Geneva Overholser Named Center for Public Integrity Board Chair

Geneva Overholser
Geneva Overholser

Contact: Steve Carpinelli
The Center for Public Integrity

Washington, D.C. (July 12, 2007) — The Center for Public Integrity is pleased to announce the election of Geneva Overholser to lead its board of directors. Overholser, who has served on the Center’s board for the past two years, was named during the June board meeting to succeed co-founding board member and chairman Charles Piller, who will step down to join the Center’s advisory board.

“Geneva Overholser is a journalist of the highest professional stature. The Center for Public Integrity is honored that she has agreed to serve as board chair,” said Center Executive Director Bill Buzenberg. “She brings her energy and talent to the Center’s renewed vitality and focus, and I am tremendously grateful to her for taking on this important role.”

The Center for Public Integrity
The Center for Public Integrity is a nonprofit, nonpartisan independent Washington, D.C.-based organization that does investigative reporting and research on significant public issues. Since 1990, the Center has released more than 400 investigative reports and 17 books. It has received the prestigious George Polk Award and more than 22 other national journalism awards and 16 finalist nominations from national organizations, including PEN USA and Investigative Reporters and Editors. In April 2006, the Society of Professional Journalists recognized the Center with a national award for excellence in online public service journalism for the fifth consecutive year. In October 2006, the Center was honored with the Online News Association’s coveted General Excellence Award. In March 2007, the Center was given a special citation for the body of its investigative work from the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

A frequent print, broadcast and online media critic, Overholser currently holds the Curtis B. Hurley Chair in Public Affairs Reporting for the Missouri School of Journalism in its Washington, D.C., bureau. She was editor of The Des Moines Register from 1988 to 1995, which under her leadership won the 1990 Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for Public Service and earned her the accolades “Editor of the Year” by the National Press Foundation and “Best in the Business” by the American Journalism Review.

“With commercial pressure fast eroding public-interest journalism, nonprofit independent investigative reporting is essential,” said Overholser. “The Center has long led in this field. Today’s promising multi-media world gives us a chance to be an even stronger and more effective watchdog. I’m honored and eager to work with Bill Buzenberg and our wonderful staff and board to make that happen.”

In 2002, Overholser co-edited The Press as an Institution of Democracy, with Kathleen Hall Jamieson. She is a former officer of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and chair of the Pulitzer Board, and she served as an editorial board member for The New York Times and an ombudsman at The Washington Post. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Wellesley College, a Master’s in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and has received honorary doctorates from Grinnell College and St. Andrews Presbyterian College. She was a Nieman fellow at Harvard and a Congressional Fellow with the American Political Science Association. In addition to the Center, Overholser also sits on the boards of the John S. Knight Fellowships at Stanford University, the Fund for Independence in Journalism in Washington, D.C., and the Academy of American Poets.

Updated: April 17, 2020

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