Morgan Pehme has been the editor-in-chief of City & State since May 2012.
Prior to joining City & State, Pehme was executive director of New York Civic, the nonpartisan good government group founded by former New York City Parks Commissioner Henry J. Stern. In his time at New York Civic, Pehme used his broad range of experience as an editor, multimedia producer, and entrepreneur to expand greatly the nonprofit’s profile. In addition to organizing nearly two dozen live events, he spearheaded the creation of “Candidate College”, an online video series designed to teach political neophytes how to run for office, and the Mary Perot Nichols Award, the only cash prize recognizing investigative journalism in New York State.
Prior to joining New York Civic, Pehme was an adjunct professor of journalism, film, television, and advertising at St. John’s University from 2004 to 2010. He has also worked as a political consultant, contributed to The Huffington Post, and served as a columnist and managing editor for The Queens Courier.
Pehme was born and raised on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and attended the Dalton School, where he earned renown as a national scholastic chess champion. He is an honors graduate of Lake Forest College in Illinois with a dual degree in English literature and French. Pehme has given talks at many universities about politics and appeared as a guest on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show, the Curtis Sliwa Show, Air America, and Tokyo-FM. He is also an award-winning filmmaker. Currently, he lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Patricia, and daughter, Fiona.
In 2011, Pehme was named as one of City Hall’s Rising Stars: 40 Under 40.
Jon Lentz is a reporter at City & State. He has been on the staff since January 2011.
Lentz was born and raised on the Nebraska plains. Growing up in a town of 40,000, he got his hands stained in newsprint as a newspaper delivery boy for The Grand Island Independent, the local daily.
In 2001, he left home to attend college in the Twin Cities. He wrote for the college newspaper, and in 2005 he started his first real job as a reporter at Lillie Suburban Newspapers outside of St. Paul.
An avid traveler, Lentz spent a semester abroad in Havana, Cuba, during his junior year in college. Later, as a Peace Corps volunteer in Romania, he took excursions throughout Europe, from Berlin to Budapest to Istanbul, and spent two years in a small Transylvanian town teaching English.
He then returned to the States in 2008 to study journalism at Columbia University. He interned with Reuters, writing about health care reform and the FDA in Washington, D.C. and later covered about a dozen companies in the New York City bureau.
He now lives in Astoria, Queens.
Aaron Short is a reporter at City & State. He has been on the staff since June 2012.
Short was born and raised in Eastern Connecticut, a place so rural it shows up as a black dot on satellite images of New England taken from space. Short got his start in journalism as a news editor at his high school paper, The Oracle (seriously), where he attempted to rustle up content from his more talented Yankee chums.
He left his beloved hometown in 1999 for the bright lights of Philadelphia, where he attended college for four years, majoring in history and political science. He did not work for his school’s award-winning student newspaper, The Daily Pennsylvanian, and now regrets missing out on that experience, but he did serve in student government with former Daily News gossip reporter Jo Piazza and the guy who might save the developing world from indoor smoke inhalation with portable cook stoves.
Short then got himself a masters degree in history, and in 2005 he moved to New York City to launch an illustrious career in nonprofit data analysis and grant-writing. He was promptly laid off. He then temped for a two-year period before News Corp. picked him off the scrap heap and dumped him in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where he reported on community board minutes, low-stakes street crime, and kickball for nearly five years.
He now lives in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
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