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For immediate release
February 24, 2003
Jenny Lawhorn,

NPR Hires Director of Diversity Management

Swanston to Focus on Diversity in Programming, Workplace

WASHINGTON, DC- NPR has appointed journalist and diversity professional Walt Swanston as director of diversity management, a new position, to shape diversity strategies in staff development for the national nonprofit radio service. Ms. Swanston will head a Diversity Initiative with the overall goal of ensuring that NPR is an inclusive, productive workplace, so that NPR programming can reflect and attract listeners from the increasingly diverse American population. Her appointment is a significant management step in NPR's 33-year history.

"Walt brings to NPR a distinguished journalistic career and a well-earned reputation as a person who knows how to achieve results in diversity," said Kevin Klose, NPR president and CEO. "The United States is becoming more diverse every day. At NPR, we are aware of-and in step with-the incredible opportunities that come with these changes. Our goal is to be relevant to every possible listener."

Ms. Swanston brings to her new position a rare combination of experience: more than two decades in journalism and 12 years in diversity-focused work with the media. She comes to NPR from the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation (RTNDF), where she directed the organization's diversity, educational and international programs for the past three years. Before coming to the RTNDF, Ms. Swanston served as the executive director of UNITY: Journalists of Color, and spearheaded the UNITY '94 and UNITY '99 conventions. She also has served as executive director of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), directed diversity programs at the Newspaper Association of America Foundation and consulted for Knight-Ridder Inc.

Ms. Swanston's journalism career included posts as executive editor at WUSA-TV in Washington, D.C.; and reporter/producer for WETA-TV, the PBS station in Washington, D.C, during which she reported on Congress, the White House, and the 1976 presidential campaign. She has written on assignment for The National Journal, National Observer, Washingtonian Magazine and The Washington Post. Early in her career she reported for The Washington Star, San Francisco Examiner and the San Francisco Sun-Reporter.

Ms. Swanston is the winner of the Honor Award for Distinguished Service to Journalism from the University of Missouri, the Robert P. Knight Multicultural Recruitment Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and the Outstanding Service to Scholastic Journalism award from the Journalism Education Association.

NPR, renowned for journalistic excellence and standard-setting news, information and cultural programming, serves a growing audience of nearly 20 million Americans each week via more than 680 public radio stations. NPR Online at brings hourly newscasts, news features, commentaries and live events to Internet users through original online reports, audio streaming and other multimedia elements. NPR also distributes programming to listeners in Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa via NPR Worldwide, to military installations overseas via American Forces Network and throughout Japan via cable.