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Russell Lewis will become Supervising Editor for Planning/Breaking News

Lewis in Nepal, after the 2015 earthquake, recording the sounds of clean-up at Monkey Temple in Kathmandu.
Kirk Siegler
Lewis in Nepal, after the 2015 earthquake, recording the sounds of clean-up at Monkey Temple in Kathmandu.

In a note to newsroom staff Chief National Editor Vickie Walton-James announced the following update:


I'm pleased to announce an important promotion on the National Desk. Russell Lewis will become the Supervising Editor for Planning/Breaking News, starting Sunday.

For the past 15 years, Russell has served the network in many, many roles. Russell's day job has been Southern Bureau Chief, of course. Based in Birmingham, Ala., he's edited member station reporters and staffers across 14 Southern states. He's also been sports editor, working hand in glove with Sports Correspondent Tom Goldman and taking three teams to Olympic games, where he oversaw coverage and logistics.

Beyond those duties, Russell has long been a team player across desks and shows, traveling the country and the world in pursuit of breaking news. He's covered an earthquake in Haiti; attacks at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Ct., and at the Pulse Night Club in Orlando; a super typhoon in the Philippines; a tsunami in Indonesia and an earthquake in Nepal. He also helped lead coverage in Paris and Brussels after terrorist attacks there.

In 2010, the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University awarded Russell the prestigious Ochberg Fellowship, designed to improve reporting on violence, conflict, and tragedy. Russell still works with the Dart Center and has trained reporters in Trinidad and Tobago, the Cayman Islands, and Puerto Rico.

Russell has also edited and filed his own stories on some things he loves, like aviation (he's a pilot) and space travel. He's our resident weather expert. We have just over three weeks left in hurricane season. Fingers crossed.

In his new position, Russell will work Sunday through Thursday, overseeing long-term planning for the desk and continuing to edit Tom Goldman and Greg Allen for now. And he'll play a key role in organizing coverage of breaking news.

We'll post the Southern Bureau Chief position soonest and we'll be in touch about fill-in editors.

Please join me in congratulating Russell on his new role.


Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Vickie Walton-James
Vickie Walton-James is Chief National Editor for NPR News. She oversees a desk of more than 40 reporters, editors and producers based in Washington, D.C., and in more than a dozen bureaus around the country. National Desk correspondents cover domestic breaking news and beats that include immigration, criminal justice and national security across all NPR platforms. Before assuming her current position in 2014, Walton-James was the network's Deputy National Editor and held other senior management positions.