Skip to main content

The Hodding Carter III Public Service Fellowship

The Hodding Carter III Public Service Fellowship supports opportunities for UNC public policy undergraduates to engage in public service opportunities in our communities, the American south, the nation and around the globe.

Hodding Carter III is the Emeritus University Professor of Leadership and Public Policy. He was president and CEO of the Knight Foundation from February 1998 until his retirement in July 2005.

Under his leadership, the Knight Foundation made $15 million in grants in recent years to further freedom-of-information projects and initiatives. Recipients included the National Freedom of Information Coalition, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the National Security Archive, the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Radio-Television News Directors Association and several investigative reporters groups, including Investigative Reporters and Editors. The Foundation also funded Sunshine Week, an annual effort sponsored by journalism advocacy and civil society organizations to promote values of open government, freedom of information, and public participation.

Carter held the Knight Chair in Journalism at the University of Maryland College of Journalism and from 1965-66 he was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard. He worked on two presidential campaigns – for Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter. In January 1977, Carter became spokesman of the Department of State and Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, serving until 1980. Carter’s wife, Patricia Murphy “Patt” Derian is a United States civil and human rights activist, who served as Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs from 1977 to 1981.

Hodding Carter went on to a national career in the media as television commentator and newspaper correspondent on public affairs, working with ABC, NBC, CNN, PBS, BBC, and The New York Times, among other leading media, and in the process earning four national Emmy Awards and the Edward R. Murrow Award for his documentaries. In 2013, Carter received with The Giduz Award for Public Service by the Harvard Club of the Research Triangle – “presented annually to an outstanding citizen who is committed to public service in our community, country and the world.”

Carter’s father was a newspaper publisher and editor in the South whose editorials on racial and religious tolerance for the family-owned Greenville, Miss., Delta Democrat-Times won the Pulitzer Prize in 1946. Born in New Orleans and raised in Greenville, Mississippi, Hodding Carter III graduated summa cum laude in June 1957 with a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University. After serving in the military, he returned to Greenville in 1959, where he spent nearly 18 years as reporter-editorial writer, managing editor and editor and associate publisher of the Delta Democrat-Times.