Gutkin has been the interim deputy South editor and the AP's editor overseeing ongoing coverage of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Until July 2010, Gutkin was the Jerusalem bureau chief for six years.
The appointment was announced Wednesday by South Regional Editor Lisa Marie Pane, who held the deputy post since the inception of the South regional desk editing operation in the spring of 2008 until being promoted to the editor's job last September.
"Steve has a track record of running big, complex stories around the world," Pane said. "We look forward to having those talents here in the South, home to a seemingly endless string of big stories."
As deputy, Gutkin will work with the South desk, based in Atlanta, and news editors and staff in the field to coordinate, edit and oversee coverage across formats throughout the region, which encompasses 13 states and the District of Columbia. Gutkin also will continue to oversee the AP's coverage of the aftermath of the oil spill.
Gutkin, 46, has reported from the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the Americas. He helped lead AP's coverage of the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and Gaza, in addition to the death of drug lord Pablo Escobar, the rise of the Jemaah Islamiyah terror group in Indonesia, the Elian Gonzalez case in Cuba, the killing of Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, and the 1992 coup attempt and subsequent rise to power of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.
Gutkin also served as AP bureau chief in Caracas, Singapore, Jakarta and Jerusalem. He also spent several years reporting from Colombia, and served on AP's international desk in New York.
Before joining the AP, he reported for CBS Radio, the New York Times, the Washington Post and Newsweek.
Gutkin has a degree in international relations from Pomona College and a master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He is married and has two young sons.