William J. Dobson
William J. Dobson is the coeditor of the Journal of Democracy. Prior to assuming this position, he was the Chief International Editor at NPR where he led the network’s award-winning international coverage and oversaw a team of editors and correspondents in 17 overseas bureaus and Washington, DC.
Dobson is the author of The Dictator’s Learning Curve: Inside the Global Battle for Democracy, which examines the struggle between authoritarian regimes and the people who challenge them. It was selected as one of the “best books of 2012” by Foreign Affairs, the Atlantic, The Telegraph, and Prospect, and it has been translated into many languages, including Chinese, German, Japanese, and Portuguese.
Prior to joining NPR, Dobson was Slate magazine’s Washington Bureau Chief, overseeing the magazine’s coverage of politics, jurisprudence, and international news. Dobson led the magazine’s award-winning coverage of the 2012 U.S. presidential election and expanded the magazine’s analysis of international news and politics.
Previously, he served as the Managing Editor of Foreign Policy, overseeing the editorial planning of its award-winning magazine, Web site, and nine foreign editions. During his tenure, Foreign Policy was nominated for the National Magazine Award five years in a row, winning the top honor twice.
Earlier in his career, Dobson served as Newsweek International’s Senior Editor for Asia, managing a team of correspondents in more than 15 countries. He conceived and coordinated the magazine’s annual Special Issue on Asia, which earned six honors from the Society of Publishers of Asia, including Best Reporting. Previously, he also served as an Associate Editor at Foreign Affairs.
During the height of the Arab Spring, the Washington Post commissioned Dobson to write daily on modern authoritarianism and democratic movements. While in Cairo, Dobson reported the first account of the Egyptian military conducting torture of female protestors near Tahrir Square.
Dobson has published widely on international relations, democracy, and authoritarianism. His articles and essays have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy, The New Republic, Newsweek, and elsewhere. He has provided commentary and analysis on international politics for NPR, ABC, CNN, CBS, and MSNBC.
From 2008 to 2009, Dobson was a Visiting Scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. In 2006, Dobson was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Dobson is a 1994 Truman Scholar.
Dobson holds a law degree from Harvard Law School and a Master’s degree in East Asian Studies from Harvard University. He received his Bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from Middlebury College.