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Columbia Journalism School announced Friday that Jelani Cobb, a staff writer for The New Yorker and professor at the school, will be its next dean.
Cobb, who is the Ira A. Lipman Professor of Journalism and director of the Ira A. Lipman Center for Journalism and Civil and Human Rights at Columbia Journalism School, will begin his position as dean in August.
Announcing his appointment, Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger said: “Jelani is a highly distinguished and renowned journalist and historian. Since 2012, he has worked for The New Yorker, as a contributor and currently as a staff writer, offering in-depth analyses of a wide array of subjects, ranging from electoral politics and policing to filmmaking and stand-up comedy.”
Bollinger noted other accomplishments in Cobb’s career, mentioning his authorship of two books and his co-editorship of an anthology of portraits of Black life in America.
“Jelani’s vision for the future of the Journalism School is one that embraces the vital role of journalism in our society, on a local and global scale, and the need to ensure our graduates are as well prepared as possible for an incredibly dynamic and changing field,” Bollinger wrote. “I am grateful to the members of the search committee for their careful and tireless work throughout this selection process—we are all delighted with this outcome and look forward to seeing how, as Dean, Jelani will shape the future of journalism education.”
Cobb, who received an undergraduate degree from Howard University and a PhD from Rutgers University, has had his writing published in The Washington Post, The New Republic, Essence, Vibe, The Progressive and TheRoot.com, and reported for the documentary “Whose Vote Counts.” He will replace former New Yorker staff writer Steve Coll as dean.