HAMPTON, Va. (December 9, 2020) – Hampton University alumna Rashida Jones has been named President of News Network MSNBC. Jones begins Feb. 1, 2021 and is the first Black executive to lead one of the major cable news organizations. Jones is the current senior vice president for MSNBC, and will be succeeding longtime network president Phil Griffin.
“Congratulations to Ms. Rashida Jones on this historic promotion to leadership at one of America’s top news-based cable channels,” said Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey. “Ms. Jones is a prime example of the type of alumni we envisioned when we opened our journalism school. The Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications (SHSJC) was built with a vision to produce ethical and competitive leaders in mass media who are equipped to practice excellence and innovation in multimedia technology while adhering to the core principles of journalism and communications. Ms. Jones’ appointment proves that Hampton University continues to provide the strong foundation for a rewarding future.”
Jones is a 2002 Hampton University Mass Media Arts graduate and has had a very lucrative career in the journalism industry. Her industry credits include news director of WIS-TV, director of live programming and executive producer for The Weather Channel, and producer for WTKR-TV. In her current position as senior vice president at NBC News and MSNBC, Jones leads breaking news and major events coverage. She also oversees MSNBC’s daytime and weekend programming.
“If you’ve worked with Rashida on any of those endeavors, you know that she has an outstanding track-record and she leads with a laser-like focus and grace under pressure. I know she will be an excellent leader for MSNBC,” wrote NBCUniversal News Group Chairman Cesar Conde, in an email to staff.
In 2019, Jones was inducted into the Hampton University Scripps Howard School Hall of Fame.
“Rashida is the Co-Chair of our Advisory Board, and an alumna who shows her love for her ‘Home by the Sea,’ not only in voice, but in deed. All that she carries at 30 Rock, Rashida has given of her time and resources consistently,” said B. DàVida Plummer, Dean of the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications. “Teaching, mentoring, and inspiring, while etching a path forward for the students here in this School who aspire to follow in her footsteps. We are bursting with pride right now for Rashida.”