The News Literacy Project welcomes Alison Bernstein and Leslie Hill to its board


Alison R. Bernstein, a vice president at the Ford Foundation, and Leslie Hill, a former member of the Dow Jones & Co. board of directors, are the newest members of the board of the News Literacy Project. Both women will serve three-year terms.

“We are honored to have two such distinguished leaders in the fields of journalism, education and philanthropy join us,” said Vivian Schiller, the project’s chair and the president of NPR. “We look forward to their valuable contributions as the project builds on its strong start to become an established national program and a leader in the emerging field of news literacy.”

Bernstein is a vice president of the Ford Foundation, where she heads the Education, Creativity and Free Expression program. In this position, which she has held since 1996, she oversees the direction, conduct and evaluation of the Foundation’s work in the United States and internationally in the fields of education and scholarship, arts and culture, media, religion and sexuality.

She joined the Foundation in 1982 as a program officer and served as director of the Education and Culture program from 1992 to 1996. In August 2010 she will join Spelman College in Atlanta as a visiting professor, holding the William and Camille Cosby Endowed Professorship. She is the co-author of three books and numerous journal articles and is a trustee of Bates College.

The Ford Foundation has awarded two grants to the News Literacy Project.

Hill served on the Dow Jones & Co. board of directors from 1997 to 2007.  She is a member of the Bancroft family, which owned The Wall Street Journal prior to the sale of Dow Jones to Rupert Murdoch in 2007. With other family members, she is a founding partner of the Newseum.

She also serves as an advisory board member for a committee of the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit policy research center based in Santa Monica, Calif. A retired pilot for American Airlines, she is an active community volunteer in her home town of Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Bernstein and Hill join a board that has guided the project through its inception and rapid growth in its first 2½ years. In the 2009-10 school year, the News Literacy Project worked with 17 English, government and history teachers and 75 journalists to reach more than 1,200 students in seven schools in New York City, Chicago and Bethesda, Maryland.

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