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The Marshall Project Founder Neil Barsky to Step Down as Board Chair

Liz Simons announced as next chair for Pulitzer Prize-winning nonprofit newsroom covering criminal justice.

Neil Barsky, founder of The Marshall Project, is stepping down as the organization's board chair after seven years. Barsky will remain an advisor to the organization.

Barsky founded The Marshall Project, a nonprofit news organization covering the U.S. criminal justice system, to “elevate the criminal justice issue to one of national urgency, and to help spark a national conversation about reform.”

Since its founding in 2015, The Marshall Project has grown to a staff of 54 with an annual budget over $11 million, winning two Pulitzer Prizes and driving wide-reaching impact on the criminal justice system, both nationally and locally.

The Marshall Project also announced that Liz Simons will become the new chair of its board of directors. Simons is the co-founder and chair of the board of the Heising-Simons Foundation, a family foundation that works to advance sustainable solutions in climate and clean energy, enable groundbreaking research in science, enhance the education of our youngest learners, and support human rights for all people.

“I founded The Marshall Project with the belief that journalism, done honestly and well, has infinite power to drive change,” said Barsky. “I am extremely gratified by all we’ve achieved, and am particularly proud that with new chair Liz Simons, Susan Chira as editor-in-chief and Carroll Bogert as president, we have successfully passed the baton to a new generation of leaders. We are in superb hands.”

Barsky is an accomplished journalist, filmmaker, investor and philanthropist. He directed the documentary "Koch", about former New York City Mayor Ed Koch. He was also an award-winning reporter for the Wall Street Journal and New York Daily News. Finally, he enjoyed a successful career in finance as an equity analyst and founder of two hedge funds — Midtown Capital and Alson Capital Partners.

Simons is deeply engaged in criminal justice reform and philanthropy. She currently serves on the advisory board of the Stanford Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society, as well as on the boards of The Foundation for a Just Society, Smart Justice California and the Learning Policy Institute.

“Neil Barsky has left an indelible mark on both nonprofit journalism and criminal justice reform, creating an institution with integrity and lasting impact,” said Simons. “I am honored to follow in his footsteps and lead the Board of The Marshall Project at this urgent moment in the national conversation on policing and justice.”

In addition to Simons’ new role, The Marshall Project announced the addition of three new board members: Michele Roberts, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association; Carter Stewart, executive vice president for programs at the Mellon Foundation; and Emily Tow, president of the Tow Foundation.

“Neil Barsky had a brilliant idea, that a steady stream of great journalism about criminal justice would move the needle on that issue,” said Carroll Bogert, President of The Marshall Project. “For the last seven years, we’ve had substantial impact on the criminal justice system while remaining true to the values of newsroom independence and editorial integrity. Neil set us up for success, and has positioned us perfectly to undertake another round of growth under Liz Simons’ leadership.”

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The Marshall Project produces journalism that makes an impact. Our investigation into violence using police dogs prompted departments from Indiana to Louisiana to change their policies. Thousands of cameras were installed in the infamous Attica prison after we revealed the extent of violent abuse by guards. Municipalities stopped charging parents for their kids’ incarceration because of our reporting. Supreme Court justices have cited us, along with incarcerated people acting as their own lawyers.

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