Career shifts lead alumna from journalism to law to theology

Posted on Nov 3, 2015 in News

Julie Johnson Staples was among 12 alumni honored with the Mike and Joyce Shinn African-American Leaders & Innovators award at the Black Alumni Network‘s reunion, held on campus Sept. 25-27. The award recognizes leaders from the KU community for their impact on society.

Staples, a graduate of the KU School of Journalism, has pursued varied careers in journalism, finance and the ministry. She is currently interim senior minister of the 116-year-old Flatbush-Tompkins Congregational Church. As a KU student, she was the first African-American editor of the University Daily Kansan.

Staples, j’78, eventually became the White House correspondent for the Baltimore Sun and The New York Times. In 1994, she earned her law degree from Georgetown University and went on to serve as the Justice Department correspondent for ABC News. She later began a career in international investing at Warburg Pincus and became the firm’s first African-American partner. Her career shifted again when she returned to graduate school to study theology and became ordained in the Congregational and American Baptist Church. She serves on the board of the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches.


Learn about other honorees of the African-American Leaders & Innovators Project here. These talented and sometimes controversial African-Americans helped shape the University as well as the cities, states and nations their work touched.

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