MRE board selects John Donnelly as new president

After an electronic election over the weekend, the MRE board selected John Donnelly, senior writer at Congressional Quarterly’s Defense and Foreign Policy Team, as the new president of the organization.

John Donnelly

Donnelly succeeds Amy McCullough who will be Immediate Past President. While Donnelly is already active on the board of directors, the formal transition is March 31, 2017 at the MRE Conference.

“I am a newcomer to the MRE board, but I feel I have the experience and vision needed to take the organization to a higher level of performance,” Donnelly said.

“I have two main goals. My first is to make MRE an operation that can more easily sustain itself and grow. That involves making sure we do better at retaining our members and recruiting new ones. It also includes finding ways to stay in better touch with members and with the world at large through social media and other tools.

“My other top goal is to make sure that MRE is poised to speak out and take action—alone or with other groups—whenever Pentagon reporters’ access to officials or documents is threatened or their rights are otherwise infringed. My experience as a defense reporter for 22 years, as a leader of the National Press Club for 17 years and as a former officer on the Standing Committee of Correspondents in Congress has equipped me well to lead the way for MRE.”

Donnelly has been with Congressional Quarterly since 2004 and is a senior writer there, producing work for CQ.com, the CQ Magazine and RollCall.com on national security and foreign policy. Prior to joining CQ, Donnelly worked as a reporter or editor for 10 years at Defense Week, a newsletter that covered the Pentagon and defense industry. Donnelly has written essays on national-security issues for other publications, from the Economist to the L.A. Times. He has won numerous awards for investigative and exclusive reporting from the National Press Club and the Newsletter Publishers Foundation. Donnelly has held several leadership positions at the National Press Club, including chairman of its Board of Governors. He currently chairs the club’s Press Freedom Committee. He’s a member of Military Reporters & Editors. He has also served as an officer on the Standing Committee of Correspondents of the U.S. Congress, which represents the news media on Capitol Hill.