A source tells us that Alissa Rubin has been named the new Baghdad bureau chief of The New York Times.
Ms. Rubin has been with the Times since 2007, and before that worked in Iraq for The Los Angeles Times. In Seth Mnookin’s stirring profile of the Baghdad bureau in the December 2008 Vanity Fair, he says that Ms. Rubin has been basically functioning as the bureau chief all year since Jim Glanz has been home after suffering a neck injury (and he has recently been reassigned to the investigations unit).
Mr. Mnookin writes:
Physically and professionally, the slim, five-foot-four, 49-year-old Rubin is as discreet as [former Baghdad bureau chief John] Burns is assertive. Despite her pale-blond hair, she is famous for her ability to blend into an Iraqi crowd, a valuable skill in a country where Westerners remain targets of violence. Under her leadership, the internecine warfare that once wracked the bureau has all but disappeared. “That woman is a fucking saint,” said Michael Kamber, a reporter and photographer who has worked for the Times in Iraq off and on since 2003. “She manages all of the bullshit, and she encourages us to work as a team.”