The Washington Journalism and Media Conference


Vice President of Corps Excellence, Report for America

Alison Bethel is Vice President of Corps Excellence at Report for America, an initiative of The GroundTruth Project that places emerging journalists in newsrooms across America.  Previously, she was Executive Director of the Society of Professional Journalists, where she was only the second woman and the first person of color to serve in that capacity in SPJ’s 110 years. Bethel has more than 35 years of experience as an award-winning reporter, bureau chief, senior editor and media trainer. She has worked in senior-level positions at The Boston Globe, The Detroit News, Legal Times and the Nassau Guardian in The Bahamas. From July 2016 to May 2017, Bethel  served as a visiting professor of print and investigative journalism for the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media in Bangalore. She also spent a year in Accra, Ghana, for the Washington, D.C.-based International Center for Journalists, as a Knight International Journalism Fellow, helping Ghanaian journalists improve their reporting skills in the run-up to the 2008 presidential election. She also worked at The Miami Herald, The Los Angeles Times, Poughkeepsie Journal and the now-defunct State Times in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In 2009, she joined the International Press Institute, based in Vienna, Austria, as Deputy Director before becoming the Institute’s executive director a year later. She was the first woman and the first person of color in IPI’s 60-plus-year history to hold the position. The next year, she was named one of the 60 most influential black women in Europe by the nonprofit Black Women in Europe. In 2018, she was awarded the President’s Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Bethel is a co-founder of the Media Institute of the Caribbean and acts as an advisor/consultant for the news website in Barbados. She is also an advisory board member for Journalism & Women’s Symposium, a member of Journalism’s Strategic Committee, a board member of Southern Foodways Alliance and an advisory board member for the International Center for Media Ethics. She holds membership with the National Association of Black Journalists and the organization Christian Women in Media.