Vickie Walton-James is Senior National Editor for NPR News. She directs a staff of 45 reporters, producers and editors in domestic coverage, including breaking news and enterprise reporting. National Desk beats include immigration, national security, state governance, the environment and criminal justice, among others. Since joining NPR in 2008, Walton-James has held other management positions on the National Desk, each overseeing staffing, budgets and hiring in addition to setting the national agenda.
Before joining NPR in 2008, Walton-James spent nearly 20 years with the Tribune Company. She held several editing and leadership positions within the Chicago Tribune and Tribune Publishing. At headquarters in Chicago, she edited for the National and Foreign desks. In Washington, D.C., she became Bureau Chief after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, shaping the paper’s Washington report. The bureau’s coverage of Congress, civil liberties, the Bush administration and its response to the 9/11 attacks were key.
Before joining the Tribune Company, Walton-James spent several years as a reporter, editor and columnist for the Kansas City Star. There, her beats included courts, police, prisons, social services and residential real estate.
Walton-James is a native of Kansas City, Kan., and a proud Jayhawk, graduating from KU's William Allen White School of Journalism with a B.S. She is a member of the KU Alumni Association, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and the National Association of Black Journalists.