The following excerpt was sent out from CEO of Politico Media Group Goli Sheikholeslami and global editorial chair John Harris:
We have a personnel announcement that is a little different than usual—one filled with exciting implications for everyone at POLITICO. Francesca Barber, an accomplished publishing executive at the New York Times, will be joining us this spring in a newly created position: Executive director, global newsroom strategy.
Francesca is an extraordinary talent, who also has experience before the Times at Google and a technology-based travel start-up. She will start on May 1, and report jointly to me and John Harris in his capacity as global editorial chair.
We have spoken quite often about what it means to be “a truly global publication.” While no shortage of work is being done across our newsrooms and business teams in the U.S. and Europe to make these connections, someone with a unique set of skills needs to take the wheel and drive us forward, serving as the nexus of the transformation, making the right decisions at the pace required to make sure that we execute on the vision. This is Francesca’s top priority and remit.
During our discussions, Francesca met with Matt Kaminski and Jamil Anderlini and has their enthusiastic support. Her first assignment will be to work closely with them, as well as business leaders, to meet one of the goals of the strategic plan: Heightening POLITICO’s profile for the most agenda-setting transatlantic coverage.
Francesca has an itinerant background, growing up in Washington DC, Brussels, London, and New York, where she currently lives with her family. She joined The Times in 2014 as part of a new Audience team in the newsroom after publication of the Innovation Report. During her tenure, she held positions in Audience, Video and most recently International. In her most recent role as Director of International Strategy and Operations, Francesca worked across the global newsrooms in Seoul, London, and New York, where she was able to leverage her editorial, digital and personnel expertise.
Prior to International, she spent six years in the award-winning Video Department across multiple disciplines: audience, product, strategy, and operations. In that time, Francesca helped transform the unit into an indispensable part of the New York Times and an industry leader in digital storytelling. This was recognized when the team was part of four Pulitzer Prize awards from 2019 – 2021 and won nine Emmy awards from 2016 – 2021.
She’s exactly right, and that singular opportunity is also one that we hope everyone here will embrace in the months and years ahead.