LAT names deputy chief in Washington

Bob Drogin, a longtime foreign and national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, will be the deputy in Washington. Memo from bureau chief David Lauter is tucked below the jump.

To: The Staff
From: David Lauter, Washington Bureau Chief

As you all know, Bob Drogin was "persuaded" to try on an editor's hat a few months ago. Turns out, it fit. Much to Bob's surprise, he likes editing. And to no one's surprise, he does it extremely well. So I'm very happy to announce that we'll be making this a permanent state of affairs. Today, Bob formally joins the bureau as Deputy Bureau Chief.

Bob will still edit the national security team, as he has been doing -- terrifically -- for the past few months. He'll also take on broader responsibilities, working with reporters and editors across the room as we continue to strive for excellence, originality, timeliness and insight in all we do.

This is a happy coincidence for me. More than two decades ago, Bob and I were teamed up to cover Michael Dukakis' campaign for the presidency. Dukakis was hapless, but Bob was great. I was definitely the junior member of the team, and he taught me important lessons in reporting and writing (and also a few things about expense accounts that were possible in those more halcyon days).

Bob went on to be a foreign correspondent based in Manila and Johannesburg, where he covered Nelson Mandela's election, the genocide in Rwanda, the Gulf War and other adventures. His 2007 book, Curveball, about an informant whose fabrications became central to the argument that Saddam Hussein controlled weapons of mass destruction, was one of the most impressive pieces of sustained reporting to explain the run up to the Iraq War and deservedly won several awards. I won't list Bob's other awards for fear of inciting jealousy.

Please join me in officially welcoming him aboard.

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