The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Changes on the National staff and a move to the magazine

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Announcement from National Editor Cameron Barr, Deputy National Editor Scott Wilson, Executive Features Editor Liz Seymour and Washington Post Magazine Editor Lynn Medford:

We’re excited to announce several changes that will strengthen our capacity to cover news and enterprise around the country as we expand the growth of our national and international audiences.

First the highlights, with elaboration to follow:

Lori Montgomery is joining the National desk in a newly configured role fit for a journalistic superhero: America editor. She’ll lead our efforts to promote more aggressive news and enterprise reporting across the 50 states.

Alan Sipress becomes Federal editor, with a broad mandate to drive coverage of agencies and departments whose work affect the lives of millions of Americans.

Marcia Davis will become a writer and editor on the magazine after a distinguished run as the head of our Fed team.

Wes Lowery is pioneering a new beat focused on a national issue of critical importance: the interactions between law enforcement officials and their communities.

Lori comes to National after a brilliant run on the Financial staff, where she dominated coverage of the federal budget, wrote deeply reported enterprise on topics ranging from Medicare to climate change and, during stints on the desk, impressed colleagues with her talents as an editor and leader. Lori’s Team America – a title she had nothing to do with, she wants us to point out – will include Wes, National investigative reporter Kimberly Kindy, social change reporter Sandhya Somashekhar and senior correspondent Kevin Sullivan. Lori will also oversee Mark Berman’s Post Nation blog and frequently commission work from other staffers and freelancers.

Alan is one of our most rigorous, reliable and sure-footed editors, having run accountability reporters for National and beat and enterprise reporters on Financial. We will expect Alan to lead coverage of breaking news concerning the federal government and run longer-term lines of coverage regarding its operations and policies, deploying reporters in his own group and others as needed. We’ll encourage him to foster collaboration within National and among other staffs so we can regularly exploit our full talent pool in penetrating the federal bureaucracy to reveal its culture, miscues and internal tensions. His group will include Supreme Court correspondent Bob Barnes, Federal Diarist Joe Davidson, Federal Eye anchor Josh Hicks, In the Loopers Colby Itkowitz and Al Kamen, DHS reporter Jerry Markon, federal reporter Lisa Rein, and veterans reporter Emily Wax-Thibodeaux.

Marcia moves to the magazine after five years as leader of our Fed team, at times overseeing nine pages a week in the newspaper and developing lasting features and columns for the digital and print Fed pages, including Bob Barnes’s Courts & Law column. She ran our detail-rich coverage of the GSA scandal and more recently played a key role in conceiving and editing some of the highlights of our reporting on the killing of Michael Brown. In an earlier run on the Fourth Floor she was an architect of The Post’s 2006 award-winning series, “Being a Black Man,” which was later converted into a book. In her new role on the magazine, she will also write and edit content for Style and Style and Arts, as well as other features sections.

Wes’s new beat arises from the reporting skill and digital relentlessness he displayed in covering Ferguson, where he established himself as one of the country’s most recognizable journalists covering the ensuing unrest and its causes. We’re eager to have him delve deeply into the reasons behind the tensions that exist between minority communities and police. He’ll also focus on a digital project developed in concert with Local about which we’ll have more to say later.

This new structure takes effect March 23. Please join us in congratulating our colleagues.