NPR's Washington Desk Announces Staffing Updates

Originally published on January 3, 2018 9:39 am

In a note to newsroom staff, Senior Washington Desk Editor Beth Donovan announced updates and additions to the team.

All – In preparation for the 2018 election, the Washington Desk will once again add to its staff, this time with two political reporters and an editor.

First, a newcomer. Tim Mak joins us January 8. Fresh off training with the U.S. Army Reserve, Tim most recently covered national security and the conservative movement for the Daily Beast. His enterprise work and scoops there caught our attention in 2016 and this past spring as Russia news was popping daily. For NPR, Tim will continue his coverage of movement conservatism which dates back to his time at the Washington Examiner and FrumForum. We'll also look to Tim to support our coverage of Russian interference in US politics, reporting on propaganda and other active measures in 2018.

Tim adds: "I'm excited to join NPR's team and delve into radio, which is a field that is currently innovating lots of new ways to tell stories. I'm also looking forward to contributing to the digital side by bringing unique ways of viewing Washington, and scoops, to our audience."

And a fan favorite returns to NPR Politics: Asma Khalid. You read that right! After a year covering tech and economic issues for WBUR, she found the call of the campaign irresistible. Picking up where she left off, Asma will continue her reporting on the political impact of America's changing demographics, with a sharpened focus on work and family finances. Asma's first day with NPR will be February 5.

From Asma: "I'm thrilled to rejoin NPR politics! It felt like a dereliction of duty to be off the political beat at this moment. And I'm particularly excited to tell stories that help us understand politics — not just through the lens of politicians in Washington, but the voters who choose to send these politicians to Washington."

Asma will also join Tamara Keith and Scott Detrow as a host of the NPR Politics Podcast. The podcast has been the top ranked political podcast every month since industry tracker Podtrac introduced its monthly Top 20 list in August of 2016. The addition of Asma as cohost and Tim to the team promises another strong year.

Meantime, one more 2016 veteran returns to NPR Politics, Brett Neely. For the past year, Brett has worked his editing magic at the National Desk where he worked with station reporters covering the state houses. For 2018, his new assignment will match up that experience with his years covering Capitol Hill for Minnesota Public Radio.

Finally, Arnie Seipel is handing over the lead Congress role so that he can return his focus to electoral politics. A political geek from the day we met him and a logistical whiz, Arnie made the crazy, chaotic, relentless coverage of the 2016 campaign sound like a symphony. Now a veteran editor, Arnie will lead the 2018 team and be the point person for all NPR political coverage from across the shows and desks.

Please join Shirley, Domenico and me in congratulating our returning heroes and welcoming Tim over the next few months.

Beth

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