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NPR names veteran newsroom leader Eva Rodriguez as executive editor

Eva Rodriguez
Courtesy: The Fuller Project
Eva Rodriguez

NPR has named veteran newsroom leader Eva Rodriguez as its next vice president and executive editor, a role that will put her at the helm of the network's global journalistic operations.

Rodriguez will join NPR on the heels of her tenure as editor in chief of The Fuller Project, a nonprofit newsroom that covers issues affecting women globally. She previously held various leadership roles at The Washington Post and The New York Times, managing and editing teams focused on both U.S. and international news. She will report to NPR Editor-in-Chief Edith Chapin.

As the Post's deputy foreign editor, Rodriguez led teams that won awards for their coverage of corruption in Mexico and the growth of cities in Africa.

"I felt that with NPR, I could bring all of myself and all of my experiences to bear on what we do on a daily basis," Rodriguez said in an interview, referring to her domestic and international news background. "There's just nothing off the table, and there's something really, really appealing about that."

Rodriguez said she hopes to grow NPR's audiences, bringing in listeners who "haven't had the chance to get hooked on NPR the way I did many, many years ago."

Having spent much of her career reporting and editing at established print outlets, Rodriguez said her recent work at The Fuller Project has reinforced her commitment to mission-driven newsrooms.

"NPR has a broader, different mission, but a mission nonetheless — and one grounded in public service," Rodriguez said. "And that is really important to me."

When Rodriguez starts at NPR on Sept. 11, she will take on a role left vacant in late June, when former Executive Editor Terence Samuel stepped down from his position at NPR to lead USA Today.

Rodriguez, a first-generation Cuban American, joins the national broadcast network at a time of upheaval at the public media network. NPR reduced its staff by 10% this year due to a steep decline in podcast sponsorships and broader financial challenges for the media industry as a whole. CEO John Lansing pointed to a $30 million budget gap when announcing the layoffs in February. Lansing has told staffers the network's finances are now sustainable since the cuts.

NPR has also undergone notable leadership changes over the past year. Former chief news executive Nancy Barnes announced last September she was leaving the network due to leadership restructuring, including the creation of a new chief content officer position above her.

In a note to NPR staff on Wednesday, Chapin, who is also senior vice president, cited Rodriguez's "deep and varied" journalism career as an asset to the network.

"The breadth and depth of Eva's experience both in areas covered and organizations she has worked in will serve us well," Chapin said.

Disclosure: This story was written by NPR reporter Danielle Kaye and edited by Chief Business Editor Pallavi Gogoi. In keeping with NPR's commitment to covering itself with independence, no other senior news executives or corporate officials were allowed to see this article before it was posted publicly.

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Danielle Kaye
Danielle Kaye (she/her) is a 2022-2023 Kroc Fellow. Before joining NPR, Kaye worked as a business reporter at Reuters, where she covered compensation policies and union organizing at technology and retail companies. She graduated from UC Berkeley in 2021 with degrees in Global Studies and French. While studying in Berkeley, Kaye reported and produced for listener-funded radio station KPFA, covering protests and housing issues in California for KPFA's morning public affairs show. She was also a researcher at UC Berkeley's Human Rights Investigations Lab and a news reporter and editor at the student-run newspaper The Daily Californian. Kaye lived with a host family in Dakar, Senegal, in 2019, which inspired her to write her senior thesis about threats to Senegal's artisanal fishing communities.