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Matea Gold named National Editor, Philip Rucker named Deputy National Editor

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 25: Phil Rucker, right, and Matea Gold, Washington Post staff, in Washington, DC. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)
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Announcement from Executive Editor Sally Buzbee, Senior Managing Editor Cameron Barr, Managing Editor Steven Ginsberg, Managing Editor Tracy Grant, Managing Editor Krissah Thompson, and Chief Product Officer and Managing Editor Kat Downs Mulder:

We are very happy to announce a new leadership team for the National staff.

Matea Gold, the driving force behind many of The Post’s most impactful and high-profile stories, will become National editor, and Philip Rucker, one of the nation’s premier political reporters, will serve as deputy National editor.

Matea and Phil are the perfect pair to lead the National staff at a time of continued growth and ambition. Their mission will be to chart new ways to expand coverage in Washington and across the country, while ensuring that we continue to break the biggest news stories, pursue the most revelatory investigations and surprise readers with innovative, ground-breaking features. They will also help lead a newsroom-wide effort focused on threats to American democracy.

Matea and Phil are natural collaborators who will form critical partnerships across the newsroom to ensure that everyone is mobilized to do their best work. They are conscientious and empathetic managers who champion diversity in all its forms — both in the makeup of the National staff and the stories it covers. They are fiercely competitive and committed to continuing The Post’s dominance of the biggest stories inside and outside Washington.

They represent a new generation of leadership for National – with a combined quarter-century of experience at The Post – and we couldn’t be more excited about what they’re going to do.

Matea Gold

For the last four years, Matea has served as the national political enterprise and investigations editor, running some of The Post’s most sensitive stories, including coverage of the Russia investigation, the Ukraine pressure campaign and President Donald Trump’s attempt to subvert the 2020 election results. She has spearheaded some of The Post’s most innovative storytelling experiments and collaborative efforts, including “The Mueller Report Illustrated,” “America in Line” and “The Attack: Before, During and After,” an investigative series about the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Reporters and other editors gravitate to Matea for guidance and direction. She is relentless in pursuit of key facts and larger truths and compels reporters to do their best work, whether by spotting critical targets or providing unwavering support. She is as competitive as they come, never wanting to get beat, always supporting her staff.

Matea excels at mobilizing people and resources to tackle major news events and ongoing story lines. In 2020, when she ran The Post’s voting coverage, she built a team that helped us dominate coverage of developments and litigation in key states throughout the fall and deployed 56 reporters in 36 states on Election Day to monitor voting and potential unrest.

Before moving into an editing role in 2017, Matea spent two decades as a reporter – covering a wide range of stories that took her from dusty hillside settlements in Tijuana to the smoldering ruins of New York’s World Trade Center.

She joined The Post in June 2013 as a National reporter covering money in politics. In that role, she documented the aftershocks of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, exposing the growing influence of wealthy donors. She led an effort to map the Clinton donor network, traced the architecture of the Koch political operation and detailed how the Mercers built a populist power base in partnership with conservative strategist Stephen K. Bannon. She also helped spearhead a global examination of Ivanka Trump’s fashion brand, an investigation that traced the production of Trump-branded products to countries where low-wage garment workers have few protections.

Before coming to The Post, Matea worked for 17 years for the Los Angeles Times and Tribune Publishing, most recently as a national political reporter in the Washington bureau. Before that, she was based for five years in New York, where she reported on the dramatic changes remaking television media for the Times Calendar section.

She spent 2000 and 2004 on the campaign trail documenting the presidential bids of former U.S. senator Bill Bradley, then-Vice President Al Gore, former Vermont governor Howard Dean and then-Sen. John F. Kerry. She was also a lead reporter in the coverage of two California gubernatorial races, two mayoral campaigns and Los Angeles City Hall.

A fluent Spanish speaker, she wrote extensively about immigrant communities on Los Angeles’s Eastside and traced the rising power of Latino voters and did a stint covering the U.S.-Mexico border.

Matea graduated summa cum laude from UCLA, where she served as editor in chief of the Daily Bruin.

She lives in Northwest D.C. with her husband, their two daughters and two cats.

Philip Rucker

As senior Washington correspondent this past year, Phil was one of the anchors of The Post’s ground-breaking investigation “The Attack: Before, During and After.” Before that, he served as White House bureau chief for four years and led our award-winning team chronicling Donald Trump’s presidency.

Phil wrote and helped conceive of some of our most compelling and distinctive news and analysis pieces about Trump and his administration, as well as in-depth narratives and long-term investigations, including a 2020 series examining the administration’s coronavirus response. Phil also was a leader representing The Post and the press corps more broadly, pushing for accountability and transparency from a White House known for neither and sharply questioning the president at news conferences in the face of personal attacks by Trump.

Phil previously served as national political correspondent, anchoring our coverage of the 2014 midterm elections and 2016 presidential campaign. He has been a newsroom collaborator and an innovator in story forms, working with Dan Balz and others on the staff to produce interactive oral histories of both the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections. He also represented The Post in helping design the Democratic presidential candidates debate on MSNBC in 2019 that Ashley Parker so ably moderated.

Phil joined The Post in 2005 as an intern in the Prince George’s County bureau and returned for good the following summer in Southern Maryland. After covering a succession of beats for Metro, he joined National following the 2008 election to help Al Kamen cover the Obama transition for his famed “In The Loop” column. Thus began a 13-year run during which Phil also covered Congress, Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign and the Obama White House, as well as general breaking news, including the Gabrielle Giffords shooting and Fort Hood massacre. He has reported for The Post from all 50 states and dozens of countries.

In every role, Phil has been a consummate professional, generous co-worker and trusted partner. His skills as a reporter and writer, along with his gracious manner, have earned him the respect of everyone he interacts with and made him one of The Post’s strongest leaders.

Phil’s work has been recognized with a number of awards. He was part of the team of national security, investigative and political reporters awarded the Pulitzer Prize and George Polk Award for coverage of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Phil and Ashley Parker together received the Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prize for distinguished reporting on the presidency. And last year, the White House Correspondents’ Association honored Phil with the Aldo Beckman Award for overall excellence in White House coverage.

In addition to his work for The Post, Phil partnered with Carol Leonnig to write two No. 1 best-selling books about the Trump presidency, “A Very Stable Genius” in 2020 and “I Alone Can Fix It” in 2021. Phil also has appeared for the past several years as a political analyst on NBC News and MSNBC, where he will continue to promote Post journalism.

Phil graduated with a degree in history from Yale University, where he was an editor and reporter for the Yale Daily News. He lives in Shaw with his cavapoo, Axel, named in honor of Phil’s past as a competitive figure skater.

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