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Lee elected to lead black journalists

By Derek Anderson
Globe Correspondent / August 6, 2011

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Gregory H. Lee Jr., a Globe sports editor, was elected last night as the 19th president of the National Association of Black Journalists, an organization that serves black journalists all over the world.

“I’m excited to be 19th president of the NABJ,’’ said Lee, who has been a member of the organization since 1996.

Lee, 37, who previously served as treasurer of the association, won the election with 294 votes, defeating opponents Deirdre Childress and Charles Robinson, according to the association’s website. He will succeed president Kathy Y. Times.

“I’m very humbled to serve the organization that I hold very dear to my heart,’’ Lee said last night from Philadelphia, where the vote was held.

Lee said one of his first tasks as president will be to form a team to begin planning the convention that the association will hold in his hometown of New Orleans in 2012. He also plans to initiate formal relationships with black professional organizations across the country.

“We have so many similar goals in what we’re trying to accomplish,’’ he said.

As the senior assistant sports editor, Lee has worked for the Globe since November 2004. In his time at the Globe, he has brought new candidates and talent to the Sports Department.

“Greg has been a passionate, effective advocate for diversity within our profession and within our newsroom,’’ said Martin Baron, editor of the Globe. “NABJ will benefit immensely from his leadership, as have we here at the Globe.’’

Lee will face multiple challenges, including how to boost membership. The NABJ lost 900 members in 2010, but had an increase of 35 percent in 2011, he said.

The organization has 3,500 members this year, and there are an estimated 2,500 people attending the NABJ’s convention currently taking place in Philadelphia, Lee said.

After winning the presidential election, Lee said with a laugh, “I’m relieved. It’s been a long campaign.’’

During the campaign, Lee said he had the ability to push the NABJ to keep moving through the development of leadership, and meet the need for gaining membership, all while honoring the organization’s founding principles.