Medill alumna appointed to NU-Q advisory board

Geneva Overholser

A prominent U.S. journalist and Medill School of Journalism alumna has been appointed to Northwestern University in Qatar’s Joint Advisory Board (JAB).

Geneva Overholser, former ombudsman of The Washington Post and former editor of The Des Moines Register, will be in Doha in October to attend her first JAB meeting. As a member of the board, Overholser will join with other members in advising on the academic program of NU-Q.

“Ms. Overholser is a recognized leader in advancing journalistic excellence as a respected editor and journalist before taking on leadership roles in journalism education,” said Everette E. Dennis, dean and CEO. “Her appointment to our board comes at a pivotal time in NU-Q’s history as the trajectory of our program, unique in the region, is poised to add executive and graduate education to its portfolio. Her knowledge across both the professional and academic sectors will be greatly beneficial.”

While editor at The Des Moines Register, she led the newspaper to a Pulitzer Prize. Subsequently, she took on two leadership posts in journalism education, first as the Curtis B. Hurley Chair in Public Affairs Reporting at the Missouri School of Journalism, where she led its Washington reporting program, and subsequently  as director of the School of Journalism at the University of Southern California’s  Annenberg School for Communication. She also serves as a senior fellow at the Democracy Fund.

Through the Annenberg Public Policy Center, in 2006 she published a manifesto on the future of journalism titled On Behalf of Journalism: A Manifesto for Change. She is also co-editor, with Kathleen Hall Jamieson, of the volume The Press, part of the Oxford University Press Institutions of American Democracy series.

Overholser was for nine years a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board, the final year as chair, and is a former officer of the American Society of Newspaper Editors. She is a fellow of the Society of Professional Journalists and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She held a Nieman fellowship at Harvard and a Congressional fellowship with the American Political Science Association.

NU-Q’s advisory board is co-chaired by H.E. Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, vice chairperson and CEO of the Qatar Foundation, and Daniel I. Linzer, provost of Northwestern University.

She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a bachelor’s degree in history from Wellesley College, as well as a French language certificate from the University of Paris.