Following an extensive search process, Pulitzer Prize winner Ann Marie Lipinski has been selected as the next curator of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism, Harvard announced Tuesday.
Lipinski, who served as a Nieman Fellow in 1990, will return to the University in a time of significant uncertainty for the field of journalism.
From 2001 to 2008, Lipinski was the editor of the Chicago Tribune, a publication she served for 30 years.
During her tenure at the helm of Tribune, Lipinski oversaw a slew of changes to the paper, including the creation of a daily commuter edition and a monthly magazine—expertise that the members of the Nieman search committee considered during their process.
“We thought that it was important that whoever would take over this role was not just thinking about newspapers or just thinking about television,” said search committee member and PBS anchor Gwen Ifill.
The committee wanted to “cast a net as widely as possible towards different platforms, and [Lipinski] demonstrated that she not only was interested in this, but that she’d done this—and that she had a special affection on top of everything else for the Nieman program itself,” Ifill added.
Lipinski is currently the Vice President for Civic Engagement at the University of Chicago, where she oversees the University’s relations with the surrounding community. She is also a senior lecturer at the University.
Lipinski said that her work at U. Chicago has allowed her to see first hand how research universities function, and has allowed her to interact with students and faculty.
She will start at the Nieman Foundation this summer, after the current curator, Bob Giles, retires in June.
University Provost Steven E. Hyman told the Harvard Gazette that he was “thrilled” with the outcome of the search.
“Ann Marie recognizes the urgency surrounding the field of journalism and its future, and I am excited for the vision and innovation she will bring to one of Harvard’s most treasured institutions,” he said.
Although the landscape of journalism is changing, Lipinski said she has not given up on traditional forms.
“In my mind there’s not a war between these forms and there’s plenty of room for a variety of storytelling methods,” Lipinski said, noting that when she recently served as a Pulitzer Prize judge, the process was entirely different from that of a generation ago.
Despite the changes journalism is undergoing, Lipinski said that the one constant is the need for it.
“We’ve seen in the last couple of months the role that journalism, practiced in lots of different formats, has played in the seismic shifts across the globe—entire nations and societies transformed in part through the power of journalism,” she said.