Joel Simon has been the executive director of Committee to Protect Journalists since 2006. Simon has led the organization through a period of expansion, helping to launch the Global Campaign Against Impunity, establish a Journalist Assistance program, and spearhead CPJ's defense of press freedom in the digital space through the creation of dedicated Technology Program.

Simon has written widely on press freedom issues for publications including Slate, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, World Policy Journal, Asahi Shimbun, and The Times of India. His analysis of press freedom issues is featured regularly in major media. He is regular columnist for Columbia Journalism Review.

Prior to joining CPJ in 1997 as Americas program coordinator, Simon worked for a decade as a freelance journalist in Latin America. He covered the Guatemalan civil war, the Zapatista uprising in Southern Mexico, the debate over the North American Free Trade Agreement, and the economic turmoil in Cuba following the collapse of the Soviet Union. He is the author of Endangered Mexico: An Environment on the Edge (Sierra Club Books, 1997) and The New Censorship: Inside the Global Battle for Media Freedom (Columbia University Press 2015).