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 who writes about politics, policy and society, with a focus on Democrats and the left. My writing has been published in The Atlantic, Esquire, The Guardian, Vice, Politico, Vox, HuffPost, Pacific Standard, Mic, The American Prospect, NowThis News and other publications. I publish a weekly politics and culture newsletter. I also do speaking engagements — most recently, I’ve sat on panels at Harvard University and the Newseum. If you’re interested in having me write 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.
My work has taken me around the world, and resulted in being tear-gassed and batoned across five continents. I’ve eaten at a North Korean government-run restaurant in Shanghai, squatted with environmental radicals in an abandoned school building in Copenhagen, 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, 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.