David is the author of Stories Are What Save Us: A Survivor’s Guide to Writing About Trauma (2021, Johns Hopkins University Press), and in 2023, he has two forthcoming books, The Soldier’s Truth: Ernie Pyle and the Story of World War II (set for release on May 30, 2023, Penguin Press), which chronicles the life of renowned war correspondent Ernie Pyle, and Because Data Can’t Speak for Itself: A Practical Guide to Telling Persuasive Policy Stories (January 31, 2023, JHU Press), which he co-wrote with Lauren Brodsky of the Harvard University Kennedy School.

Part writer’s guidebook, part memoir, and part teacher’s handbook, Stories Are What Save Us is a profoundly moving and compelling book that weaves together David’s journey as a writer, editor, and teacher with a wide range of craft tools and storytelling frameworks and structures he and his students have used to process trauma and conflicts in their own lives to create beautiful stories of growth and transformation.

In 2022, David was named the recipient of the George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language for his book, Public Policy Writing That Matters. The award is given each year by the National Council of Teachers of English, and Past winners include author Michael Pollan, comedian Jon Stewart, independent journalist Amy Goodman, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, educator and cultural critic Neil Postman, and linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky.

David is also a Logan Nonfiction Fellow and has contributed columns to the New York Times Magazine. He also writes for The War Horse, an award-winning nonprofit newsroom dedicated to educating the public on military service, war, and its impact.

David's writing has been published in several anthologies and various outlets, including the New York Times Magazine.

After graduating from the University of Chicago with a Master’s degree in social science theory, David wrote and edited public policy reports for the U.S. Government Accountability Office. For nearly a decade, he helped turn complex data into relatable narratives for Congress and agencies in the executive branch of the federal government. The topics his research and writing covered included public education, retirement security, social policy, and issues related to military veterans’ transitions back into civilian life.

See Me for Who I Am

From 2014-2017, David taught the first-of-its-kind writing seminar for student veterans at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. In 2017, he wrote an instructor’s manual for his class that was made available for adoption by every campus in the University of Wisconsin system. David also edited a collection of his student’s essays, titled See Me for Who I Am, that is helping to bridge the cultural gap dividing his students from those who have not served.

Public Policy Writing That Matters

For six years, David also taught public policy writing in the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. In 2017, he wrote Public Policy Writing That Matters, a book for anyone passionate about using writing to create real and lasting change. Johns Hopkins University Press published the second edition on February 1, 2022. In early 2023, the press will also publish Because Data Can’t Speak for Itself, a short primer on writing effectively with data he wrote with Lauren Brodsky of Harvard’s Kennedy School.