Nicholas Thompson is the editor of Newyorker.com, where he oversees and manages the magazine’s fast-growing Web Site. He has been editor of the site since 2012, during which time the number of monthly readers has increased seven-fold. He also, during this period, led the redesign and replatforming of the site, the launch of the New Yorker Today app, and the introduction of a metered paywall, which has contributed to a many-fold increase in the number of new digital subscribers to the publication each year. The work he has led is summarized in this article: “How the New Yorker grew its digital audience by focusing on quality.”
In addition to his work at The New Yorker, Mr. Thompson is also a contributor for CBS News, where he frequently discusses technology on CBS This Morning and politics on CBSN. He is also a co-founder of The Atavist, a software company and digital magazine whose investors include Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, Andreessen-Horowitz, IAC, and The Founder’s Fund. His book, “The Hawk and the Dove: Paul Nitze, George Kennan, and the History of the Cold War,” was published in 2009 and hailed as “brilliant” by The Washington Post and “brimming with fascinating revelations” by The New York Times. The Washington Times said it “may be the most important political biography in recent memory.”
Prior to his current position, Mr. Thompson was a senior editor at The New Yorker. He has also been a senior editor at Wired, a senior editor at Legal Affairs and an editor at the Washington Monthly. Stories that he has edited and assigned have won many major awards and been made into films—including Ben Affleck’s Argo. Prior to becoming a journalist, Mr. Thompson released three albums of acoustic guitar music, worked at Penguin Computing, and researched comparative economic development in West Africa and Southeast Asia.
Mr. Thompson has written about politics, technology, and the law for numerous publications, and he is currently a senior fellow in the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation. His favorite recent piece was probably this one on Svetlana Stalin. He has appeared multiple times on every major cable and broadcast news network. He writes regularly about technology for The New Yorker’s website, and he has given public speeches on topics ranging from the future of narrative journalism and the way computers are changing our minds to the role of technology in political revolutions to nuclear deterrence and doomsday machines. He has moderated, or spoken at, numerous events including those hosted by The New Yorker Festival, Google Zeitgeist, The 92nd Street Y, West Point, Columbia Journalism School, The New York Public Library, The Council on Foreign Relations, and Wired. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the Young Leaders Council on The National Committee on American Foreign Policy, and a Whitehead Fellow at the Foreign Policy Association. He graduated from Stanford University where he earned a double major in Earth Systems and Political Science, while also completing a degree in Economics, and was a United States Truman Scholar.