Leonard Downie Jr.
Leonard Downie Jr., the Weil Family Professor of Journalism at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, is vice president at large of The Washington Post, where he was executive editor from 1991 to 2008. During his 44 years in The Washington Post newsroom, he was also an investigative reporter, editor of the local and national news staffs, London correspondent, and, from 1984 to 1991, managing editor under then executive editor Ben Bradlee.
As deputy Metro editor from 1972 to 1974, Downie helped supervise the newspaper’s Watergate coverage. He oversaw the newspaper’s coverage of every national election from 1984 through 2008. During his 17 years as executive editor, The Washington Post news staff won 25 Pulitzer prizes.
Downie received bachelor’s, master’s and honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees from The Ohio State University. He is the author of five books, including "The New Muckrakers," about investigative reporting; "The News About the News: American Journalism in Peril" (with Robert G. Kaiser), and "The Rules of the Game," a novel about Washington.
He is also the author of "The Obama Administration and the Press," published by the Committee to Protect Journalists in 2013, and co-author, with Columbia University Professor Michael Schudson, of "The Reconstruction of American Journalism," published by The Journalism School of Columbia University in 2009.
Downie is a founder and current board member of Investigative Reporters and Editors and chairman of the board of advisers of Kaiser Health News and of the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting.