NPR Music Names Lauren Onkey As Senior Director Onkey's extensive career includes time as a chair and dean at Cleveland's Cuyahoga Community College and Vice President at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
NPR logo NPR Music Names Lauren Onkey As Senior Director

NPR Music Names Lauren Onkey As Senior Director

Lauren Onkey's extensive career includes time as a chair and dean at Cleveland's Cuyahoga Community College and Vice President at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Hugo Rojo/NPR hide caption

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Hugo Rojo/NPR

Lauren Onkey's extensive career includes time as a chair and dean at Cleveland's Cuyahoga Community College and Vice President at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Hugo Rojo/NPR

October 30, 2017; Washington, D.C. - Today NPR announced the hiring of Lauren Onkey as Senior Director of NPR Music. In this role, Onkey will lead NPR Music's team of journalists, critics, video, and podcast makers, working together with NPR's newsroom, and robust Member station network to expand the impact of NPR Music and continue positioning public radio as an essential force in music. She will report to Anya Grundmann, Vice President of Programming and Audience Development.

"Lauren comes to us at a time when we're celebrating our first decade," says Grundmann. "As we look forward to the next ten years, and beyond, I'm thrilled to welcome Lauren, who has such great experience in creating transformational moments that bring musicians and audiences together. She will also be a great partner to our network of passionate public radio music stations as we grow our collective voice in support of artists and the essential place music has in our lives."

"I am honored to join the innovative team at NPR Music," adds Onkey. "As a passionate music fan and public radio listener, I've come to rely on NPR's unique, multi-genre platform to keep me open to how music shapes our lives. Every week, millions of people experience NPR Music through live performances, music recommendations, industry news, and insightful stories, commentary and interviews. I look forward to helping this talented team reach new audiences and expand its footprint."

Lauren Onkey joins NPR Music from the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Humanities Center at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio, where she currently serves as dean and chair. She began her tenure at the college at the time of the Center's dedication in September, 2015. The center was established to provide students with a civically-engaged humanities education designed to develop leadership skills and prepare them to transfer to four-year institutions.

Prior to her time at Tri-C, Onkey served as Vice President of Education and Public Programs at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland for seven years, where she developed and managed the museum's award-winning education and community programs. These programs reach more than 50,000 individuals annually.

In addition, she served as executive producer of the museum's Annual Music Masters series and oversaw the Rock Hall's Library and Archives. During her time at the Rock Hall she also taught classes at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, and Marshall University. Onkey was on the May 4th Visitors Center Advisory Board at Kent State University and served for seven years on the Executive Committee of the Cleveland Arts Education Consortium.

She spent fourteen years teaching literature and cultural studies at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, specializing in postcolonial literature and popular music studies. She has extensive teaching experience at both the graduate and undergraduate level, including honors education. She is the author of Blackness and Transatlantic Irish Identity: Celtic Soul Brothers (Routledge 2009), an interdisciplinary study of the relationship between Irish and African-American heritage. Over the course of her career she has published many articles in literary studies, popular music studies, women's studies, and pedagogy. Onkey is the recipient of research fellowships from Harris Manchester College at Oxford University and Boston College.

She holds doctoral and master's degrees in English from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and a bachelor's degree in English and Government from the College of William & Mary.

Onkey will start with NPR Music remotely in November and join the team at its Washington, D.C., headquarters in January 2018.

About NPR Music

For more than a decade, NPR Music's robust music journalism and award-winning original video programming has served and delighted millions of music fans from all genres. NPR Music collaborates with NPR's newsmagazines, public radio Member stations and the passionate listener community to celebrate exceptional music and discover emerging artists. Visit NPRMusic.org to find the complete Tiny Desk concert series, live music, extensive archives of performances, interviews and music reviews. Connect with NPR Music on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Press Contact

Hugo Rojo, NPR Media Relations

mediarelations@npr.org