AHCJ launches search for new executive director as Smiley resigns

About Felice J. Freyer

Felice J. Freyer is AHCJ's president and a health care reporter for The Boston Globe.

Andrew Smiley

Andrew Smiley, AHCJ’s executive director who led the association through the challenges of a continuing pandemic and critical personnel changes, is resigning effective Jan. 28.

We are grateful for Smiley’s excellent work since he took the post in September 2020. His accomplishments include increasing reserves, helping run a new fellowship program, quickly implementing a virtual platform to offer workshops during the pandemic, and hiring three top-notch staffers — Katherine Reed, director of education and content; Andrea Waner, director of engagement, and Erica Tricarico, managing editor.

Smiley said he had not expected to leave so soon but had been recruited into a “life-changing” new job. As we search for a replacement, the AHCJ board of directors has put in place a transition plan that will keep the association operating smoothly without any changes to our offerings and activities.

Katherine Reed                    Andrea Waner

Reed has agreed to serve as interim executive director and Waner will be interim deputy executive director. Senior Advisor and former Executive Director Len Bruzzese has agreed to increase his time with us, and Jeff Porter, recently retired education director, will assist with conference planning.

As a result, our daily Covering Health blog, our fellowship programs, the annual Excellence in Health Care Journalism awards, and planning for our annual conference will all continue apace. The conference will take place in Austin April 28 – May 1.

I have appointed a search committee, which I am chairing, to look nationwide for a new executive director. Search committee members also include immediate past president Ivan Oransky, former president Karl Stark, vice president Gideon Gil, board member Marlene Harris-Taylor, and Mark Horvit, a professor at the Missouri School of Journalism, where AHCJ is based.

I’m expecting many applicants will be drawn to the opportunity to lead a vibrant organization that supports and educates journalists at a time when our work has never been more important. I urge AHCJ members to spread the word and encourage prospective candidates to submit their applications. To apply for the job, go to https://hrs.missouri.edu/find-a-job/staff, click on “prospective employees” and search for job no. 39998.

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