Chris Fitzsimon departing from NC Policy Watch after 13 remarkable years

After 13 years of amazing and visionary leadership, our dear friend and colleague, NC Policy Watch founder and Executive Director Chris Fitzsimon, is leaving the organization later this month.

Yesterday, Rick Glazier, the executive director of the NC Justice Center — the parent organization of Policy Watch — issued the following statement:

A note to friends of NC Policy Watch and the North Carolina Justice Center from Rick Glazier

RALEIGH (November 9, 2017) – It is a with mixture of emotions that I write to tell you that Chris Fitzsimon, the founding director of NC Policy Watch, will be leaving the project after 13 amazingly productive years. As you all are well aware, Chris is an institution in North Carolina policy and journalism circles. For more than three decades – first as a reporter, and later as an assistant to then-House Speaker Dan Blue, founder and executive director of the Common Sense Foundation, and since 2004, the director of NC Policy Watch – Chris has served as a passionate, powerful and relentless voice for justice in our state.

Now, in a development that serves as a tremendous validation of Chris’s remarkable work in growing Policy Watch from a one-person shop into a formidable and unique eight-person news and commentary organization, he has been asked to help take the Policy Watch model national. Later this month, Chris will start work for The Newsroom, a new nonprofit incubator that will help establish and manage a network of similar projects in states around the country.

Thus, while it is with great sadness that we contemplate his departure, it is also with great pride in his accomplishments and excitement for him and the nation that we look forward to the work ahead.

One other especially positive aspect of this transition is that, in the course of negotiations with his new employers, Chris has been able to convince them to allow him to stay in North Carolina, based in a Chapel Hill office. Not only will this allow him to remain a close friend and adviser to Policy Watch and other progressive North Carolina nonprofits, it will also allow him to remain a semi-regular Policy Watch columnist and as a weekly cast member on the syndicated political TV talk show, NC SPIN. We know that many of our more conservative friends will be disappointed.

Please be on the lookout for announcements in the very near future about a farewell event for Chris and next steps for NC Policy Watch.

Needless to say, there will be no let-up in the quantity and quality of the news and commentary emanating from the Policy Watch team.

And please join us on November 29 for a special event (“Spotlight on Journalism” – click here for more information) highlighting the fine work of all of the members of the NC Policy Watch team.

 

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