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Sally Buzbee named executive editor of The Washington Post

Sally Buzbee, senior vice president and executive editor of The Associated Press, in New York, Dec. 13. 2018. (AP Corporate Communications) (Chuck Zoeller/AP )

The Washington Post today named Sally Buzbee executive editor of The Washington Post, effective June 1, 2021.

“Sally Buzbee has an exceptional record of achievement and a tremendous wealth of experience in leading a global news organization,” said Fred Ryan, Publisher and CEO of The Washington Post. “In an extensive search that included many of the best journalists in America, Sally stood out as the right person to lead The Post going forward. She is widely admired for her absolute integrity, boundless energy, and dedication to the essential role journalism plays in safeguarding our democracy.”

Buzbee has been executive editor and senior vice president of The Associated Press since early 2017, overseeing the AP’s global news operation, which produces content for over 15,000 news outlets from nearly 250 locations worldwide.

As executive editor, Buzbee expanded the AP’s digital storytelling and increased its commitment to visually compelling investigative work. In 2019, the AP won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting for their investigation detailing atrocities of the war in Yemen. Their coverage detailing the Trump administration’s migrant family separation policy was a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.

“The Washington Post is an institution with a rich journalistic legacy that is on the cutting edge of digital media,” Buzbee said. “This puts The Post at the forefront of journalism’s future and presents an enormous opportunity for growth. It will be an honor to lead this incredible group of journalists.”

Buzbee served as the AP’s Washington bureau chief from 2010 through 2016, where she led AP’s coverage of the 2012 and 2016 U.S. presidential elections and their polling and race-calling operations, as well as coverage of the White House, Congress and the Pentagon.

During that time, the Washington bureau produced strong national security investigations and won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting on the New York police department’s surveillance of Muslims in and around the city.

For five years beginning in November 2004, Buzbee served as the AP’s Middle East regional editor based in Cairo. In that position she led AP’s news coverage of the Iraq war and other regional conflicts, and managed the staff, budgets and security for AP’s Middle East region.

Buzbee joined AP in 1988 as a reporter in Kansas and has worked as a reporter in Los Angeles, San Diego and Washington. In 1996, she became assistant bureau chief for news in Washington where she ran spot news coverage and oversaw in-depth foreign affairs and national security coverage.

Buzbee succeeds Marty Baron, who left The Post at the end of February 2021.

Memo to staff from Post Publisher and CEO Fred Ryan:

Dear Washington Post colleagues,

Ten weeks ago, we set out to find a world-class executive editor who will lead The Washington Post to new levels of success for years to come. We looked for someone steeped in the courageous journalism that is The Post’s hallmark, and who can extend our reach to new audiences in the U.S. and abroad. We sought a bold leader who can manage our dynamic newsroom and bureaus across the globe. We hoped to find a thoughtful, generous mentor for our growing team of exceptionally talented journalists. We looked for someone who shares our values of diversity and inclusion, and who is committed to prioritizing them in our news coverage as well as our hiring and promotion.

During the search process, we were impressed by, and grateful for, our conversations with many of the very best journalists in America. All were men and women of incredible accomplishment with well-deserved reputations for leadership. But one stood out. Today, I am thrilled to announce that Sally Buzbee will become the next executive editor of The Washington Post.

Sally brings to her new role an exceptional record of achievement and tremendous wealth of experience. Most recently, as executive editor of the Associated Press, she has led one of the world’s largest and most respected news organizations. During her years as the AP’s Cairo-based Middle East bureau chief, she oversaw coverage of the Iraq war and other conflicts in a challenging and dangerous news environment. She has a deep appreciation of the investigations for which The Post is renowned, having led award-winning reporting teams whose work has held powerful institutions to account. As the AP’s former Washington bureau chief, Sally is also thoroughly familiar with the sophisticated, fast-paced political reporting that distinguishes The Post, having led coverage of the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections. And her work as the AP’s deputy managing editor—a role that focused on advancing the organization’s global news operation and technological capabilities—has helped shape her ambitious vision for The Post’s digital future.

Sally is widely admired for her absolute integrity, boundless energy, and dedication to the essential role journalism plays in safeguarding our democracy. She is an inspiring leader and accomplished journalist in the finest traditions of The Washington Post and her colleagues will benefit from her remarkable character.

Sally will officially become executive editor on June 1, 2021. Please join me in extending her a warm welcome.