Director of Strategic Initiatives and Professor, Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University
Louise Kiernan is the director of strategic initiatives and a professor at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, where she has also led the school's investigative and social justice journalism specialization and taught investigative, narrative and public affairs reporting. From 2017 to 2021, she launched and ran the first regional office of ProPublica, the national non-profit investigative newsroom, and oversaw the Chicago-based operation's expansion throughout the Midwest. For 18 years, she worked at the Chicago Tribune, serving as the newspaper’s enterprise editor, writing coach, urban affairs team editor and a special projects team editor and reporter, among other roles. Kiernan was the lead writer on a project that won the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting and has also been a Pulitzer finalist. She was a 2005 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, has chaired two Pulitzer Prize juries, for investigative and explanatory reporting.