Geneva Overholser is director of the School of Journalism at the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. 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. From 1988 to 1995, Overholser was editor of The Des Moines Register, 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. In addition, Overholser 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 Poynter.org. 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. Overholser is a member of the boards of the Knight Fellowships at Stanford, the Center for Public Integrity, the Committee of Concerned Journalists and the Academy of American Poets. She serves on the Journalism Advisory Committee of 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. 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. 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 a French language certificate from the Sorbonne. She has honorary doctorates from Grinnell College and St. Andrews Presbyterian College, and alumnae achievement awards from Wellesley, Northwestern and Medill.
Director of the School of Journalism, University of Southern California, Socrates Program