View of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. Photo by Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer

Photo by Steve Kagan

Campus & Community

New leader of Nieman Foundation

4 min read

Choice is Ann Marie Lipinski, former Chicago Tribune editor

Ann Marie Lipinski, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and former editor of the Chicago Tribune, has been named curator of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard.

“I am thrilled with the outcome of this search,” said Harvard Provost Steven E. Hyman.  “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.”

Lipinski, currently a senior lecturer and vice president for civic engagement at the University of Chicago, succeeds longtime Nieman curator Bob Giles, who announced his retirement last fall.

In her new role, Lipinski said she hopes to foster increased rapport among Nieman fellows, faculty, and other campus constituents, and open foundation programming to allow for larger audiences and impact.

Harvard and the Nieman Foundation have an extraordinary record of promoting and elevating the standards of journalism, and there is more to be done,” Lipinski said. “I look forward to working with colleagues at universities and news organizations globally in addressing the challenges and promise of journalism. Harvard’s deep commitment to this work and to excellence makes this an extraordinary time to be at Nieman.”

Lipinski brings three decades of journalism experience to her new post. Prior to joining the University of Chicago in 2008, where she is credited with major contributions to the discourse around the future of the city, arts programs in the community, and collaborations with local public schools, she served as editor of the Chicago Tribune for more than seven years. Under her stewardship, the Tribune became known as a leader in public service journalism, publishing stories with both investigative depth and literary detail, including a multiyear reporting effort that helped bring about a moratorium on the death penalty in Illinois. Under her leadership, the Tribune won Pulitzers for international, explanatory, investigative, feature, and editorial writing. The paper also significantly expanded its portfolio of print and digital offerings.

As curator, Lipinski will be responsible for managing the foundation’s fellowship program, conferences, seminars, and journalism awards. She also will oversee all Nieman programs and publications, as well as recently created specialized reporting fellowships aimed at increasing coverage of such key areas as global health, business, arts and culture, and community reporting.

Lipinski joined the Tribune in 1978 as an editorial intern and worked in a variety of reporting and editing roles before being named managing editor and then editor of the paper. In 1988 she was one of three reporters awarded a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting on corruption and conflicts of interest in the Chicago City Council. The following year, she was named a Nieman Fellow.

“I have no doubt of the singular role that experience played in preparing me for leadership in my newsroom and my profession,” she said. “I’m indebted to Harvard and to Nieman for what was a transformative year, and I am excited to have the chance to support others in their work here.”

Lipinski holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan. She is co-chair of the Pulitzer Prize board, is chair of the board of the University of Chicago Charter School, and serves on the board of visitors for Stanford University‘s Knight Fellowships for journalists.

The Nieman Foundation was created in 1938 with a bequest to Harvard from Agnes Wahl Nieman in memory of her husband Lucius, founder and longtime publisher of the Milwaukee Journal. Its mission is to promote and elevate the standards of journalism and educate persons deemed specially qualified for the field.