Press Releases

Jan 16, 2018

Policinski named President, Newseum Institute; Looney named Director, Religious Freedom Center

WASHINGTON — Gene Policinski has been named president of the Newseum Institute, the programs and initiatives partner organization of the Newseum, it was announced today. He continues to be the chief operating officer of the Institute.

As president and COO, he oversees the operations of the Newseum Institute, which includes the Religious Freedom Center, the First Amendment Center, NewseumED and several programs aimed at encouraging diversity and inclusion in the nation’s news media.

One of the founding editors of USA TODAY, Policinski is a longtime proponent of diversity in journalism as an essential element of a free press. A veteran multimedia journalist, he also writes, lectures and is interviewed regularly on First Amendment issues.

In 1996, he began working at the Freedom Forum, the foundation that is the principal funder of the Newseum and the Newseum Institute. He hosts a variety of online audio and video programs produced by the Newseum Institute, including the “The First Five” podcast, and is co-author of the bi-monthly, nationally distributed commentary “Inside the First Amendment.”

Also today, Policinski announced that Kristen Looney has been appointed director of the Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute. She has been serving since September as interim director of the Center, which offers programs that educate the public about the religious liberty principles of the First Amendment.

From 2012 to 2016, Looney was the head of programs and partnerships for the Tony Blair Faith Foundation in the United States. Previously, she served as chaplain and department chair of religious studies at St. Paul’s School for Girls in Baltimore, Md., and St. Timothy’s School in Stevenson, Md. She also served as clergy in parishes in Florida, California and New York, and is an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Maryland.

About the Freedom Forum Institute

The Freedom Forum Institute is the education and outreach partner of the Freedom Forum and the Newseum. The Institute includes the First Amendment Center, the Religious Freedom Center, the Newseum’s education department and diversity and inclusion programs. The Freedom Forum Institute’s affiliate organizations include the Al Neuharth Media Center at the University of South Dakota; the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics at the University of Mississippi; and the John Seigenthaler Center at Vanderbilt University. The Freedom Forum Institute is a 501(c)(3) public charity funded by generous individuals, corporations and foundations, including its principal funder, the Freedom Forum.

Press Contacts

Sonya Gavankar
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