NEW YORK (AP) — Peter Prengaman, an award-winning multiformat global news manager, has been appointed to lead The Associated Press' West Region.
As West News Director based in Phoenix, Prengaman will oversee a team of text, photo and video journalists responsible for general news, politics and enterprise in 13 western states. The appointment was announced Tuesday by Noreen Gillespie, deputy managing editor for U.S. News.
"Peter is a true cross-format journalist who understands how to build teams that bring ideas in from all corners of the newsroom," Gillespie said. "He also knows how to create distinctive, memorable work with those teams, and has done it over and over again on some of the biggest stories of the day."
As news director in Brazil, Prengaman led a team of journalists covering political turmoil and major shifts in Latin America's largest and most populous nation, including the impeachment and removal of President Dilma Rousseff, the jailing of ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and the election of Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right former army captain who rose to power on an anti-corruption and pro-gun agenda.
His team prioritized putting a human face on the country's rising violence in 2017, coverage that garnered a National Headliner Award and the APME Award for best use of video.
Prengaman was also part of a major investigation into abuse by a North Carolina-based church that created a pipeline of young Brazilian congregants who told of being taken to the U.S. and forced to work for little or no pay. That series sparked investigations and lawsuits in the U.S. and Brazil.
In his 17 years with AP, Prengaman has reported from more than 15 countries and participated in several major stories as an editor, reporter or videographer, including the uprising that ousted Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004, the Arab Spring in Egypt, and the spread of the Zika virus.
He started with AP in Portland, Oregon, and later served as correspondent based in the Dominican Republic, immigration beat reporter in Los Angeles, interactive and graphics editor for the South's publishing hub and news editor for Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.
He was part of teams that received the Polk Award and Grantham Prize for environmental reporting during the Gulf oil spill and the APME Multimedia Award for a major economic interactive project called the AP Economic Stress Index. He received an Edward R. Murrow award for video stories on unemployed people suffering through the worst economic crisis in the United States in decades.
Prengaman has a master's degree in Latin American Studies from Stanford University, a bachelor's in Spanish and English literatures from Wabash College and a certificate in Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles.