The New Republic begins replenishing its staff

The New Republic Wednesday announced the hiring of four new staffers, among the first efforts toward rebuilding the ranks that were decimated by an exodus late last year.

The appointments, announced in a staff memo from editor-in-chief Gabriel Snyder, include two senior editors, an associate editor and a poetry editor. They are:

  • Jamil Smith, an MSNBC producer who has worked on both “The Rachel Maddow Show” and “Melissa Harris-Perry,” joins as a senior editor. He will edit articles and write on the subjects of race, politics, and gender as well as help The New Republic launch a podcast series.
  • Elspeth Reeve, who most recently worked for First Look Media’s short-lived project The Racket, will join The New Republic as a senior editor. She will write about politics with an eye toward digital storytelling.
  • Bijan Stephen joins as an associate editor tasked with editing the website and writing. He was most recently an editorial assistant at Vanity Fair.
  • Cathy Park Hong will be The New Republic’s poetry editor. She teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence College.

Here’s the memo:

I have some good news to share: The New Republic is adding four tremendously talented people to our ranks.

Jamil Smith is joining us as a Senior Editor. For the last four years, Jamil has been a producer at MSNBC, first for The Rachel Maddow Show and most recently Melissa Harris-Perry. As a writer and editor, he’s emerged as an influential voice, especially on matters concerning race, politics, and gender. He will be editing and writing on those topics for The New Republic in addition to putting his multimedia skills to use as he helps us launch our own podcast series and helps shape our video offerings. Jamil will start on January 26 and will be based in New York.

Elspeth Reeve is also joining as a Senior Editor. I had the pleasure of working closely with Elle for three years while we were both at The Atlantic Wire. I watched her flourish into a star, first as a writer, covering everything from the 2012 Republican primary to the London Olympics and then as the politics editor. At The New Republic, she’ll continue to write about the political landscape, including the 2016 campaign, as well as experiment with the kinds of creative digital storytelling techniques (her GIF guides to gymnastics were instant classics) for which she is known. She was most recently at First Look Media where she worked on Racket, the digital magazine the company was preparing to launch. Elle (pronounced “Ell-ee” — which I learned the hard way) is starting on January 26 and will also be based in New York.

Bijan Stephen is joining us as an Associate Editor. Until recently an editorial assistant at Vanity Fair, Bijan has been published all over town: The Paris Review, n+1, Matter, Vice, and of course his daily “intern” contribution to the media newsletter Today in Tabs. Here he will focus on editing for the web site and magazine while continuing to write. Bijan starts in New York on January 20.

Cathy Park Hong is taking over as Poetry Editor. The winner of the Barnard Women Poets Prize, Cathy has published three collections of poetry, most recently Engine Empire, and her poems have appeared, among other places, in The Paris Review, The Baffler, and McSweeney’s. She currently teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence College and her first selections will appear in the February issue.

This is the first wave of new hires we’ll be making, including in the DC office, so I’ll have more exciting updates soon on the staffing front in addition to continuing to add to our roster of contributors.