- By Blake Hounshell
Blake Hounshell is managing editor at Foreign Policy, having formerly been Web editor. Hounshell oversees ForeignPolicy.com and has commissioned and edited numerous cover stories for the print magazine, including National Magazine Award finalist "Why Do They Hate Us?" by Mona Eltahawy. He also edits The Cable, FP's first foray into daily original reporting, and was editor of Colum Lynch's Turtle Bay, which in 2011 won a National Magazine award for best reporting in a digital format.
Blake joined Foreign Policy in 2006 after living in Cairo, where he studied Arabic, missed his Steelers finally win one for the thumb, and worked for the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies. Blake was a 2011 finalist for the Livingston Awards prize for young journalists for his reporting on the Arab uprisings, and his Twitter feed was named one of Time magazine's "140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2011." Under his leadership, in 2008, Passport, FP's flagship blog, won Media Industry Newsletter's "Best of the Web" award in the blog category. Along with Elizabeth Dickinson, he edited Southern Tiger: Chile's Fight for a Democratic and Prosperous Future, the memoirs of former Chilean president Ricardo Lagos, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2012.
A graduate of Yale University, Blake speaks mangled Arabic and French, is an avid runner, and lives in Washington with his wife, musician Sandy Choi, and their toddler, David. Follow him on Twitter @blakehounshell.
A mischievously written January 2010 missive from Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, reports that a cat may have tried to kill President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov in November 2009:
Another incident reportedly occurred two months ago that was feared to be an assassination attempt. It was committed by a cat that ran in front of the President’s car as he was traveling to his residence in the village of Archibil. (NOTE: Archabil, 20 kilometers from Ashgabat, is located in the foothills of the Kopet Dag Mountains and is surrounded by forest. END NOTE) A military lieutenant reported that an officer from the Presidential Security Regiment, responsible for safeguarding that particular area, was fired the following day.
The cable was signed by Sylvia Reed Curran, then the chargé d’affaires. In all seriousness, Curran does relay rumors that "[s]everal high ranking police officials were fired" after "a motorist crossed an intersection in front President Berdimuhamedov’s motorcade as it moved through Ashgabat."
"[T]he driver of the vehicle was reportedly beaten and charged with attempted assassination," she writes.