The Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program is a hands-on, innovation-focused course that provides tools news industry leaders need to solve strategic challenges in a rapidly changing landscape. It builds on a ten-year track record. The refreshed curriculum and redesigned program allow fellows to maximize classroom instruction while minimizing time away from their news organizations, and to rapidly design, iterate, win support for and implement plans for new projects and products.
The Sulzberger Program is sixteen weeks: full-time during the three weeks Fellows spend on Columbia University’s campus in the heart of New York City and part-time during 13 weeks they spent in their workplace.
The program focuses on:
- Leadership and Team Building
- Skills Assessment and Development
- Design Thinking Innovation Process
- Audience and Trends
- Product and Marketing
- Business Models and Strategy
- Managing Through Change
Each fellow is required to bring to the program an individual project of strategic importance to their news organization and of critical importance to their own role.
How It Works
Week Two: Also held on the Columbia campus, the program moves from the bootcamp model into a series of lectures, case studies, workshops and guest speakers that dives deeper into concepts introduced in the first week. Instruction during this period includes self-assessment exercises and lessons devoted to managing change and leading innovation within their organizations. Topics covered this week include: Leadership, Team, Trends, Audience, Product, Business Model, Marketing, Strategy and Storytelling.
Weeks Three-Fifteen: After two intensive weeks in New York, fellows return to their newsrooms and begin to apply the lessons learned. Working individually and with their cohort from week one, the fellows will complete two-week sprints, in which they interrogate, test and apply learnings to their own projects, using the same set of variables that they used in their group work in week one. Fellows will work collectively to offer feedback and assessments, led by the program director.
Week Sixteen: The final week is back in New York City for reinforcement of the tools and approaches learned; dress rehearsal presentations of the project the fellows will propose implementing, on which they receive feedback; and an exploration of new topics they can begin to fold into their leadership style, such as how to support diversity through intentional hiring and mentoring, and how to build successful teams of individuals with varied skills and backgrounds.
Corey Ford, Director
Corey Ford is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Matter, a start-up accelerator for entrepreneurs building scalable media ventures that create a more informed, empathetic, and inclusive society. Matter invests seed capital and provides intensive support through a human-centered, prototype-driven start-up accelerator in San Francisco and New York City. Prior to Matter, Corey built Runway, a pre-team, pre-idea incubator for entrepreneurs at Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors. He also taught design thinking innovation at the Institute of Design at Stanford University, also known as “the d.school.”
Faculty Director, Raju Narisetti
Raju Narisetti is the Director, Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism and a Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia Journalism School. Before coming to Columbia, he most recently served as chief executive of Gizmodo Media Group. Prior to Gizmodo, Narisetti was News Corp.’s senior vice president of strategy. Narisetti is a Board Trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation, which operates Wikipedia, and is on the National Advisory Council of the Democracy Fund, a bipartisan foundation resource to strengthen the democratic process in the United States.
Who Should Attend
The Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program is designed for senior and rising newsroom and business-of-news practitioners who are poised to take on more significant leadership challenges in their current organization and across the industry. Fellows come from a wide variety of news organizations, from the U.S. and internationally and from large national media to those that are small, local or nonprofit. Fellows are expected to have from 7-15 years of relevant experience, including some people management skills or past roles where working across teams was key to organizational success.
Program Timeline & Commitment
Participants in this four-month low residency program spend three weeks at Columbia Journalism School in New York City, starting with a 10-day residency from January 6-17, 2020. Fellows then work remotely on assignments, either independently or in small groups, and return for one week, April 20-24, 2020.
Application and Financial Requirements
News organizations may nominate leaders and rising leaders whom they will support in the program. Once nominated, prospective fellows should complete the program application, which requires a short statement of purpose, a short project statement and a complete CV. After applications are received and reviewed, all applicants will be invited for a phone/in-person interview with Director Corey Ford.
Tuition is $20,000 for the complete program. Fees include course training, daily breakfast and lunches and several case study dinners during the residency weeks. All other expenses, including travel and lodging, are the responsibility of participants and their news organizations. Participants can take advantage of Columbia discounts at area hotels.
Maria Moors Cabot Endowment Fellowships
Columbia Journalism School is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for four fellowships to the Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program in 2020. The fellowships, made possible by the Maria Moors Cabot Endowment, fully cover tuition, fees, airfare, hotel accommodations, and most meals during sessions. These four fellowships are available to media executives and managers working in newsrooms in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Applications for the Cabot Fellowships to the Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program are now open. The application will close at 23:59 EST on Monday, November 4, 2019. Winners will be selected by Sulzberger Program directors and will be notified by Monday, November 18, 2019.
The Maria Moors Cabot Prizes, also funded by the endowment alongside of other programs, were founded in 1938 by Godrey Lowell Cabot as a memorial to his wife. The Prizes, the oldest international awards in journalism, recognize journalists and news organizations with a distinguished body of work that has contributed to Inter-American understanding.
For more information on eligibility to the Fellowship, please contact Columbia Journalism School Professional Programs Assistant Director, Kate Kennedy at email@example.com. To apply, please begin your application here.
What Sets the Program Apart
News executives no longer have the luxury of a full year to work on a project. The Sulzberger Program delivers its lessons in a focused, concentrated sixteen-week timeframe, without scrimping on classroom, face-to-face interactions.
The program is oriented around key tenets that are critical for every news organization to confront, but just as technology changes and new challenges emerge, our curriculum adjusts and shifts. The program's roster of guest lecturers includes case studies from those who are developing new markets, overcoming practical challenges and growing their businesses.
Participants create measurable outcomes throughout the term by working on regular assignments and checking in with faculty, ensuring that what they learn in the classroom translates to their newsroom.
Over two hundred media and news executives, in both editorial and business-side roles, have been through the Sulzberger Program and, given the program’s global reach, are working throughout the world.
Please expand for answers for commonly asked questions.
Our fellows are executives from all media platforms and business models, including for‐ and not‐for‐profit journalism.
|Year||First Name||Last Name||Company|
|2018||Mark||Hansen||Columbia Journalism School|
|2018||Milind||Kamlakar Khandekar||ABP News Network|
|2018||Marc||Lacey||The New York Times|
|2018||Ximena||Leon de Campo||Grupo RPP|
|2018||Kristen||Muller||Southern California Public Radio|
|2018||Manuel||Delgado Nachtigall||Grupo RPP|
|2018||Michael||Reilly||MIT Technology Review|
|2018||Heidi||Robdrup||Danish Broadcasting Corporation|
|2018||Kevin||Sullivan||Reveal, Center for Investigative Reporting|
|2017||LaSharah||Bunting||The New York Times|
|2017||Max||Da Silva||The New York Times|
|2017||Frida||Delgado Nachtigall||Gruppo RPP|
|2017||Laura||Frank||Rocky Mountain Public Broadcasting|
|2017||Jag||Sanger||AHG Pty, LTD|
|2016||Matt||Ericson||The New York Times|
|2016||Erin||Grau||The New York Times|
|2016||Mary||Walter-Brown||Voice of San Diego|
|2016||Irving||Washington||Online News Association|
|2015||Sam||Dolnick||The New York Times|
|2015||Michael||Freeman||The Orlando Sentinel and Forum Publishing Group|
|2015||Alex||Hardiman||The New York Times|
|2015||Camille||McDuffie||Columbia Global Reports|
|2015||Will||Pry||The Dallas Morning News|
|2015||Jon||Sawyer||Pullitzer Center on Crisis Reporting|
|2015||Charles||Sennott||The Ground Truth|
|2015||Susan||Smith Richardson||The Chicago Reporter|
|2014||Brenda||Breslauer||New York Public Media|
|2014||Stephen||Dunbar-Johnson||The New York Times Company|
|2014||Scott||Finn||West Virginia Public Broadcasting|
|2014||Susan||Mercandetti||Salt Point Strategies|
|2014||Nicki||Purcell||The Dallas Morning News|
|2014||Christa||Scharfenberg||Center for Investigative Reporting|
|2014||Michael||Slackman||The New York Times|
|2014||Christine||Souders||Columbia Journalism School|
|2014||Cheryl||Sullivan||The Christian Science Monitor|
|2013||Peter||Barthel||Vertical Media GmbH|
|2013||Rick||Berke||The New York Times|
|2013||Tom||Huang||The Dallas Morning News|
|2013||Mark||Katches||Oregonian Media Group|
|2013||Meredith||Kokos||Boston Globe Media|
|2013||Christopher||Ladd||The New York Times|
|2013||Nunzio||Michael Lupo||The Atlanta Journal-Constitution|
|2013||Amelia||Newcomb||The Christian Science Monitor|
|2013||Eric||Ulken||The Philadelphia Inquirer|
|2012||Adrian||Acosta||Journal Media Group|
|2012||David||Albright||ESPN Digital and Print Media|
|2012||Leona||Allen||The Dallas Morning News|
|2012||Clayton||Collins||The Christian Science Monitor|
|2012||Brian||Fallon||Distilled Media Group|
|2012||Baadur||Koplatadze||The Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management|
|2012||Michael||Manning||The Boston Globe|
|2012||Ellen||McDonnell||Ellen McDonnell Consulting|
|2012||Torrey||Oberfest||Hachette Book Group|
|2012||Michael||Shapiro||Columbia Journalism School|
|2012||Amy||Singer||Columbia Journalism School|
|2012||Achilles||Tsaltas||The New York Times|
|2011||Karen||Bordeleau||The Providence Journal|
|2011||Neill||Borowski||Central New York Media Group|
|2011||Andrew||DeVigal||University of Oregon|
|2011||Peter||Doucette||The Boston Globe|
|2011||Brian||Hamman||The New York Times|
|2011||Marc||Lemcke||Jule Holding, LLC|
|2011||Benjamin||Monnie||The New York Times|
|2011||David||Scott||The Christian Science Monitor|
|2011||Peter||Waelty||20 Minuten AG|
|2011||Abi||Wright||Columbia Journalism School|
|2010||Johannes Vitus||Boege||Axel Springer|
|2010||Thomas||Cavallaro||The New York Times|
|2010||David Keith||Dahl||The Boston Globe and Freelance Contributor for BBC|
|2010||Kerrie||Gillis||The New York Times|
|2010||Timothy||Griggs||The Texas Tribune|
|2010||Susan||Hackney||The Christian Science Monitor|
|2010||Nicole||Hollway||Because Really, LLC|
|2010||Marshall||Ingwerson||The Christian Science Monitor|
|2010||Steve||Jones||ABC News Radio|
|2010||Lisa||Kresl||The Dallas Morning News|
|2010||Susan||Neisloss||Big Bite, Inc.|
|2010||Jennifer||Preston||John S. and James L. Knight Foundation|
|2010||Lynda||Sachs||The New York Times|
|2010||Ernest||Sotomayor||Columbia Journalism School|
|2009||Linda||Austin||APME's NewsTrain and Fullbright Scholar|
|2009||Alfredo||Carbajal||The Dallas Morning News|
|2009||John||DeAugustine||The Daily Gazette|
|2009||David||Kellogg||Columbia Journalism School|
|2009||Jason||Kissell||The Boston Globe|
|2009||Shawna||Leigh Richer||The Globe and Mail|
|2009||Jean||Nadeau||Brunswick News, Inc.|
|2009||Shazna||Nessa||John S. and James L. Knight Foundation|
|2009||Raymond||Pearce||The New York Times|
|2009||Jonathan||Wells||The Christian Science Monitor|
|2008||Kenn||Altine||Southern Oregon Humane Society|
|2008||Jane||Folpe||Ropes and Gray LLP|
|2008||Dennis||Giza||Columbia Journalism Review|
|2008||Gene||Haddock, Jr.||The Houston Chronicle|
|2008||Mike||Hoyt||The Big Round Table|
|2008||Nels||Jensen||San Diego Business Journal|
|2008||Joseph||Kolb||Western New Mexico University|
|2008||Eliot||Pierce||The New Republic|
|2008||Jason||Samuels||New York University|
|2008||Michael||Stoll||San Francisco Public Press|
|2008||John||Yemma||The Christian Science Monitor|
|2007||Aaron||Barlow||NYC College of Technology|
|2007||Randolph||Brandt||The Journal Times|
|2007||Thomas||Heslin||The Providence Journal|
|2007||Chopeta||Lyons||Chopeta Lyons Consulting|
|2007||Daniele||Manca||Corriere della Sera|
|2007||Jeffrey||Price||PGA of America|
|2007||Sergio||Salinas||El Paso Times|
|2007||Stephen||Weis||The Houston Chronicle|