Scott Kraft, a veteran reporter and deputy foreign editor of the Los Angeles Times, has been named national editor of the paper, Editor Michael Parks announced Wednesday.
Kraft will succeed Norman C. "Mike" Miller, who has directed The Times' national coverage since 1983. Miller helped to lead many changes in that coverage, including the expansion of the paper's Washington bureau, widely regarded as among the most influential in the nation. He will retire Friday.
"It's been a great 14 years, and I've thoroughly enjoyed it," Miller said. "Now it's time to move on and open a new chapter. I'd like to concentrate on writing and perhaps teaching as well. I'll be active."
"Mike Miller has been a most distinguished editor, just as he was a reporter," Parks said. "Times readers have benefited each day from the depth of his knowledge of America and its politics and from his strong commitment to the highest standards of journalism."
Miller had been the Wall Street Journal's Washington bureau chief before joining The Times. While at the Journal, he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1964 for his reporting on a rogue commodities trader who coaxed more than $150 million from Wall Street firms by using nonexistent supplies of vegetable oil as collateral.
Miller also received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Pennsylvania State University.
The Times' national editor manages a staff of more than 60 reporters and editors in eight bureaus.
Kraft, 42, joined The Times in 1984 as a national reporter in Chicago, and served as a foreign correspondent in Nairobi, Kenya; Johannesburg, South Africa; and Paris. His reporting prizes include the Society of Professional Journalists award for distinguished service. He came to Los Angeles in 1996 as deputy foreign editor.
"As a national and foreign correspondent, Scott Kraft reported with vigor and wrote with grace. He will bring those strengths to The Times' national coverage," Parks said.
A native of Wichita, Kan., Kraft is a graduate of Kansas State University. Before joining The Times, he had been a national correspondent for the Associated Press in New York, Kansas and Missouri.