Dick Tofel, distinguished visiting professor at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health

Dick Tofel

Dick Tofel is a distinguished visiting fellow in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where he led a faculty seminar on “The Pandemic, the Press, and Public Health” and teaches a course on “Engaging with the Press.”

Dick is also the principal of Gallatin Advisory LLC. Prior to that, he was the founding general manager (and first employee) of ProPublica from 2007-2012, and its president from 2013 until September 2021. As president, he had responsibility for all of ProPublica’s non-journalism operations, including communications, legal, development, finance and budgeting, and human resources.

During the period of Tofel’s business leadership, ProPublica published stories that won seven Pulitzer Prizesseven National Magazine Awards, five Peabody Awards, three Emmy Awards and eleven George Polk Awards, among other honors. Also during this time, ProPublica grew from an initial staff of just over 20 to more than 160, and raised more than $225 million from other than its founding funders.

Tofel was formerly the assistant publisher of The Wall Street Journal, with responsibility for its international editions and U.S. special editions, and, earlier, an assistant managing editor of the paper, vice president, corporate communications for Dow Jones & Company, and an assistant general counsel of Dow Jones. Just prior to ProPublica, he served as vice president, general counsel and secretary of the Rockefeller Foundation, and earlier as president and chief operating officer of the International Freedom Center, a museum and cultural center that was planned for the World Trade Center site.

He serves on the board/advisory board of the American Journalism Project, the Center for Media Engagement at the University of Texas, Austin, the Center for News, Technology & Innovation, The Dial, Harvard Public Health magazine, Outlier Media, Outrider Foundation, Retro Report, the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Center for Media and Democracy in Israel.

Tofel is a recipient (with Paul Steiger) of the 2021 Kiplinger Award for Contributions to Journalism from the National Press Foundation, and earlier received the 2020 Sigma Delta Chi Award for Public Service in Newsletter Journalism for the ProPublica Newsletter “Not Shutting Up,” and the 2019 Newmark Journalism Award from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York.

Tofel is a graduate of Harvard College, Harvard Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School (masters in public policy).