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CQ Roll Call Adds Reporters to Policy Beats

CQ Roll Call’s Susan Benkelman issued an internal memo today to announce two new hires and a newsroom shift. Ambreen Ali will become a technology reporter. Melissa Attias will now cover healthcare. “I’m excited to announce staff additions in two important policy beats, and one personnel shift in the Executive Briefing line,” wrote Benkelman. At the bottom of the memo comes the news that they’ve lost Kathy Wolfe to Politico. Wolfe has been at the pub for a decade. John Boyd will assume her responsibilities at the Executive Briefing on Transportation.

See the memo…
Ambreen Ali, who currently covers grass roots lobbying for Roll Call’s influence team, will become our technology reporter. Ambreen has been something of a pioneer in our news organization. She was the first full-time staff writer for Congress.org and she later established for Roll Call a new and fascinating line of coverage on grassroots advocacy. Her memorable stories included a piece, much followed by other media outlets, about how some of the early tea party activists had turned pro, getting jobs as organizers and strategists once their groups got money. She recently did a good piece about how property rights conservatives in Texas have emerged as allies with environmentalists to oppose the Keystone pipeline. Ambreen is excited now about taking on the tech world, and we’re thrilled to have her.

Melissa Attias, a legislative action reporter who’s written about lots of different topics, will become a staff writer covering health care. Melissa has a strong CQRC background. She was a Roll Call intern for two semesters, then a CQ intern (with HealthBeat) during her senior year at GWU. Her performance at that time landed her a BillTrack position when she graduated. There, she became known as “Eagle Eyes” for her attention to detail. In November 2010, she moved to the Legislative Action team, where she has covered a number of issues, and also wrote several pieces for the Weekly, including a cover story last year on Kristi Noem (again, a piece much-followed by other media).

Meanwhile, I have asked John Boyd to take over the Executive Briefing on Transportation in light of Kathy Wolfe’s departure for Politico. We are fortunate that in John, we have a knowledgeable transportation expert who is able to take over the product seamlessly and continue supplying readers with the same thoughtful and timely updates that Kathy provided. You’ll recall that John joined us last year from the Journal of Commerce, where he covered transportation issues for several years. He also held a variety of editor positions for Transport Topics and Bridge News/Knight Ridder Financial News before that.

We’re sorry to see Kathy go after more than a decade at CQ. She’s been a creative and flexible partner in helping us establish the Executive Briefing series and we’ll miss her a great deal. Her last day will be Monday, and we wish her all the best.

We have posted the job of Editor for Executive Briefing on Energy, and plan to fill that position without delay.

Susan

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