Anna Johnson, an award-winning journalist with extensive experience working in the U.S. and the Middle East, has been named The Associated Press' deputy editor for the U.S. West, overseeing coverage from 13 states.

The appointment was announced Wednesday by West Editor Traci Carl.

Johnson was a reporter and editor based in Cairo from 2006 to 2009. There, she traveled throughout the region to cover Iran's 2009 presidential elections, the Iraq war, Egyptian archaeology and Dubai's economic boom, among other stories.

"Anna is a talented journalist, skilled manager and natural leader who inspires staff to do high-level journalism," Carl said. "We are thrilled she is joining us in Phoenix."

In 2009, Johnson moved to Chicago to be the assistant editor on the AP's Central editing desk. She directed a team of about a dozen editors and led coverage in multiple formats for 14 states. She was also part of the team that received the 2011 Associated Press Managing Editors' Deadline reporting award for coverage of the Joplin tornado and the 2010 APME Deadline Reporting award for coverage of the 2009 Fort Hood, Texas, shooting.

"Anna Johnson has proven herself to be one of AP's smartest editors," said Brian Carovillano, AP's managing editor for U.S. News. "She's a compassionate journalist who excels at getting the best work from our reporters in the field, whether they're in the Middle East or the Midwest."

The AP's West region encompasses news in 13 states: California, Colorado, Arizona, Washington state, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Hawaii and Alaska.

Johnson, 37, joined AP in 2004 as a reporter in Chicago. She earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Missouri and a master's from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.