The Washington Post today announced that Patrick Pexton will become the news organization’s ombudsman. Formerly deputy editor for National Journal, Pexton’s two-year term with The Post begins March 1.

Pexton has been with National Journal for 12 years and spent the last eight as deputy editor where he directed the coverage of foreign affairs, defense, intelligence, and homeland security in addition to running the magazine day-to-day. Before joining National Journal, Pexton was editor at Navy Times, chief Pentagon correspondent for the Military Times, and worked for the Journal newspapers in the Washington suburbs covering Alexandria, Montgomery County, and Maryland state government.

As a reporter Pexton has covered everything from a sewer board in rural Connecticut to the State House in Annapolis to secretaries of defense in Washington, winning accolades for investigative reporting, state and local government coverage, reporting on education and the environment, and local column writing.

“The ombudsman serves a critical role for The Washington Post and our readers, who value transparency. Patrick’s respected and accomplished background working in newsrooms for over 25 years makes him ideal for the role of watching over The Post’s journalistic integrity and addressing and responding to our readers’ concerns,” said Katharine Weymouth, Publisher of The Washington Post.

As ombudsman, Pexton will represent readers who have concerns on a variety of topics including accuracy, fairness, ethics and the newsgathering process and will serve as an internal critic for Washington Post journalism. He will also promote public understanding of The Post and the media more generally.

Pexton will respond to readers through columns in the newspaper, the Ombudsman blog and social media. His contract guarantees him editorial independence.

In 1991 Pexton wrote The President’s War, published in Tokyo. He holds a master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington D.C. and was born and raised in Southern California.

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