Rajiv Chandrasekaran has recently been National Editor of The Washington Post. In that position he was one of the senior editors responsible for shaping the newspaper’s national news content, including coverage of the federal government and domestic politics, foreign policy, national security, social issues, science and medicine.
Chandrasekaran is the author of Imperial Life in the Emerald City, a best-selling account of the bungled American effort to reconstruct Iraq. The book, which provides a firsthand view of life inside Baghdad’s Green Zone, won the Overseas Press Club book award, the Ron Ridenhour Prize and Britain’s Samuel Johnson Prize. It was a finalist for the National Book Award and was named one of the ten best books of the year by The New York Times.
Prior to his appointment as National Editor, Chandrasekaran headed The Post‘s Continuous News department, which reports and edits breaking news stories for Washingtonpost.com. From April 2003 to October 2004, he was The Post‘s bureau chief in Baghdad, where he was responsible for covering the American occupation of Iraq and supervising a team of Post correspondents. He lived in Baghdad for much of the six months before the war, reporting on the United Nations weapons-inspections process and the build-up to the conflict.
He took a sabbatical from The Post in 2005 to serve as the journalist-in-residence at the International Reporting Project at the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies in Washington, where he completed, Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone (Random House, 2006). The feature film adaptation, inspired by the book, starring Matt Damon, is scheduled to open on March 12, 2010.
Chandrasekaran appears regularly on CNN, MSNBC and National Public Radio and was a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington.
Before the U.S.-led war in Iraq, he was The Post‘s bureau chief in Cairo. Prior to that assignment, he was The Post’s Southeast Asia correspondent, based in Jakarta, Indonesia. In the months following September 11, 2001, he was part of a team of Post reporters who covered the war in Afghanistan.
He joined The Post in 1994 as a reporter on the Metropolitan staff. He subsequently served as the paper’s Washington-based national technology correspondent. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, he holds a degree in political science from Stanford University, where he was editor in chief of The Stanford Daily. He lives with his wife in Washington, D.C.