Amanda Bennett and Ellis Cose join CCLP as Senior Fellows

The USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy (CCLP) is pleased to welcome Amanda Bennett and Ellis Cose as its newest Senior Fellows. 

Amanda Bennett is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, investigative journalist and editor and was Director of the Voice of America from March 2016 to April 2020. Through 2013, she was Executive Editor, Bloomberg News, where she created and ran a global team of investigative reporters and editors. She was also co-founder of Bloomberg News’ Women’s project. She was editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer from June 2003 to November 2006, and prior to that was editor of the Herald-Leader in Lexington, Kentucky. She also served for three years as managing editor/projects for The Oregonian in Portland. Bennett served as a Wall Street Journal reporter for more than 20 years. A graduate of Harvard College, she held numerous posts at the Journal, including auto industry reporter in Detroit in the late 70s and early 80s, Pentagon and State Department reporter, Beijing correspondent, management editor/reporter, national economics correspondent and, finally, chief of the Atlanta bureau until 1998, when she moved to The Oregonian. She has also been a contributing columnist for The Washington Post.

Bennett shared the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting with her Journal colleagues, and in 2001 led a team from The Oregonian to a Pulitzer for public service. Projects by the Bloomberg Projects and Investigations team won numerous awards, including Loeb, Polk, Barlett & Steele, Headliners, Society of American Business Editors and Writers and Overseas Press Club Awards. She is the 2018 awardee of the Washington Women in Journalism Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2019 recipient of the National Press Club’s Fourth Estate Award.

She was a member of the board of the Pulitzer Prizes from 2003 to 2011, and served as co-Chair of the Pulitzer Board in 2010. She has also served on the boards of the Loeb Awards, the American Society of News Editors; and of the Fund for Investigative Journalism as well as the board of advisers of the Temple University Press; the board of directors of Axis Philly, a nonprofit local news site; and of the Rosenbach Museum, a Philadelphia museum of rare books; she is currently on the board of the German Marshall Fund. She is also a member of the board of the Lenfest Institute in Philadelphia which supports local journalism including the Philadelphia Inquirer; a member of the board of the Committee to Protect Journalists; a member of the advisory Board of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University and a member of the advisory board of the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill School of Journalism.

She is the author of six books including “In Memoriam” (1998), co-authored with Terence B. Foley; “The Man Who Stayed Behind” (1993), co-authored with Sidney Rittenberg; “Death of the Organization Man” (1991) and “The Quiet Room” (1996), co-authored with Lori Schiller. “The Cost of Hope,” her memoir of the battle she and Foley, her late husband, fought against his kidney cancer, was published in June 2012 by Random House.

Ellis Cose is the author of a dozen books on issues of national and international concern, including the best-selling The Rage of a Privileged Class; The Short Life and Curious Death of Free Speech in America; and DEMOCRACY, IF WE CAN KEEP IT: The ACLU’s 100-Year Fight for Rights in America, the definitive history of the American Civil Liberties Union. Cose is currently a columnist and member of the board of contributors for USA Today and a contributing columnist for Yahoo News.

A Chicago native, Cose holds a master’s degree in science, technology, and public policy from George Washington University. For 17 years, Cose was a columnist and contributing editor for Newsweek magazine. He is a former chairman of the editorial board and editorial page editor of the New York Daily News. Cose was the inaugural writer in residence for the ACLU. He also served as moderator of a series of dialogues between the NYPD brass and various communities in New York. As a senior adviser to the Pinkerton Foundation, he produced a short book that looked at fifty years of Pinkerton Foundation grant making in the context of changing trends in youth development and delinquency.

He has been a contributor and press critic for Time magazine, chief executive officer of the Institute for Journalism Education, chief writer on management and workplace issues for USA Today and a member of the editorial board of the Detroit Free Press. He has been a fellow at the University of California Center for Free Speech and Public Engagement, the Gannett Center for Media Studies at Columbia University, the National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences, and the Washington-based Joint Center for Political Studies and Economic Studies. He has also worked as a consultant to several foundations, including the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations. He began his career with the Chicago Sun-Times, where he was a columnist, editor, and national correspondent. At 19 when he joined the Sun-Times, Cose was the youngest op-ed columnist ever employed by a major Chicago daily.

Cose is also an independent radio producer and a popular lecturer and public speaker. He created, produced and hosted Against the Odds, a pilot radio series set in Kenya and the United states, which aired in 2008 in more than 100 radio markets, including eight stations in the top 11 markets of the United States. He followed that up with a four-part series in 2009 (featuring stories from Rwanda, Kenya, India and the United States), which also aired in top radio markets across the United States. He has appeared on a range of national and international news programs, including Dateline, ABC News, and Good Morning America. Cose lives in New York City with his wife and daughter.