Alissa Rubin, who just last September was given the Paris bureau chief slot for the L.A. Times, succumbed to the lure of the New York Times. She's going back to Baghdad, where she used to be the LAT's co-chief of bureau. The newsroom memo circulating in New York follows:
Welcoming the Newest Member in Baghdad
We are delighted to announce that Alissa Rubin, Paris bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times, will be joining our Baghdad bureau as a correspondent.
Alissa was co-Baghdad bureau chief for the L.A. Times from 2003 to 2005, and has returned periodically since then. Her coverage was remarkable, admired by her peers and competitors for its breadth, daring, political acumen, and vivid portraits of ordinary people. She also wrote about the aftermath of conflict in the Balkans as well as the Iranian nuclear impasse at the U.N. from her base as Vienna bureau chief. Alissa is a seasoned war correspondent ≠ she has served four tours in Afghanistan and Pakistan since 9/11, and reported from Macedonia during the war in Kosovo in 1999.
When we began searching for experienced hands to help fill the gaps opening in our Baghdad bureau as some of our longest-serving correspondents cycle out, Alissa's name was on everyone's lips. Our Baghdad correspondents sing her praises, as a reporter and a gracious and generous colleague. She will be a senior member of the bureau, given her long experience and perspective in Iraq, and her friends there are thrilled that she will be joining them.
But Alissa brings far more to the paper than first-rate war correspondence. She is wise in the ways of Washington as well, having spent several years covering health care, taxes, and other policy issues for Congressional Quarterly and the Washington bureau of the L.A. Times. She is an expert on agricultural reporting, winning several awards for the subject during her years at the Wichita Eagle. And she was immersed in lawyers and law firms during her first job, for the American Lawyer, where she toiled with, among others, Jill Abramson.
She graduated with an honors degree in Renaissance Studies from Brown, and lives with her husband in Paris.
After some time for orientation in New York and Washington, we hope Alissa will begin her Baghdad rotations in late February. We're very lucky she agreed to join us.
Susan and Ethan
Susan Chira is foreign editor. Ethan Bronner is deputy.