Jeff Severns Guntzel

I am an investigative researcher based in Minneapolis. My work draws on the methods of investigative journalism and qualitative research and aims to illuminate systemic patterns that harm or marginalize individuals and groups.

Ongoing projects include a comprehensive review of one American county’s juvenile justice system and an investigation into an incident in the Gaza Strip in 1952.

The work I do is utilization-focused—How can the products of my work be used? What narrative forms can I draw from or create to give the stories and information the most power and portability?

I have been doing investigative and storytelling work for more than 20 years. As a journalist, I’ve reported from the Middle East and the United States on war, national and international politics, veterans’ health, criminal justice, and social justice efforts for Al Jazeera America, GOOD, Marketplace, Minnesota Public Radio, New York Times, Punk Planet, Utne Reader, and others.

Before all of that, in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, I led fact-finding delegations to sanctions-era Iraq, organized volunteers to visit death row prisoners as part of an effort to monitor and improve conditions, and served as an international observer in the West Bank during Israel’s military operations there in 2002. In the lead up to the U.S invasion of Iraq in 2003, I co-founded a website focused on the Iraqi experience of war. Somewhere in there I also had a lovely and restorative stint as a book page, fetching rare books from the closed stacks of Chicago’s Newberry Library.

Personal interests include making stuff out of wood and metal, cussing, and unexpected moments of grace.