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Geneva Overholser

Geneva Overholser (MSJ71) is a member of the inaugural class of the Medill Hall of Achievement of 1997.

Overholser was director of journalism and professor at USC Annenberg's School of Journalism. She served as the school's director from 2008 until 2013. 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.

She was editor of The Des Moines Register from 1988 to 1995, 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.

She 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 serves on the boards of the Center for Public Integrity, the Committee of Concerned Journalists, the John S. Knight Fellowships at Stanford University, the Fund for Independence in Journalism, the Academy of American Poets, the Journalism Advisory Committee of the Knight Foundation and the Northwestern University in Qatar. 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.

Overholser holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Wellesley College.

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