Jennifer Crewe Appointed President and Director of Columbia University Press

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that Jennifer Crewe, who has been serving as interim Director of Columbia University Press, will continue on as the permanent President and Director of the Press. Jennifer’s notable strengths as an editor and an administrator, as well as her deep understanding of the Press’s history, made her the clear choice of the faculty-led search committee.

During the past nine months Jennifer has taken steps to increase the reach, visibility and effectiveness of the Press, developed new strategies to expand capacity and improve book schedules, and negotiated an agreement for the Press to distribute Woodrow Wilson Center books. Informing Columbia’s faculty about the Press also continues to be one of Jennifer’s highest priorities. Her focus on faculty engagement reflects the recommendation of the internal and external review committees that conducted strategic reviews of the Press last fall. In her new role, Jennifer will work with me and a faculty committee to identify new areas of focus for the Press that will reflect and showcase more core strengths of the University.

Jennifer’s background provides her with a close connection to the University.  She received an MFA from the Columbia School of the Arts, and worked at the Press during and immediately after graduate school. She came back to the Press 28 years ago, after working in the commercial college textbook publishing industry, starting as an acquisitions editor. Promoted to Editorial Director, Jennifer hired and trained acquisitions editors who have nurtured close ties to and created excellent publication programs with academic departments and centers at the university. She is active in the wider world of publishing and academia, having served on the board of the Association of American University Presses and the Executive Council of the Modern Language Association, and currently serving on the Executive Council of the Professional and Scholarly Division of the Association of American Publishers. Jennifer is the first woman director of an Ivy League university press.

I am grateful to Peter Bearman, Richard Bulliet, Paul Glasserman, Jean Howard, and Jennifer Manly for their effort and insight as members of the faculty search committee. As Columbia University Press faces the ongoing revolution in information and communications technology, Jennifer Crewe is well-placed to navigate the evolving changes in the publishing industry while addressing the needs of the scholarly community. Please join me in congratulating her and wishing her well in this vital new role.

John Coatsworth