-World, The Kansas City Star and The Kansas City Business Journal covering a range of beats, including health care, state and local government and politics. In 2015 she moved to Des Moines, Iowa to cover politics for the Pulitzer Prize-winning Des Moines Register, which has chronicled the rise and fall of presidential aspirants competing in the Iowa caucuses since 1972. She was promoted to Chief Political Reporter in 2018, a job that provides a front-row seat to the presidential nominating process and American political history.

She is a frequent guest on television and radio to discuss her work, including on CNN, MSNBC, C-SPAN and NPR. She was a co-moderator of the 2020 presidential debate in Des Moines with CNN’s Abby Phillip and Wolf Blitzer.

She currently lives in Des Moines.

Brianne Pfannenstiel
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