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|Frequency||Monthly (1969-2008), Bimonthly (2008-present)|
|Based in||Washington, D.C.|
The Washington Monthly receives substantial financial support from the Lumina Foundation ($1,390,000) to provide coverage of education-related issues that are of interest to the Lumina Foundation and its frequent partner in education policy initiatives, the Gates Foundation. 
The magazine's founder is Charles Peters, who started the magazine in 1969 and continued to write the "Tilting at Windmills" column in each issue until 2014. Paul Glastris, former speechwriter for Bill Clinton, has been Washington Monthly's editor-in-chief since 2001. In 2008, the magazine switched from a monthly to a bimonthly publication schedule, citing high publication costs.
Diane Straus Tucker is the magazine's current publisher. Past staff editors of the magazine include Jonathan Alter, Taylor Branch, James Fallows, Joshua Green, David Ignatius, Mickey Kaus, Nicholas Lemann, Suzannah Lessard, Jon Meacham, Timothy Noah, Joe Nocera, and Steven Waldman. Markos Kounalakis is the president and publisher emeritus
The politics of Washington Monthly are left of center. Founder Charles Peters refers to himself as a New Deal Democrat and advocates the effective use of government to address social problems. His columns also frequently emphasize the importance of a vigilant "fourth estate" in keeping government honest.
Washington Monthly is one of a growing number of magazines to feature a continuing blog; the popular "Political Animal" was written principally by Kevin Drum for several years, with frequent guest contributions by Washington Monthly's current and alumni editors. In 2008, Steve Benen took over as lead blogger; in 2012, he was succeeded by Ed Kilgore.
In addition to "Political Animal," the magazine's website also hosts "Ten Miles Square," a general blog featuring posts from staff and political scientists, which debuted in 2011, and "College Guide," a blog about higher education, which the magazine began offering in 2009.
Annual college rankings
Washington Monthly's annual college and university rankings (an alternative college guide to U.S. News and World Report and Forbes College Rankings among domestic publications) began as a research report in 2005. It was introduced as an official set of rankings in the September 2006 issue. The rankings  are based upon the following criteria:
- "how well it performs as an engine of social mobility (ideally helping the poor to get rich rather than the very rich to get very, very rich)"
- "how well it does in fostering scientific and humanistic research"
- "how well it promotes an ethic of service to country".
Washington Monthly College Rankings focuses on key research outputs, the quality level and total dollar amount of scientific grants awarded, the number of graduates going on to earn Ph.D.s and the number of graduates that later participate in public service.
The current (2011) top ranked National University is the University of California, San Diego for the second year in a row. The most recent (2009) top ranked Liberal Arts College is Amherst College; the top ranked Master's University (2011) is Creighton University; and the top ranked Baccalaureate College (2011) is Tuskegee University.
- Peters, Charles. "Why bad news should always trickle up … Polyester and merlot … The hippest fund-raiser in New York". Washington Monthly (Jan/Feb 2014). Retrieved Nov 9, 2014.
- "Washington Monthly Masthead". Washington Monthly. 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-16.
- Carr, David (April 22, 2002). "New Life for Washington Watchdog". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
- "And that’s a wrap". Washington Monthly. January 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-31.
- "Welcome to the New Washingtonmonthly.com". Washington Monthly. April 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
- "Welcome". Washington Monthly. September 2009. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
- Washington Monthly's Annual College Guide
- Washington Monthly College Rankings
- Washington Monthly's Annual College Guide, a note on methodology
- Washington Monthly's Annual College Guide
- Washington Monthly website
- Peace Corps biography of Charlie Peters, Founder of Washington Monthly
- Washington Monthly National College Rankings
- Last Call for the Washington Monthly? New York Review of Magazines, May 2008.