Ian Mader, a veteran foreign correspondent with a reputation for breaking news and challenging reporters, has been named The Associated Press Florida news editor based in Miami.

The appointment was announced Thursday by interim South Editor Ravi Nessman, who oversees 13 southeastern states plus the District of Columbia.

"Ian is a great journalist whose long experience calmly steering some of the highest profile stories in the world will be a major asset to AP in Florida," Nessman said.

Mader, 50, joined The Associated Press in 1992 and has worked in Alaska, Maryland, New York and Germany. Before becoming China news editor in Beijing in 2012, he spent a decade as a supervisory editor and top stories editor on AP's Asia regional desk in Bangkok.

Mader played a lead role in AP's coverage of the disappearance of Malaysia Air MH370, the tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan and the earthquake that struck Christchurch, New Zealand. He also has led coverage of China's increasing crackdown on dissidents in recent years, accusations of corruption against Communist Party members and the authorities' use of torture against activists.

Mader's Spanish skills, his international experience and his commitment to cross-format journalism will be an asset to AP's coverage of the cosmopolitan state of Florida. He will lead a team of talented journalists in telling the world about the state of Florida's politics, lifestyle, aging population, tourism and diversity.

He will begin work on March 22.

He is a graduate of Columbia University in New York. His family will join him later from Beijing after the school year ends.