Willow Bay Is USC Annenberg School’s First Female Dean

She will begin her new duties July 1

Photo courtesy: USC

In a recent conversation with USA Today College, CNN’s Erin Burnett cited Willow Bay as a mentor. And when USC journalism students this spring travel to New York and the San Francisco Bay area as part of “Maymester,” they will have Bay to thank. She expanded that portion of department activities in 2015.

On Monday, it was announced by USC provost Michael Quick that Bay has been promoted from director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism to that school’s next dean. She will be the first female dean since the school was launched in 1971:

“Willow Bay is exactly the right person to lead USC Annenberg at this important time, given the dramatic changes in communications and journalism,” Quick said. “USC is proud to have the foremost school of communication and journalism in the country.”

“Our students, faculty and staff will greatly benefit from Willow’s expertise as they grapple with the ever-evolving world of social media, print and broadcast journalism and converged communication. We expect the school to continue on its upward trajectory under her skilled leadership.”

Bay, married to Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger, was working with The Huffington Post and Bloomberg TV when she chose to move over to academia in 2014. She starts as school dean July 1 and will succeed Ernest J. Wilson III.

The USC Annenberg School recently hosted, on Oscar Sunday, another High School Journalism Day, welcoming up-and-comers from nine Los Angeles-area high schools. Per a report in student newspaper The Daily Trojan, Bay gave the Feb. 26 opening remarks:

Barbara Estrada, a senior studying broadcast and digital journalism, is the founder and former president of the USC National Association of Hispanic Journalists [chapter].

“After establishing NAHJ, I thought, ‘OK, we need to give back,’” Estrada said. “It’s a great way for us to get to know our community and the South L.A. communities.”

Estrada helped lead a workshop called “The Power of Social Media Storytelling,” with Dimelo, a media organization started at Annenberg for Latino audiences.

USC Annenberg civic engagement leader Jaime Carias credited Estrada with the idea for High School Journalism Day and is thrilled with the program’s continued growth and sustainability.