Kennard will lead the Center’s development of a project on Women in Communication Leadership that will become a center for scholarly research, policy analysis, and professional executive training. Kennard will also contribute to the CCLP blog and participate in other public programs.
“Throughout my career, I have watched women in the media make an extraordinary difference when they held key leadership positions,” Kennard said. “The bold decision-making and the focused, creative drive that women bring as leaders must continue to have a defining role in the reinvention of the media and communication industries. I am very pleased to be working on this project at the USC Annenberg School alongside my dear colleague Geoff Cowan who has had a major impact in nearly every facet of the communication world.
“Cinny Kennard is an exceptional journalist and highly respected media executive who understands the challenges facing the news business and the critical need to find new ways to keep the public informed and engaged,” said Geoffrey Cowan, USC university professor, dean emeritus of the Annenberg School and director of the Center on Communication Leadership and Policy. “There is a worldwide need to continue to increase and improve the role of women in all sectors of the communication field, including in news and information. Cinny will play an invaluable role in developing our work in this area and I am delighted to welcome her back to USC Annenberg.”
Kennard, who was a USC Annenberg journalism professor and project director from 1999-2003, joins the CCLP after five and a half years as Managing Director/Managing Editor of National Public Radio‘s West Coast Production Center. As NPR’s chief West Coast executive, she guided the strategic direction and management of NPR West in both an editorial and operational capacity. She also built the digital footprint for the radio programs based there.
Before NPR, Kennard’s journalism career included several years as a CBS News correspondent based in Los Angeles, London, and Moscow. Kennard covered stories ranging from the civil unrest in the wake of the Rodney King verdict, the 1994 uprising in Moscow and the war in the former Yugoslavia. She also worked as both correspondent and host for television stations in Dallas, Houston and Ft. Wayne, IN. Her broadcast career started at WNLK Radio in Norwalk, Conn., where she was a reporter, anchor and talk show host.
During her previous tenure at USC Annenberg, she launched projects aimed at improving broadcast journalism, including Reliable Resources, the Pew Charitable Trust-sponsored project to improve radio and television political coverage. She researched and published widely on the role of females in broadcast war coverage, including co-authoring Characteristics of War Coverage by Female Correspondents in the book Media and Conflict in the Twenty-First Century (Palgrave Macmillan 2005). Her research on gender and television war coverage was presented at several conferences, including the American Political Science Association. “The addition of Cinny Kennard to USC Annenberg School’s Center on Communication Leadership and Policy is another exciting appointment for our school,” said Ernest J.Wilson III, dean of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. “As USC Annenberg continues to focus on leadership, innovation and entrepreneurism, we are thrilled to add Cinny’s expertise and talent to what we offer. In this challenging time for the media industry, she is just the person to help lead the conversation for students, professionals and the community as a whole.”
Kennard is also a co-founder and current board member of the Carole Kneeland Project for Responsible Television Journalism. She was a member of the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award jury for excellence in broadcast journalism for nine years. She currently serves on the editorial advisory board for Global Post, a new Internet news service built to redefine international news for the digital age. She is a member of the International Women’s Forum, a global organization of preeminent women of significant and diverse achievement.