Lydia Polgreen, who became the HuffPost’s editor-in-chief last December after a 15-year stint at The New York Times, will give the keynote address at the commencement for the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism’s Class of 2017.
The ceremony will take place on Friday, Dec. 15 at TheTimesCenter in New York and will include 2010 graduate Simone Sebastian, now deputy America editor at The Washington Post, as the alumni speaker.
In a Letter From the Editor after she joined HuffPost, Polgreen spoke of her desire to broaden the online news organization’s reach. “I think we can do better for people who feel that too much political and economic power has accrued to a very small elite. People who feel they are on the outside looking in at the prosperity created by globalization and technological transformation. That the game is rigged; that the deck is stacked against them; who feel that the house always wins,” she wrote.
At The Times, Polgreen helped expand its audience outside the United States, with an initial focus on Latin America. She also worked as deputy international editor, South Africa bureau chief, a correspondent for the New Delhi bureau, and chief of the West Africa bureau.
Previously, she was a reporter in Florida and New York. She began her career as assistant editor and business manager for The Washington (D.C.) Monthly.
Polgreen was a 2006 recipient of the George Polk Award for foreign reporting in recognition of her travels deep into the war-torn western regions of Sudan to cover the carnage in Darfur.
She received the 2008 Livingston Award for international reporting for her series, “The Spoils,” an account of how mineral wealth has brought misery and exploitation to much of Africa. In 2007, she was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
Our alumni speaker, Sebastian, joined The Post in 2014 as an assistant editor in its Outlook section, having moved from Houston, where she edited an award-winning energy blog for the Houston Chronicle.
Before her promotion to deputy America editor early this year, Sebastian served as an assignment editor on the Post’s financial desk.