St. Olaf College | St. Olaf Alumni

Anna Palmer ’04

Distinguished Alumni Award

Anna Palmer is CEO and founder of Punchbowl News, a media organization focused on power, people, and politics. She has covered congressional leadership, the lobbying industry, presidential campaigns, and the politics of governing for more than 15 years. She has been writing partners with Punchbowl News founder Jake Sherman and co-founder John Bresnahan for 10 years.

In 2019 Palmer and Sherman authored The Hill to Die On: The Battle for Congress and the Future of Trump’s America, which was the inside story of Congress in the first two years of Donald Trump’s presidency. The book was an instant New York Times and national bestseller. Trevor Noah of The Daily Show said The Hill to Die On turned “Congress into a Game of Thrones book.”

From 2016 to 2020, Palmer was the co-author, along with Sherman, of the top-rated POLITICO Playbook franchise, where they chronicled President Donald Trump’s first term and his relationship with top Congressional leaders. Under their leadership, the platform more than doubled in revenue and tripled its readership. They also created a widely acclaimed daily podcast, afternoon newsletter, and event series where they interviewed top political and business leaders across the country about pressing issues of the day. Palmer has spoken and moderated conversations at the World Economic Forum, the Milken Institute Global Forum, UN General Assembly, Aspen Ideas Festival, Texas Tribune Festival, and SXSW.

A native of North Dakota, Palmer joined POLITICO in 2011 and was its senior Washington correspondent. She also led Women Rule, a nation-leading platform aimed at expanding leadership opportunities for women, and hosted the critically acclaimed Women Rule podcast. She has also worked at Legal Times and Roll Call, breaking national stories on the business of Washington. She’s a frequent political commentator on CNN, Fox News, NBC, and MSNBC.