Rowe elected CPJ chairman

New York, June 16, 2011–Sandra Mims Rowe, a distinguished editor with a record of journalistic and civic leadership, has been elected chairman of the Committee to Protect Journalists. Rowe succeeds Paul Steiger, president and editor-in-chief of ProPublica. Steiger served as CPJ chairman since 2005.

“I am honored by this opportunity to lead CPJ’s global mission of defending journalists’ freedom to report fully and question fairly,” said Rowe. “Free expression is the bedrock of good governance and successful societies everywhere.”

Rowe, who joined the CPJ board of directors in 2003, has been producing award-winning journalism for nearly 40 years. With her as its editor, The Oregonian, a U.S. daily newspaper based in Portland, Oregon, won five Pulitzer Prizes including the Gold Medal for Public Service. In 2010 and 2011, Rowe was the Knight Fellow at Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center, where she researched the case for partnerships and collaboration in local investigative reporting. She is a past president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and former chairman of the board of the Pulitzer Prizes.

“Sandy’s dynamic leadership, profound command of the issue, and keen judgment will serve CPJ’s advocacy on behalf of journalists worldwide who face physical violence or censorship,” said Steiger. “The challenges and opportunities are greater than ever before, and she is the right person to take them on.”

Rowe was elected chairman at a meeting of the CPJ board of directors held Wednesday at the organization’s headquarters in New York. Steiger served two three-year terms, the maximum under CPJ’s bylaws. CPJ is an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide by defending the rights of journalists to report the news without fear of reprisal.

“We are immensely grateful to Paul Steiger for his untiring leadership, and we are excited for the future of CPJ under Sandra Mims Rowe’s direction,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon.