Announcement from Graphics Director Kat Downs:

After years of helping lead the team and three stints as interim director, Laris Karklis has decided to return to his true passion: creating maps and graphics that explain the news. Laris, who will now be a Senior Graphics Editor, is one of the industry’s best cartographers and an excellent teammate and mentor who is a model of collaboration across disciplines and teams.

In his time as deputy, Laris has been an invaluable contributor to the team, as evidenced by his role in some of our strongest work, including The Perils of Great Fallsthe Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program, the Ebola crisis and the disappearance of Flight 370. He helped to pioneer some of our earliest digital cartography experiments with projects on the Battle of Wanat and North Korean prison camps.

Laris is a strong editor, empathetic listener and enthusiastic leader who has supported the group through over a decade of change. We will miss having him in leadership, but know that in his new role he will continue to create beautiful, engaging maps, drive coverage at the grassroots level, and mentor new talent in the team.

Samuel Granados will become the Deputy Director of Graphics. Samuel joined us last September from La Nación in Buenos Aires, where he was the director of graphics. He is an incredibly talented information designer and an excellent editor who has deep experience with visualizing news. He has boundless energy and continuously pushes the team to experiment and take ambitious approaches.

Earlier this year, Samuel led a redesign of our graphics templates that has brought consistency and a fresh style to our body of work. He was instrumental in leading the development of Chartable, a tool officially launching next month that will allow anyone in the newsroom to quickly create basic charts and maps. As deputy, his strong news judgment, unique approach to design and visualization, and drive for excellence will continue to elevate our work.

Lazaro Gamio will become an Assignment Editor focused on maps, illustrations, animations and explanatory graphics. In the year since he joined us from The Miami Herald, Laz has impressed everyone with his ability to do just about anything. He has designed and developed dozens of graphics, including data visualizations, interactive maps and illustrations about topics as diverse as the best and worst places in the world to be a motherthe hairiness of Nationals players’ beardswhat a year of Islamic State terror looks like and why Thanksgiving dinner makes you sleepy.

Laz created tools to make print graphics easier to digitize and digital maps easier to build; he designed the interface for Chartable, our new visualization tool and trained dozens of newsroom folks on how to use it during the beta phase; he volunteered to help out on every news story he could get his hands on. We’re thrilled to put him in a position to help shape coverage, work closely with other graphics reporters and editors in the team, and continue building strong collaborative relationships with folks around the room.

Emily Chow will become the Assignment Editor for the story design team. This team focuses on design and development of alternative story forms and custom digital presentations. This team is a cross-functional group that includes Shelly Tan and Emily Yount in graphics, as well as Matt Callahan from design and Seth Blanchard from engineering. With these diverse set of skills this group has, we have the ability to rapidly design, iterate, and test new ways of telling stories in the digital space. We hope that as we move forward, the prototyping work Emily’s team does will allow us to more easily produce customized digital stories.

Emily has already been doing fantastic work in this space, as seen with projects like The N-WordD.C. Blooms, and REFUGE. Since joining The Post in 2012, she has demonstrated a unique ability to work across the room, collaborating closely with the video and design teams and multiple other groups. She has been the primary liaison from graphics to the producers and to the features team, spotting opportunities to create fun, different experiences like the Summer Movie project, the the reality TV guide and, of course, PEEPS!

Emily is a fantastic designer and developer whose curiosity and problem-solving skills have made her a point person for folks across the room who have ideas and need help making them happen. Emily has already taken on much of the work she will be doing in this role, so we are thrilled to make her position official.