By Jessica Hood, class of 2003
Louis Boccardi is president and chief executive officer of the Associated Press. He has served in this position for the past seventeen years. Boccardi, who has worked for the Associated Press since 1967, has served in numerous posts including executive vice president, chief operating officer, and executive editor in charge of news operations.
A native New Yorker, Boccardi received a bachelor of arts from Fordham College. He received his master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.
Boccardi worked for eight years at various New York papers after graduating and before joining the Associated Press. Boccardi also serves on the Pulitzer Prize board and has been a member since 1994. He was named chair in 2001.
Boccardi has been recognized for his championing of press rights and freedom of speech. In 1990 Boccardi was elected a fellow of the Society of Professional Journalists, the highest honor SPJ awards to journalists for public service.
Awards received by Boccardi during his career include the Overseas Press Club Lifetime Achievement Award, the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism Award, and he was elected a Distinguished Service Member of the American Society of Newspaper Editors. Boccardi and the Associated Press were awarded the 2001 John Peter and Anna Catherine Zenger award for Freedom of the Press and the Public's Right to Know.
Boccardi serves as a member of the national advisory board of the Freedom Forum Center for Media Studies, the board of trustees of the Newseum, and the board of visitors of Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism. Boccardi also is an honorary trustee of the William Allen White Foundation at the University of Kansas.
"Many ordinary citizens need persuading now that what we do is not just for us, but for them...We're performing the service that the people of the United States said they expected of us when they ratified the First Amendment." — Louis Boccardi, Zenger Award Acceptance Speech, March 29, 2001