Bjerga '95 Installed as NPC President
Jan 16, 2010CONCORDIA GRADUATE INSTALLED AS NATIONAL PRESS CLUB PRESIDENT
Alan Bjerga, a 1995 Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn., alumnus and a reporter for Bloomberg News, was installed today as the 103rd president of the National Press Club. Bjerga accepted the gavel from past President Sylvia Smith, who stood in for President Donna Leinwand. Leinwand, a reporter for USA Today, was dispatched to Haiti to cover the earthquake and rescue efforts so was not able to attend the meeting.
Bjerga most recently served as the National Press Club's vice president. He also has served as the Club's treasurer and as a member of its Board of Governors. He has identified journalism training and support of free speech worldwide as central to his upcoming term.
Bjerga grew up on a farm in northern Minnesota. He covers agricultural policy for Bloomberg News. This year he won awards from the Overseas Press Club, the New York Press Club, the Society of American Business Editors and Writers and the North American Agricultural Journalists for his work in Ethiopia on famine and U.S. food aid.
He previously worked in the Knight-Ridder Washington bureau, where he won the NAAJ's top writing award in 2005. He began his career with the Saint Paul Pioneer Press and also reported for the Sioux Falls Argus Leader and Wichita (Kan.) Eagle. He earned his bachelor's degree from Concordia and a master's degree from the University of Minnesota. Bjerga will be officially sworn into office at a black-tie gala in the National Press Club's ballroom on Jan. 30.
The National Press Club, founded in 1908, has 3,500 members in Washington and worldwide. Widely known for its nationally broadcast speakers' luncheons, the NPC also is Washington's most frequently used venue for news conferences. The Club also conducts professional education for journalists, funds scholarships for journalism students, and operates the nation's only non-academic journalism research library.