Garrett M. Graff is the editor of The Washingtonian magazine, widely recognized both as one of the nation’s leading experts on technology and politics as well as a rising star in the media industry. Of his first book, “The First Campaign: Globalization, the Web, and the Race for the White House” (FSG, 2007), which examined the role of technology in the 2008 presidential race, The New York Times’ literary critic Michiko Kakutani wrote, “The astonishingly young Mr. Graff (who was born in 1981) proves in these pages that he is a cogent writer, willing to tackle large-scale issues and problems.”
After four years with The Washingtonian covering politics and Washington life, Graff became in September 2009 only the third editor in the magazine’s 44-year history. Washingtonian, which calls itself “the magazine Washington lives by,” has a monthly print readership of about 300,000 and a million monthly readers online. He’s been named by PR Week as one of four “new media” journalists to watch and one of ten “rising stars” by the magazine industry trade magazine, Folio. When Graff was appointed editor, Gawker.com wrote he was “an up and coming whippersnapper if we have ever seen one.” During his time as editor, the magazine has won many of the industry’s most prestigious recognitions—including the Gerald R. Ford Prize for National Defense Reporting, a James Beard nomination for its food coverage, and the Livingston Award for National Reporting, and the City/Regional Magazine Association’s awards for Online Excellence and General Excellence.
His second book, “The Threat Matrix: The FBI at War in the Age of Global Terror,” was published in Spring 2011 by Little, Brown. It traced the history of the FBI’s counterterrorism program since the death of J. Edgar Hoover in 1972, its rise as a global police force, and profiles Robert Mueller, the current and longest-serving FBI Director since Hoover himself. The book, which hit #5 on the Washington Post’s list of political bestsellers, received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews, which called it an “action-filled, richly detailed portrait of the Federal Bureau of Investigation” and said, “There’s solid storytelling at work here—and quite a story to tell, too.” Kirkus later named “The Threat Matrix” one of the best nonfiction books of 2011. The CIA, in its in-house journal, Studies in Intelligence, said, the book is “a well-told story and a reading pleasure.”
Graff also teaches internet and social media at Georgetown University in the school’s master’s in journalism and communications program. Previously, he was the founding editor of mediaBistro.com’s Fishbowl D.C. (www.FishbowlDC.com), a popular blog that covers the media and journalism in Washington, and co-founder of EchoDitto, Inc., a multi-million-dollar Washington, D.C.-based internet strategy consulting firm. A Vermont native and graduate of Harvard, he served as deputy national press secretary on Howard Dean’s presidential campaign and, beginning in 1997, was then-Governor Dean’s first webmaster.
As the first blogger admitted to cover a White House press briefing in 2005, he is a frequent speaker on blogging and the intersection of politics and technology, and his reporter’s notebook from that first day in the White House hangs in the Newseum in Washington, DC.
From 2009 to 2011, he served as the media representative on the Harvard Kennedy School’s Executive Session for State Court Leaders in the 21st Century, where he authored a white paper, “Courts are Conversations: An Argument for Increased Engagement by Court Leaders.” He also currently sits on the corporate advisory board of So Others Might Eat (SOME) in Washington, DC, and on the board of the congressionally-chartered National Conference on Citizenship. He is also a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a fellow in the British-American Project.
His writing and commentary has appeared in publications like the Washington Post, The New York Times, Wired, New York, 5280, the Politico, and the Huffington Post, and he has appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox News, CNN, CNN Headline News, CNN International, CNBC, MSNBC, CBC, the BBC, Al Jazeera English, and various NPR programs, as well as local and regional television and radio channels, and been quoted in publications ranging from US Weekly to the Miami Herald. He contributed to the National Magazine Award-winning “9/11 Encyclopedia” issue of New York magazine.
He annually gives more than a score of speeches on the internet, new media, politics, counterterrorism, and the FBI at places like the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, the National Press Club, Harvard Business School, the Defense Department, U.S. Southern Command, the International Spy Museum, and the Google headquarters, as well as universities from Duke and Princeton to the University of Florida and Rice University, as well as to companies, trade groups, and to many international audiences—including Germany’s Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, the BBC’s NewsXChange, Spain’s International Seminar of Political Communication, Austria’s University of Vienna, and Israel’s IDC Herzliya.
In college, Garrett was a news writer and executive editor at the Harvard Crimson, Harvard University’s daily newspaper, where he wrote more news articles than any other writer in half-a-century, and held internships at ABCNews’ Political Unit and at the Atlantic Monthly.
Personally, he enjoys sailing, cooking, scotch, and Graham Greene novels. He comes from a long line of journalists: His grandfather, Bert McCord, was the drama critic for the New York Herald Tribune; his father, Christopher Graff, was the long-time bureau chief of the Associated Press in Vermont, and his mother, Nancy Price Graff, is a historian, children’s book author, and former magazine editor.