Patricia Edmonds has worked as a writer, editor, co-author and communications consultant for more than three decades. At National Geographic Magazine, she is senior director of short form editorial, and oversees the creation of news and feature content for National Geographic print and digital platforms. She also writes Basic Instincts, a monthly essay on animal reproduction.

A veteran of digital, newspaper and magazine journalism, Patty previously headed the online news operation at There she led an overhaul of the system that translated NPR radio journalism to the web, and orchestrated the web component of NPR’s 9/11 coverage that won Peabody, Dupont and other journalism awards.

As a writer and editor, Patty has created content for national and international organizations including the World Bank, and has written texts to be displayed in the museum at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at Ground Zero in New York City. As a co-writer and consultant, Patty has partnered with book authors, public speakers and thought leaders to develop, refine and deliver their messages to a wide variety of audiences. She has been a co-writer, ghostwriter and developmental editor on non-fiction books for leading professionals in fields as diverse as medicine, leadership and technology, shepherding projects from conception to publication.

Patty’s work with accomplished Americans includes an Oval Office interview with then-President Clinton about Americans’ values and an exclusive-interview magazine profile of Oprah Winfrey. In addition to NPR, Patty has worked for USA TODAY, USA WEEKEND Magazine, the Knight-Ridder Washington Bureau and the Detroit Free Press. As a newspaper, magazine and online journalist, she has written comprehensively and comprehensibly on social science, cultural, scientific, political and religious topics, for audiences as disparate as the 33 million Sunday-magazine readers of USA WEEKEND and the radio/web consumers of NPR.

Patty has reported from Europe and Asia as well as across the United States. She has written for publications ranging from, and Washingtonian to Woman’s Day, Preservation and Southern Accents. Her reporting on the therapeutic uses of virtual reality, originally published in Washingtonian, has been excerpted in a Health Reference Series sourcebook and reprinted in Reader’s Digest.

As an online executive and editorial director, Patty devised content strategy, assigned and edited content, and developed and supervised contributors. She has led strategic planning and research projects for foundation, non-profit and academic groups. She has trained and advised communicators in a variety of settings, including seminars for former Soviet-bloc journalists in the Baltic States, workshops across the United States for the National Press Foundation, and online tutorials for the journalism training organization The Poynter Institute.




  • With HIV/AIDS expert Dr. Michael Saag, MD, was developmental editor/ghostwriter on POSITIVE: One Doctor’s Personal Encounters with Death, Life, and the U.S. Healthcare System, published in 2014.

“A wonderful, intimate, daring and poignant memoir by a physician whose name is synonymous with the battle against HIV in this country. This book will surprise, entertain and challenge your notions about healthcare in America.” – Abraham Verghese, MD, author of My Own Country and Cutting for Stone.

  • With new media entrepreneur Byron Reese, was developmental editor on INFINITE PROGRESS: How the Internet and Technology Will End Ignorance, Disease, Poverty, Hunger, and War, published in 2013.

“This is a valuable book – an antidote to the harmful gloom and moralizing that pervades most discussions of the future, and a beacon showing us the paths we should take.” – Steven Pinker, professor of psychology, Harvard University, and author of The Better Angels of Our Nature.

  •  With surgeon Dr. Glenn Geelhoed, MD, co-authored GIFTS FROM THE POOR: What the World’s Patients Taught One Doctor about Healing, a book on his life in international medical service. Greg Mortenson, bestselling author of Three Cups of Tea, wrote the introduction for the book, published in 2011.

“Glenn Geelhoed’s humor, humility, and ardent commitment to the world’s poor have inspired innumerable physicians to join him in working in the most difficult conditions. The remarkable stories he shares in Gifts from the Poor will likely have the same effect on many more.” – Paul Farmer, M.D, Ph.D.; Co-founder, Partners In Health, and subject of the international bestseller Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder.

  • With Martha Mayhood Mertz, founder of the leadership organization ATHENA International, ghost-wrote BECOMING ATHENA: Eight Principles of Enlightened Leadership, her book about women and leadership published in 2009.

“Through personal narrative, accumulated wisdom, and engaging stories, Mertz’s book captures the essence of leaders. No matter your position, experience, or gender, it is worth reading from cover to cover.” – Marie C. Wilson, President and Founder, The White House Project.



  • As a consulting writer and editor, has created content for national and international publications and organizations including the World Bank, AARP, the National Partnership for Women & Families’ Campaign for Better Care, and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.
  • At NPR, improved wordcraft, presentation and accuracy in news content on site, and orchestrated the web component of NPR’s 9/11 coverage that won Peabody, Dupont and other journalism awards.
  • As a consultant, wrote, co-wrote and ghostwrote white papers, newsletters, web content, articles, op-eds and speeches for clients in fields including business, medicine, leadership, technology, entertainment and advocacy.
  • As a contractor, reported and wrote an online story project recounting seniors’ struggles in the health care system, for the National Partnership for Women & Families’ Campaign for Better Care.
  • As editorial director of – a job search and information site that PCWeek named “the best technology career site online” — responsible for content strategy, development and editing.
  • As executive editor of the news/information site, developed and edited content that Business Week Online called “some of the best small business content on the Web.”
  • As associate editor at USA WEEKEND Magazine (circulation 33 million), created new beats (science/technology and home/garden), recruited and supervised contributing editors and freelancers, and reported cover stories and projects.
  • On the national staff of USA TODAY, wrote cover stories and special projects, served as lead writer on breaking-news roundups, and coached colleagues through in-house writing program.


  • In newly-created position, transformed the way NPR News radio content was translated online at Responsibilities included conceiving and executing web programming, hiring and supervising writers and editors, writing and editing site content, conducting in-house training, and participating in the creation of a proprietary content management system for the web site.
  • At the (Annie E. Casey) Journalism Center on Children and Families at the University of Maryland, created a strategic plan that re-evaluated programming, web presence, marketing and fundraising.
  • Created the blueprint, then wrote and edited copy for a start-up magazine’s first issue for The Magazine Group, Washington, DC.
  • Overhauled marketing campaign materials for USA WEEKEND Magazine’s volunteerism project, Make A Difference Day.
  • Print/digital graphic and design experience includes creating newsletters, mail and marketing materials; collaborating on web architecture and design decisions at, and; working with artists and photographers at USA WEEKEND Magazine, and with artists, photographers and videographers at


Senior Director, Short Form Editorial, National Geographic Magazine: August 2017 — present

Director, Short Form Editorial, National Geographic Magazine: May 2015 — August 2017

Deputy  Editor, Short Form Editorial, National Geographic Magazine: April 2014 — May 2015

Principal at Patricia Edmonds LLC, Annandale, VA:  January 2011 — present

Consultant at RTM Ltd., New York, NY: January 2011 — March 2014

Senior Consultant, Greystone Global LLC, Annandale, VA: September 2004 — December 2010

Contract Consultant, Writer, Editor, Annandale, VA: April 2003 — August 2004

Assistant Managing Editor for News/Online, NPR, Washington, DC: March 2001 — March 2003

Editorial Director,, Minneapolis, MN: October 2000 — February 2001

V.P./Content and Executive Editor,, McLean, VA: June 1999 — August 2000

Associate Editor, USA WEEKEND Magazine, Rosslyn, VA: January 1997 — May 1999

National Staff Reporter, USA TODAY, Rosslyn, VA: June 1991 — January 1997

Washington Reporter, City Hall Bureau Chief, Reporter, Detroit Free Press: December 1984 — May 1991

Editor/Reporter, National Catholic Reporter, Kansas City, MO: January 1975 — November 1984

Correspondent, Kansas City Star and Times, Kansas City, MO: April 1975 — January 1978


1995 – present: Freelance articles in publications including,, Reader’s Digest, Washingtonian, Preservation, USA WEEKEND, The Children’s Beat, Southern Accents and Woman’s Day.

2005: Moderator, seminar series educating journalists about health insurance reforms, sponsored by National Press Foundation

2004: Workshop presenter, Council of Graduate Schools annual conference; trainer, Casey Journalism Center seminar on immigrant family issues

2000: Guest lecturer, Masters in Writing Program, Johns Hopkins University

1998: Fellowship, American Press Institute

1994: Trainer/lecturer, seminar for Baltic journalists, Riga and Jurmala, Latvia; sponsored by International Research and Exchanges Board and Pew Charitable Trusts.



Bachelor of Arts in English and French, University of Missouri, Kansas City, Missouri. Dean’s list. Phi Kappa Phi, Omicron Delta Kappa honor societies.