Judges : National

John Harris

John F. Harris

Editor-in-Chief, Politico

After 21 years at The Washington Post John Harris got the chance of a lifetime, to create a news organization from the ground up. He had spent two decades covering local, state and national politics for the Post when in 2006 Harris and Post colleague Jim VandeHei created Politico. Their vision for Politico and Politico.com was to create an organization that “maintained the journalistic integrity and traditions of a respected newspaper while taking advantage of new media, reaching huge audiences outside Washington.”

The chance came via an offer of financial backing from Robert Albritton, owner of several television stations and media holdings. The co-founders assembled a team of reporters and editors who began covering Congress, the White House and Washington, D.C. politics.

Politico extensively reported on the 2008 presidential election. It was a sponsor of the 2008 Republican Presidential candidates’ debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in 2007, and the 2008 Democratic Presidential candidates’ debate at the Kodak Theater in 2008.

Harris also spent six years reporting on the Clinton White House then used that experience to write a history of the Clinton presidency called “The Survivor: Bill Clinton in the White House.” He also co-authored a book on presidential politics, “The Way to Win: Taking the White House in 2008” He is also the recipient of the Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency from the Gerald R. Ford Library as well as the White House Correspondents’ Association’s Aldo Beckman Award.

Politico is based in Arlington, VA. Harris lives in Alexandria, VA with his wife Ann O'Hanlon and their three children.