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									May 26, 1997

Overholser Elected Chair of Pulitzer Prize Board

Geneva Overholser, the ombudsman at The Washington Post, has been elected chairman of the Pulitzer Prize Board. The announcement was made today by President George Rupp of Columbia University, which awards the annual prizes on the board's recommendation. Members serve a maximum of nine years; a chairman is elected annually. Ms. Overholser succeeds Sissela Bok, who is retiring from the board. From 1988 to 1995, Ms. Overholser was editor of The Des Moines Register, which in 1991 won the Pulitzer Prize gold medal for public service. Previously she served on the editorial board of The New York Times and was deputy editorial page editor and editorial writer for The Des Moines Register and a reporter for The Colorado Springs Sun. She spent five years overseas, freelancing from Kinshasa and Paris. She earned the A.B. in history from Wellesley College and a master's degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, and she holds honorary degrees from Grinnell College and St. Andrews Presbyterian College. She was a Nieman Fellow and a Congressional Fellow with the American Political Science Association. She was named Best in the Business in the American Journalism Review and Print Journalist of the Year by the National Press Foundation. She was twice selected Gannett's editor of the year. She is a member of the advisory boards of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies and the Knight Fellowship at Stanford University, and she is a trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The other members of the Pulitzer Prize Board are: President Rupp; Sandy Padwe, acting dean, Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University (ex- officio); Andrew Barnes, editor, president and chief executive officer of the St. Petersburg Times; Louis D. Boccardi, president and chief executive officer, the Associated Press; John S. Carroll, editor and senior vice president, The Baltimore Sun; John L. Dotson, Jr., president and publisher, Akron Beacon Journal; Jack Fuller, executive vice president of the Tribune Publishing Company, Chicago; William B. Ketter, editor and vice president, The Patriot Ledger, Quincy, Mass.;Rena Pederson, vice president/editorial page editor, The Dallas Morning News; James V. Risser, director, John S. Knight Fellowships, Stanford University; Sandra Mims Rowe, editor, The Oregonian; Walter Rugaber, president and publisher, Roanoke (Va.) Times; William Safire, columnist, The New York Times; Edward Seaton, editor in chief, Manhattan (Kan.) Mercury;Helen Vendler, Porter University professor, Harvard University; Marilyn Yarbrough, professor of law, University of North Carolina, and Seymour Topping, administrator of the Prizes. 5.26.97 19,141