award-winning journalist and author
digital media innovator
policy consultant and speechwriter

Contact Me

About Me

Based in Los Angeles, I’m a fellow at the Annenberg School of Communications and Journalism at USC.  I also help people and companies large and small tell compelling, persuasive stories. I collaborate with film and television producers, corporate executives, writers, and students. I write for USA Today, The Week, and on Medium.  My third book, on a nuclear war scare in 1983, will be published by Simon and Schuster.

I spent 11 years in Washington, D.C. covering politics, policy and the White House for ABC News, CBS News, The Atlantic, National Journal and The Hotline.

I enjoy improv comedy,  I dabble in motion graphics design, and my two favorite magazines are Nature and Aviation Week and Space Technology.  My  Wikipedia page is (mostly) accurate.

My Articles

Latest from USA Today:  Trump Must Learn To (Sort Of) Trust The Experts

Lastest from The Week:   Presidents Get Fatigued. That Matters More Than You Think.



“Chinese investment in modern ICBMs, solid-fuel missile technology, and the deployment in eastern China of road-mobile or rail-mobile platforms have accelerated the date when it will no longer be possible to rapidly detect distinct missile launches from that region and provide ample warning time to the President.” Read more


How Donald Trump will retrofit Midtown Manhattan as a presidential getaway

“…Being commander in chief is difficult, so presidents need a respite. We can give Trump a break for wanting to go home, but he can give New Yorkers a break by acknowledging that his presence will require them to sacrifice on his behalf. Radio host Howard Stern, who broadcasts from the studios of Sirius Satellite Radio near Trump Tower, started his show Wednesday by quipping that, for New Yorkers, “it would be a lot easier for Trump to stay away from his apartment.” Stern said that his even driver, Ronnie Mund, who proudly voted for Trump, complained: “How the hell are you gonna get anywhere?”Read more



“The fact the nation’s now-departed senior guardian of national security was unmoored by a scandal linked to a conversation picked up on a wire offers a rare insight into how exactly America’s vaunted Deep State works. It is a story not about rogue intelligence agencies running amok outside the law, but rather about the vast domestic political power they have managed to acquire within it.”  Read more

My Books

The Command: Deep Inside the President’s Secret Army


In The Command, Ambinder and Grady provide readers with a concise and comprehensive recent history of the special missions units that comprise the most effective weapon against terrorism ever conceived. Buy on Amazon

Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry


Deep State, written by two of the country’s most respected national security journalists, disassembles the secrecy apparatus of the United States and examines real-world trends that ought to trouble everyone from the most aggressive hawk to the fiercest civil libertarian. Buy on Amazon



The full (and true!) story of America’s near-miss with nuclear Armageddon in 1983. (Simon and Schuster)