Mark Schleifstein, co-author with John McQuaid of "Path of Destruction", has worked at The Times-Picayune in New Orleans since 1984. His reporting during and after Hurricane Katrina was among the newspaper's stories honored with 2006 Pulitzer Prizes for Public Service and Breaking News Reporting and the George Polk Award for Metropolitan Reporting. Stories by Schleifstein and McQuaid prior to Katrina on hurricanes and coastal science issues were honored in 2006 with a special award from the American Geophysical Union. The 2002 series co-authored by Schleifstein and McQuaid,"Washing Away: How south Louisiana is growing more vulnerable to a catastrophic hurricane," won the American Society of Civil Engineers' 2003 Excellence in Media award and the 2003 National Hurricane Conference media award. It also was a finalist for the 2003 Edward J. Meeman Award for Environmental Reporting for newspapers with over 100,000 circulation. Schleifstein and McQuaid also were co-authors of the 1996 series, "Oceans of Trouble: Are the World's Fisheries Doomed?" which won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service and the Sigma Delta Chi Award for Public Service from the Society of Professional Journalists.
Schleifstein was the co-author of the 2001 series, "Unequal Opportunity: How local programs to help disadvantaged businesses are enriching wealthy entrepreneurs," which won the 2002 Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism, and was a finalist for the Taylor Family Award for Fairness in Newspapers. Schleifstein and McQuaid were co-authors of the 1998 series, "Home Wreckers: How the Formosan termite is devastating New Orleans," which was a finalist for the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting and won awards from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Institute of Biological Sciences. Schleifstein also was the co-author of the 1994 series, "Stacking the Deck: The Birth of Louisiana Gambling," which won the 1995 Associated Press Managing Editors award for public service journalism, the 1995 Selden Ring Award for investigative reporting, and the 1995 Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism. He also was the co-author of the 1991 series, "Louisiana in Peril," which was a finalist for the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism. While at The Times-Picayune, Schleifstein, 55, has covered the mayor and city hall, the 1988 Presidential campaign, the 1987 Louisiana Governor's campaign, and the environment. Before joining The Times-Picayune, he worked for the Jackson, Miss., Clarion-Ledger, the Norfolk, Va., Virginian-Pilot, and the Suffolk, Va., News-Herald. He is married and has two children.