The 'Morning Edition' Staff Who are the people who write the words and shape the sound you hear each day? Read about them.
NPR logo The 'Morning Edition' Staff

The 'Morning Edition' Staff

The Morning Edition staff (and some colleagues), at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C. NPR hide caption

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The Morning Edition staff (and some colleagues), at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.


You've met the hosts of Morning EditionSteve Inskeep, Rachel Martin, Noel King and David Greene. Who else works on the show? Here are some brief bios:

Reena Advani is an editor who books guests, writes copy for the hosts and edits interviews. Reena was part of the team responsible for the show's special series marking 1979 as a seminal year in the Muslim world. She has brought a variety of voices to Morning Edition's air — including Jordan's King Abdullah II, tennis stars Andre Agassi and Serena Williams, former director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency Mohamed ElBaradei, onetime California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, actor Robert Duvall, and many authors and chefs. Prior to joining Morning Edition, Reena was a producer on NPR's foreign desk for 10 years. Reena is an East West Center fellow and participated in its first U.S.-Korea journalists' exchange. She has trained journalists in Nepal and serves as a mentor to Asian-American journalists.

Gail Austin seems to have made a career of morning news. She joined Morning Edition as an editor in 2017. Before coming to NPR, she worked as the morning producer for Hearst Television's Washington Bureau. In that role she worked on political coverage of everything from the campaign trail to the White House and Supreme Court. She sometimes tweets @Gail_Austin.

Dave Blanchard is a producer/editor. He came to NPR in 2017 after working as a producer on Oregon Public Broadcasting's daily talk show, Think Out Loud. While at OPB, Dave spent much of his time traveling around the Pacific Northwest exploring rural-urban issues. In 2015, he reported on the European migrant crisis from Munich, and in 2016 he was part of OPB's award-winning coverage of the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Eastern Oregon. He was also the lead producer on OPB's podcast about the trial of the refuge occupiers, called This Land is Our Land. He came to OPB by way of KUOW public radio in Seattle, his hometown. Dave tweets @blanchardd.

Ashley Brown is an editor who pitches stories, arranges interviews, writes copy and occasionally serves as the overnight editorial lead for the Up First podcast. Before joining NPR in 2017, she spent nearly a decade on the television side of news writing and investigative journalism at WRC-TV in Washington, D.C. Her work has included investigations on school policing, illegal businesses, home sale laws, congressional staffer diversity and teacher misconduct. Several of her productions have won regional Emmy, AP, and Edward R. Murrow awards. Ashley is a Chicago-area native and a graduate of American University's School of Communication (read: Go Bulls, Cubs, Bears, and [AU] Eagles!). Ashley tweets @Hey_Hashbrown.

Barry Gordemer is an award-winning senior producer. He has helped produce coverage of two Persian Gulf wars, presidential elections, the Sept. 11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina. He's also produced many of the show's profiles of actors, musicians and writers. In 1999, Barry received special recognition from the George Foster Peabody Awards. A year later he created sound effects for and performed on the CD Dreamosaurus. It received a Grammy nomination for best musical album for kids.

Danny Hajek is a producer. Before joining NPR, he worked at member station WGLT in Normal, Ill., where he hosted a late-night jazz show. After graduating from Illinois State University, he interned at NPR West on the national desk, then worked on Weekend All Things Considered where he was the lead producer on the series, "My Big Break." One of his most memorable interviews from that series was with Betty White. He tweets @dannyhajek

Taylor Haney is a producer who makes serious things and fun things. Morning Edition's 2016 election coverage brought him to Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Before that, he worked for KPCC in Pasadena, California and earned a master's degree from USC's Annenberg School of Journalism. As a Fulbright fellow, he spent a year studying Tibetan music in Dharamsala, India. He's a lifelong musician. He tweets @thetaylorhaney.

Phil Harrell is an award-winning producer who started at NPR in 1999. Harrell has worked on a variety of shows and has produced a little bit of everything—from politics to pop music. For Weekend Edition, he worked through the night to produce mini-documentaries about the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster and the legacy of President Ronald Reagan. Harrell got his start in radio as a rock 'n' roll DJ/program director at progressive station WRNR in Annapolis, MD. He later co-created the Bob Edwards Show for XM and Bob Edwards Weekend for PRI. Harrell is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park.

Andrew Jones is a supervising editor, mostly line editing the show overnight. Before NPR, he worked as a producer for BBC News in Washington, covering everything from the BP oil spill in the Gulf to the G-20 in Toronto to working on a live broadcast from Guantanamo Bay. Later he worked at Al Jazeera English's broadcast centers in Doha and London. He got his bachelor's in journalism at American University in Washington, D.C., and his master's in Middle East Politics from SOAS in London. His obsession with the Eurovision Song Contest is borderline obsessive. On Twitter he's @andrewmjones.

Miranda Kennedy is a senior editor. She has led elections coverage for the show in 2016, including the projects "The View From" and "Divided States." She is the author of the 2011 memoir Sideways on a Scooter: Life and Love in India, based on her five years as a reporter in India. During that time she was based in New Delhi and covered the conflicts in Afghanistan and Pakistan for both Marketplace and NPR. She is currently writing a second book about religious belief, and serves as journalist-in-residence at the School of International Service at American University, where she sometimes teaches writing to graduate students.

Eric McDaniel is an editor. He's spent most of his time as the planning editor and overnight editorial lead for Up First, responsible for selecting and scripting the stories for the next day's podcast. You can follow him @ericmcdanieldc.

Amara Omeokwe is a producer. She's mostly interested in stories about business, economics, and immigration. She was previously a producer at CNBC for several years, where her coverage focused on the stock market and banks. She also spent time working as an on-air TV reporter in North Carolina. You can find her on Twitter @TheAmaraReport.

Vince Pearson, a producer, joined the show in 2006. His responsibilities include editing and producing pieces, directing, and coordinating the show's music coverage. Before Morning Edition, Vince worked at All Things Considered for a year. And prior to that, he worked at NPR stations in California, Utah and Washington, D.C.

Jacob Pinter is a producer who has arranged interviews with high-profile guests and introduced Morning Edition listeners to interesting, but less famous, people — like a semi-pro wrestler with a unique gimmick, the inventor of instant replay and a band that aims to tell old stories with new music. Before coming to NPR, Jacob covered college sports in Arkansas and he learned Thai and ate a scorpion while on a Fulbright grant in Thailand. He tweets @jacobpinter.

Arezou Rezvani is an editor and the founding editor of Up First, NPR's morning news podcast. She coordinated much of Morning Edition's 2016 presidential election coverage, traveling to battleground states to hear from voters across the political spectrum. When there isn't a turbulent election to cover, she follows developments around national security, modern warfare, and international affairs. Arezou has edited Steve Inskeep's reporting in Iran. In 2014, she led an investigation into the Pentagon's 1033 program, which supplies local law enforcement with surplus military-grade weapons and vehicles. The findings were cited during a Homeland Security Senate Committee hearing. Arezou is a graduate of USC's Annenberg School of Journalism and the University of California, Davis. She speaks Persian and conversational French. She tweets @ArezouRezvani.

Maddalena Richards is a news assistant. She came to NPR as a Morning Edition intern in January 2016. She pitches, books, and produces a variety of interviews for the show, but loves putting together a good music piece or feature. Before coming to NPR she was the station director for a classic soul and R&B station at the University of Virginia, where she was a student. She very rarely tweets @Lena_Richards.

Justin Richmond is a producer who occasionally works overnight with David Greene at NPR West. He came to the show straight from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism where he worked with both KQED and KALW as a freelancer on several pieces, helped produce some episodes of Dan Aykroyd's music and interview show The Bluesmobile and started a podcast, The Upshot. His crowning achievement: co-hosting The History of Funk on KPFA. Justin also spent some time with Smiley & West and occasionally writes for Wax Poetics. He tweets, when he feels like it, @JustJRichmond.

Laura Roman is the social media strategist for Morning Edition and Up First. In addition to managing the Up First and Morning Edition Twitter and Facebook accounts, Laura helps to develop social and digital strategies for radio stories and projects. Laura began her career with NPR in the fall of 2016 as an intern with the social media team, after graduating from The George Washington University. As a student, Laura worked with the Arizona Cardinals and AOL, helping to develop content and social media strategies. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram, @LauraRom95.

Kevin Tidmarsh is a producer for both Morning Edition and the Up First podcast. In addition to working on the show's breaking news and political coverage, he often finds himself wrapped up in more lighthearted stories. He started with Morning Edition in January 2017 as the intern at NPR West. Before that, he was a self-taught audio producer who made podcasts about the histories of his hometown, South Bend, Ind., and his alma mater, Pomona College. Tweet at him about Carly Rae Jepsen: @kevinjtidmarsh.

Lindsay Totty is an associate producer/director. He's responsible for selecting the music that airs at the end of each segment, and directs the live broadcast of the show from the control room of Studio 31. Lindsay started in radio as a DJ on the campus station at Amherst College, where he studied English and graduated magna cum laude. He live-tweets concerts and explains the jokes behind the Morning Edition music interludes @lindsaytotty.

Noor Wazwaz is a producer for Morning Edition and the Up First podcast. She also directs the program every few months. Noor graduated in 2015 with her master's degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. There, she reported from Jerusalem, the West Bank and Guantanamo Bay. Since joining Morning Edition, Noor has produced coverage for breaking news stories including the 2016 presidential election, Brexit referendum, and terrorist attacks in France and London. She's also brought rare voices from on the ground in places such as Aleppo, Mosul and the West Bank. Noor's a native Arabic speaker, a proud Chicagoan and a fashion enthusiast. When she's not producing radio, she's taking pictures. She tweets, but mostly Instagrams: @nfwazwaz.

Ashley Westerman is a producer who occasionally directs the show. Since joining the staff in June 2015, she has produced coverage of a coal mine closing near her hometown, the 2016 Republican National Convention and the Rohingya refugee crisis in southern Bangladesh. Ages ago (2011), Ashley was a summer intern with Morning Edition and pitched a story on her very first day. She went on to work as reporter and host for member station 89.3 WRKF in Baton Rouge, La., where she earned awards covering everything from healthcare to jambalaya. Ashley is a two-time reporting fellow with the International Center for Journalists. Through its programs, she has covered labor issues in her home country of the Philippines for NPR and health care in Appalachia for Voice of America. She tweets @NPRAshley.

Catherine Whelan is an editor, producer, and sometimes poet with a background in ethnographic journalism and European affairs. When she isn't working on daily news, Catherine follows legal and international issues, particularly politics in the U.K. and Northern Ireland. Before joining the team at NPR, she served as a producer and editor for PRI's investigative podcast Otherhood, and coordinated the cross-platform political coverage for the daily national programs The World and The Takeaway during the 2016 presidential election. Before joining The World, Catherine produced for the programs Under the Radar and Boston Public Radio at WGBH in Boston, and contributed to the Peabody-award winning season of State of the Re:Union. She tweets @speakeasyshe.

Victoria Whitley-Berry is a director and producer. She started her career in public media at member station KERA in Dallas. After she graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism from Texas Christian University, she accepted an internship at NPR's Weekend All Things Considered. She worked on the show as an intern and temporary producer for just under a year — a time that included producing a conversation with pop singer Lorde about her album Melodrama. She was also the social media producer for the Michel Martin: Going There series, a live collaboration event with NPR and member stations around the country. She started at Morning Edition in July 2017. Since then, she's produced conversations with such guests as Guillermo del Toro and the inspiration behind his Oscar-winning movie The Shape of Water, Angélique Kidjo, about her remake of Talking Heads' Remain in Light. Victoria also produced the show's interview with former Pentagon official Luis Elizondo about the secret Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program, which looked into and tried to identify unidentified flying objects. You can tweet Victoria at @_toriwhitley.

Kenya Young is the executive producer. Previously, she was the executive producer of All Things Considered on the weekends. In that role, she was responsible for the day-to-day running of the show on the weekends and the planning of Michel Martin's NPR Presents: Going There national events. She was previously a supervising editor on Morning Edition. During her time at NPR, she has served as an editor and producer for several NPR programs including News & Notes, Day To Day, Tell Me More, and Talk of The Nation. Kenya started at NPR in the California bureau as an intern in 2007. In addition to show production, she has been a part of special coverage teams during the 2008 and 2012 elections, the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, and live coverage of the Sandy Hook school shootings and the Boston Marathon bombing. She tweets @npryoung.