York board member elected chair of Canadian Journalism Foundation

York Board of Govenors member Robert Lewis has had a long career in journalism – 36 years – both as a writer and an editor. He’s covered international affairs, politics, elections, constitutional talks, referendums, business, sports and finance in Canada and around the world for newspapers and magazines. Now he will step into a new role, one that seems ideally suited to him, as chair of the Board of Directors for the Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF).

“I was thrilled to learn that Bob will be the new chair of the Canadian Journalism Foundation Board,” said York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri. “He is an ideal candidate given his longstanding career as a journalist and his passion for writing, and I wish him well in his new role.”

Robert LewisLeft: Robert Lewis

At the CJF, Lewis will succeed John Macfarlane, editor of The Walrus magazine, who completed his three-year term on Tuesday. “I’m honoured to be taking the baton from John,” says Lewis. “Thanks to him and the board, the CJF is on the march as an organization where the important conversations about journalism and citizenship take place.”

Lewis began his career as a reporter with the Montreal Star, covering Ottawa and Montreal for three years. He then became a reporter, and later bureau chief, for the Time-Life news service in Canada and the United States. In 1975, he became the Ottawa bureau chief for Maclean’s magazine and in 1982 was appointed managing editor. A decade later in 1993, he took on the position as editor-in-chief for the next seven years.

In 2001, Lewis became vice-president of content development for Rogers Media Inc. Two years later, he was appointed to the York University Board of Governors and is currently chair of the Community Affairs Committee. He also serves on the board’s executive committee. He retired from Rogers Media in 2005.

“Given Robert’s vast journalistic and editorial experience, along with his great work here with the York University Board of Governors, I’m sure he will do a fabulous job as the new chair of the Canadian Journalism Foundation board,” said Jennifer Sloan, York’s vice-president university relations. “We wish him all the best in his new position and consider the Canadian Journalism Foundation board fortunate to have him.”

Currently, Lewis is a media consultant and freelance writer with a focus on helping companies with their media strategy and business development. He is also a founding member of the CJF.

He will be recognized as the incoming chair at the Canadian Journalism Foundation’s 14th Annual Awards Gala on June 7 at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto.

For more information, visit the Canadian Journalism Foundation website.