Announcement from Mike Semel, local editor, and Monica Norton, deputy local editor:

We are pleased to announce that Metro columnist Robert “Bob” McCartney will become our first Senior Regional Correspondent. Bob will continue to be an associate editor as he applies his depth of knowledge, analytical thinking, key sourcing and clear and thoughtful writing to the biggest issues of the day.

As a columnist for the past 5 ½ years, Bob has advocated for regional cooperation, a better transportation network and job creation. He has tackled the region’s thorniest issues with insight and a keen ability to explain and illuminate even the most complex ideas. Readers have come to rely on him, as Bob has homed in on the issues that matter most to the people who live here.

Now, we’d like to build on that. Bob will jump on news and break his own. He will regionalize national issues, nationalize regional ones and focus in on those things that unite us and divide us. Instead of being wedded to the twice-weekly column format, he will write quickly and thoughtfully for the Web, the front page and other sections of the site and the paper.

Bob is an institution at The Post and we are looking to use that to our greatest advantage. He came here in 1982 as an assistant foreign editor, and over the next 33 years has done just about everything one could. He’s been Mexico City bureau chief; Central Europe bureau chief (in Bonn, when the wall fell); New York financial correspondent; Local Business editor; National Security editor; Maryland editor; Foreign editor; managing editor of the International Herald Tribune (back when The Post owned half of it); AME for continuous news (when we were feeling our way around digital); AME for Metro; and most recently, associate editor and Metro columnist.

Bob grew up in Montgomery County and graduated from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School and Amherst College. He worked at the Wall Street Journal and the AP in Rome before he came to The Post. He lives in Bethesda with his wife Barbara. They have a grown son Daniel.

Bob’s farewell column will be Feb. 1, and he will begin his new role the following week. We can’t wait.