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.

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.

Alyssa Edes is a producer. She's a key part of the show's day-to-day operations — pitching stories, booking guests, writing scripts, producing segments, and often directing the live broadcast. She has a particular focus on politics and covered the 2016 election in the field from Florida and Pennsylvania, but she also has a talent for creating music pieces and a keen ear for features. Alyssa came to NPR as an intern at The Ted Radio Hour in 2014. Before that, she worked at WBUR and The Boston Globe and interned at WBEZ and WGBH. She tweets @alyssaedes.

Sarah Gilbert is the executive producer. She began her career in journalism at ITN in London, then moved to senior field production roles on the BBC's International desk. While based out of London she covered the 2003 conflict in Iraq, then moved to Brussels to cover breaking news across continental Europe. She was next stationed in Washington D.C., from where she led the corporation's cross-platform election coverage in 2008. She went on to serve as executive producer for Americana, the weekly news and culture show broadcast from Washington, DC. Sarah returned to NPR in 2014 from Marketplace in Los Angeles, where she was managing editor. She became the executive producer of Morning Edition in 2015.

Barton Girdwood is a producer who helped develop and launch NPR's Up First while arranging interviews with figures as different as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the band Perfume Genius. Onetime House Speaker Paul Ryan said his name and it made it to YouTube. Barton came to NPR in 2015 as an intern for The TED Radio Hour. Before coming to NPR, he worked as an independent filmmaker, producing short documentaries. You can find his tweets @bgird2me.

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.

Kevin Leahy is a producer who joined Morning Edition in 2010. He has produced interviews with President Obama and Hillary Clinton and reported pieces on Bitcoin and the rise of daily fantasy sports. In 2015, Kevin traveled to Guinea to help produce NPR's Peabody Award-winning coverage of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. In 2017, he went to Iran with Steve Inskeep to tell the story of that country's presidential election. Kevin got his start in public radio as an intern for KPBS in his hometown of San Diego. He tweets @kevindleahy.

David McGuffin is a supervising editor who has been with Morning Edition since 2011. He brings a deep knowledge of and interest in international affairs, having spent 13 years working as a foreign correspondent based in Moscow, Beijing, Rome and Nairobi, primarily for CBC News. He has reported from conflict zones in Afghanistan, Somalia, Darfur and Congo and covered events as wide-ranging as the FIFA World Cup and G-8 economic summits. He also spent a year and a half setting up a radio news service in South Sudan as it gained independence. This is his second tour in Washington, D.C., having started in journalism at the PBS NewsHour, back when it was still MacNeil/Lehrer. Don't get him started about hockey.

Emily Ochsenschlager is a producer and editor. She began her career at NPR in the fall of 2003 and since then has helped produce coverage of the 2004 hurricane season, 2004 and 2006 elections, Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf Coast oil spill. Emily has also helped produce her share of interviews with musicians, authors and politicians. Emily is a 2003 graduate of the University of the South (Yea, Sewanee's Right!). When she's not producing radio pieces, you can find her running on the many trails of Washington, D.C. She tweets @npremily.

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.

Jeffrey Pierre is a producer who comes to NPR after over almost three years at the Miami Herald, where he covered local government, housing and crime – specifically in Miami-Dade County's predominantly African-American and Hispanic neighborhoods. Shortly before coming to Washington, D.C., he was a fellow for News21's award-winning "Voting Wars" project, where he travel to Selma, Ala.; Highland Park, Mich.; and Ferguson, Mo., to report on how issues in the black community affect attitudes towards voting and government. He's the son of Haitian immigrants and graduated from Florida International University in Miami. When he is not at work, you can find him with his Canon AE-1 strapped around his neck trying to make film relevant again. He tweets @mrjeffpierre.

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.

Shannon Rhoades started with Morning Edition in 2000, working with Susan Stamberg (her first day on the job was spent at the National Gallery of Art, and she knew it was a happy match). She is now a senior supervising editor based at NPR West. Shannon covers books, movies and television but has also edited Renee Montagne's coverage from Afghanistan, Steve Inskeep's road trip along the U.S.-Mexico border and David Greene's reporting from Cuba. She tweets @Shannon_Rhoades

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.

Gabriela Saldivia is a producer who occasionally directs Morning Edition and produces Up First. Gabriela developed her love for radio in college at Michigan State University's student station WDBM and at Lansing member station WKAR. While at NPR, she's reported stories about a transgender police officer and a Syrian refugee filmmaker. In 2017, she traveled to Russia with David Greene and reported on the persecution of gay men in Chechnya. She's Venezuelan-American and speaks Spanish fluently. Gabriela tweets, mostly when working the overnight shift: @_gsaldivia.

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.

Natalie Winston is an editor who got her start at NPR on the Washington Desk as an intern during the 2008 election. The experience got her hooked on politics, radio, and live coverage. Natalie served as lead booker for the 2012 election where she arranged interviews with candidates and their surrogates. Later, at Weekend Edition, she got to nerd out about politics, but also indulged her interests in white-water rafting, outer space, and aspirational baking. Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, Natalie co-produced NPR's live primary coverage and nightly specials from the Republican and Democratic conventions.