T-Squared: Andy Alford is The Texas Tribune’s next director of editorial recruitment, training and career development

Andy Alford (Nell Carroll/Austin American-Statesman, Nell Carroll/Austin American-Statesman)

I am elated to announce that Andy Alford, the current managing editor of the Austin American-Statesman and one of Texas’ most respected news leaders, will join The Texas Tribune in March as director of editorial recruitment, training and career development.

Andy will bring a wealth of experience to our newsroom, as well as a passion for fostering collaboration and growth. She understands the profound changes that are reshaping the news business. She puts people first and is committed to advancing the careers of journalists at all levels. She knows that the first job of a leader is to help others succeed.

“When I was a new editor, I thought success in my new role would depend on my technical skills — wordsmithing, organization, news judgment — and in part, it did,” she wrote in her cover letter. “But my team needed my soft skills — my emotional intelligence — just as much, if not more.”

Andy is coming to the Tribune at a pivotal time in our history. Our newsroom is about to exceed 50 journalists — thanks to the spectacular work of our development and revenue teams, we will have the resources we need to cover the story of Texas’ future.

As our organization has grown and become more complex, the need for leadership dedicated to fostering talent and culture has become clear to all of us. Andy will be my partner in every decision involving our people, including critical decisions around hiring, advancement and compensation. She will join the Tribune’s senior management team. She will also take charge of our cherished fellowships program and lead it to new heights.

I want to convey the Tribune’s deepest thanks to Alana Rocha, Emily Goldstein and Bobby Blanchard for overseeing the fellowships program for the last several months on an interim basis. Alana, who is doing a superb job as director of news partnerships, and Emily, our incredibly dedicated copy chief, will report to Andy; this team structure will build on their work nurturing and developing the next generation of journalists.

I also want to express gratitude to Darla Cameron, Emily Goldstein and Mandi Cai for their work on our source diversity project, which Andy will also take over.

Everyone who has worked with Andy — including several Statesman alumni on our staff — knows about her exceptional news judgment and organizational ability. She has had to lead through disruptive change, including two changes in ownership, and a tightening of resources. Like me, Andy is thrilled about the mission and potential of nonprofit journalism and knows how critical it is to have a sustainable business model, so that our journalists can focus on journalism.

Born in Dallas, Andy enrolled at Florida A&M University to study engineering — a background that I believe helps to explain her later success at managing people, processes and resources. We are fortunate that Andy found her calling in journalism, her major after she transferred to the University of Houston.

After a year at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock, Andy joined the Statesman in 1997, covering education, including the end of busing in Austin, and growth, including the 2000 census, gentrification and the growing diversity of Austin’s suburbs. Andy has a strong track record of producing accountability journalism — she used data to track property tax increases and expose inequities in the criminal justice system, revealing racial disparities in policing and the low prosecution rate for sex crimes.

The Statesman named Andy assistant metro editor in 2005, metro editor in 2010 and senior editor in 2013. As managing editor since 2018, she has overseen a newsroom of more than 60 journalists; a near-doubling of digital subscriptions; and award-winning coverage that prompted the Texas Managing Editors to recognize the Statesman as Texas newspaper of the year for 2013, 2014 and 2016. We are truly privileged to be the next stop in her already stellar career.

Disclosure: The University of Houston has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribunes journalism. Find a complete list of them here.