From the heart of Walla Walla, native born Sally Streff Buzbee will take the reins as executive editor of The Associated Press, the agency announced Nov. 17.
She is currently AP vice president and Washington Bureau chief, based in the nation’s capital.
Born June 7, 1965, at St. Mary Hospital (now Providence St. Mary Medical Center) in Walla Walla, Sally grew up here and attended Green Park in her early elementary years. She and her family lived on White Street and Olympia Drive, said her sister, Pam Streff of Folsom Calif.
Their father, Eldyn Streff, worked here for International Harvester and their mother, Monica Streff, was a registered nurse at St. Mary. The family lived here from 1963 until moving to California in 1977 and later to Kansas when Eldyn transferred with his work. There Sally graduated from high school and college. Eldyn and Monica live in Overland Park, Kan.
Sally’s siblings also include brother Mike Streff, a 1975 Walla Walla High School graduate and 1979 alum of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, now of Manassas, Va.; and sisters Susan Streff Heyroth of Houston, Texas, and Mary Jane Streff Baker of Kansas City, Mo.
The AP said in a release that Sally joined AP in 1988 as a reporter.
She was chief of bureau the past six years in Washington, D.C., where she oversaw AP’s coverage of the 2012 and 2016 U.S. presidential elections, the White House, Congress, the Pentagon and polling and investigative units.
As senior vice president and executive editor, she will lead AP’s global news operations and oversee news content in all formats from AP journalists based in more than 260 locations in 106 countries. She will relocate from Washington to AP headquarters in New York for the new post, which begins Jan. 1.
“Sally’s leadership and extensive history with the AP make her the perfect candidate to take the helm as executive editor,” said AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt in the release. “Sally’s focused vision will guide our news content in all formats well into the future.”
“The AP’s mission of strong, impartial, fact-based journalism has never been more important,” Sally said.
“My colleagues are the most talented and committed journalists in the world, rededicating themselves to that mission each day. It is a privilege to be a part of this team as we dive into the future.”
Sally also served as deputy managing editor in New York in 2010, helping establish the Nerve Center, which coordinates AP’s global coverage. She spent the previous five years as AP’s Middle East regional editor, based in Cairo, where she led AP’s news report and oversaw operations in the region.
She previously was assistant bureau chief in Washington, running spot news coverage and overseeing in-depth foreign affairs and national security coverage.
While an AP reporter in Kansas, she covered immigration and border issues in San Diego, and foreign affairs and national security after the Sept. 11 attacks.
She earned a journalism degree from the University of Kansas and a master of business administration from Georgetown University.
Sally’s husband of 25 years, John Buzbee, died of colon cancer in September. He had been a diplomat with the State Department and was a journalist. The Buzbees have two daughters, Emma, 17, and Meg, 15.