New environment editor at LAT

Geoff Mohan takes over the Times environment desk for Frank Clifford, who left via buyout to work on another book. Clifford had national status in the LAT's hierarchy of desks, departments and egos. Mohan, who used to edit the "Sense of Place" team for Metro, will report to Metro's Janet Clayton. Behold the memo:

To: The Staff
From: John Arthur, Managing Editor

I'm pleased to announce the appointment of Geoff Mohan as Environmental Editor.

Building on the broad legacy of Frank Clifford, Geoff will lead an accomplished and award-winning group of reporters who will continue to tell the story of Southern California, the state and the West through its resources and changing environment. The team will focus as well on global warming and its multiple implications. The environment will be a big story for the Times in coming years, and we expect to adjust the team and its organization as needed to match the evolving issues.

Geoff brings broad experience to this assignment. He first came to the Times as a stringer in the eastern San Fernando Valley in 1992. He briefly worked for the Spanish-language edition, Nuestro Tiempo, before leaving for Newsday, where he covered immigration and became the bureau chief in Mexico City. He returned to the Times in 2001. Once back, he covered a statewide roaming beat as well as the 2003 wildfires, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan before heading the Sense of Place team on Metro. Since 2005, he has been an assistant foreign editor, with duties that include supervising Latin American coverage. He also worked for the Tampa Tribune and his hometown newspaper, the Staten Island Advance. He's a graduate of Cornell University and was a fellow at the U.S.C. Center for International Journalism.

Geoff will report to Janet Clayton, and, for stories outside of California will work with me and the appropriate editors. We expect him to move over sometime in the next month or so.

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