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Duke hires Margaret Sullivan, former New York Times public editor, to serve as 2023 Egan Visiting Professor

Margaret Sullivan, a former New York Times public editor and Washington Post media columnist, is set to join Duke University at the beginning of 2023 as the 2023 Egan Visiting Professor.

The Sanford School of Public Policy announced Wednesday that Sullivan’s appointment will begin on January 1, 2023. Sullivan will contribute to several public seminars and events throughout the year. She will also teach a course in the fall 2023 semester. Previously, Sullivan served as an adjunct instructor in the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media & Democracy.

Sullivan was a summer intern at her hometown paper, the Buffalo News. She worked her way up to chief editor at the Buffalo News before serving as the New York Times’s public editor and later the media columnist for The Washington Post. She graduated from Georgetown University and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. 

“I’m honored and grateful to receive the Egan appointment and thrilled to have the chance to work with Duke students, faculty and administration,” Sullivan said in Sanford press release. “My past Duke experience, teaching in the DeWitt Wallace Center, left me tremendously impressed with the entire Duke community. Deepening that connection is something I’m really looking forward to.” 

Sullivan will be joining Duke after six years with the Washington Post.

"Working at the legendary Washington Post has been one of the greatest privileges of my life," Sullivan said in a memo sent to her colleagues at The Post. "I'm so grateful to my editors and my colleagues, not just in Style but throughout the newsroom. They have inspired me every day." 

The Egan Chair is a joint appointment between the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media & Democracy and Duke’s Program in American Grand Strategy and is awarded to “a journalist, writer, or commentator of appropriate distinction in a field related to the media and contemporary issues,” per the release. 

Sullivan is an expert on the challenges that local newspapers face and the impacts the decline of local journalism has on citizenship and governance. 

“One would be hard-pressed to find someone who has been writing more thoughtfully these days about the intersection of journalism and democracy than Margaret Sullivan,” Dewitt Director Philip Napoli said in the release. “We are thrilled to have Margaret join us next year and further enhance our incredible roster of faculty.”

Previous journalists to hold the Egan Visiting Professorship include New York Times opinion writer Peter Wehner, Bloomberg columnist Megan McArdle, Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson and David French, senior editor of The Dispatch, according to the release.

“Our students will no doubt benefit tremendously from the opportunity to engage with Ms. Sullivan,” said Peter Feaver, director of the program in American Grand Strategy and professor of political science and public policy, in the release. “She brings an incredible collection of experiences to the position.”


Kathryn Thomas | News Editor

Kathryn Thomas is a Trinity junior and news editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.

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