ProPublica announced today two additions to its news staff. Nick Varchaver will be joining as a senior editor, and Peter Elkind is joining as a senior reporter. Both will focus on coverage of the Trump administration and the President’s businesses.
Elkind most recently worked at Fortune, where he was a writer for 20 years. His work there included investigations into how Apple CEO Steve Jobs concealed his bout with pancreatic cancer; how Tesla chief Elon Musk played states against each other to win an epic $1.4-billion economic-development package; and how a cyber-invasion brought Sony Pictures to its knees — and why Sony should have seen it coming. Before Fortune, Elkind worked at Texas Monthly and the Dallas Observer.
In recent months, Elkind has contributed stories to ProPublica about former FBI director James Comey’s handling and misstatements about the Clinton email investigation in congressional testimony, and a former nurse and suspected serial killer of babies who Texas authorities are trying to keep behind bars.
In addition to his magazine work, Elkind co-authored the national bestseller “The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron” and has written two other books, “Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer” and “The Death Shift: The True Story of Nurse Genene Jones and the Texas Baby Murders.” A 2005 documentary based on the Enron book was nominated for an Academy Award.
Varchaver also comes to ProPublica from Fortune, where he has spent more than 17 years as a writer and editor, most recently as investigations editor. He won this year’s Lawrence Minard Editor award, the Gerald Loeb career achievement award that honors excellence in editing business, financial and economic journalism. He previously won a 2010 Loeb Award as co-writer of an investigation of Bernie Madoff, and has edited six features named winners or finalists for Loeb Awards.
Varchaver began his reporting career at The American Lawyer, where he wrote an exposé of the indigent defense system in Indianapolis that helped lead to the creation of an agency to provide lawyers for the poor. Also at The American Lawyer he investigated a tainted murder prosecution in Texas that put an innocent man on death row for more than a decade. Varchaver has also reported and edited for SmartMoney and Brill’s Content.
“Peter and Nick are known for digging deeply into and explaining big, complex issues — skills that have produced some of the biggest investigative blockbusters of the past decade,” said Robin Fields, ProPublica’s managing editor. “We are delighted to bring their talents and passion for accountability journalism to our editorial team.”