She is also an owner of The Nation, being one of several investors brought together in 1995 by then-Editor Victor Navasky in a for-profit partnership to buy the magazine — which was then losing $500,000 or more each year — from investment banker Arthur Carter. This group of investors included, among others, former Corporation for Public Broadcasting Chairman Alan Sagner, novelist E.L. Doctorow, actor Paul Newman, and the computer software creator of Norton Utilities, Peter Norton.
Born in 1960, vanden Heuvel studied politics and history at Princeton University, writing her Senior thesis on McCarthyism. She has said that during her college years she sometimes “felt like a Russian.” She graduated Summa cum Laude from Princeton in 1981 and went on to work as a production assistant at ABC Television. According to a Princeton alumni publication, during her Junior year she had already worked “as a Nation intern for nine months after taking the ‘Politics and the Press’ course taught by Blair Clark, the magazine’s editor from 1976 to 1978,” and she “returned to The Nation in 1984 as assistant editor for foreign affairs.”
Her father William J. vanden Heuvel served between 1953 and 1954 as executive assistant to the founder of the Central Intelligence Agency, William Donovan, during Donovan’s tenure as U.S. Ambassador to Thailand. Mr. vanden Heuvel later became a Board Member of the Farfield Foundation. By the early 1960s he was a special assistant to New York Governor Averill Harriman and then to U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy. In 1976 he was named Chairman of presidential candidate Jimmy Carter‘s New York primary campaign committee. Vanden Heuvel served from 1979 until 1981 as Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations with the rank of Ambassador. Today he sits on the board of the United Nations Association-USA and several other organizations.
Mr vanden Heuvel brought his daughter Katrina onto the Board of Directors of New York City’s Correctional Association and onto the Board of Governors of a group he co-chairs, the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute.
On her own, Katrina vanden Heuvel gained a seat on the Board of the Institute for Policy Studies.
In 1988 Katrina vanden Heuvel wed New York University history Professor Stephen F. Cohen, two decades her senior and an expert on the Soviet Union. They have one daughter, Nicola. Today, Cohen is a Contributing Editor at his wife’s magazine.
In 1989 vanden Heuvel was promoted to The Nation‘s Editor-at-Large position, responsible for its coverage of the USSR. In 1990 she co-founded Vyi i Myi [“You and We“], a quarterly feminist journal linking American and Russian women. She also did some reporting for the Moscow News.
In 1995, vanden Heuvel was made Editor of The Nation. She and Navasky moved aggressively to expand the magazine via radio, the Internet, books and other synergistic opportunities.
A defining moment for Katrina vanden Heuvel came in May 2002 during one of her frequent appearances on MSNBC’s Hardball. After vanden Heuvel spoke about how she lived in Harlem and understood the poor, host Chris Matthews let his audience know that in fact she lived in a multimillion-dollar townhouse in a posh section of Morningside Heights.
Katrina vanden Heuvel has authored or co-authored a handful of books, including Dictionary of Republicanisms: The Indispensable Guide to What They Really Mean When They Say What They Think You Want to Hear (2005); Taking Back America: And Taking Down the Radical Right (co-authored in 2004 with Nation Contributing Editor Robert L. Borosage and published by Nation Books); A Just Response: The Nation on Terrorism, Democracy, and September 11, 2001 (co-authored in 2002 with Jonathan Schell); and Voices of Glasnost: Interviews With Gorbachev’s Reformers (1990).