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Christopher Callahan, Dean and University Vice Provost
Christopher Callahan is the founding dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University and vice provost of the Downtown Phoenix Campus. He came to ASU in August 2005 from the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism, where he served as associate dean and senior editor of the American Journalism Review.
Under Callahan’s leadership, the Cronkite School has transformed into a national journalism leader known for its focus on multimedia journalism, innovation and entrepreneurship, intensive professional experiences and partnerships with news outlets. Cronkite has become a leader in providing news content to local, regional and national news organizations as well as directly to consumers through a series of innovative programs on all platforms. The school has been the centerpiece of recent articles about U.S. journalism education in The New York Times and The Times of London.
Over the past six years, Callahan has brought to the Cronkite School the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism, the Carnegie-Knight News21 digital journalism initiative, the Society of American Business Editors and Writers and the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship program for international journalists.
He spearheaded the creation of Cronkite News Service, (a daily statewide news service providing content on all platforms to news organizations), the New Media Innovation Lab (a research and development lab), Cronkite NewsWatch (a nightly newscast that reaches more than 1 million households on PBS), the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship (where students develop their own digital media products), Cronkite News (a daily news website focusing on statewide issues) and the Cronkite New Media Academy (which provides multimedia training to professional journalists).
Callahan also created new programs and partnerships with news media partners, including The Arizona Republic, ABC News, the Village Voice, Meredith Corp., the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, msnbc.com, the Center for Public Integrity and The Washington Post.
Under his leadership, the faculty has nearly doubled in size. New faculty members include former Washington Post Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. and former CNN anchor Aaron Brown in addition to digital media leaders. He also led the planning for the Cronkite School’s new $71 million state-of-the art home on a new campus in downtown Phoenix and raised $35 million from foundations, corporations and individual donors.
Over the past six years, Cronkite students have had the nation’s best record in the major intercollegiate journalism competitions – the Hearst Awards and the Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence Awards – and have won consecutive Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards.
In 2010 Callahan was named the Scripps Howard Foundation Journalism Administrator of the Year. In 2011 he was appointed vice provost of the university’s Phoenix campus and became the first journalism dean to join the Board of Directors of the American Society of News Editors.
Callahan is the author of “A Journalist's Guide to the Internet,” now in its third edition. In 2004, he led a joint study by Maryland and UNITY: Journalists of Color Inc. that explored the lack of racial diversity in the Washington press corps. Before entering journalism education, Callahan was a correspondent for The Associated Press in Washington and New England. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University’s College of Communication.
He lives in Scottsdale with his wife, Jeanmarie, vice president of human capital at Cole Real Estate Investments, and their sons, Cody and Casey.