The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications today announced the appointment of veteran political journalist Margaret Talev as the Kramer Director of the Syracuse University Democracy, Journalism and Citizenship Institute. Talev will be based in Washington, D.C. and report to Newhouse dean Mark J. Lodato. She will assume the position in January.
“Margaret Talev brings both the experience and the perspective needed to head up our new Democracy, Journalism and Citizenship, Institute” Lodato says. “Her many years as a political journalist have given her an on-the-ground view of the issues and a deep knowledge of Washington. She has worked to build diverse teams and share diverse stories. And she is committed to the ideals of the institute and to supporting and leading our students and faculty as they do this important work.”
Talev joins the University following a 30-year career covering American politics and the White House. She is currently the managing editor for politics at Axios and a CNN political analyst. She has also served as senior White House correspondent for Bloomberg News and McClatchy Newspapers and held positions at the Los Angeles Times, Sacramento Bee and Tampa Tribune. She is a past president of the White House Correspondents’ Association and the Washington Press Club Foundation, and has taught courses at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She will transition to a role as senior contributor at Axios following her move to the institute.
“I am thrilled to have been entrusted with launching Syracuse’s Democracy, Journalism and Citizenship Institute—and grateful to my colleagues at Axios for their support,” Talev says. “The mission of this institute is truly my North Star. It is what drew me to journalism as the child of an immigrant who fled Communism for American democracy, and what’s guided my approach for 30 years covering everything from local news to the White House.”
Says Axios co-founder Mike Allen, “Margaret Talev—one of Washington’s best connected and most respected journalists—has long bolstered democracy through her reporting, teaching and leadership. Margaret has the perfect combination of personal passion and life experience to pioneer this new institute.”
The Syracuse University Democracy, Journalism and Citizenship Institute is a joint effort of the Newhouse School and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Based in Washington, the institute will promote nonpartisan, evidence-based research and dialogue in the public interest and support the work of faculty and students. It will strive to create new knowledge, foster a more informed and engaged citizenry and better equip students for success.
“We’re confident in Margaret’s leadership strength, deep knowledge of the issues and the ability to work across a range of interests to develop this partnership and our shared vision of Syracuse University’s contribution to advancing civic dialogue,” says David M. Van Slyke, dean of the Maxwell School.
Beverly Kirk was appointed director of Washington programs in August. The Newhouse School currently has open positions for two new faculty members—one based in Syracuse and the other in Washington—who will be associated with the institute and also be part of the University’s Citizenship and Democratic Institutions research cluster. Other institute faculty will include a research director from the Maxwell School.
The directorship is supported by a $1 million endowment from alumnus and University Trustee Larry Kramer ’72, former president and publisher of USA Today.
“This country must restore the ability of people with differing opinions to respectfully debate these important issues. We must revive respect for truth and trust,” Kramer says. “The combination of two powerhouse schools—Newhouse and Maxwell—puts us in a perfect position to launch this new institute and to host the debate over the biggest problems our democracy is facing today. Trust in our governing institutions, our political system and the media are at all-time lows. By raising the level of respectful debate and discussion, we will seek to find constructive solutions to restoring that trust.”