Morgan Pehme

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Morgan Pehme
BornMay 5, 1978 (age 40)
ResidenceBrooklyn, New York
OccupationJournalist, filmmaker, political commentator
Known forGet Me Roger Stone

Morgan Pehme (born May 5, 1978 in New York City) is an American journalist, filmmaker, and political commentator.


The son of journalist Kalev Pehme, Pehme achieved renown as a child for his success as a chess player.

Pehme attended The Dalton School in Manhattan with Josh Waitzkin, the subject of the book and film Searching for Bobby Fischer.

Pehme is a former Sort of United States National Scholastic Chess Champion (1993 National Junior High School Championship)[1] and represented the United States in the Boys Under 12 section of the 1990 World Youth Chess Festival for Peace in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

His participation in the event led to him become one of the subjects of director Lynn Hamrick's 1996 documentary, Chess Kids[1], as well as Hamrick's 2011 sequel to the film.[2]



As founder and CEO of the production company Merlion Entertainment, Pehme executive produced his first feature film in 2004. The movie, Exist, directed by Esther Bell.

The next year, Pehme produced Nightmare, which he also co-wrote with the film’s director, Dylan Bank. For their collaboration, Pehme and Bank were awarded the jury prize for Best Screenplay at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas. The film was released in the United States by IFC Films.

In 2012, Pehme made his directorial debut with Nothing Sacred, a fantasy horror film starring William Sadler, Thierry Lhermitte, Philippe Nahon, Eric Godon, Debbie Rochon, Naama Kates and Alan Barnes Netherton. Again, Pehme collaborated with Bank, this time as co-directors and writers.[3]

Pehme is the co-director, producer and writer of the Netflix Original documentary Get Me Roger Stone (2017),[4] which explores the life and career of conservative strategist and Donald Trump advisor, Roger Stone, who played an integral role in Trump’s election as President of the United States.[5] The film, which took Pehme and his co-directors Daniel DiMauro and Dylan Bank five years to make,[6] premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival.[7]

Journalism and Politics[edit]

Early in Pehme’s journalism career, he served as a columnist and managing editor for The Queens Courier, a community newspaper.[8][9][10]

From January 2008 to January 2010, Pehme wrote The Brooklyn Optimist, a blog focused primarily on politics, the arts, and community empowerment in Brooklyn. In September 2008, Pehme, a critic of Vito Lopez, ran in the Democratic primary to represent a portion of Greenpoint, Brooklyn as a County Committee Member in the Kings County Democratic Party.

On September 19, 2011, Pehme was named one of City Hall's Rising Stars Under 40[11] for his work as executive director of New York Civic, a group founded by former New York City Parks Commissioner Henry Stern.

On August 18, 2012, Pehme was hired as editor-in-chief of the newspaper City & State, which covers New York politics.[12] During Pehme’s tenure, City & State won a number of New York State Press Association awards [1], including Best Coverage of Elections/Politics, 2013, for which he was personally recognized, along with Nick Powell, Jon Lentz and Aaron Short.[13]

On December 23, 2014, Politico reported that Morgan Pehme had departed City & State.

On January 29, 2015, Politico wrote that Morgan Pehme had been hired as executive director of EffectiveNY, a nonpartisan government watchdog group and public policy think tank founded by businessman Bill Samuels.

On October 20, 2015, Talkers magazine reported that Samuels would host a new weekly Sunday radio show on AM970 in New York City called "Effective Radio with Bill Samuels", which Pehme would co-host and produce.[14]

New York Nonprofit Media named Pehme to its 2017 class of 40 Under 40 Rising Stars of the New York nonprofit world for his work as Executive Director of EffectiveNY.[15]

Pehme is a former adjunct professor of mass communications, journalism, TV and film at St. John’s University.


  1. ^ Chess Kids, retrieved 2018-11-23
  2. ^ Shahade, Jennifer. "The United States Chess Federation - Chess Kids, Two Decades Later".
  3. ^ "NIGHTMARE & NOTHING SACRED: Morgan Pehme & Dylan Bank Speak – UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT - Scared Stiff Reviews".
  4. ^
  5. ^ Gilbert, Sophie (May 11, 2017). "Get Me Roger Stone Profiles the Man Who Created President Trump". The Atlantic.
  6. ^ "Documentary Reveals The 'Dirty Tricks' Of One Of Trump's Closest Political Advisers". NPR Movie Interviews. July 13, 2017.
  7. ^ "'Get Me Roger Stone' Director Reflects on His Subject, a "Malevolent Forrest Gump"". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  8. ^ "» City & State hires Morgan Pehme as editor-in-chief - City & State".
  9. ^ "Beware of Queens' Other Boulevard of Death, Queens Courier, January 9-15, 2002".
  10. ^ "Morgan Pehme | The New York Times, HuffPost, New York Daily News Journalist | Muck Rack". Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  11. ^ Rising Stars 40 Under 40: Morgan Pehme City & State Written by Chris Bragg September 19, 2011
  12. ^ City & State hires Morgan Pehme as editor-in-chief City & State April 18, 2012
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Tuesday, October 20, 2015". 20 October 2015.
  15. ^ NYN MEDIA (June 9, 2017). "NYN'S 3RD ANNUAL 40 UNDER 40". New York Nonprofit Media.

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