March 21, 2012; Washington D.C. – NPR News has hired longtime CNN vice president and bureau chief Edith Chapin to lead its international coverage. She’ll become Senior Foreign Editor on May 14. At NPR, Chapin will manage one of the industry’s most robust foreign news operations, overseeing the strategic direction and daily work of the Foreign Desk and its correspondents based in 17 bureaus around the world as well as a team of editors and reporters here in Washington.
Chapin has spent her career at CNN; since 2007, she’s been vice president and deputy bureau chief in Washington, D.C. She started at CNN in 1987 and soon became a field producer, covering the first Gulf War and the U.S. invasion of Panama. While based in London in the early ‘90s, she covered events in Bosnia, Rwanda, Zaire and Ireland. For seven years she directed all editorial coverage from CNN’s New York bureau, including the network’s reporting on 9/11 and its aftermath. Chapin grew up in Brazil, Ethiopia and Guatemala as the daughter of a Foreign Service officer, and speaks fluent Spanish, French and Portuguese.
Joining her in leadership of the Foreign Desk is Didi Schanche, who is being promoted to Deputy Senior Foreign Editor. Schanche has been an editor on NPR’s Foreign Desk since 2001, helping to coordinate coverage of national security, Africa and Latin America. She led NPR’s coverage of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. She is a former East Africa Correspondent and Middle East editor for the AP.
“We’re thrilled to have Edith on board,” said Margaret Low Smith, Senior Vice President for NPR News. “She brings a critical constellation of skills to this job: leadership, editorial heft and a deep understanding of the world. Edith and Didi will be an unbeatable team and will lead our foreign coverage to even greater heights.”
NPR has long distinguished itself with a dedication to foreign news coverage that steps outside the U.S. perspective to bring listeners dynamic stories of the world’s people, politics, economy and cultures. In the past decade, NPR bucked trends by dramatically expanding its foreign coverage; this work is consistently recognized for broadcast excellence and has received every major award in journalism. Most recently, its extensive presence in the Middle East and North Africa – with permanent bureaus in Islamabad, Istanbul, Kabul, Beirut, Cairo and Jerusalem – has resulted in comprehensive coverage of the Arab Spring and its continued implications.