Sarah Childress named deputy editor for The Washington Post’s long-term investigative team


Announcement from Deputy Investigative Editor David S. Fallis and Investigative Editor Jeff Leen:

We are thrilled to announce that Sarah Childress will be joining us as a deputy editor on the long-term investigative team. Sarah comes to us from PBS Frontline, where she is a senior series editor and has partnered with local and national outlets on award-winning multimedia investigations.

For an investigation she led on the Flint, Michigan, water crisis, Sarah pushed reporters to dig into seven years of death certificates, which eventually found the toll from the city’s contaminated water was likely far greater than officially reported. After the documentary “Flint’s Deadly Water” aired in 2019, prosecutors reopened their investigation and indicted nine people, including an aide to the governor who Frontline revealed had threatened researchers looking into the crisis.

Last year, Sarah helped guide the multi-part Tampa Bay Times investigation “Poisoned,” which documented unsafe conditions and failed oversight of the Gopher Resource lead smelter. She committed Frontline’s resources to the project and gave a top-line edit to the stories, working closely with the local writers and editors to bulletproof the reporting. The investigation exposed the environmental and human impact of the smelter, located in a mostly impoverished community of color.

Sarah joined Frontline in 2012 as its first digital reporter. In 2015, she partnered with The Post on an authoritative look at the use of federal consent decrees, “Forced Reforms, Mixed Results.” And, in 2017, she chronicled the rise of the modern militia movement, producing the documentary “American Patriot” and writing “The Battle over Bunkerville,” an ebook.

Before Frontline, Sarah was a correspondent for five years at The Wall Street Journal, reporting from Nairobi. She began her journalism career in 2003 at Newsweek, writing from Iraq and covering Hurricane Katrina. Sarah’s journalism has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Jack R. Howard Award for Broadcast for the Flint documentary. She graduated from Notre Dame and teaches an investigative journalism class at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Sarah grew up in a close-knit family in Michigan, where she spent the summers sailing and the winters skiing. An avid reader and attempted runner, Sarah will be based in Boston, where she lives with her husband Mark, a professor at Minerva University; their two children, Ezra and Luka; and a rescue cat named Miche.

She starts Feb. 28. Please join us in welcoming her to The Post.


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