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Journalist Jelani Cobb Named New Dean Of Columbia Journalism School

Journalist Jelani Cobb Named New Dean Of Columbia Journalism School

He’s going to lead the next generation well!

Journalist Jelani Cobb has been named the new Dean of Columbia’s Journalism School, Columbia University reports.

Cobb holds an undergraduate degree from Howard University and a Ph.D. in American History from Rutgers. A world-renowned journalist and historian, he has spent most of his career advocating for social justice, culture, and civil rights. A current staff writer for The New Yorker, Cobb offers his insight and analysis on an array of topics including electoral politics, policing, filmmaking, and comedy. He’s also authored several books including one on the election of President Barack Obama and another on the history of hip-hop, his most recent work being an anthology of portraits of Black life in America that he co-edited. 

In 2016, Cobb joined Columbia as a professor and director at the Ira A. Lipman Center for Journalism and Civil and Human Rights. There he teaches a few courses including a seminar called “Covering Race,” which deep dives into the influence of race in the U.S. and its impact on media and reporting. Now, Cobb has been appointed as the next Dean of Columbia Journalism School by Columbia President Lee C. Bollinger. 

“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. 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,” said President Bollinger. 

Cobb’s appointment is just another accomplishment under his belt. In addition to being a Fulbright and Ford Foundation fellow, Cobb has also had his work featured in prominent publications like The Washington Post, Essence, Vibe, and The Root. He has also been featured in USA Today and PBS Frontline’s Peabody Award-winning documentary, “Whose Vote Counts,” in partnership with Columbia Journalism Investigations. In 2015, Cobb was also honored with the Sidney Hillman Award for Opinion and Analysis Journalism. 

He’s expected to start in his new role on August 1, 2022, taking over for former Columbia Journalism Dean Steve Coll. Bollinger expressed his “deepest gratitude” for Coll’s previous leadership. 

Congratulations, Dean Cobb! Onward and upward!

Photo Courtesy of Calla Kessler/Columbia University