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The Society of Professional Journalists hires Caroline Hendrie as executive director


Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins, SPJ National President, ashanti.blaize@gmail.com
Kim Tsuyuki, SPJ Communications Specialist, ktsuyuki@hq.spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS — The Society of Professional Journalists, the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, has named Caroline Hendrie as its new executive director.

“To say SPJ is fortunate to have landed an impactful industry leader and veteran journalist in Caroline Hendrie is a gross understatement,” said SPJ National President Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins. “Through an extensive search with several top-tier candidates, Caroline emerged as the clear front runner and the executive director SPJ needs at a time when our organization is critical to an industry at a crossroads. She has a track record of success in fundraising, membership growth, and coalition building well-suited to serving both SPJ and the journalism industry as a whole.”

Hendrie will serve as executive director of SPJ and its nonprofit educational arm, the SPJ Foundation. Hendrie most recently worked as an independent journalist and consultant to produce editorial projects as contractor for national philanthropies and publications.

“At this challenging moment for our field, I hope to inspire SPJ members and staff to build on their many strengths. I plan to listen to the community and work to make a compelling case for supporting SPJ,” said Hendrie. “Ultimately, I aim to help ensure that SPJ finds a sustainable way to thrive while staying true to its vital mission.”

Before she was self-employed, Hendrie served as the executive director of the Education Writers Association for 12 years. She joined EWA during a time where the media landscape looked grim and the association was struggling to stay afloat. By the time she left, the association had tripled its budget, instituted an array of new programs to meet members’ needs, doubled the number of paid staff and tripled journalist attendance at its annual conference.

Hendrie also has an extensive journalism background. She worked at Education Week, a national news outlet covering K-12 education, for 14 years. She held a succession of roles from staff writer to managing editor. She also held roles at The Record, the U.S. House of Representatives, Journal Inquirer, Hartford Advocate and Bridgeport Post Telegram.

Hendrie earned a certificate of completion in Executive Education Program on Leadership Decision Making: Optimizing Organizational Performance from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.

Hendrie lives near Washington, D.C., with her family, including a new puppy who keeps everyone on their toes. She succeeds Jennifer Royer, who has been interim executive director since September 2022, and is expected to join the SPJ headquarters staff remotely on May 1.

SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a member, give to the Legal Defense Fund or give to the SPJ Foundation.


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