Debra Rosenberg Named Smithsonian Magazine Executive Editor

February 1, 2024
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Smithsonian Enterprises has appointed Debra Rosenberg as executive editor of Smithsonian magazine. She is the fifth editor and first woman in the magazine’s 53-year history. As executive editor, Rosenberg oversees the content, strategy and production of Smithsonian magazine.

Rosenberg has been a journalist for over 30 years and has held multiple roles for Smithsonian magazine, including managing editor from 2012–2019 and director of editorial operations from 2019–2023. During her tenure, Smithsonian was nominated for National Magazine Awards in general excellence, essays and feature writing, and won the 2023 award for photography. Rosenberg has received numerous awards, including Lowell Thomas Awards and the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism, and was a National Magazine Award finalist. She also partnered with PRX Productions to conceptualize and launch Smithsonian’s debut podcast, “There’s More to That,” which ranked as one of the top history podcasts on Apple.

“My experience at Smithsonian gives me a keen understanding of the magazine’s strengths and how deeply it resonates with our readers,” Rosenberg said. “I’m eager to build on its legacy of high-quality, authoritative reporting that reflects the rich mission of the Institution. What inspires me most, though, is the opportunity to bring our ambitious journalism to new audiences across a variety of platforms.”

“For over 50 years, Smithsonian magazine has been providing readers with compelling and thought-provoking stories related to history, art, science and culture,” said Carol LeBlanc, president of Smithsonian Enterprises. “Debra is a talented editorial executive, and I am eager to see how her passion, intelligence and experience will shape the future for Smithsonian magazine.”

Prior to joining the Smithsonian, Rosenberg oversaw political coverage for and previously served as deputy editor of Newsweek. She was also Newsweek’s deputy bureau chief in Washington where she contributed to numerous award-winning editions of the magazine.

Rosenberg earned a Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude from Wellesley College and a Master of Science in journalism from Columbia University.

About Smithsonian Media

Smithsonian Media is composed of its flagship publication Smithsonian magazine, and oversees the Smithsonian Channel licensing deal operated by Paramount Global. Smithsonian Media is a division of Smithsonian Enterprises, the revenue-generating business unit of the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum, education and research complex, consisting of 21 museums, the National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, education centers, research facilities, cultural centers and libraries.

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