Award of Distinction Recipient
Humphrey School of Public Affairs, February 18, 2015
Roger Parkinson has been a pioneer in the publishing field for decades. He began his career at Newsweek Magazine as the director of special projects and quickly became a force in the publishing world serving as vice president of the Washington Post. During his 12 years in Minnesota, Parkinson served as president and publisher of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Under his leadership, the Star Tribune became the most successful newspaper in the region and won its first Pulitzer Prize in decades. Parkinson served as the chair of the 1990 National Olympic Festival and as chair and chief of operations for the Gorbachev visit. When he was told there were no state funds available for the Gorbachev visit, he raised over $1 million in a week to cover the costs associated with the visit. In the mid-80s, he served as co-chair of the All Star Baseball game and he also served on the committee that brought the 1991 Super Bowl to Minneapolis. After leaving Minnesota, Parkinson moved to Toronto in 1994 to serve as publisher, CEO, and chairman of the Globe and Mail, Canada’s National Newspaper. He has served on numerous national and international boards and executive committees, including the Inter-American Press Association, the World Press Freedom Committee, and the IFRA (the international newspaper technical association, Darmstadt, Germany). Since retirement, he has been serving on the Advisory Council of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs as well as several other boards or councils.
Biographies are as-of time of award presentation.