Margaret Sullivan, editor of Buffalo News, joins Pulitzer Prize Board

For Immediate Release

Media Contacts:
Sig Gissler, sg138@columbia.edu and 212-854-7327
Clare Oh, clare.oh@columbia.edu and 212-854-5479


New York, NY (June 21, 2011) -- Margaret M. Sullivan, the editor of The Buffalo News and a proponent of investigative reporting and journalistic service to the community, has been elected to the Pulitzer Prize Board, Columbia University announced today.

Rising through the ranks, Sullivan was named editor of The News in 1999, the first woman to hold that position in the newspaper’s 131-year history. Previously, she was the paper's first female managing editor.

In 2001, Sullivan was given the additional title of vice president, another first for a woman at The News.

As editor, Sullivan established The News' first investigative team, helped develop Western New York's leading Website, BuffaloNews.com, and has emphasized local enterprise reporting.

Under her leadership, The News has been honored by the New York News Publishers Association for the last seven years with its award for Distinguished Community Service.

The most recent award was for a four-part series on airline safety – "Who's Flying Your Airplane?" – produced in the aftermath of the Continental Connection Flight 3407 crash that took 50 lives in February 2009. The series shed light on flaws in pilot training and inadequate rules regarding pilot fatigue, helping lead to federal aviation reforms.

For coverage of the crash and a range of other work, the New York State Associated Press Association in 2009 honored The News as the state's Newspaper of Distinction in the largest circulation category.

Sullivan has served four times as a Pulitzer Prize juror, and in 2006 chaired the jury for Commentary. She is a director of the American Society of News Editors and has chaired its First Amendment committee.

A native of Lackawanna, N.Y., Sullivan is a graduate of Georgetown University and Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, where she is a member of its Hall of Achievement.

After an internship at The News in 1980, she joined the staff. Her career has included assignments as a reporter on business and government, metro columnist, assistant city editor, and assistant managing editor for features.

Nationally, Sullivan's recent writings include an essay in the anthology "The Edge of Change: Women in the 21st Century Press."

Internationally, her travels have included six weeks in India, where her meeting with Mother Teresa, she says, left an indelible impression. One of her goals is to visit all the continents. Still to go: Africa, Australia and Antarctica.

Sullivan serves on the board of trustees at Nardin Academy, her alma mater, where she is a member of its Hall of Fame. In 2007, she was inducted into the Western New York Women's Hall of Fame.

Her son is a second-year law student at Harvard, and her daughter is a sophomore at NYU.

Sullivan teaches media writing at Buffalo State College, and enjoys tennis and yoga.