In a note to newsroom staff, Andrea Kissack, NPR's Chief Science Editor and head of the Science Desk, announced this staffing update:
In the midst of these intense times, I have some good news. We're thrilled to welcome Neela Banerjee as NPR's new Supervising Climate Editor. Neela will be based on the Science desk but will work across the newsroom in a new, coordinating editor role where she will help to lead our broad climate coverage. She will work closely with national, business, international and other desks, as well as with our environment and energy station collaborative and our shows and digital properties.
Neela comes to us from InsideClimate News, where she worked for five years as senior correspondent. Neela led the team at ICN that revealed how Exxon had conducted its own ambitious climate research as far back as the mid-1970s. The oil and gas giant eventually helped to build a vast and effective climate denial movement. The Exxon project spurred public interest lawsuits, won more than a dozen national journalism awards and was a finalist for 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service Reporting.
Neela also led investigations into climate change and national security, the economic and political reach of the domestic fossil fuel industry and climate denialism within the U.S. agricultural sector, which garnered ICN its second John Oakes award for environmental reporting in four years. She spent 2019 working on a multimedia project that looked at commonalities of experience, trauma and need among Americans coping with the aftermath of three extreme-weather disasters.
Before working at ICN, Neela was the energy and environment reporter in the Los Angeles Times' Washington DC bureau. Prior to that, she was a reporter for The New York Times and had beats as diverse as global energy, the Iraq war and faith in America. She began her journalism career at The Wall Street Journal, where she served mostly as a Russia correspondent.
Neela grew up all over the U.S., but mostly in southeast Louisiana. She lives in the District with her daughter and highly anxious dog. Of course, her dog probably has a lot of company these days.
A big thank you to the hiring committee who helped us select Neela from a highly competitive field. We are impressed by her vision, story ideas and interest in holding key stakeholders accountable. She will begin her new role on April 27th. Please join me in welcoming Neela to NPR.