Introducing Our New CEO: Sandra M. Clark
StoryCorps is delighted to welcome Sandra M. Clark, who will join the organization as our new CEO in mid-February 2022. Sandra has built a distinguished career in media and currently serves as vice president for news and civic dialogue at WHYY, the main PBS and NPR affiliate in the Philadelphia area where she manages all news operations across radio, TV, web, and digital media. At WHYY, Sandra led the newsroom’s audience growth and diversification strategies, community engagement initiatives, and managed local news partnerships and funding opportunities. During her five-year tenure, she also led the station’s diversity, cultural competency, community engagement, and trust-building efforts.
As StoryCorps’ second-ever CEO, Sandra—together with Founder and President Dave Isay—will lead all aspects of the organization. Dave said, “Sandra’s vast experience, extraordinary leadership, strong moral core, and deep understanding of our nation and its media and social landscape make her the perfect person to serve as StoryCorps’ next CEO. I can’t wait to work alongside her in the evolution of this organization.” The search was conducted by Ann Blinkhorn of Blinkhorn, a firm that specializes in identifying and attracting transformative leaders.
A Pulitzer Prize
Prior to WHYY, Sandra served as managing editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer where, among other accomplishments, she implemented two of the paper’s most successful reader engagement initiatives and led the paper to a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 2014. In 1983, she began her career at the Inquirer and served in various roles there over the years.
Sandra is a long-time advocate for diversity, inclusion, and equity and last year was named one of The Philadelphia Tribune’s Most Influential African American Leaders. She also serves on a number of boards, including the News Leaders Association and the advisory board for the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication.
Shining a Light
Having grown up in a military family, with an African-American father from Louisiana and a Japanese mother, one of Sandra’s greatest joys is cooking—what she calls a “treasured inheritance” of history and food for the soul from her rich multicultural upbringing.
Sandra has always loved hearing the stories of everyday people and learning new places and cultures, having lived in Kansas, Louisiana, Japan, West and Southern Africa, and now Philadelphia, and traveled to many more places. She says one of her most “humbling and life-altering experiences” was as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa. Her two-year assignment was on an island with no running water or electricity, but what was most memorable were people with “an abundance of ingenuity and incredible generosity, and so much more to teach me than I could leave them.”
Throughout her life and career, this fundamental belief in the potential of every person has led Sandra to shine a light on those within organizations and the larger communities in which we live, who have much to contribute but are too often unseen and unheard. StoryCorps’ core belief in the power of people’s stories is what attracted her to the organization.
She remarked, “StoryCorps is a national treasure with unlimited potential to grow and reach more diverse audiences…we are living through unprecedented times and StoryCorps is well positioned to help heal the divisions by reminding us all of the power of empathy and our shared humanity.”
She added, “I am not a crier–never have been. But I confess, StoryCorps [stories] get me every time.”
Return to In-Person Recording
StoryCorps is excited to welcome you back to our recording booths in-person starting in Fall of 2021. Here’s what you can expect after reserving your appointment.
Prior to your recording date StoryCorps staff will be in touch with you to confirm your in-person appointment and to brief you on our safety protocols. If you decide to record your interview virtually instead, that’s perfectly all right. We will continue to offer virtual appointments in addition to in-person appointments. If you would like to record in person, please review our safe community agreements below. If you are not willing to comply with these agreements, we will require you to record virtually.
StoryCorps Safe Community Agreements
- -All participants and StoryCorps staff will wear masks fastened snugly over their noses and mouths when interacting in the greeting area and while in the recording space. StoryCorps will provide masks if needed.
- -All non-household groups agree to maintain social distancing. Participants who choose not to distance, do so at their own risk. All StoryCorps staff will maintain a 6-foot distance from participants at all times.
- -Prior to their interview, all participants will be asked to complete a health acknowledgment form to screen for COVID-19 exposure and symptoms and sign an acknowledgment of risk form.
- -All participants agree to cancel their interview if they are feeling ill or have tested positive for COVID-19 within two (2) weeks of the Recording Day. If a participant is exhibiting symptoms upon arrival, StoryCorps staff will be required to cancel the interview appointment.
At any point in time, you can switch your in-person appointment to a virtual appointment. To do so, please contact your recording team. If you need to cancel your appointment for any reason, we invite you to sign up for a future virtual or in-person recording appointment if slots are available. If there are no appointment slots available, please join our waitlist, or we encourage you to record at your convenience using one of our free digital platforms: the StoryCorps App or StoryCorps Connect.
On your recording date, here’s what StoryCorps is doing to keep you safe:
- -StoryCorps staff will disinfect all surfaces and door handles in our greeting and recording areas, including all chairs and tables as well as all equipment and supplies such as pens and clipboards, with products that are at least 70% alcohol. The recording booth will be sanitized in between recordings.
- -StoryCorps will provide masks for anyone who needs one and will provide hand sanitizer for all participants.
- -StoryCorps will prioritize recording and greeting spaces that allow for social distancing, have HVAC systems that meet COVID-19 standards, and/or that allow for open windows.
- -StoryCorps will prioritize spaces with nearby bathroom facilities that allow facilitators and participants to wash their hands between engagements.
- -StoryCorps will ensure that the recording and greeting space are large enough for three (3) people to sit at least 6” apart from one another—including the facilitator. (StoryCorps recommends two (2) participants in each interview, but if there are three (3) participants, you should expect to share a microphone at your own risk.
- -We’ll prioritize surfaces (desks, chairs, etc.) which are solid (non-cloth/non-porous) so they can be properly sanitized.
- -StoryCorps will make sure that no external visitors or contractors are allowed in the recording space during the recording day, including family members, other staff members, and members of the press.
Please note that these recommended guidelines are subject to change at the discretion of StoryCorps, and in accordance with updates to local, state, and federal regulations and policies. If the requirements above are not met, StoryCorps staff will be able to end the recording. If health guidelines inhibit StoryCorps from recording interviews in-person, StoryCorps staff will reschedule in-person appointments to take place virtually.
Thank you for your interest in sharing your story. We look forward to seeing you soon!