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Jack Marsh

President and chief operating officer/Diversity Institute

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Jack Marsh
Jack Marsh

Jack Marsh is president and chief operating officer of the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute, with offices at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., the John Seigenthaler Center in Nashville, Tenn., and the Al Neuharth Media Center in Vermillion, S.D.

Marsh, a career journalist, oversees the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute and its efforts to advance diversity in the media. He also is responsible for Freedom Forum scholarship and award programs that encourage and honor high journalistic standards. Prior to joining the Freedom Forum in September 1998, Marsh was executive editor of the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, S.D., for nearly six years and an employee of the Gannett Co. for 27 years. He has worked as a journalist at seven daily newspapers in four states.

Marsh initially was hired by the Freedom Forum as director of the Newseum’s NewsCapade, a traveling exhibit that visited all 50 states and Canada to promote better understanding between the news media and the public. Later, Marsh became the founding director of the Al Neuharth Media Center at the University of South Dakota and of the American Indian Journalism Institute, the country’s premier academic and internship program to recruit, mentor and retain Native American journalists. Marsh also is a co-founder of the Crazy Horse Journalism Workshop, held annually in South Dakota.

Marsh is a distinguished alumnus of Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, Ohio. He has been honored for lifetime achievement or dedicated service with awards from the South Dakota Newspaper Association, the University of South Dakota, the Native American Journalists Association and Pi Lambda Phi, an international fraternity dedicated to the elimination of prejudice.

Marsh is a native of Niagara Falls, N.Y., where he began his journalism career as a high school correspondent for his hometown newspaper. He later obtained his bachelor’s degree in government from Baldwin-Wallace College, where he was editor of the student newspaper.

After graduation, Marsh joined the Rochester, N.Y., Times-Union where he was a reporter and an editor for 11 years. He moved to Utica, N.Y., to become managing editor and then executive editor of the Daily Press and the Observer-Dispatch for nine years. Marsh was both publisher of the Daily Journal and president of Times Graphics, a commercial printing company in Vineland, N.J., for two years before moving to Sioux Falls in 1992.

Marsh has been a leader in local, state and national journalism associations. Marsh is past president of the New York State Associated Press Association and the South Dakota Associated Press Managing Editors Association. He also is a member of the American Society of News Editors, Associated Press Managing Editors, National Press Club in Washington, Society of Professional Journalists and College Media Advisers.

Marsh serves on the executive committee of the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation Board of Directors. He is past president of the Sioux Falls Downtown Rotary Club.

Marsh and his wife, Betty, a school counselor, live in Sioux Falls. They have two grown daughters, Dr. Elizabeth Jensen, a family-practice physician, and Colleen Olson, a freelance media producer. The Marshes have four grandchildren.

(updated 8/20/10)