Adam Aston

Adam Aston

Vice President, Executive Editorial Director, T Brand Studio at The New York Times
New York, United States

Summary

I head up T Brand Studio — the in-house branded content and creative agency at The New York Times — overseeing client- and creative work from ideation to final stage copy, data, design, film, image and code. Since 2014, we have produced more than 250 projects, working with 140-plus global brands and grown to over 100 team members.
Formerly a business writer, journalist and editor, I focused on green business, energy and the environment. I have written for BusinessWeek, The New York Times, The Guardian, GreenBiz.com, NRDC's OnEarth, Ensia, Corporate Knights, MIT Technology Review and The Fiscal Times. I have also ghostwritten and/or edited for IBM, Ideo, Ernst & Young, SAP, McKinsey and The Rocky Mountain Institute.
Prior to freelancing, I served as BusinessWeek's magazine's first energy and environment editor, covering conventional energy, renewables, cleantech and green business issues. I also ran the magazine's industries coverage, focusing on manufacturing, from automakers to high-tech start ups. After graduating from Princeton University, I moved to Hong Kong where I covered Asian business and economics for The Economist Intelligence Unit.
Skills: Experienced writer, ghost writer, editor and analyst. Gifted explanatory writer, able to identify innovations, synthesize technical issues and clearly articulate complex trends. Strong graphical and design abilities, has produced national magazines, books, market atlases, blue-chip consulting reports, boutique newsletters, websites and blogs. International experience writing about corporate, political and economic issues in Asia. Seasoned manager of cross functional teams, with a knack for rapid adaptation.
Specialties: Editing. Reporting. Writing. Journalism. Ghost writing. Content. Data visualization. Thought leadership. Content. Cleantech. Wind. Solar. Hybrid. Diesel. Electric cars. Renewables. Fossil fuels. Nuclear. Natural gas. Coal. Oil. Climate change. Sustainability. Corporate social responsibility. 

Positions

Vice President, Executive Editorial Director — T Brand Studio
The New York Times
April 2014 - Present (3 years 6 months)
T Brand Studio is the NYT's in-house branded content and creative agency. As the group's founding editorial director and VP, I have helped hire and orchestrate a team that has grown to more than 100 and includes editors, videographers, designers, developers and client services as well as content- and social strategists. Together, we create original articles, videos and data visualizations that appear as paid post advertisements at nytimes.com and at our partners' owned and operated properties. Heavily involved in client-facing efforts — engaging with brands and their creative and media agencies — to conceptualize and present content campaigns for prospective projects. Collaborate daily with senior leadership of the NYT advertising dept. Work closely with teams developing our advanced ad products and technology. Liaison to the newsroom and legal teams on issues related to paid content. Represent the Studio in press interviews and industry presentations.

Clients include: Airbnb, Ben & Jerry's, BlackRock, BMW, Cadillac, Cartier, Cathay Pacific, Chevron, Citibank, Dell, Fidelity, Ford, Gates Foundation, Goldman Sachs, Google, HP, MasterCard, Netflix, NRG, Oppenheimer, P&G, Shell, The Weinstein Co., Toyota, United Airlines, Visa, Volvo.

For more: http://www.nytimes.com/ads/idealab/#projects/PaidPost.

Awards:
> Individually named to AdWeek's top Creative 100 2017, https://goo.gl/aTQVkA
> Cannes Lions, Grand Prixe, Mobile App, 2016 for NYT VR in collaboration with GE, Google, Framestore, Giant Spoon and OMD, https://goo.gl/O7no9F
> AdWeek, Hottest in Native Advertising 2015, T Brand Studio http://goo.gl/MdlJHH
Freelance writer | energy, environment, green biz, cleantech, science & technology
Eco Think Ink
2010 - May 2014 (4 years 4 months)
Experienced writer, editor & analyst. My stories appear in OnEarth, GreenBiz.com, The New York Times, The Guardian, Corporate Knights, Global CCS Institute, Ensia, The Fiscal Times and MIT Technology Review.

I also regularly research, write and edit special projects including white papers, ghostwritten op-eds, topical reports, professional meetings and corporate responsibility reports (CRR/CSR) for the likes of Climate Counts, Enablon, Ernst & Young, Framework, Frog, IBM, SAP and The Rocky Mountain Institute.
Energy & Environment Editor
BusinessWeek
2005 - 2009 (4 years)
• Established BusinessWeek’s first dedicated beat on green business, positioning the magazine at the forefront of coverage in the areas of alternative energy and other clean technologies, climate science and policy, as well as corporate sustainability & responsibility (CSR).
• Pioneered coverage that consistently outpaced competitors in the areas of green business, conventional energy (oil, gas, nuclear and coal), renewables (solar, wind and biofuels), and energy finance.
>> “The Race Against Climate Change,” 12/05, one of the earliest national rankings of corporate green efforts.
>> “Can China Go Green?,” 5/09, revealed that China leads the U.S. in many areas of cleantech innovation.
>> “Here Comes Lunar Power,” 3/06, introduced the emerging field of tidal power by profiling a project in New York’s East River.
• Boosted web site traffic by creating and managing a blog and landing page at BW.com focusing on green issues.
• Produced one of the magazine’s most popular features, a regular page of briefs covering developments in science, technology and green business issues.
• Appeared regularly in national and local media and as an expert panelist and moderator, resulting in increased exposure for the magazine on CNBC, NPR, and the BBC.
Industries Editor
BusinessWeek
2000 - 2004 (4 years)
• Assigned, edited and produced a regular section, peaking at 24 pages, focused on industrial sectors, including auto-motive, manufacturing, supply chain, material science and conventional energy.
• In an era when business media was preoccupied by dot-com buzz, produced a stream of surprising stories on how the rust- belt was innovating.
• Cut costs and increased coverage by developing a network of freelance contributors.
• Streamlined and oversaw the re-design of Industry Outlook, a 30-page special annual report in the magazine, giving sector-by-sector forecasts across the economy, a project involving a team of 30+ writers, editors and art staff.
Journalist, Writer & Editor
Freelance
1991 - 1999 (8 years)
Freelance Journalist, Hong Kong. For The Economist Group, regular contributor & author covering economic, political and business trends in Asia for Business Asia, Business China and CFO Asia. Authored two books, Planning for ASEAN (‘97) and Southeast Asia at a Glance (‘99). For the New York Times, reported for Jeff Gerth for a Pulitzer prize-winning series on mainland-owned, Hong Kong-based companies that were gaining access to sensitive U.S. military technology (‘99). Also: Far Eastern Economic Review (FEER), Journal of Commerce, International Design Network and Action Asia.

Commercial Writer & Editor, Hong Kong. Ghost wrote articles for Bain & Co. Developed backgrounders, programs, and conference conclusions papers for The Economist Conferences. Edited and wrote case studies for McKinsey & Co. Produced telecoms market analysis reports for Pyramid Research. Wrote and edited economic and industry white papers for Monitor Co.
Editor, Business Asia | Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)
The Economist Group
1995 - 1998 (3 years)
Editor, Business Asia. a fortnightly report for managers of Asian operations, providing analysis of corporate is-sues, economic trends and political risk across 18 countries. Managed a staff of three and an edit budget of $300,000. Expanded coverage with new hires and by recruiting freelancers.
Asia Editor | Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)
The Economist Group
1993 - 1995 (2 years)
Asia Editor of two republications Investing, Licensing & Trading (ILT) and Financing Foreign Operations (FFO). For multinational corporations, assigned and edited regular updates of exhaustive legal and financial guidance across 12 countries.
Business Analyst
Asian Sources Media Group
1992 - 1993 (1 year)
Business Analyst. Investigated new technologies and worked software developers to provide subscribers improved access to our database of global manufacturers.
Production Editor
Asian Sources Media Group
1991 - 1992 (1 year)
Production Editor, ’91-‘92. Managed editorial production of Computer Sources, a monthly magazine for PC makers and distributors. Wrote articles on Asia’s PC manufacturing industry, new technologies and corporate profiles.
Teacher & Asst Director of Publications
Jakarta International School
1990 - 1991 (1 year)
Teacher & Asst Director of Publications, through a Princeton-in-Asia fellowship, at Asia’s largest international school. Taught English literature and journalism to students aged 14-18. Supervised three student-run publications.

Education

A.B. English, critial theory; American studies

Princeton University, NJ 08544
Activities and Societies: National Merit Scholar. Nassau Weekly (campus alt-weekly), publisher and editor. Terrace Club house manager. Outdoor Action. Residential Advisor

Graduate study International Economics

School of Oriental and African Studies, U. of London
Activities and Societies: Univ. of London, School of Oriental & African Studies, graduate work in international economics via distance learning.

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