Ron Fournier

Senior Political Columnist and Editorial Director of National Journal

Ron Fournier

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Ron Fournier is the award-winning and nationally-acclaimed senior political columnist and editorial director of National Journal. Prior to joining NJ, he was the Washington bureau chief and a 20-year veteran of the Associated Press. There, POLITICO described him as someone who earned a reputation as “a consistent news-breaker while maintaining the classic low-profile style of a wire reporter.” The Week called him “the most well-read political writer in America” and said, “This veteran writer has become Washington’s most trenchant, most compulsively readable political critic. Liberal or conservative, libertarian or other, you’d be wise to start reading him.”

A familiar voice around the Beltway and widely respected by his peers, he is known for his hard-hitting reporting on Congress, the White House, and both major Parties. Justin B. Smith, the then-president of Atlantic Media Company, called Fournier, “one of the savviest political journalists of his generation,” and Atlantic Media’s owner David Bradley said, “Ron’s name has been whispered to me as in that handful of the finest political reporters and editors who have worked in Washington – maybe ever.” Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, Fournier fuses humorous anecdotes (including great stories about the Clintons) with serious insights from his time as one of Washington’s most trusted political writers. He deftly analyzes the current political environment, how to lead during this period of immense change and dysfunction, and what audiences can expect in the next year of politics.

New York Times Best-Selling Author. Fournier is the co-author of the New York Times best-selling Applebee’s America: What Political, Business, and Religious Leaders Can Learn from Each Other, which examined the shared attributes of successful political, business and religious leaders. It used real world examples to show how to earn the loyalty and support of people by understanding and sharing their values and goals. He is also writing a book based on his National Journal cover story, “How Two Presidents Helped Me Deal with Love, Guilt, and Fatherhood.”

Journalism Career. Fournier began his journalism career at Sentinel Record in 1985. He transferred to the Arkansas Democrat in 1987 and began covering then-Gov. Bill Clinton. In 1989, Fournier was hired by the Associated Press, which transferred him to Washington, DC, to cover the Clinton White House. In 2006, he left the AP briefly to run a social networking start up,, but returned to in 2007 as the online political editor, after considering “a senior advisory role” with Republican Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign. In 2010, Fournier moved to National Journal as editor-in-chief; he stepped down in 2012, wanting to return to reporting and writing.

Awards. Fournier has won numerous awards, including the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Award and the prestigious White House Correspondents’ Association Merriman Smith Memorial Award four times. His 2012 cover story on the decline of U.S. institutions was awarded an honorable mention in David Brook’s essay contest, the Sidney Awards. Also succeeding at the heights of academia, Fournier served in 2005 as a Harvard fellow at the Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics, where he currently serves on the Senior Advisory Board.

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