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Liz Willen Named Director of Hechinger Institute

Thomas James, Vice President and Provost of Teachers College, Columbia University, has announced that Liz Willen, the Interim Director of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media at Teachers College, Columbia University, has been promoted to the position of Director of the Institute, effective December 1. Willen will remain as Editor of the Hechinger Report, an independent, nonprofit education news service published by the Institute.

Willen served as Associate Director of the Institute beginning in 2006, as well as Associate Editor of the Hechinger Report. She took on the role of Interim Director last April, succeeding Richard Colvin, who became Executive Director of Education Sector, an independent think tank in Washington, D.C.

James, who chaired the search committee for a new director, said, Willen has the “full support” of the College “as she continues to build the crucially important work of the Hechinger Report and other initiatives of the Institute.”  James added that the College and President Susan Fuhrman “are committed to the excellent staff who are producing the Hechinger Report and other successful initiatives of the Institute.”

A veteran education reporter, Willen has won numerous prizes for education coverage. Before joining the Hechinger Institute, she shared the 2005 George Polk Award for health reporting with two colleagues at Bloomberg Markets magazine, where she served as senior writer covering higher education. Prior to that, Willen had spent most of her career at Newsday, where she covered the New York City public school system. A graduate of Tufts University and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, she is an active New York City public school parent.

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