April 29, 2011
Anna Christopher, NPR



NPR has named Edward Schumacher-Matos, a career award-winning journalist, educator and columnist, to the position of Ombudsman. He begins a three-year term on June 1, 2011. It is a familiar role for Schumacher-Matos; he has been the Ombudsman for The Miami Herald since 2007.

As Ombudsman, Schumacher-Matos will serve as the public's representative to NPR, responsible for bringing transparency to journalism decision-making processes. He will pen a regular column at NPR.org, appear on NPR and public radio programs, visit member stations and consult with stations about journalism practices.

In 2000, NPR was the first U.S. broadcast news organization to create an Ombudsman position. The NPR Ombudsman receives tens of thousands of listener inquiries annually and responds to significant queries, comments and criticisms. Alicia Shepard has been NPR’s Ombudsman since October 2007. She agreed to extend her two-year appointment in 2009.

Schumacher-Matos has spent more than three decades as a journalist, author, lecturer, columnist and media educator. He has a deep understanding of the essential role that journalists play in upholding a vital democracy, and the demands reporters and editors face every day. Since January 2008, Schumacher-Matos has been at Harvard University as a Robert F. Kennedy Visiting Professor in Latin American Studies; a Shorenstein Fellow on the Press, Politics and Public Policy; and a lecturer at the Kennedy School of Government.

He founded and was the editorial director of Meximerica Media and Rumbo Newspapers from 2003-2007, building a staff of 160 to launch four Spanish-language daily newspapers in Houston, San Antonio, Austin and the Rio Grande Valley. His past journalism career includes being the founding editor and associate publisher of the Wall Street Journal Americas (1994-2003), the Wall Street Journal's successful Spanish and Portuguese insert editions in Latin America, Spain and Portugal; and reporting for the New York Times as Madrid bureau chief, Buenos Aires bureau chief and the paper's economic development reporter in New York City. Until recently, he wrote a syndicated column for the Washington Post.

At the Philadelphia Inquirer, he was part of the team that won a 1980 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Three Mile Island accident. Earlier in his career, Schumacher-Matos reported from Japan, South Korea and Boston for the Washington Post.

Schumacher-Matos is a member of the International Advisory Board of IE University Graduate School of Business in Madrid, and the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute at the University of Southern California. He also is active in the Council on Foreign Relations, the Americas Society/Council of the Americas and the Inter American Press Association.

Schumacher-Matos received his M.A. in International Politics and Economics from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts, and a B.A. in Politics and Literature from Vanderbilt University. He was a Fulbright Fellow in Japan, and is a Vietnam Veteran, earning the Bronze Star for his service.