Thursday, June 28, 2007

Job opp: Exec director of IRE

From Chronicle researcher Kathleen Rhodes:

To: IRE members and friends
From: James Grimaldi

I’m writing to give you an update and ask for your help as we search for a new executive director to replace Brant Houston. Now is the time to suggest people who would be great for this position as IRE makes the transition to new leadership.

As you’ll recall, in March we announced Brant's intent to leave IRE to be the Knight Chair in Investigative and Enterprise Reporting at the University of Illinois. Brant is set to begin at Illinois in the fall. We are grateful that Brant will continue with IRE as a consultant until Dec. 31 to continue to oversee IRE's operations while we complete the search.

For those of you who missed the IRE annual conference in Phoenix, the Board wanted to let you know that the staff and Board honored Brant’s remarkable 13 years of service to IRE by creating an endowment fund in his name to support global investigative reporting. (We’ve raised more than $10,000 so far. You can donate on the IRE web site at and earmarking your contribution to the “Brant Houston fund.”)

If you were with us in Arizona, you saw that we posted a job description. It also is on the IRE Web site and we are circulating it among journalism organizations. Ads also are set to run in major journalism publications.

Brant’s talents will be hard to match. Yet, the Board believes this is a great job and is optimistic about finding a dynamic leader to oversee our 12-member staff and $1.4 million budget. The job includes a parttime teaching assignment on the faculty of the Missouri Journalism School.

I have asked David Boardman, executive editor of the Seattle Times, to chair a Transition and Search Committee. As past president of IRE and a seasoned newsroom manger, Dave is ideal to lead this carefully selected committee of IRE members in our nationwide search. With Brant’s strategic help, the committee has met three times, discussed IRE’s future needs and developed the job description.

We are looking for a respected journalist with managerial experience, an entrepreneurial and enterprising spirit, creativity to help the organization grow internationally and on the Web, and flexibility to work with a rapidly changing media industry. Nonprofit experience and fundraising ability are significant pluses.

If you know someone who fits this description, please encourage them to apply. We are recruiting, too, and feel free to pass along any leads to Dave,, or me,, any member of the IRE Board or any member of the committee:

Jan Colbert , who has served as IRE executive director and is an associate professor and chair of magazine journalism at the Missouri School of Journalism, where IRE is based.; Renee Ferguson , an IRE board member and broadcast reporter who has been on leave from WMAQ-Chicago to be a Nieman fellow this year at Harvard. ,;Chuck Lewis, an IRE member for 25 years and a former CBS 60 Minutes producer who has founded three nonprofit corporations, including the Center for Public Integrity.; Shawn McIntosh, a past president of IRE who is director of culture and change at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution , focusing on training and implementation of new standards.; Neal Shapiro, president and CEO of Education Broadcasting Corp., owner of Channel Thirteen/WNET, and former president of NBC News.

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