The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), an independent, non-profit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide, has announced that Kathleen Carroll has been elected chair of its board of directors. The board voted on May 25 for Carroll, whose term will run from 2017 to 2020, to succeed Sandra Mims Rowe, who served two terms as chairman from 2011 to 2017.
“I am honored to serve CPJ as board chair and support the incredible staffers who work tirelessly to keep journalists out of danger,” Carroll said. “That mission has never been more important. Journalists in many places around the world are being killed, jailed, tortured and threatened at an alarming rate, simply for doing their jobs. And in the United States, powerful public officials seek to undermine journalists and the press freedoms that were enshrined in the Constitution more than 200 years ago.”
Kathleen Carroll joined CPJ’s board in 2008 and has served as the vice chair for the past five years. From 2002 through 2016, she was executive editor and senior vice president of The Associated Press, responsible for content in all formats from the journalists based in the AP’s 243 bureaus in 97 countries around the world. Carroll first joined the AP’s Dallas bureau in 1978, after working as a reporter at The Dallas Morning News. During her career at the AP, she was also a writer or editor in Washington, New Jersey, and California.
Carroll previously worked at Knight Ridder, where she directed Washington and international coverage for newspapers and multimedia; The International Herald Tribune in Paris, as a business editor; and the San Jose Mercury News. She served on the board of the Pulitzer Prizes from 2003-2012, the last year as co-chair.
“As someone who has led a global news organization, Kathleen Carroll understands better than anyone what it’s like to be a journalist on the front lines. She is the right leader for CPJ,” said Joel Simon, CPJ’s executive director. “This is also an opportunity to express our deep gratitude to Sandy Rowe, who has steered CPJ through a period of growth and change. Thanks to her leadership, we are prepared to defend press freedom at a time when it has never been more threatened.”
CPJ’s bylaws dictate that a chairman is elected for one three-year term and may serve an additional three-year term. The chair and vice chair may serve beyond the 10-year limitation for board membership. CPJ’s board of directors is composed of leading journalists from the United States and around the world.