Thom Shanker appointed project director for media and national security | GW today


Thom Shanker, longtime Pentagon correspondent and editor of the New York Times, has been named the new director of the Media and National Security Project (PMNS), an initiative within George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs which contributes to deepening public understanding of national security.

“We are delighted to welcome Thom Shanker as the new Project Director for Media and National Security. His experience, perspective and expertise in covering national security is so important for continuing to work with journalists, officials and students, ”said the director of SMPA. Silvio waisbord.

Mr. Shanker’s nearly quarter-century career with The Times has included 13 years covering the US Department of Defense, overseas combat operations and national security policy making. On several occasions, Mr. Shanker served in the military in Afghanistan and Iraq. He has chronicled a historic series of defense secretaries, including Donald H. Rumsfeld, Robert M. Gates, Leon E. Panetta, and Chuck Hagel. Most recently, he was the editor of military, diplomatic and veterans affairs coverage in the Times office in Washington, DC.

Mr. Shanker is the co-author of the 2011 bestseller “Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America’s Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda”. Before joining The Times, he spent five years as a Moscow correspondent for the Chicago Tribune, ranging from the rise of Mikhail Gorbachev to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Mr. Shanker has also covered ethnic wars in the former Yugoslavia.

“I am very honored to be invited to become the Project Director for Media and National Security,” Shanker said. “I look forward to continuing the important conversation he convenes for journalists and policymakers, and I welcome the challenge of broadening emerging areas of the national security debate.”

Mr. Shanker will succeed PMNS founding director David Ensor, who was previously director of Voice of America and US diplomat in Afghanistan. During his 32-year journalistic career, Mr. Ensor covered national security for CNN and the White House for NPR. As an ABC News correspondent, he reported on the front lines of conflicts in Chechnya, Bosnia and El Salvador.

Mr. Shanker will start as the new PMNS Director on June 7, 2021.

PMNS facilitates conversations between policymakers, journalists, researchers and students, focusing on military, cyber and national security issues. The project oversees the Defense Writers Group, a 40-year-old institution in Washington, DC, which brings together journalists and national security officials for in-depth dialogues. The mission of PMNS is to strengthen factual journalism by improving access for national security journalists to senior government and industry officials while educating future journalists and communicators in the field of national security.


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