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Alex Hardiman. Photo: Burhaan Kinu/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Alex Hardiman, head of news products at Facebook, is joining The Atlantic as Chief Business and Product Officer, where she'll lead product, audience experience, and consumer revenue efforts for the magazine turned digital enterprise.

Why it matters: Hardiman, a New York Times product veteran of ten years, led the team that built dozens of news products at Facebook. She joins The Atlantic not only with one of the strongest news product backgrounds in the market, but also with a unique sense of how to manage the difficult balance of business and editorial needs.

The details: In a note to staff, The Atlantic president Bob Cohn says Hardiman will be dedicated to "elevating the user experience on desktop and mobile, newsletters, podcasts, video, apps, virtual reality, and smart speakers."

  • Hardiman will also be responsible for helping to shape and expand The Atlantic’s digital consumer business, which includes its recently-launched membership program, The Masthead.

Hardiman's hire is part of a larger expansion at The Atlantic. In February, the company announced it would be adding 100 new staff across various departments, including in product, engineering, data, audience development, and consumer marketing — departments Cohn says have doubled in staff in the past year.

Our thought bubble: This is a sophisticated hire for Atlantic, which is pushing to invest more heavily in product and technology under the leadership of its new majority owner, Emerson Collective.

Note: Emerson Collective is an investor in Axios.

Go deeper

Birx: Trump White House could have reduced COVID deaths by 30 to 40%

Deborah Birx, then-coronavirus response coordinator, speaks during a news conference in the White House last November. Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Deborah Birx, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator under former President Trump, told a House subcommittee this month that the Trump administration could have prevented tens of thousands of deaths during the early stages of the pandemic.

Driving the news: "I believe if we had fully implemented the mask mandates, the reduction in indoor dining ... and we had increased testing, that we probably could have decreased fatalities into the 30% less to 40% less range," Birx said in closed-door testimony to the Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, according to excerpts provided by the panel.

Study: Fear of debt keeps Latinos out of college

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Fear of never being able to pay off school loans is keeping many young Latinos in the U.S. from going to college or completing a degree, according to a report published in September.

State of play: Latinos tend to have more difficulty repaying school debt than white student borrowers, according to Federal Reserve data, at the same time that they need more loans in order to afford tuition.

3 hours ago - World

Scoop: Biden administration objects to Israeli settlements plan

Israeli PM Naftali Bennett (L) meets with Secretary of State Tony Blinken. Photo: Olivier Douliery/Pool/AFP via Getty

The Biden administration has privately protested to the Israeli government over its plan to approve the planning and construction of more than 3,000 new housing units in the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, sources briefed on the issue tell me.

Why it matters: The approvals for new homes in the settlements will be the first since President Biden assumed office, and come after Biden and his top aides personally pressed Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to restrain settlement activity and decrease the number of new housing units.

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