Geneva Overholser

Senior Fellow


Geneva Overholser is a former professor and director of USC Annenberg's School of Journalism, and a senior fellow at Annenberg's Center on Communication Leadership and Policy. She served as the School's director from 2008 until 2013. Previously, she held the Curtis B. Hurley Chair in Public Affairs Reporting for the Missouri School of Journalism, where she was based in the school's Washington bureau.

She was editor of The Des Moines Register from 1988 to 1995, where she led the paper to a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. While at the Register, she also earned recognition as Editor of the Year by the National Press Foundation and was named "The Best in the Business" by American Journalism Review.

She has been ombudsman of The Washington Post, a member of the editorial board of The New York Times, a syndicated columnist for The Washington Post Writers Group, and a reporter for the Colorado Springs Sun. She has been a columnist for the Columbia Journalism Review and frequent contributor to She also spent five years overseas, working and writing in Paris and Kinshasa.

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.

She serves on the board of the Academy of American Poets, and is a former member of the boards of the Center for Public Integrity, the Committee of Concerned Journalists, the John S. Knight Fellowships at Stanford University and the National Press Foundation, and former advisory committee member of the Poynter Institute and the Knight Foundation. She 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.

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Geneva Overholser In the News

Senior fellow Geneva Overholser was elected to the Rita Allen Foundation's Board of Directors.

"Geneva Overholser is one of our nation's most perceptive and inspiring leaders in journalism," said Elizabeth Good Christopherson, President and CEO of the Rita Allen Foundation. "We are honored to have her voice and talents as we work to support transformative ideas in science and civil society, including new approaches to engaging citizens in public issues."

Senior fellow Geneva Overholser was featured in a new report by Harvard's Nieman Foundation on the lack of female newsroom leaders.

Senior fellow Geneva Overholser was interviewed by Ruben Sanchez for the Innovator Series at Skyword.

Senior fellow Geneva Overholser discusses open journalism in this video interview. She moderated OSCE's May 5 event in Vienna, Open Journalism and the Open Road Ahead.

Senior fellow Geneva Overholser moderated OSCE's May 5 event in Vienna, Open Journalism and the Open Road Ahead. The event is the first in "a series of meetings among experts, policymakers and regulators touching on the practice and terminology of Open Journalism, legal issues, accountability and regulatory challenges."

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