Condé Nast named Dawn Davis, a 25-year veteran of the book publishing business and a prominent editor in the field, as editor-in-chief of Bon Appétit.
Her appointment comes after the June ouster of former EIC Adam Rapoport amid allegations of racial discrimination at the food-media brand. In the last month, several people of color who had starred in Bon Appétit’s “Test Kitchen” video series said they were refusing to enter into new deals with Condé Nast over what they claimed were unfair terms.
Davis most recently was VP and publisher of 37 Ink, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. She starts as EIC of Bon Appétit on Nov. 2, reporting to Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue, artistic director of Condé Nast U.S. and global content adviser. Davis will oversee editorial for Bon Appétit and Condé Nast’s food brands Epicurious, Healthyish and Basically across digital, video, social and print platforms.
“A proven trailblazer in publishing and known for her innovative approach, Dawn’s ability to find emerging voices and give them the platforms to transform our society is unparalleled,” Condé Nast CEO Roger Lynch said in a statement.
Bon Appétit earlier this month hired Sonia Chopra, formerly with Vox Media’s Eater, as executive editor. The mag also announced a partnership with chef and author Marcus Samuelsson, who will guest-edit Bon Appétit 2020 holiday issue and will act as an ongoing content adviser.
In a statement, Davis said, “Like the Bon Appétit brand, I see food at the epicenter of all we do. Food is connected to community and culture, economics and family. Decisions about what we eat and with whom, who produces our food and how, influences almost every aspect of our lives.”
While heading up 37 Ink, Davis’s bestselling book titles included “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” by Issa Rae; “I Can’t Make This Up” by Kevin Hart; “Heads of the Colored People” by Nafissa Thompson-Spires, “Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge” by Erica Armstrong Dunbar; “Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For” by Susan Rice; and “The Butler: A Witness to History” by Wil Haygood.
Prior to Simon & Schuster, Davis was at HarperCollins for 12 years, overseeing the Amistad imprint, where she published numerous acclaimed and bestselling authors, including Edward P. Jones, Attica Locke and Chris Gardner.
Davis was named the 2019 Editor of the Year by Poets & Writers. A former board member of the Harlem School of the Arts and a graduate of Stanford University, she lives in New York City with her family.