the kicker

Pulitzer Prize Board announces three new members

Steve Coll, Quiara Alegria Hudes, and Aminda Marques Gonzalez to join
October 23, 2012

Columbia University announced today that three new members are joining the Pulitzer Prize Board.

Steve Coll, who has worked at The New Yorker since 2005, the playwright Quiara Alegria Hudes, and Aminda Marques Gonzalez, an executive editor at The Miami Herald, are the latest additions to the board since Stephen Engelberg of ProPublica joined in May.

“They represent excellence from the areas that they come from,” said Sig Gissler, who has administered the Pulitzer Prize since 2002. “We look for diversity in the broadest sense: different backgrounds, regions, experiences, gender, race, and ethnicity are all factors. The board was very enthusiastic about these three members and they look forward to working them.”

The three new members will join existing members of the board for a meeting in November, ahead of the next round of awards in April. They bring with them their respective expertise in national and regional press and the arts.

Steve Coll joined the New Yorker after a 20-year stint at the Washinton Post. He is the author of seven nonfiction titles and has twice won a Pulitzer, once in the Explanatory Reporting category for a Washington Post series about the Securities and Exchange Commission, and in the General Nonfiction category for his book on the secret history of the CIA.

Though she trained as a musician, Quiara Alegria Hudes scooped up the Drama award at the 2012 Pulitzers for her play, “Water By The Spoonful.” In 2007 debut “Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue” was also nominated in that category.

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During her tenure as executive editor at The Miami Herald, Aminda Marques Gonzalez (one of CJR’s 20 women to watch) and her team were nominated for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Public Service for a series detailing the state’s systemic failures in regulating assisted-living facilities. She previously served as a Pulitzer Journalism juror.

The recipients of the 21 annual Pulitzer Prizes are decided by 20 board members who serve for a maximum of nine years in three three-year terms. Of those 20, neither the administrator, Sig Gissler, or the Dean of the Columbia Journalism School, Nick Lemann, have the right to vote.

Gissler couldn’t say whether any of the other board seats would be up for grabs between now and the 2013 awards, but one seat will definitely change when Lemann steps down as Dean of the journalism school at the end of this academic year.

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Hazel Sheffield is a journalist and filmmaker based in London. She is a former CJR fellow and business editor of the Independent.