Having launched his career on television, screenwriter and director Stephen Gaghan emerged as the Oscar-winning writer of the acclaimed sociopolitical crime epic, "Traffic" (2000). Before that, Gaghan had risen up the ranks as a staff writer on popular shows like "New York Undercover" (Fox, 1994-98), "NYPD Blue" (ABC, 1993-2005) and "The Practice" (ABC, 1997-2004). Gaghan later shifted gears to features, starting with the military courtroom thriller "Rules of Engagement" (2000), before working with director Steven Soderbergh on the sprawling "Traffic," which became a critical darling and box office hit. From there, he became much in demand as a script doctor on numerous studio films while continuing to move on his own projects. Gaghan sat down in the director's chair for the first time with the little-known teen thriller "Abandon" (2002) before being credited as one of the screenwriters on "The Alamo" (2004). For his second directing effort, "Syriana" (2005), he again took a complex sociopolitical issue - Middle Eastern oil - and turned it into a complex, but personal drama that earned both critical praise and box office success. Gaghan's ability to weave labyrinth interlocking stories into highly-relatable entertainment made him one of the most sought-after and highly praised screenwriters of his day.