Columbia Journalism School Welcomes Winnie O'Kelley as New Dean of Academic Affairs | Columbia Journalism School
Winnie O'Kelley

Columbia Journalism School Welcomes Winnie O'Kelley as New Dean of Academic Affairs

Dean of Columbia Journalism School Stephen Coll announced today that Winnie O’Kelley, a veteran journalist and editor who has overseen prize-winning investigative reporting in business and economics and who serves as an Executive Editor of Bloomberg News, will become the next Dean of Academic Affairs beginning Jan. 1. 

O’Kelley joined the full-time faculty two years ago, running the business and economic track of the M.A. program. At Bloomberg, she created and managed a global financial investigations reporting team focused on such topics as tax evasion, money laundering and cybersecurity. Last year, her team won the George Polk Award for its coverage of the tax breaks known as opportunity zones. She served in various capacities at Bloomberg over the years, at one point overseeing government coverage in Washington and legal coverage around the world.

Before Bloomberg, O’Kelley worked for 20 years at The New York Times, where she held several leadership roles including Deputy Business Editor. Specializing in financial journalism, she guided coverage there of the reopening of the markets after 9/11, the corporate accounting scandals including Enron’s collapse and the 2008 financial crisis. O’Kelley edited a 2012 Pulitzer-Prize winning series on tax avoidance by David Kocieniewski. That same year, she received the Gerald Loeb award for excellence in business and financial editing, the Minard Editor Award. 

O’Kelley has served on the board of directors of Columbia Journalism School’s Knight-Bagehot Program for mid-career journalists looking to deepen their knowledge of economics and business. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. 

O’Kelley succeeds Sheila Coronel, a longtime faculty member and head of the school’s Stabile Investigative Program who served as Academic Affairs Dean for six and a half years. Coronel extended her term last spring when the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the University’s school year. 

“We are very fortunate to have a successor to Sheila who knows our school from within; has deep experience leading people and sizable departments; and who has up-to-date knowledge of a major multimedia, data-driven newsroom,” Coll said in his announcement. Coll also praised O’Kelley as an active voice on diversity and inclusion who is eager to address issues of race and racism in journalism and help bolster faculty recruitment, teaching and the classroom experience of students.

“Journalists of the next generation show so much commitment to getting it right — every day, in every way — that they inspire us all,” O’Kelley said. “I look forward to working with the talented team at the journalism school to make sure the future of the profession is in good hands with students whose thinking and training have prepared them for any circumstance.”


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About Columbia Journalism School
For more than a century, the school has been preparing journalists in programs that stress academic rigor, ethics, journalistic inquiry and professional practice. Founded with a gift from Joseph Pulitzer, the school opened its doors in 1912 and offers Masters of Science, Masters of Arts, a joint Master of Science degree in Computer Science and Journalism, and Doctor of Philosophy in Communications.  It houses the Columbia Journalism Review, the Brown Institute for Media Innovation, and the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, and the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. The school also administers many of the leading journalism awards, including the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, the Maria Moors Cabot Prizes, the John Chancellor Award, the John B. Oakes Award for Distinguished Environmental Journalism, Dart Awards for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma, Paul Tobenkin Memorial Award, and the Mike Berger Award.