Dawn Davis

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Dawn Davis (born  June 23, 1965) is an American publisher, author, and editor. She is set to become the editor of Bon Appétit magazine, a Condé Nast publication, in November 2020.

Early life[edit]

Davis was born in Los Angeles, California to Leona Julia and Louis Davis. She earned a BA in international relations from Stanford University and spent two years studying at the investment bank First Boston in New York.[1] She then earned a scholarship for an independent study in Nigeria.[2]


Davis began her career in Wall Street and then transitioned to publishing in 1990 as an assistant to André Schiffrin of the The New Press.[3] Davis was president and publisher of Simon & Schuster’s 37 INK, a publication for historically marginalized authors.[4][5] She had previously worked at HarperCollins, in their Amistad imprint.[6] In 2020 she was announced as the next editor of Bon Appétit magazine, replacing Adam Rapoport.[7][8] She is the third person of color to head a one of Conde Nast’s American publications.[9] She has edited authors including Nafissa Thompson-Spires, Susan Rice, Wil Haygood, Issa Rae, Kevin Hart and more.[10]

Davis is the founder of the Inkwell Book Club, a national online book club recognizing Black authors.[11] In 1999 she wrote “If You Can Stand the Heat: Tales from Chefs and Restaurateurs.[12]


Davis edited Pulitzer Prize winner The Known World by Edward P. Jones, Steve Harvey’s book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, Southern Cross the Dog by Bill Cheng, and The Pursuit of Happyness by Chris Gardner which was also developed as a movie produced by and starring Will Smith.[13][2] She edited the Recipe of Memory: Five Generations of Mexican Cuisine, written by Mary Lau Valle and Victor M. Valle; the book was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award and two Julia Child Cookbook Awards.[10][14]

In 2014 she was honored with Reginald Van Lee with the Visionary Award from the Metro Manhattan Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.[1] In 2019 she was honored with the Editor’s Award by Poets & Writers.[15]


  1. ^ a b "Dawn Davis's Biography". The HistoryMakers. Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Agents & Editors: Dawn Davis". Poets & Writers. August 19, 2015. Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  3. ^ "How Dawn Davis is bringing marginalized voices into book stores across America". NBC News. Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  4. ^ "Publishing Profiles: Dawn Davis, VP & Publisher at 37 INK | Young to Publishing Group". Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  5. ^ Alter, Alexandra; Harris, Elizabeth A. (July 15, 2020). "In Publishing, 'Everything Is Up for Change'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  6. ^ Heli, Emily (August 27, 2020). "Bon Appétit names book-publishing veteran Dawn Davis as top editor". Washington Post.
  7. ^ Business, Kerry Flynn, CNN. "Bon Appétit names book publisher Dawn Davis as editor in chief". CNN. Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  8. ^ "Book-publishing exec Dawn Davis is new Bon Appetit editor". The Seattle Times. August 27, 2020. Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  9. ^ Crowley, Chris (August 27, 2020). "Bon Appétit Has Found Its Next Editor-in-chief". Grub Street. Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  10. ^ a b "Hungry for the Next Chapter, Dawn Davis Is Ready to Lead Bon Appetit". The Vineyard Gazette - Martha's Vineyard News. Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  11. ^ Sontag, Elazar (August 27, 2020). "Bon Appétit Announces Dawn Davis, Publishing Heavyweight, as New Editor-in-Chief". Eater. Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  12. ^ "Bon Appétit names Dawn Davis, celebrated Simon & Schuster exec, new editor-in-chief". adage.com. August 27, 2020. Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  13. ^ Tracy, Marc (August 27, 2020). "Bon Appétit's Next Editor in Chief Is a Book-World Star". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  14. ^ Goldsmith, Jill; Goldsmith, Jill (August 27, 2020). "Condé Nast Names Dawn Davis Editor-In-Chief Of Embattled Bon Appétit". Deadline. Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  15. ^ "Reginald Dwayne Betts, Neil Gaiman, Roxana Robinson, and Dawn Davis to be Honored by Poets & Writers". Poets & Writers. December 14, 2018. Retrieved September 6, 2020.