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Vickie Walton-James is the Chief National Editor for NPR News, where she plays a pivotal role in overseeing a desk comprised of more than 40 reporters, editors, and producers based in Washington, D.C., and in numerous bureaus across the country. The National Desk focuses on covering domestic breaking news and various beats, including immigration, criminal justice, and national security, across all NPR platforms. She took on her current position in 2014 and has held other senior management roles at NPR.
Before joining NPR in 2008, Walton-James served as a manager for Tribune Publishing in Washington, where she was responsible for coordinating the convergence of print, digital, and television news coverage. Her promotion to this position followed her tenure as the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Tribune. In this capacity, she led the Tribune’s coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and their subsequent repercussions. Additionally, she directed the newspaper’s coverage of critical Washington institutions and issues, including justice, diplomacy, defense, and the presidency.
Vickie Walton-James initiated her journalism career in newspapers, beginning with reporting and editing roles at the Kansas City Star. Her reporting covered diverse beats such as criminal justice, social services, city government, and residential real estate. She subsequently moved to the Chicago Tribune, where she worked as an editor for its national and foreign desks, gaining a wealth of experience in the field.