Ron Fournier is the Senior Political Columnist and Editorial Director of National Journal. Prior to joining NJ, he worked at the Associated Press for 20 years, most recently as Washington Bureau Chief. A Detroit native, Fournier began his career in Arkansas, first with the Hot Springs Sentinel-Record and then with the Arkansas Democrat and the AP, where he covered the state legislature and Gov. Bill Clinton. In January 1993, Fournier moved to Washington, where he covered the White House and presidential campaigns for the AP. In 2005, Fournier served as a fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics, where he co-wrote "Applebee's America," a New York Times best seller that examined the shared attributes of successful political, business and religious leaders. He left the AP briefly to run a social networking start up, HotSoup.com, and returned to cover the 2008 presidential race. Fournier has won numerous awards, including the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi Award for coverage of the 2000 elections and a four-time winner of the prestigious White House Correspondents' Association Merriman Smith Memorial Award. His 2012 cover story on the decline of U.S. institutions, "In Nothing We Trust," was awarded an honorable mention in David Brook's essay contest, the Sidney Awards. He stepped down as editor-in-chief of NJ in November 2012 to return full-time to reporting. Fournier is writing a book for Crown Books based on his National Journal cover story, "How Two Presidents Helped Me Deal With Love, Guilt and Fatherhood."