Coll, who has led the organization since 2007, will become a senior fellow in New America’s National Security Studies Program, where he will write a follow-up to his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001.”
“New America is a creative, growing and inspiring place, and the institution is in great shape, with talented staff and leaders, a fantastic board, and very strong operating foundations,” Coll said in a statement.
Coll, who spent 20 years at The Washington Post and remains a staff writer for The New Yorker, is often credited with higher visibility of New America, in part, by entering more journalists into the policy arena than any other think tank.
In a Think Tanked Q&A last year, he said:
One of the strategies then and now has been to seek impact by working in partnership with media organizations. We’d rather have one of our fellows place an important piece in the Post, the New Yorker or the Atlantic or to speak at length on one of NPR’s shows than to just publish our own research paper and leave it in the lobby for visitors to take. We do publish our own scholarship to academic standards, with peer review and footnoting and the rest, and I’m proud of that work, but in this media age, I think you have to work through lots of channels at once. Journalists know how to synthesize complex issues or research and communicate to wide and influential audiences. Some academics do too, and we like to have a mix here.
“Over his five years of leadership, Steve recruited exceptional policy and journalistic talent, academic and media partners, and new funders,” said Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google and New America board chair.