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Cumbrian MBA student becomes executive director of top U.S. journalism society

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An MBA student at the University of Cumbria has been appointed executive director of the prestigious U.S Society of Professional Journalists.

Alison Bethel McKenzie from Miami, but now living in the Bahamas, is studying media leadership in the course run by the university in collaboration with the Robert F. Kennedy College.

With an impressive track record in journalism, Alison has worked as a reporter and editor at several newspapers in Louisiana, New York and Michigan after starting her career as a high school reporter at The Miami Herald.

She was deputy business editor and senior assistant city editor at The Boston Globe and served as Washington Bureau Chief for The Detroit News.

In 2010, she was named one of the 60 Most Influential Black Women in Europe by Black Women in Europe and serves on the advisory board of the Center for International Media Ethics.

She also spent five years as executive director of the International Press Institute, the world’s oldest global press freedom organization, in Vienna. She was the first American, first woman and first African-American to hold the position since it was founded in 1950.

Alison has worked as a visiting professor of print and investigative journalism at the Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media in Bangalore, India.

“Alison is an inspiring student from our September 2017 cohort at Ambleside,” Dr Grace Hurford, senior lecturer in public services leadership and residential module lead for MBA programmes at the University of Cumbria business school, said. “She works well in a team and makes a really big effort to ensure everyone has a voice. She can challenge the status quo but has a strong sense of fair play. We are very pleased that she has been appointed to such a prestigious post and confident she will embody key values of ethics integrity sustainability and social responsibility that are so important in our MBA programme.”