NPR senior director to lead Wallace House

Tuesday, April 5, 2016 - 5:26pm

Lynette Clemetson, current senior director of strategy and content initiatives at National Public Radio, will take on a new position at the University of Michigan in July as the director of Wallace House.

Located just off Central Campus, Wallace House serves as the heart of the Knight-Wallace Fellowships and the Livingston Awards, distinctions for achievement in journalism. The organization’s fellowship offers mid-career journalists a year of study at the University of Michigan to advance their careers, and the Livingston Award honors top journalists under the age of 35 with monetary rewards. According to the Wallace House’s website, the award is the “largest all-media, general reporting prize in American journalism.”

Wallace House also organizes and offers seminars, workshops, and dinners for honorees.

Clemetson, a Knight-Wallace fellow in 2009, began working at NPR in 2012, where she was the Director of StateImpact, a project that looked looked at how state policy affects American lives, as well as the senior supervising editor of NPR’s Morning Edition.

Earlier in her career, Clemetson worked for Newsweek and The New York Times. She was also the founding managing editor of TheRoot.com, a leading African-American news and opinion source.

Current Wallace House Director Charles R. Eisendrath, who founded the Livingston Awards and led a $60 million endowment for the fellowships, said Tuesday that he could not imagine a better person for the job.

“Lynette Clemetson combines a spectacular career in several dimensions in and around journalism with a wonderful personal manner, and a sense of humor,” he said. “Lynette will be the new me. I cannot imagine better hands in which to leave a legacy of 35 years. She’ll be wonderful.”

Clemetson was nominated for the position by a committee appointed by Provost Martha Pollack after a national search. The final decision on the position was made by Pollack and University President Mark Schlissel.

In a press release, Clemetson said she saw the Wallace House’s mission as important for the complexity of media today, and was looking forward to the position.

“It is an honor to build on Charles Eisendrath's strong legacy, the program's international focus and its connection to the University of Michigan,” she said. “I look forward to expanding Wallace House's role in supporting media innovation and experimentation and being a prominent force for good in sustaining journalists of all sorts in their mission, passion and craft."