Former New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson to Speak at Princeton University Next Month


Journalist and author Jill Abramson will give the annual Louis R. Rukeyser ’54 Memorial Lecture at Princeton University on Nov. 6.

Abramson, the former executive editor of the New York Times, will give the talk “In Defense of Leaks: Why A Free Press Matters More in the Age of Terror.”

The event will be held at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 6  in Dodds Auditorium at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. The event is free and open to the public.

In a recent interview with 60 Minutes for the segment “The War on Leaks,” Abramson revealed that Condoleezza Rice had personally asked her to kill a story about the CIA from reporter James Risen. Abramson has said the Obama administration is the most secretive of any she has covered, and has been very aggressive in ordering criminal investigations into whistle blowers, something his predecessor did not do.

The first female executive editor in the 160-year history of the New York Times, Abramson was ranked number five on Forbes list of most powerful women in 2012. She was also named as one of the 500 most powerful people in the world by Foreign Policy.

New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. announced in May that Abramson had been fired from her position as executive editor and that Dean Baquet would succeed her. Several weeks before the announcement, Abramson discovered that her pay and her pension benefits were considerably less than the pay and pension benefits of Bill Keller, the male editor whom she replaced. The newspaper said she was let go because of her management skills.

Prior to taking the helm at the Times, she served as the paper’s managing editor and its Washington bureau chief. She has also worked as an investigative reporter and deputy editor at the Wall Street Journal. Previously she worked for Time Magazine and the American Lawyer. She co-authored “Strange Justice,” an account of the appointment of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. She was a visiting professor at Princeton University for the 2000-2001 academic year. Abramson received her undergraduate degree in history and literature from Harvard University.

The Ruskeyser Memorial Lecture is an annual talk for the Princeton community given by a prominent journalist, writer, or veteran of the media industry hosted by the Princeton University Press Club.