Alison Bethel McKenzie

Alison Bethel McKenzie is the Executive Director of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). She has more than 30 years of experience as an award-winning reporter, bureau chief, senior editor and media trainer. She has worked in senior-level positions at The Boston Globe, the Detroit News, Legal Times and the Nassau Guardian in The Bahamas as managing director.

Bethel McKenzie spent a year in Accra, Ghana, for the Washington, D.C.-based International Center for Journalists, as a Knight International Journalism Fellow, helping Ghanaian journalists improve their reporting skills in the run-up to the 2008 presidential election.

In August 2009, she joined the International Press Institute (IPI), based in Vienna, Austria, as deputy director before becoming the institute’s Executive Director a year later.

In her leadership role at IPI, she raised more than 1.4 million Euros for the organization, expanded its digital footprint and diversified its membership and board of directors, among numerous other achievements. She is the first woman and the first person of colour to hold the position in the history of IPI.

She has also worked at The Miami Herald, The Los Angeles Times, Poughkeepsie Journal and the now-defunct State Times in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Bethel McKenzie currently served as a visiting professor of print and investigative journalism for the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media in Bangalore, India for the 2016-2017 academic year. She also writes a weekly lifestyle column for the South Florida Times, is a co-founder and vice president of the board of directors for Caribbean Media Institute and acts as an advisor/consultant for the antillean.org news website in Barbados.

She is a former board member of Al-Jazeera America (N.Y) and is a member and former board member of the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Bethel McKenzie is a native of Miami, Florida (U.S.A.).

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