Gordon Witkin named Center's top editor

Veteran newsman will oversee editorial operations

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Executive Director William E. Buzenberg has named Gordon Witkin to the top editor’s position at the Center for Public Integrity.

Witkin, 58, has served as acting executive editor for the nonprofit investigative news organization while overseeing coverage of health care, juvenile justice issues and the State Integrity project. Witkin joined the Center in September 2008 following a long career at U.S. News & World Report.

“I am extremely pleased to confirm the solid editorial structure we have been operating under for more than a year," Buzenberg said Friday. "It was a year in which The Center for Public Integrity won eight of the top 16 awards in journalism, including the Pulitzer Prize, the Goldsmith Prize and the George Polk Award, among others."

John Dunbar, 50, a Center veteran who is on his third stint with the organization, was named deputy executive editor. He will continue to oversee money in politics and financial coverage.

At U.S. News, Witkin served as a regional correspondent in Detroit and as bureau chief in Denver, before coming to Washington in 1987. He covered criminal justice for 11 years, before joining the management ranks as chief of correspondents in 1998.

Starting in January 2003, Witkin served four-and-a-half years as the news magazine’s national affairs editor. Witkin then spent a year as social policy editor at Congressional Quarterly, supervising coverage of health care, legal affairs, education, immigration, housing and labor.

Witkin’s work has been honored by Investigative Reporters and Editors, the American Bar Association, the National Press Club, Sigma Delta Chi, Scripps Howard, Columbia Journalism School and the University of Maryland College of Journalism.

Dunbar was formerly with the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University and was a reporter in the Washington, D.C., bureau of the Associated Press. Last year’s “After the Meltdown” series won the George Polk Award for business writing.

In another personnel announcement, Jim Morris was named managing editor for coverage of the environment and workplace safety issues. A journalist since 1978, Morris has won more than 60 awards for his work. He has worked for a number of newspapers in Texas and California as well as publications such as U.S. News & World Report and Congressional Quarterly in Washington.

All of the appointments were effective immediately.