Susan Robinson King Joins Carnegie Corporation

Carnegie Corporation of New York has a new Director of Public Affairs. She is Susan Robinson King, a highly respected broadcast and print journalist with a broad background in government and nonprofit organizations. Most recently she has served as Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs of the U.S. Department of Labor.

King will join the senior management team of the foundation, succeeding longstanding public affairs director Avery Russell, who will retire on October 15. King was appointed after a lengthy search process involving more than 300 applicants for the position. The search committee was composed of Vartan Gregorian, President, two trustees – Henry Muller, Editorial Director of Time Inc., and Judy Woodruff, Anchor and Senior Correspondent for Cable News Network – Ed Sermier, Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, and Avery Russell, who conducted the initial interviews and will be assisting King during the transition.

"Susan King is at home in all aspects of today’s communications media and the workings of the press, with deep knowledge of government and the nonprofit field as well," commented Vartan Gregorian. "She is therefore just the right choice for Carnegie Corporation. We will be drawing heavily on her experience in all these domains and on her outstanding creative abilities and astute judgment in shaping and carrying out an effective strategic communications plan for the foundation and its programs. As a member of the senior staff, she will report directly to the president."

Gregorian added that, "Since the Corporation’s mandate is the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding, Susan will be at the very center of decision making about the uses of dissemination to connect research and action and to enhance public understanding of the major issues with which the Corporation is engaged. She will have direct involvement in program development and grantmaking, be in charge of all outreach and information dissemination on the processes and outcomes of grants, and represent the Corporation to the press and the public. We are extremely pleased to have attracted a person of her high caliber to the Corporation and look forward to working with her in the coming years. I am very grateful that Avery Russell has agreed to assist Susan King during the leadership transition."

The Corporation’s publishing program, encompassing the Carnegie Quarterly, the annual report and president’s essay, conference papers, and special reports, together with oversight of the burgeoning Web site, will also be King’s responsibility. One of her first tasks will be to assess the staffing needs of the public affairs department toward building up its editorial, electronic, and public relations capabilities.

King brings to the Corporation 25 years of award-winning journalism in New York and Washington, DC, where she has built a reputation for her ability to translate local and national news and the workings of government and diplomacy into understandable reports to the public. From 1969 to 1972 she worked for NBC and CBS News in New York City, then moved to Buffalo, New York, to produce films before joining the local station WGR-TV, where she became the first woman to anchor regular newscasts. In 1975 she transferred to Washington to work for the nationally respected WTOP-TV, then a Washington PostNewsweek station. From 1979 to 1983 she was Washington correspondent for ABC News. Subsequently, she worked for 10 years as news anchor for WJLA-TV and WRC-TV, also in Washington.

In 1995, after a year as a freelance journalist, where King was a frequent host of CNBC’s Equal Time and host of National Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation and the Diane Rehm Show, she entered government service. Serving first as Executive Director of the Department of Labor’s bipartisan Commission on Family and Medical Leave, she was then appointed Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs under Secretary Robert Reich, where she oversaw a staff of 60, in Washington and in 10 regional offices, and was a strategist in the campaign to achieve Minimum Wage legislation.

For a brief period she worked under Andrew Cuomo, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, establishing a communication strategy for the department’s Waste and Fraud initiatives and assisting in departmental reorganization.

In 1997 she rejoined the Department of Labor as Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs under Secretary Alexis M. Herman, where she was responsible in developing the communication strategy for 16 varied agencies and led the communication plan for the UPS strike and the Welfare to Work Initiative.

As a broadcast journalist, King has won two Emmy Awards, one for Individual Achievement for Cover Story and another for This is Lebanon. Her other professional awards include the National Women’s Political Caucus TV Award, received in 1985, 1986, and 1987; the Washington Dateline Award for Local Journalism; American Women in Radio and Television Commendations Awards; the New York State AP Award for Reporting; and the National Association of Black Journalists Award.

King is a graduate of Marymount College in Tarrytown, New York, with a B.A. in English. After a year at University College, London University, she returned to the U.S., receiving an M.A. in communications from Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut.

Of her many public service activities, she is a noted founder and Co-chair of the International Women’s Media Foundation, a network of global journalists that sponsors programs in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Africa, Latin America, and the United States. She conceived and instituted the prestigiousCourage in Journalism award, which has become an important vehicle for bringing worldwide public attention to the importance of a free and responsible press.

King is a member of the Board of Trustees of Marymount College, the Trustees Advisory Council of Fairfield University, the Board of Advisors of the Mount Carmel Shelter for Homeless Women, the Board of the Blessed Sacrament School, the Women’s Forum of Washington, DC, and the Advisory Board of the RTND Foundation’s Community Journalism project. She is also a member of Sigma Delta Chi.

King is married to Michael King and is the mother of Mia, a third grader whom they adopted from Latin America.

Under Vartan Gregorian, who became president in 1997, the Corporation is developing new grant programs in higher education – in the United States, Commonwealth Africa, and the former Soviet Union – and entering a new phase of its program work in early childhood education, international peace and security, international development, intergroup relations, and democratic change. Its 1999 budget for grants is $60 million.