Pulitzer-winning journalist Wes Lowery, Medill Dean of Journalism Charles Whitaker and former PricewaterhouseCoopers partner Krishen Mehta are joining the Center for Public Integrity’s Board of Directors.
The new Board members join 14 other directors in helping advance the work of one of the nation’s oldest nonprofit investigative journalism organizations.
“I am delighted to welcome three extraordinary new members of our Board: Wes Lowery, Dean Charles Whitaker and Krishen Mehta. Each of them will play an important role as Public Integrity increases its investigative reporting on inequality, elevates its national profile and builds a sustainable organization capable of thriving in the changing environment for nonprofit journalism,” said Board Chair Jim Kiernan.
Lowery, Mehta and Whitaker will begin their three-year terms in January 2021.
“I couldn’t be more excited to join the board of the Center for Public Integrity. Rigorous journalism that holds power to account has never been more important, and I’m honored to be associated with the important work done each day by CPI journalists,” said Lowery, a Pulitzer-winning journalist, author and correspondent for CBS News.
Lowery was previously a national correspondent at the Washington Post, specializing in issues of race and law enforcement. He led the team awarded the Pulitzer for National Reporting in 2016 for the creation and analysis of a real-time database to track fatal police shootings in the United States.
“Through its mission, the Center for Public Integrity represents my personal values relating to social justice. And through its investigative journalism, the Center manifests those values into public action. I am honored therefore to be part of this institution,” said Mehta, a former partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Mehta has been actively engaged with issues relating to the structural roots of global inequality and the impact on developed and developing countries.
“Having long been an admirer of the work the Center for Public Integrity does to promote and preserve our fragile democracy, I am honored to join its Board at this critical juncture in our nation’s history,” said Charles Whitaker, dean and professor at Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.
He previously served as the Helen Gurley Brown Professor and associate dean of journalism for the school. Since joining the Medill faculty in 1993, he has taught courses in news writing, magazine writing and editing and blogging. For nine years, Whitaker directed the Academy for Alternative Journalism in an effort to address the field’s lack of diversity. Before joining the Medill faculty, Whitaker was a senior editor at Ebony magazine.
These new additions to the Board affirm Public Integrity’s increased commitment to creating an organization that both reflects the nation and has the skills, talent and resources to address the many challenges journalism faces, from credibility to revenue models, said CEO Susan Smith Richardson.
“We’re in a moment of profound change in the nation and our industry,” Richardson said. “Our new Board members are bringing new insights and experiences to support Public Integrity’s ongoing work to create journalism that speaks to the needs of people across the country and changes policies, hearts and minds.”
The Center for Public Integrity was founded in 1989 by former 60 Minutes producer Charles Lewis with the mission of exposing abuses of power by government and corporate interests. Among its many noteworthy recent projects involve obtaining and publishing secretive White House Coronavirus Task Force reports, forcing state officials to be more accountable on pandemic containment issues; a reporting series exposing the hidden hand of lobbyists and special-interest groups in shaping statehouse laws that won the Goldsmith Prize, as well as the critically-acclaimed hit podcast The Heist on the broken promises and consequences of the Trump administration’s tax policy.
Public Integrity is also known for stories that exposed how major political contributors were rewarded with overnight stays at the White House; how doctors and lawyers worked with the coal industry to defeat benefits claims of miners dying from black lung; and how the wealthy have exploited offshore tax havens in the Panama Papers.
Clarification: Jan. 4, 3:45 p.m.: An earlier version of this story identified Charles Whitaker as dean at Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism. The full name is Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.