A host of changes are happening at Oxford American.
Longtime editor Eliza Borné is leaving the nonprofit magazine, heading to the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) to serve as its director of development. Borné’s tenure stretches back to 2006 when she was an editorial intern, but she became the magazine’s associate editor in 2013 and was named editor in 2015.
Borné, the Oxford American’s first female editor-in-chef, headed up the magazine’s 25th anniversary editorial celebrations, which included a three-part excerpt of Jesmyn Ward’s novel Sing, Unburied Sing), as well as the 100thissue. Oxford American was a finalist for the National Magazine Award for General Excellence three times during Borné’s tenure, winning in 2016.
“Since I was a teenager, I have believed that the OA is one of our greatest magazines, and I’m proud I was able to play a role in its story,” Borné said in a statement. “I hope our readers applaud this transition on our editorial and business teams, because the OA is in very good hands. I have worked closely with Danielle A. Jackson over the past year and have been continually wowed by her brilliance as a writer and editor. I will deeply miss working with the OA’s contributors, but they will be so lucky to have an exemplary editor like Danielle shaping and supporting their work. Over the eight years we’ve worked together, Ryan Harris has shown extraordinary commitment and discipline—ushering in an era of fiscal responsibility while never losing sight of the importance of developing and bolstering programs that make the OA special. One of the best decisions he made as Executive Director was promoting Dr. Sara A. Lewis onto the leadership team in 2019. Through our work on the podcast and many other projects, I have come to know Sara as a hard worker and a visionary thinker who cares deeply about making the OA a stronger, better organization. I’m so excited to watch the OA grow and flourish with Sara at the helm.”
With Borné’s departure, managing editor Danielle A. Jackson will step up as the interim editor-in-chief. A former Longreads associate editor, Jackson joined Oxford American in February 2020 as managing editor and will be the magazine’s first Black editor-in-chief.
Oxford American is also seeing some executive shake-up with Dr. Sara A. Lewis taking on the role of executive director. Lewis has served as executive editor, leading the organization’s digital initiatives, in addition to hosting and co-producing the Oxford American’s podcast Points South. Lewis is the first female and queer executive director in the organization’s history.
“I’m grateful to the OA’s board of directors for this dream of an opportunity,” Lewis said, “and to Ryan Harris and Eliza Borné, who have been fantastic stewards of this organization. I look forward to furthering our mission and continuing to connect with our audience through powerful stories. We already feel right at home on the campus of UCA and eager to share some exciting new projects currently underway.”
As Lewis takes the executive director position, former executive director Ryan Harris will be moving to the finance director role.
The Oxford American also recently moved its headquarters, moving to the University of Central Arkansas campus in Conway. It previously was located in downtown Little Rock.