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Patrick Pexton

Patrick Pexton

Adjunct Lecturer


Patrick B. Pexton has been a journalist for 37 years, divided between reporting, and editing/newsroom management, plus column writing. Since 2017 he has been a policy editor at CQ Roll Call, a nonpartisan news outlet that specializes in covering Congress, the federal departments and the White House. Pexton manages a team of reporters that cover the State Department, the foreign affairs committees in the House and Senate, the Defense Department and the armed services committee in the House and Senate, plus he is the editor for technology and cybersecurity and founded the twice weekly CQ Tech newsletter.
Before CQ Roll Call, Pexton was editor-in-chief for two years of the Frederick News-Post, a daily newspaper in Frederick, Maryland. There he revamped the newsroom top to bottom, turned around a declining circulation base, and his staff won more than two dozen awards for outstanding journalism.
He has covered state and local government and politics in Connecticut, Maryland, and Virginia, and in Washington D.C. He has covered Congress, the secretaries of Defense and State, and the U.S military worldwide. A Los Angeles native, Pexton graduated with a political science degree from Claremont McKenna College and a master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington. He spent his first year at the SAIS Bologna Center in Italy.
Pexton is also experienced in the theory and practice of social media. In 2013 and 2014 he joined an all-digital public affairs agency in Washington D.C. that specializes in strategic messaging and online campaigns. At Connections Media, he was the director of Custom Content, directing a team of writers, designers and developers to develop compelling stories and messages on websites, apps, and social media for clients that ranged from foundations and trade associations to corporations.
Pexton was Washington Post Ombudsman from 2011 to 2013. As ombudsman, he served as The Post’s internal critic and represented readers who had concerns or complaints on a wide range of topics including accuracy, fairness, ethics and the newsgathering process. He operated under a contract with The Washington Post that guaranteed him independence. As ombudsman, he wrote a Sunday column and daily blog posts and was active on social media.
Pexton came to The Washington Post from National Journal, where he was deputy editor, the No. 2 job at the nonpartisan weekly magazine about politics and government. There he ran a 50-person newsroom and led a team of defense, foreign policy, and intelligence reporters to nearly two dozen national journalism prizes. Pexton has also written op-eds that have appeared in The Washington Post, Newsday, The New York Post, the Wall Street Journal, and The Miami Herald.
Before National Journal, Pexton worked for the Army Times Publishing Co. (now called The Military Times newspapers) where he was an editor, chief Pentagon correspondent, and an investigative reporter who played a key role in uncovering two national stories about the U.S. Navy of the 1990s—the Tailhook sexual harassment scandal, and the widespread cheating by midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy. While at Military Times he reported from dozens of Navy ships and U.S. military installations worldwide. In 1991, he co-wrote a diplomatic history of how President George H.W. Bush and Secretary of State James Baker formed the large military coalition that ousted Saddam Hussein from Kuwait. Titled The President’s War, it was published by Jitsugyo No Nihon, an Economist-like magazine in Japan, where the book is still used by university students taking courses on American foreign policy.
At the beginning of his career, Pexton worked at the Shoreline Times newspapers in Southern Connecticut covering town and state governments, and the Journal newspapers in the Washington D.C. suburbs, covering county and state governments in Maryland and Virginia. Pexton has won 14 journalism prizes throughout his career for coverage of education, the environment, politics, state government, feature writing, investigative journalism, and column writing.
His blog is at and he’s on Twitter @PextonPB.
  • The President’s War, was published by and translated into Japanese by Jitsugyo No Nihon in Tokyo, an Economist-like magazine in Japan, where the book is still used by university students taking courses on American foreign policy.



  • American Foreign Policy
  • European and Eurasian Studies
  • International Relations
  • Journalist
  • Strategic Studies