Peter Osnos

Peter L.W. Osnos

Founder & Editor at Large, PublicAffairs

Between 1966-1984 Peter Osnos was a reporter and foreign correspondent for The Washington Post and served as the newspaper's foreign and national editor.  From 1984-1996 he was Vice President, Associate Publisher and senior editor at Random House and publisher of Random House's Times Books division.  In 1997, he founded PublicAffairs, an imprint of the Hachette Brook Group specializing in books of journalism, history, biography and social criticism.  He served as Publisher and CEO until 2005.  Among the authors he has published and or edited are; former President Jimmy Carter, Rosalyn Carter, Gen. Wesley Clark, Clark Clifford, former President Bill Clinton, Sam Donaldson, Dorothy Height, Molly Ivins, Vernon Jordan, Stanley Karnow, Wendy Kopp, Jim Lehrer, Scott McClellan, Robert McNamara, Charles Morris, Peggy Noonan, Barack Obama, Tip O’Neill, Nancy Reagan, Andy Rooney, Morley Safer, Natan Sharansky, George Soros, Donald Trump, Paul Volcker, Russian President Boris Yeltsin, and Muhammad Yunus, as well as journalists from America’s leading publications and prominent scholars.  Osnos has also been a commentator and host for National Public Radio and a contributor to publications including Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic, and The New Republic.  


He has also served as Chair of the Trade Division of the Association of American Publishers and on the board of the Human Rights Watch.  He was executive director of The Caravan Project, funded by the MacArthur and Carnegie Foundations, which developed a plan for multi-platform publishing of books.  He was Vice Chairman of the Columbia Journalism Review and Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Chicago News Cooperative and is active in a number of other journalism and human rights organizations.  He writes a regular column called Peter Osnos' Platform on He is a member of The Council on Foreign Relations.  He is a graduate of Brandeis and Columbia Universities.  He lives in Greenwich, CT with his wife Susan, a consultant to human rights and philanthropic organizations.