The Decade Dozen

From the Fall/Winter 2010 issue of Nexus.

Rachel Sklar

Anyone invited to speak under the title "Where media and mentschlichkeit* meet" must have some pretty interesting stuff to say.  And Rachel Sklar, JD 1998, certainly does.

The New York-based founding media editor of the Huffington Post, now an editor at large at Mediaite.com, writes, comments, blogs, opines and tweets about politics, pop culture, media and technology, women, youth and philanthropy (see Charitini.com).

"Rachel is one of the first people to fashion a journalistic career more or less entirely in new media," says Jeffrey Toobin, legal analyst for CNN and The New Yorker. "She understands the media universe -where it is, and where it's going."

That's something HuffPo co-founder Arianna Huffington also picked up on when she hired Sklar ("Arianna gave me my first big break!"). "Rachel has always had a great instinct for coming media trends," says Huffington in an email to Nexus. "Her enthusiasm for the things she believes in is infectious, as is the upbeat spirit she brings to her passions."

One of her passions is improving the visibility of women in new media and technology companies.  In June, Sklar co-founded "Change the Ratio," an initiative to promote women in these areas.  The campaign set off a hot debate in the US, and landed her in the Silicon Alley 100-"New York's Coolest Tech People for 2010" list.

"The way that she's been able to communicate and connect with her generation and the next sets an example for everybody," says Bob Rae, LLB 1977, a friend and mentor. "She's forced people to look at the media in a new way. She's feisty and friendly, has tremendous charm, a great deal of intelligence and wit, and is crafting a career for herself in one of the most challenging environments there is - New York City."

*Menschlichkeit: (German) the properties which make one a mensch (a person of integrity and honour).

Story: Lucianna Ciccocioppo

Photo: Jody Rogac

 

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