NLP founder & CEO Alan Miller to transition to new role; Charles Salter named successor
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 4, 2022 — Alan C. Miller, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who founded the News Literacy Project in 2008 and who has led the organization for the past 14 years, will step down as CEO on June 30. NLP’s current President and Chief Operating Officer, Charles Salter, will become the education nonprofit’s CEO, effective July 1. Miller will stay with NLP on a full-time basis, with the title of founder, through NLP’s next fiscal year, which ends on June 30, 2023. In this capacity, Miller will continue to play a major fundraising role, serve as an adviser to Salter and remain a member of NLP’s board.
The transition comes amid the increasingly urgent battle to reduce the harm from mis- and disinformation. NLP educates young people and adults to fight a proliferation of false information that threatens our public health and democracy, including misinformation about COVID-19, the results of the 2020 presidential election, Russia’s war in Ukraine, and other vital matters.
“While our work remains more urgent than ever, I decided that the time was right for me to turn over the reins to Chuck,” Miller said. “Chuck has proven that he’s ready to lead NLP’s efforts to meet this challenge. He’ll become CEO just as we embark on an ambitious new four-year plan.”
Miller launched NLP after speaking to his daughter’s sixth grade class and realizing that young people needed guidance to learn how to know what information they could trust, as social media and smartphones were revolutionizing how people access news. As a founder of the field of news literacy, Miller helped raise more than $35 million and oversaw the growth of NLP to a team of 30 staffers to make NLP the leading provider of news literacy resources in America.
Since 2016, more than 345,000 students have used NLP’s Checkology® virtual classroom, and the organization has engaged with over 50,000 educators in all 50 states and more than 120 other countries. All told, educators using NLP resources and programs in the last year have reached an estimated 2 million students. In 2020, the organization dramatically expanded its reach and mission by making the curriculum free to schools and teachers and partnering with other organizations to educate the general public.
“In my time leading NLP, I’ve felt that we went from being a voice in the wilderness to being an answer to a prayer,” added Miller. “It’s been deeply gratifying to see so many students and adults use our resources to gain a better understanding of how to tell fact from fiction. I’m especially grateful to the committed board and staff members, educators, journalists, donors and others who have supported our vision of seeing news literacy embedded in the American education experience and the creation of a news-literate nation.”
Salter joined NLP in 2018 as its first chief operating officer and was awarded the title of president one year later. Prior to joining NLP, he spent nearly two decades in education — often working to advance opportunity in under-resourced communities — as a teacher, school leader, teachers union president and senior executive with several national education organizations.
As Salter prepares to steward the nonprofit he’s spearheading the creation of a four-year strategic plan that will chart a new phase of NLP’s expansion and impact. “From Mission to Movement: Creating a Future Founded on Facts,” calls for the creation of a new platform to enable people to access fact checks on major public issues and to gain skills and resources to become better able to discern credible information themselves. It will be the focus of NLP’s bold new initiative to engage the public to combat mis- and disinformation.
NLP also will begin developing a graduate-level course to train educators how to teach news literacy and will host an annual national news literacy conference as it continues to expand its reach with educators and students nationwide.
“I am very honored and excited to have been chosen to lead this critical work in light of the growing harm done by misinformation. As we scale up to meet this moment, we will aspire to encourage more states to pass legislation requiring that news literacy be taught as part of a broader civics curriculum as a requirement for graduation,” Salter said. “The benefits for our democracy will be enormous as our research has shown that students who become more news-literate are more likely to participate in the civic life of their communities.”
NLP’s board unanimously approved the leadership transition on Feb. 3. To learn more about this transition or to schedule an interview with Miller and Salter, please contact Mike Webb at [email protected].
About the News Literacy Project
The News Literacy Project, the nation’s leading provider of news literacy products, is a nonpartisan education nonprofit that provides programs and resources for educators and the public to teach, learn and share the abilities needed to be smart, active consumers of news and information and equal and engaged participants in a democracy.