Randell Beck, Joyce Dehli and Keven Ann Willey, three longtime regional newspaper executives, have been elected chairs of the Pulitzer Prize Board, Columbia University.
They succeed Paul Gigot, the editorial page editor and vice president of The Wall Street Journal, who has completed the nine-year maximum tenure on the board. Board chairs are appointed for one year.
Randell Beck, former publisher and executive editor of the Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, S.D., joined the Pulitzer Prize Board in 2008. He was an industry leader in recruiting and training journalists of color, as well as an advocate for First Amendment legislation. Under his leadership, the Argus Leader received numerous national awards for public service reporting.
A graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, he began his career at the Memphis Press-Scimitar as a courts and police reporter in 1979 and later covered energy and the environment for the Knoxville Journal. He also worked as an editor at the Kansas City Star, the San Bernardino County Sun and the News Journal in Wilmington, Del.
Since retiring from the news business in 2013, he has been an adjunct faculty member at the University of South Dakota, and currently is active in establishing a non-profit journalism center.
As Lee’s senior news executive for nine years, Dehli helped lead its journalists through a period of great professional change and digital innovation. Lee publishes 50 daily newspapers across the country, including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson, the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison and their affiliated digital news sites. She left Lee in 2015 to pursue a writing project, which is the focus of her Harvard fellowship.
A longtime journalist, Dehli began her career in Louisville, Ky., at The Courier-Journal and The Louisville Times. After returning to her native Wisconsin, she worked for many years at the Wisconsin State Journal as a reporter, city editor, and managing editor. Her journalism and projects under her leadership have received many awards.
Dehli led Pulitzer’s Centennial Campfires Initiative, a $1.5-million partnership with the Federation of State Humanities Councils, to sponsor events nationwide celebrating Pulitzer values throughout 2016. She was a 2002 Ethics Fellow at The Poynter Institute, and her professional service has included training journalists in leadership, ethical decision-making and data analysis. In March 2008, Dehli served as a juror for the Pulitzer Prize in Local Reporting.
Dehli, who lives in Washington, D.C., holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Marquette University in Milwaukee and a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Keven Ann Willey has been vice president and editorial page editor at The Dallas Morning News since 2002. Her department’s Bridging Dallas’ North-South Gap initiative won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing in 2010. (Her editorial pages at The News and at The Arizona Republic were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in 2008 and 2001.) The National Conference of Editorial Writers named The News Opinion Page of the Year for newspapers with 100,000-plus circulation in 2011.
Willey joined the Pulitzer Prize Board in 2008 and became chair of the Centennial Committee in 2013. The board announced its 100th class of winners last week, and its centennial events are being celebrated around the country throughout 2016.
Willey began her journalism career at The Associated Press in Phoenix in 1980. She later joined The Arizona Republic, where she covered the 1987-88 presidential campaign. She became The Republic’s political columnist in 1989 and was named editorial page editor in 1998. She has won many awards for news, column and editorial writing. She is also a past president of Texas Associated Press Managing Editors.
Willey holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northern Arizona University. She was a Hoover Fellow at Stanford University in 2001 and has completed the Management Development Program co-sponsored by the Kellogg Graduate School of Management and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. In 2014, she completed the Women’s Directors Program at the Kellogg School.