Help Wanted at WaPo Foreign: Hoffman Out

Internal WaPo memo announcing open post left by Foreign AME David Hoffman:


After a storied career that has both epitomized and shaped our journalism, David Hoffman has decided to move on. Newcomers may know David only as the tireless, driven, knowledgeable and slightly intimidating AME for Foreign.

And that he is. He has masterfully led one of our premier staffs for the past four years, through wars, floods, terrorist attacks, nuclear threats, plane crashes, elections, revolutions and a wide range of enterprise. Under David, the staff has thrived and raked in acclaim and awards. He’s an insightful editor and a steady, calm voice for correspondents engaged in what’s often high-wire, high-impact journalism in difficult and dangerous places.

David came to The Post from Knight-Ridder in 1982, covering the Reagan White House through the summits with Gorbachev, the 1984 election campaign and the Iran-contra scandal. David was as tough and serious a reporter as he is an editor. He recounts that on the eve of an interview he, Lou Cannon, and Juan Williams had with Reagan, the president made a note of it in his diary: “3 journalists who usually kick my brains out.”

In 1988, David covered the first two years of the first Bush White House.He was later The Post’s correspondent in Jerusalem, and by 1995 had moved on to Russia for the last, wild years of the Yeltsin era. On returning to Washington, he became foreign editor and then AME, and he helped lead our coverage of the Afghan and Iraq wars. In recent years, he’s been an early, ardent champion of global, thematic enterprise journalism.

Although David has many ideas and offers that will keep him busy, including possibly another book, he will remain affiliated with the paper as a writer. We’re delighted with that, and you can expect to see his byline return to our pages.

With David stepping down as AME, we’re looking for someone to take over Foreign. This coverage is and will remain central to The Washington Post.

Our readers’ interest in world affairs has never been higher. Whether it’s coverage of the Iraq and Afghan wars, the emergence of new powers like China and India, the challenges posed by North Korea and Iran, or the cultures and forces that define our age, The Post is committed to foreign news. Nothing of consequence that happens in the world doesn’t somehow end up getting played out or played back in Washington.

If you are interested, or have thoughts or input to make about potential candidates, please see one of us by June 17.

Marcus Liz

June 3, 2009