NEW YORK -- Doug Frantz, a veteran investigative journalist who has done stints at The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, joined the Washington Post Monday as national security editor.
With the Post job, Frantz returns to journalism, the field he worked in for 36 years before becoming an investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in early 2009. At the time, Frantz told this reporter he'd "always think of [himself] as a reporter, with a notepad tucked in his back pocket and a lot of unanswered questions."
Apparently, that feeling didn't change. On Monday, Frantz told The Huffington Post that he continued to feel like a journalist during his time working for the committee, chaired by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), in which he wrote or oversaw public reports on topics like Iran's nuclear program and the U.S. government's civilian assistance program in Afghanistan. Frantz said the latter report was "highly critical of the administration" and "resulted in some changes on the ground in Afghanistan."
"That’s the reason I was a journalist, to make a difference," Frantz said. "There was a big degree of satisfaction to be able to do that for the Senate."
"I don’t think of it as the other side," Frantz said of his work in government. "I thought of it as two-and-a-half years of public service. I was happy and honored to work for the Foreign Relations Committee. It wasn't political. It was honorable work. I was glad to do that, but I'm absolutely passionate about this."
In addition, Frantz said the experience offered a "clearer understanding of how government works," which should be useful in his new role overseeing national security coverage. He's not the only one on staff with such experience; veteran Post national security reporter Walter Pincus took a sabbatical in the early 1960's to report for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Frantz, who most recently spent nine months as managing director of the Washington office of consulting firm Kroll, said that at 62 years old, he "never thought" he'd get back into journalism, but is excited to make his return to a "quality paper" like the Post.
The Post's internal memo announcing Frantz' hire is below:
We are pleased to announce that Doug Frantz, a highly distinguished investigative journalist, will join The Post as national security editor.
Doug comes to us with an impressive body of work and considerable experience producing and overseeing ambitious journalism. He is a former managing editor and investigative reporter for the Los Angeles Times. He also was an investigative reporter, foreign correspondent, and investigations editor at the New York Times. In addition, he spent eight years as an investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune.
He was part of the NYT reporting team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for coverage of developments following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He also is a two-time Pulitzer finalist—once for a series on U.S. assistance to Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war and again for articles on the Church of Scientology. He has won numerous awards for investigative reporting and is the author or co-author of 10 books, including two on nuclear proliferation and three New York Times Notable Books of the Year.
Most recently, Doug was managing director in the Washington office of the consulting firm Kroll, heading up its business intelligence and investigations practice. Prior to that, he served as deputy staff director and chief investigator of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he executed complex investigations ranging from corruption and drug trafficking in Afghanistan and Pakistan to U.S.-Mexico gun running.
We believe that Doug’s range of experiences, his competitive hunger and desire to generate the most high-impact journalism, will help elevate the work of an already superb and enterprising national security team. He will take the reins from Craig Timberg, who deserves a round of applause for his smart, steady stewardship as acting national security editor. Craig will soon segue into another role that we will announce shortly.
Please congratulate Doug when he arrives on June 11.