Hello, I’m Zeeshan Aleem. I’m a journalist and this is a poorly maintained website where I jot down notes between articles and occasionally link to the pieces that I’m least ashamed of.
I’m a New York-based freelance journalist, columnist for VICE, and adjunct professor at the New School who writes about politics, policy and society. My expertise is in American politics, and I focus most of my attention these days on the Democrats and the left. I’ve also spent a fair amount of time writing about foreign affairs, and have reported from socialist villages in the Andes mountains, automated factories in Beijing and anarchist communes in Copenhagen.
My writing has been published in The Atlantic, The Nation, Esquire, The Guardian, Vice, Politico, Vox, HuffPost, The American Prospect, GEN, Pacific Standard, Mic and elsewhere. I publish a politics and culture newsletter. I also do speaking engagements — most recently, I’ve sat on panels at Harvard University, Columbia University and the Newseum.
I also do non-journalistic writing, editing, and ghost-writing for various kinds of clients on a freelance basis. If you’re interested in having me write, edit or speak for you, feel free to reach out.
Previously, I was a foreign affairs staff writer at Vox, where I was tasked with explaining the unraveling of the global order in the Trump era. I reported from New York, Washington, and abroad, covering the personalities and policies of the Trump administration. I also reported on major international stories, such as the rise of China’s digital economy, the collapse of Venezuela and the hidden incentives underlying the Saudi-led blockade of Qatar. During my time at Vox I made appearances on Vox‘s explainer videos and flagship policy podcast, “The Weeds.”
Prior to that, I was a senior politics staff writer at Mic, where I wrote columns on public policy issues, covered the 2016 elections and interviewed leading political figures like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez, and acclaimed scholar Cornel West. One highlight of my time there was when I broke news by prompting Warren to admit that she wouldn’t ruled out serving as vice president to Hillary Clinton.
Before that, I served as a writer for Arianna Huffington, then editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, handling her public commentary on politics and international affairs.
Earlier, I was a co-columnist, politics and foreign affairs blogger, and web producer at Politico, where I interviewed heads of state, broke news on congressional races and tracked the lobbying sector. One highlight of my time there was prodding Newt Gingrich into confessing that he believed that there was no humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip in 2010.
My work has taken me around the world, and resulted in being tear-gassed and batoned across five continents. I’ve covered terrorist attacks, eaten at a North Korean government-run restaurant in Shanghai, talked my way out of bar fights in Russia, and toured Mecca as an atheist.
Some of my other experience includes launching new verticals for and writing for The Atlantic; editing a book that debuted at No. 1 on a New York Times best-seller list; helping produce politics programs at BBC News; corresponding with constituents as an intern at the U.S. House of Representatives; and co-writing and directing a play at the Burton Taylor Studio in Oxford, England.
My work has been covered or cited by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, NBC News, CBS News, US News & World Report, Slate, New York Magazine, The New Republic, Esquire, Reason, Vox, The Huffington Post, Politico, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, Salon, The Hill, The Washington Times, Think Progress, political science curricula at American and European universities, and more.
I’ve been a guest on programs on BBC, CBS, ABC, CUNY TV and HuffPost Live.
I was born in Washington, D.C. and educated at the Sidwell Friends School, George Washington University, Oxford University and the University of Chicago.