The 38-year-old Times vet makes the jump from the paper's business section, where he writes a column that captured this year's Pulitzer Prize for commentary.
His promotion also marks one of the first significant moves by incoming executive editor Jill Abramson, who will succeed Bill Keller when he steps down on September 6 to become a full-time writer. Abramson had previously tapped Leonhardt's predecessor in D.C., Dean Baquet, to replace her as managing editor when she moves up the masthead.
Leonhardt's pending appointment was first reported Thursday by Politico.
"David's strengths as a reporter, columnist and magazine writer are dazzling," said Abramson in a statement Friday. "His original take on key issues has strengthened our news report in deep and important ways. His keen understanding of how Washington works and the nexus of politics and economic policy make him a perfect leader of the Washington bureau at this moment. David's creativity is matched by his wonderful collegiality."
The Times' Washington post has traditionally been a stepping stone to the top spots in the newsroom.
Indeed, as HuffPo's Michael Calderone reported Thursday: "Higher-ups have long considered the 38-year-old Leonhardt to be upper management material, and staffers throw around his name in the newsroom parlor game of who could someday become executive editor."
- Dean Baquet
- David Leonhardt
- Jill Abramson
- Pulitzer Prize for commentary
- Bill Keller
- parlor game
- the New York Times
- The Times Washington post