The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Amanda Erickson and Dan Drezner join The Post’s digital opinion venture

Two staff announcements below

Welcome, Amanda Erickson (Memo from Editor Adam Kushner, Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt and Outlook Editor Carlos Lozada):

We are, quite simply, pumped to welcome Amanda Erickson  to the newsroom beginning May 12, when she will join the new digital analysis/opinion/essay venture. Amanda is an editor at Atlantic Cities, where she developed an expertise on urban planning, economic development, and coaching academic writers. For the Post, she’ll be part of a three-editor team responsible for recruiting sharp, timely, entertaining pieces from outside contributors on the entire range of topics – tech to politics, entertainment to foreign affairs, science to sports. During the interview process, she was nearly overflowing with great story ideas.

Amanda is already an alumna of several Washington Post Company ventures, so this will be a kind of homecoming: After graduating from Columbia University (where she won the Robert Shellow Gerdy Prize for most talented journalist in the graduating class), she worked at Newsweek on Air and WhoRunsGov. Then in 2010, she scored a Fulbright to work in Azerbaijan, where she wrote for a raft of U.S. newspapers and magazines and taught university courses on journalism. (How many resumes have you seen that cite a “basic knowledge” of Azerbaijani?) She’s even going back to Baku, courtesy of a fellowship from the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, before she starts here.  We can’t wait.

Welcome, Daniel Drezner as contributor (memo from Adam Kushner):

I’m  thrilled to announce that Daniel Drezner, one of the country’s foremost public intellectuals, will be joining the digital analysis/opinion/essay venture, launching in mid-May, to write daily about foreign affairs and the ways they touch on domestic politics.

Dan, who until recently had an eponymous blog at Foreign Policy, is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. But Dan’s insight isn’t confined to the academy. In addition to his FP blog (cited by Time as one of the 25 best of the year), he’s had bylines everywhere: here, the Times, the Journal, Politico, et al. That’s because he knows how to speak to a lay audience. Recently he’s written conceptual scoops about the NSA, dropped voice-y political analyses during the election, and forayed expertly into pop culture. He’ll be bringing all that and more as an anchor for the new project.

Since Dan’s training (undergrad at Williams, PhD at Stanford), he has held positions with the University of Chicago, the University of Colorado at Boulder, the Civic Education Project, the RAND Corporation, and the Treasury Department (plus innumerable fellowships). His five previous books include All Politics is Global and Theories of International Politics and Zombies; he also edited two others, including Avoiding Trivia. His next book, The System Worked: How the World Stopped Another Great Depression, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press.