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  • Writer's pictureNatasha Mileusnic

Where are they now? My successful Moscow colleagues inspire me

Updated: Mar 5, 2021

From 1993 to 1997 I lived in Moscow, taking a break in the middle to go backpacking in South Asia. I was a reporter at The Moscow Tribune briefly and then The Moscow Times, the two (free) English-language dailies in the city.

My newsroom colleagues at The Moscow Times were a lot of fun. Mostly, we expats were recent college graduates hanging out at a time and place that were ripe for career-making and bacchanalia.

I'm one of the few who didn't follow the journalism route after Russia. I went to business school, worked as a research analyst and supervisory analyst, and am now writing my first novel.

A bunch of my colleagues went on to become successful writers. Many have won awards.

The point is: why not me? I can find a publisher for my debut novel and become a successful author, too!

A sampling from The Moscow Times* class of 1995-1996, more or less.

Erin Arvedlund - Reporter at The Philadelphia Inquirer and author of two nonfiction books, one about Bernie Madoff and the other concerning the LIBOR scandal.

Genine Babakian - Communications professional and founder of Wordsworth: Purveyors of Fine Phrases.

Anne Barnard - Longtime New York Times reporter, former Beirut Bureau Chief. Also alum of The Boston Globe and Philadelphia Inquirer.

Ellen Barry - Veteran New York Times reporter, currently New England Bureau Chief. Ellen was also Chief International Correspondent, based in London, and South Asia Bureau Chief, based in New Delhi.

Leonid Bershidsky - Leonid is now with Bloomberg News Automation; he was previously Bloomberg Opinion's Europe columnist and has been involved with many varied writing ventures. He's also translating the novel 1984 into Russian.

Bay Brown - Bay is a marketing and communications professional who started her own company. She has written freelance stories for a variety of publications and worked as a contractor for The New York Times.

Frank Brown - Frank, Bay's brother, worked as a journalist, including as Newsweek's Bureau Chief in Moscow, and now is the Director of the Anti-Corruption & Governance Center at the Center for International Private Enterprise.

Marc Champion - Editor in chief of The Moscow Times when I was there; currently Senior Reporter for International Affairs at Bloomberg. Marc was also an Editor for the Wall St. Journal and Bureau Chief in Istanbul.

Euan Craik - My first editor! He was the Business desk editor when I was a pup reporter, 23 years old and full of anxiety. Euan became an expert in the oil industry and rode that wave up through the ranks of Argus Media, where he is President of Petroleum Markets.

Karen Dukess - I didn't technically work with Karen but we were part of the same weird early expat milieu in Moscow, and I'm inspired by the debut novel she published, The Last Book Party.

Chris Floyd - Journeyman funnyman writer and editor for many outlets; Chris has published one book. He's also a songwriter and musician.

Carlotta Gall - Istanbul Bureau Chief for The New York Times. Carlotta has been abroad covering wars forever. She's published two nonfiction books, one with former Moscow Times reporter, Tom de Waal.

Julie Poucher Harbin * - Science and feature writer at the Duke Cancer Institute.

Patrick Henry - Patrick is a News Editor at Bloomberg.

Radhika Jones - Managing Editor of Vanity Fair. Radhika was also Books editor at The New York Times, Executive Editor at Time magazine, Managing Editor at The Paris Review, and an editor at Artforum.

Jim Kennett - A fellow business reporter back in the day, Jim also learned all about oil and is now Managing Editor for the Americas at Argus Media.

Laurie Laird * - On-air reporter and commentator specializing in business and politics for Europe, the U.S., and Asia; now Director of European Media Relations at a strategic communications firm.

Poul Funder Larsen - Washington-based correspondent for a daily Danish newspaper.

Steve Liesman - Senior economics reporter at CNBC. As with Karen Dukess (Steve's wife), I didn't technically overlap with Steve at The Moscow Times but we were part of the same weird early expat milieu in Moscow.

Jean MacKenzie - Jean is in Sri Lanka, after many years working in Afghanistan doing research, projects, reporting and advising.

Owen Matthews - Former Moscow Bureau Chief for Newsweek; has reported for many outlets on conflicts in Europe, the Middle East, and the former Soviet Union. Owen is the author of several nonfiction books and one political thriller (Black Sun, which I enjoyed).

Elizabeth Owen - Elizabeth is an experienced editor and producer focusing on Eurasia.

Simon Saradzhyan * - Founding director of the Russia Matters Project  at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

Matt Taibbi - A bit of a self-styled Hunter S. Thompson, Matt is an investigative reporter who has contributed to Rolling Stone for many years and has published several books. Like a lot of authors, he now writes on Substack.

Jim Vail * - Looks like Jim is a travel writer based in Japan.

Jeanne Whalen - Business reporter at The Washington Post, after a long career at The Wall St. Journal. Again: I'm not sure I actually overlapped with Jeanne, but we know each other from around.

Mark Whitehouse - Bloomberg Opinion Editor. Mark was also a reporter for the Wall St. Journal and was Managing Director of a Russian newspaper.

* And a few from The Moscow Tribune (I was there a shorter time).

Disclaimer: This is all based on public sites. Apologies to those I've forgotten, or for whom I couldn't (easily) find information or remember their last names. Of course, other colleagues have had successful careers that are not focused on reporting, writing, or communications (hello Jeremy Weinberg, Sophia Coudenhove, Greg Springs...)

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