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Mi-Ai Parrish, the new president and publisher of The Arizona Republic, will give the keynote convocation speech to the fall 2015 graduates of Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication next week.
The ceremony will be held Monday, Dec. 14, at 7 p.m. at ASU Gammage. More than 130 students are expected to graduate.
Parrish joined Republic Media as president and publisher of The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com in October. She came to Arizona’s largest newspaper from The Kansas City Star Media Co., where she was president and publisher of The Kansas City Star and kansascity.com since 2011. Her papers have been Pulitzer Prize finalists three times.
Parrish previously served in the same roles at The Idaho Statesman for five years. During her tenure at those publications, she gained a reputation for transforming and diversifying business operations by growing the traditional media companys’ connections with a changing community that wanted news on its smartphones, and new opportunities for interactivity.
“Mi-Ai Parrish is a respected leader in championing innovation and excellence in the news industry,” said Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan. “We are excited to have Mi-Ai speak with our outstanding graduates and thrilled to welcome her back to Arizona.”
Prior to becoming a publisher, she spent the majority of her career in newsroom roles ranging from reporting and copy editing to travel editor and projects editor at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, The Arizona Republic, Chicago Sun-Times and The Virginian-Pilot.
Parrish was The Star’s first female publisher, where she served on the boards of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, Kansas City Area Development Council and The Civic Council. She also was a co-chair for KC Rising, a regional development initiative as well as a United Way business council member.
Parrish is a two-time Pulitzer Prize juror, longtime member of the Asian American Journalists Association and was named one of the 100 most important minority journalists of the last century. She was inducted into the University of Maryland Alumni Hall of Fame in 2013.