Nate Thayer, Thailand/United States, was the former Southeast Asia correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review.
In October 1997, Thayer was allowed into the remote northern Cambodia field headquarters of the Khmer Rouge for an exclusive interview with Pol Pot – the first such interview in 18 years and the only one before Pol Pot’s death. The former Khmer Rouge leader, accused of responsibility for more than one million Cambodian deaths between 1975 and 1978, was then under house arrest and on trial for treason by the Khmer Rouge leadership that ousted him.
Thayer was the Cambodia correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review, Jane’s Defence Weekly, and The Associated Press and has contributed to more than 40 publications.
Thayer’s reporting earned him The World Press Award, the 1997 “Scoop of the Year” British press award, and the 1998 Francis Fox Wood Award for Courage in Journalism.
While a visiting scholar at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, Thayer received a grant to write a book on Cambodian politics, which will be published in 2001.
He was the first recipient of the ICIJ Award for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting for his Pol Pot exclusives.
Thayer died in early January 2023.