I’m sorry to have to tell you that Mark Horvit has decided to take an exciting new job at the University of Missouri and will be stepping down as IRE’s executive director at the end of the summer.
While this represents a huge loss to IRE, the board is hopeful that we’ll still get to work with Mark from time to time through the university. Mizzou has been our home and partner for 40 years, and Mark will be just down the hall training the next generation of IRE members. More details on his new position will be announced by the school shortly.
We will establish a search committee in the next couple of weeks, which will then circulate an invitation to apply for the job. In the meantime, please contact me directly with any questions or concerns.
I can’t let this moment go by without reviewing some of Mark’s accomplishments at IRE.
In the last eight years, Mark built on the strong foundation he inherited from Brant Houston, leading the organization through a deep recession and industry crises that devastated our membership and finances.
Now IRE may be the world’s largest support system for investigative reporters who are working to make a difference in their communities. Our membership stands at an all-time high of more than 5,000 world-wide with a full-time staff of 16 and an annual budget of more than $2 million. Conferences in the last two years have been the largest and most diverse in IRE’s history, thanks largely to Mark’s leadership and the entire staff, with training directed by Jaimi Dowdell and events by Stephanie Sinn.
Our international reach has been expanding. Student involvement in IRE has skyrocketed through initiatives like the Campus Coverage Project, student membership drives and more. Mark has personally trained journalists in at least 15 countries during his tenure at IRE and has continued great partnerships with our longtime foundation supporters while adding new ones. While we have a long way to go, Mark has created programs like the fellowship for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and partnerships with sister organizations like the Asian American Journalists Association to help diversify our membership and leadership.
Past executive directors have been among IRE’s biggest cheerleaders and supporters. I know Mark will join that alumni association with the same spirit.
IRE’s annual meeting in New Orleans will be the 18th national conference that he’ll have helped oversee. We’ll say a more formal farewell there. For now, I hope you’ll join me in offering Mark our gratitude and good wishes.
President of IRE’s board of directors