The Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Alex S. Jones has served as director of the Shorenstein Center since July 1, 2000. Jones has enhanced the Fellowship Program, raised the profile of the Goldsmith Awards, launched new initiatives to increase student engagement, and broadened the advisory board. He has strengthened the financial underpinnings of the Center, with the strong support of the Shorenstein family. Jones convened conferences on new issues such as WikiLeaks, blogging and journalism and the reporting of science.
The Center is one of 12 institutions selected to participate in the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education. As part of the Initiative, the Center created and operates Journalist's Resource, a website devoted to knowledge-based reporting.
The Center offers the Lynette Lithgow Summer Internship Award, research assistant positions and full-tuition scholarships. The David Nyhan Prize for Political Journalism was endowed in 2005 and is awarded in conjunction with the annual Theodore H. White Lecture. The annual Richard S. Salant Lecture on Freedom of the Press was endowed in 2007, and the A.M. Rosenthal Writer-in-Residence program was established in 2010.
In 2011, the Shorenstein Center was asked to oversee the HKS Communications Program. The Program offers courses and workshops on digital, written and oral communications to enhance the student experience at the Kennedy School.
Today the Kennedy School's Dean, David Ellwood, oversees an institution with more than 900 students, 52 tenured faculty members and 15 research centers. Over the last 25 years, the Shorenstein Center has been one of the most active programs in the School and has hosted more than a thousand speakers, faculty seminars and conferences with leading journalists, policymakers and scholars from around the world.
The contemporary challenges facing the media and their role in a democratic society prove the value of the Center's original vision and institutional mission. The interaction of the realms of media, politics and policy has never been more intense and consequential, and the need for productive collaboration of the academic and the practitioner never more palpable. In the coming years, the Center is committed to strengthening its dynamic mix of programs and participants, particularly fellows and faculty, as we engage the challenges of a rapidly changing media environment.