Hamden Hall Country Day School

Educating students in PreSchool through Grade 12

Meet Michael Barbaro, Class of 1998, Recipient of the 2011 Alumni Achievement Award

Michael, 31, is a staff writer at The New York Times, where he has covered the politics and personalities of New York government since 2008.

His specialty: intimate portraits of the powerful. He has traveled to Bermuda to chronicle how frequently New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg uses his vacation home there. He has documented the checkered past of aides to Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino. And he has revealed how the Bloomberg administration routed hundreds of thousands of dollars in city money to politically connected nonprofit groups in violation of government contracting rules.

From 2005 to 2007, he wrote extensively about Wal-Mart Stores, the nation’s largest retailer, for the business section of The Times. In one story, he uncovered a secret memo in which the company’s board of directors sought to cut costs by discouraging unhealthy people from applying for jobs. (One suggestion: requiring physical activity, like forcing cashiers to gather shopping carts.) In 2007, federal investigators accused a Wal-Mart employee of improperly eavesdropping on Michael’s phone calls to Wal-Mart, prompting an apology from the retailer’s chief executive.

Before joining The Times in 2005, Michael worked at The Washington Post, NBC News, and The Miami Herald. His work at The Post was honored by the local press association. He graduated from Yale in 2002, majoring in history. During his time at Yale, he was a reporter and later editor in chief of the Yale Daily News, where he oversaw a staff of nearly 100.

He grew up in North Haven, Conn. His sister, Tracy, who graduated from Hamden Hall in 1995, now works at Harvard University. His mother, Jean, is a school library media specialist in Newington, Conn. His father, Frank, is a retired New Haven firefighter.
His first job in journalism was reporting for The Advent, Hamden Hall's official newspaper. He also co-founded and ran an underground newspaper at the school, called La Verite. His co-founder was Ross Douthat, a Hamden Hall classmate and now a colleague at The Times.

Michael lives in Manhattan with his partner, Tim, a fellow Yale graduate.

Hamden Hall Country Day School

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Hamden Hall Country Day School is a nurturing and inclusive community with a dynamic learning environment that promotes academic excellence by understanding each child and fostering their individual growth.