Airwaves assessed

Steven Waldman ’84CC Photo: Ozier Muhammand / The New York TimesJulius Genachowski ’85CC, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), recently appointed Steven Waldman ’84CC to head the FCC’s Commission on the Future of Media in a Changing Technological Landscape. Waldman, an Internet entrepreneur and journalist, will lead an FCC-wide assessment of the news media and make recommendations for how the commission can ensure that Americans get the news they seek.

Late-night player

Jenny Slate ’04CC Photo: Getty ImagesJenny Slate ’04CC has joined the cast of Saturday Night Live for its 35th season. Best known for her role in the parody sketch “7th Floor West” in Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Slate has also appeared regularly on HBO’s Bored to Death and the Fox comedy series Brothers.

Young scribes go for it

Jodi Kantor ’96CC Photo: Getty ImagesJodi Kantor ’96CC, a Washington correspondent for the New York Times, has reportedly received a seven-figure deal from Little, Brown to write a book about the First Couple. Kantor wrote an article about the marriage of Barack and Michelle Obama that appeared in The New York Times Magazine on November 1 . . . Karen Russell ’06SOA and Josh Weil ’04SOA were two of the National Book Foundation’s "5 Under 35" young writer honorees at a November 16 ceremony that kicked off a weeklong celebration of the National Book Awards. Russell is the author of the 2006 short-story selection St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves and Weil of The New Valley, a triptych of novellas published in 2009.

AIDS empowerment

The New York AIDS Coalition recently selected Brittany Allen ’02GS as its new executive director. Allen, who formerly worked as a program coordinator for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Planning Council, will run the statewide organization that trains tens of thousands of people with HIV and AIDS to advocate for their own health care.

First to the top

Ursula M. Burns ’82SEAS Photo Courtesy of XeroxUrsula M. Burns ’82SEAS was named CEO of Xerox this past summer, becoming the first black woman to lead a Fortune 500 company. The mechanical engineer began her career at the company 27 years ago.

Persuasive profs

Arturo Valenzuela ’71GSAS is the new U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs. Previously, he was professor of government at Georgetown and director of that university’s Center for Latin American Studies . . . Thomas Hull ’73SIPA, a professor of international relations at Simmons College, received a Presidential Meritorious Service Award in November. He was recognized for his work as U.S. ambassador to Sierra Leone from 2004 to 2007, during which time he took a lead role in peacekeeping efforts.

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