Mike Baker, an Associated Press investigative reporter based in Raleigh, N.C., will be joining the cooperative's Olympia bureau.
The appointment was announced Wednesday by Traci Carl, the regional editor for the Western U.S., and Washington news editor Paul Queary.
Baker has covered several high-profile stories, including the scandals surrounding politician John Edwards and the military contracting firm Blackwater. He also was part of the reporting teams that won the Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Award for the 2009 massacre at Fort Hood and the George Polk award for the 2010 coverage of the Gulf oil spill.
"Mike's return to the Northwest will strengthen the AP's coverage of Washington state government and politics," said Nancy Trott, the AP's bureau chief for the Pacific Northwest.
A graduate of the University of Washington, Baker began his AP career in 2006 in Olympia as a temporary reporter covering the Washington Legislature.
"He brings a formidable set of investigative and computer-assisted reporting skills, as well as a native's knowledge of the issues of the region," said Paul Queary, the AP's news editor for Washington state.