Announcement from National Editor Matea Gold and Deputy National Editor Philip Rucker:
We are thrilled to announce that Ben Pauker is joining The Post as our new National Security editor. We are also excited to announce that we are moving several beats that had been part of the National Security team to a new Justice and Immigration team, which will be led by Debbi Wilgoren.
Ben and Debbi will steer some of the highest profile and most consequential coverage in the newsroom, driving competitive scoops and executing ambitious stories that hold policymakers accountable and explain America’s place in an ever-changing world.
This new structure will allow us to expand our editing capacity and put an even sharper focus on key beats that drive a large volume of news and are central to The Post’s mission. Ben will oversee our reporting on defense, diplomacy, extremism, foreign policy, intelligence and cybersecurity, working with deputy editor Andy deGrandpre. Debbi will run our coverage of the Justice Department, the Supreme Court and legal issues, immigration, criminal justice, policing and homeland security, working with deputy editor Efrain Hernandez Jr. Together, the four editors will foster the spirit of collaboration that has helped make our national security coverage the most scoopy, sophisticated and distinctive in the industry.
Ben joins The Post from Politico, where he has served as national security and world editor, responsible for coverage of diplomacy, defense and Canada, coordinating staff in Washington with more than 100 reporters and editors across Europe. He is known as a high-metabolism editor with a keen eye for big stories, and someone who is deeply steeped in national security and foreign policy issues.
In the past year and a half, his teams of reporters have broken dozens of nationally recognized stories, including scoops on Jan. 6, the inside account of the Biden administration’s struggle to contain Kabul’s collapse and the ill-fated U.S./Ukraine/Poland fighter jet deal.
His team also landed the leaked draft opinion that foretold the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Before joining Politico, Ben was managing editor for Vox, overseeing all web content and the newsroom of journalists and editors, including teams that covered politics and policy, Washington, foreign, and tech. He served for seven years as a top editor at Foreign Policy magazine, overseeing coverage of Washington and the world that garnered multiple National Magazine awards and nominations, three Overseas Press Club of America awards, a Robert F. Kennedy Award and a George Polk Award for feature photography. During his stint at Foreign Policy, he had the chance to work with journalists including Shane Harris, John Hudson and Dan Lamothe.
Ben also served as managing editor of World Policy Journal in New York. He has reported or written for Harper’s, the Chicago Tribune, Frontline/World and the Economist, among other publications.
Debbi, who has spent her entire career at The Post, joined the national security team as a deputy editor in July 2021 and quickly distinguished herself as someone who deftly runs fast-moving and complex storylines. In her time on the desk, she has directed our expanding coverage of criminal justice, civil rights and policing, bringing new ideas about how to elevate our reporting and pursue sharp accountability targets. She has led a newsroom-wide effort to increase communication and collaboration around these crucial reporting lines, helping maximize our expertise.
In recent months, Debbi has played a key role in steering our dominant coverage of the Justice Department’s investigations into efforts by former president Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 election results and the storage of highly classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. She also shepherded much of our law enforcement coverage in the aftermath of the Uvalde, Buffalo and Highland Park shootings.
Before joining National, Debbi spent seven years as an editor on Local, overseeing local politics, health and immigration coverage and editing ambitious stories on the impact of the pandemic on Maryland nursing homes, the rise of power among female Black leaders in Prince George's County, and racial disparities in covid victims and vaccination efforts, among many other topics. During The Post's early digital transition, she played a significant early morning role, editing and reporting on the biggest breaking stories each day.
She began her career at The Post as a news aide in 1990, and then did a two-year stint as an intern working the night police shift during the height of the District's homicide epidemic. She later covered public education, local courts, religion, poverty, gentrification and federal courts.
Please join us in welcoming Ben and congratulating Debbi. They begin their new roles on Oct. 10.
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