I currently cover defense acquisition policy and budgets at Inside the Air Force in Arlington, Virginia, where I landed in September 2016. (You may know me by my maiden name, Rachel Karas.) My beat spans the U.S. Air Force’s headquarters and bases nationwide; Congress; the White House; major defense contractors; the science-and-technology sector; think tanks; advocacy organizations; and other stakeholders in the military-industrial complex. The Air Force has defined American military power since its inception — and I’m right there with it. The job never gets old, I never get bored, and my own passion for learning and explaining only deepens with time.
Before joining Inside Washington Publishers’ defense group, I was a health policy reporter for Inside Health Policy within the same company, an education reporter at The Frederick News-Post in Maryland, a general assignment local reporter for The Washington Post, a multimedia producer for Agence France-Presse, a D.C. correspondent for The Durango Herald in Colorado, in the Brookings Institution communications office and more. (I fold a mean pair of pants after a summer at Gap.)
I graduated cum laude from American University in D.C. in 2013. While at AU, I won multiple national awards for my work as an editor and senior staff writer at The Eagle.
Journalism was my career major; international studies was my fun major. My expertise is in global security, counterterrorism and counterinsurgency, regional issues in the Middle East and south Asia, and military policy (but that’s just scratching the surface of things that excite me). When I need a break from the challenges and achievements of our Air Force, I often still track the twists and turns of federal health policy and the future of the Affordable Care Act.
I now call Washington, D.C. home, after a childhood in Flushing, Michigan and stints in Haifa, Israel and Frederick, Maryland. If I ever manage to leave the office, you can find me reclaiming my love of running, embracing my inner foodie, scoping out good local bands, finding a mountain to hike, becoming much too invested in Netflix and thinking I’m funnier than I really am.