Lisa Lucas on Diversifying the Publishing Industry and the Power of Books

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Lisa Lucas

Four years ago, Lisa Lucas became the first African American to lead the National Book Foundation, the organization that runs the National Book Awards and promotes reading and writing. Lucas will move into a new job in January as senior vice president at Penguin Random House. As she wraps up her current role, she has called on the book industry to take more risks, publish and advocate for more writers of color, and in general, “do better.” She joined the foundation after serving as publisher of arts magazine Guernica and director of education at the Tribeca Film Institute. We’ll talk with her about her career, diversity in the publishing industry and her holiday book picks.


Lisa Lucas, outgoing executive director, National Book Foundation; incoming publisher, Pantheon & Schocken Books