Susan King is the John Thomas Kerr Distinguished Professor and served as the school’s dean from Jan. 1, 2012, until Dec. 31, 2021. Under her leadership, the school revitalized the undergraduate education curriculum to respond to the digital and visual demands of the communication business, centralized and strengthened student services, and built the Curtis Media Center, a state-of-the-art learning environment utilizing the latest technology. During her tenure, the school also surpassed the school’s campaign fundraising goal of $75 million.

King received the prestigious Scripps Howard Administrator of the Year Award in 2020.

King’s professional career has spanned the school's two major disciplines — journalism and strategic communication.

After starting her broadcast journalism career in Buffalo, New York, she spent more than 20 years in Washington, D.C., as an anchor and reporter covering politics, including serving as a White House correspondent for ABC News. She also reported for CBS, NBC and CNN, and hosted the “Diane Rehm Show” and “Talk of the Nation” for NPR.

King was confirmed by the Senate twice during her five-year career in government during the Clinton administration. She was a presidential appointee in the U.S. Department of Labor, where she served as the assistant secretary for public affairs, as well as the executive director of the Family and Medical Leave Commission. She also led public affairs for a short period at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In 1999, King joined Carnegie Corporation of New York as vice president for external affairs, leading communications. She launched and led the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education in collaboration with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The initiative supported 12 premier U.S. journalism schools, including UNC, in their re-invention strategies. King helped establish the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy awarded by the Carnegie Family of Institutions and led the corporation’s 100th year celebration.

King serves on numerous boards, including BBC Media Action, WUNC Public Radio, Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs, Carolina Beacon and the Leadership Roundtable. Previously, she served on the boards of BBC Media Action and her alma mater, Fairfield University. She is a founder of the International Women’s Media Foundation and was recognized with the IWMF’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019. King received the DeWitt Carter Reddick Award for Communication Excellence from the Moody College of Communication in 2015 and was inducted into The Buffalo Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2014. King was awarded the Earle Gluck Distinguished Service Award by the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters in 2018.


  • M.A., Fairfield University
  • B.A., Marymount College