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Mark Porubcansky named L.A. Times foreign editor

January 24, 2013|By Deirdre Edgar

A memo to the newsroom from Editor Davan Maharaj and Managing Editor Marc Duvoisin:

We’re delighted to announce that Mark Porubcansky, a mainstay of the foreign desk for the last 14 years, is the new foreign editor of the Los Angeles Times.

Mark has been a force for clear thinking, clean writing and unwavering professionalism since he joined The Times as an assistant foreign editor in 1998.

He came to us from the Associated Press, where he served in the Moscow, Vienna and Hong Kong bureaus. He covered the dramatic days of glasnost and perestroika in the Soviet Union and reported on the wars in Croatia and Bosnia. His passport bears stamps from Albania, Afghanistan and Mongolia. Among the most satisfying moments of his years abroad was finding his grandfather’s home village in Slovakia, using a map sent by a reader who had seen his byline.

At The Times, Mark has served as an assistant foreign editor, as foreign projects editor and as deputy foreign editor. Since July, he has been acting head of the department.

Over the years, Mark helped direct coverage of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Arab Spring and other major stories too numerous to list. He also edited and shaped some of our most admired projects, including “The New Foreign Aid,” an examination of the flow of workers’ remittances around the globe, and “Living On Pennies,” a piercing look at Africans’ daily struggle for survival, written by an obscure correspondent named Davan Maharaj.

In these varying roles, Mark earned his colleagues’ admiration for his keen mind, deft pencil and unfailing cool under fire. Beneath his courtly Midwestern reserve lie a passion for news and a devastating dry wit.

Mark is a graduate of Ripon College in Wisconsin, where he majored in political science and philosophy. He speaks somewhat rusty Russian and German, and has a sneaking fondness for home brew, the polka and growing tomatoes.

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