Guardian appoints former Le Monde chief, Natalie Nougayrède

Guardian News & Media has announced the appointment of Natalie Nougayrède as columnist, leader writer and foreign affairs commentator.

Nougayrède, who stepped down as executive editor and managing editor of Le Monde in May 2014, will join the Guardian’s senior editorial team on 1st October 2014.

A highly-respected foreign and diplomatic correspondent, Nougayrède took charge of Le Monde in 2013 and was responsible for leading its digital and editorial transformation, with a particular focus on investigative journalism and quality long-form reporting. Under her leadership, Le Monde consolidated its position as the biggest information website in France and widened its global audience. She was the first woman to head the influential French national daily, having previously won the Prix de la Presse Diplomatique and the Albert Londres awards for her coverage of the conflict in Chechnya and the Beslan school attack.

Nougayrède - who is bilingual after growing up in the UK and Canada - will write a regular column for the Guardian on foreign affairs, with a strong focus on Europe, and will play a key role in discussions on international events and policy within the wider editorial team. She will be instrumental in increasing the Guardian’s reporting on European institutions and policy, and in covering the events and issues that resonate with the Guardian's global audience of 105 million monthly unique browsers, says the Guardian.

Commenting on the appointment, Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief, Guardian News & Media, said: “Natalie Nougayrède is a much admired French journalist and editor, and we're so pleased that she's joining the Guardian. We're the most read quality digital newspaper website in Europe, and second in the world. Natalie will be working closely with Wolfgang Blau, director of digital strategy, to increase our focus on European affairs, and will play a central role in broadening and growing the Guardian's coverage, influence and reach across the globe.”

Natalie Nougayrède said: “I am thrilled to join such a prestigious team at the Guardian, a media organisation that has a truly global ambition and is a leader in the digital field, with outstanding investigative journalism and a strong interest in international issues. Also, at a time when there is so much need for a rich European debate, I am happy to contribute to the discussion on where our nations and societies are headed, what values and interests they share, and how they can best cooperate.”

Nougayrède’s appointment follows a number of changes to the Guardian’s senior editorial team which see Janine Gibson returning to the UK as editor-in-chief of, Katharine Viner moving to New York as editor-in-chief of Guardian US, Emily Wilson taking over as editor of Guardian Australia, Aron Pilhofer joining as executive editor, digital, and Jonathan Freedland appointed as executive editor, opinion.