University of the District of Columbia to Award Honorary Doctorate to MSNBC President Rashida Jones

Courtesy of the University of the District of Columbia

The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) is pleased to announce that MSNBC President Rashida Jones, this year’s commencement speaker, will be awarded an honorary doctorate during the upcoming commencement ceremony.

As the president of MSNBC and the first Black woman to head a major news network, Jones is responsible for oversight of all programming, editorial units, business development and technical operations of the network. Under her leadership, MSNBC has solidified its position as the top destination for breaking news, expert reporting and analysis.

“We are honored to recognize Rashida Jones for her exceptional contributions to the field of journalism and her steadfast commitment to educating and mentoring future generations,” said UDC Board of Trustees Chair Christopher D. Bell. “The decision to award this honorary degree was an easy one to make, given her trailblazing achievements as a longtime journalist who has risen to one of the most powerful and influential positions in her field. As a professional, a woman and a person of color, she presents a powerful model of success for students and future journalists to follow.”

Jones previously held the role of Senior Vice President at NBC News and MSNBC, where she spearheaded cross-platform breaking news and major events for both networks. These included coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and the networks’ Decision 2020 coverage including town halls, primaries and special election nights and forums, and the two most-watched Democratic presidential primary debates in history.

She has been recognized with two Emmy Awards and three Edward R. Murrow Awards, is the recipient of the Radio Television Digital News Association’s Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award, honoring journalists and news executives who have made a major contribution to protecting the press freedoms, and was honored with The National Action Network’s Keeper of the Dream Award, celebrating those who have continued to advocate for the principles of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Jones is a proud HBCU graduate and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Hampton University, where she funded a scholarship for promising journalists.