WaPo’s Lally and NJ’s Englund to Moscow

Kathy Lally who was previously headed to the Middle East to cover Baghdad for WaPo is instead taking the role of Moscow bureau chief for the paper. She’ll be joined by National Journal‘s Will Englund who will cover Russia on contract for the Post beginning in October. This change in plans leaves an open spot for a Baghdad correspondent. The memo from Doug Jehl and Kevin Sullivan announcing the changes below:

We’re thrilled to announce that Kathy Lally, who had been bound for Baghdad, has agreed instead to become our next Moscow bureau chief. Her rerouting will install one of our most experienced and thoughtful Russia hands in this crucial post.

The tour in Russia will be Kathy’s third; she was there twice for the Baltimore Sun, beginning in 1991, before the breakup of the Soviet Union. (Her second tour ended as Vladimir Putin was consolidating his power after Boris Yeltsin bequeathed him the presidency.) She later become the deputy foreign editor at the Sun, moved to the Post in 2004 for a short fill-in on Outlook, and joined Financial as a deputy financial editor in 2005.

Kathy’s long experience in Russia will bring depth, perspective and authority to our coverage. She also brings judgment, insight and clarity to her work, along with a capacity to be intrepid, patient and wise. These qualities make her ideally suited to capture what promises to be a critical period in the complicated relationship between Russia, its former republics and the West.

Kathy is winding up her work on Financial, and we expect her to head to Moscow in early September. She’ll be joined there in October by her husband, Will Englund, her co-bureau chief in Moscow for the Sun, who will help to cover Russia on contract for the Post, after he finishes a tour as White House correspondent for the National Journal. Will is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize and a terrific writer and thinker; both Kathy and Will speak rusty but conversational Russian. We are lucky to have them both joining the foreign team.

The change means that we are once again searching for a new Baghdad correspondent for a one-year tour beginning this fall. We’re seeking a proven correspondent who can help our readers understand what the United States is leaving behind as it winds down a seven-year intervention in the heart of the Arab world. An ideal candidate would bring previous experience in Iraq along with a demonstrated capacity to write clearly about complicated subjects and to deliver high-impact news and enterprise stories on a major beat. Interested candidates should contact Doug Jehl, Kevin Sullivan or Peter Perl by July 19.

Doug and Kevin