Common Sense welcomes Glendale resident as Arizona director

Glendale resident Ilana Lowery will take on the role as Arizona director at Common Sense Media. [Submitted photo]

Children’s advocacy nonprofit group taps media veteran


Glendale resident Ilana Lowery is taking on the role of Arizona director at Common Sense Media, and will be responsible for driving a strategic effort to build Common Sense’s presence, philanthropic base and strategic partnerships throughout the state.

In August, Common Sense Media partnered with the Arizona Community Foundation, the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, and the Phoenix IDA on a statewide digital well-being initiative.

“I am beyond thrilled to work for an organization like Common Sense Media,” Ms. Lowery stated. “The mission of Common Sense immediately struck a chord with me as someone who has been a part of the changing media landscape and has seen a dramatic—not necessarily positive—shift in how parents and young people use digital technology. The advocacy efforts and education goals of Common Sense Media are more important than ever as we try to navigate through this digital revolution. We have to make better, smarter decisions for the kids growing up in the digital age.”

A 30-year media veteran, Ms. Lowery is the former editor-in-chief of the Phoenix Business Journal, where she served in that position for 15 years. Prior to her role as chief editor, the Chicago native also served as managing editor for six years. She started there in 1995 as a reporter and projects editor for a total of 23 years at the publication.

As a reporter she covered banking and finance, education, nonprofits and economic development. Prior to the Business Journal, Ms. Lowery was an editor for Independent Newspapers Inc., a community newspaper chain based in Scottsdale. Before moving to the Phoenix area in 1989, she served as a reporter and editor for Pulitzer Newspapers in Chicago. An award-winning journalist, she also worked for the NBC TV affiliate in Chicago.

“We believe Common Sense Media has chosen an extremely capable and entrepreneurial leader to launch in Arizona,” Steve Seleznow, president and CEO of the Arizona Community Foundation, stated. “Ilana’s media and journalism background, combined with her history of supporting and drawing attention to community issues and needs across both the corporate and nonprofit sectors, provide the organization with considerable depth and insight. “Ilana’s leadership will assuredly enable Common Sense Media to reach and provide its wide array of programs and resources to all those concerned about social media and its growing impact on children, families, schools, and communities.”

Ms. Lowery also is an adjunct professor at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications, where she teaches a variety of journalism courses. A 1986 graduate of the University of Illinois, she earned B.A. degrees in mass communications and English.

“We’re thrilled to have someone with Ilana’s breadth of experience take on this position,” James Steyer, CEO and founder of Common Sense, stated. “Ilana’s journalism, nonprofit, and community leadership background, along with her commitment to kids, education, and digital media suit her ideally to lead the important work we do to help parents and families in Arizona and beyond.”

Ms. Lowery is a longtime advocate of causes involving social issues, education and children’s well-being, and she has served on multiple boards for organizations committed to these issues. Currently, she serves on the advisory board of the 5 Arts Circle and the steering committee for Gabriel’s Angels, a local nonprofit that provides pet therapy to at-risk children. She also is a member of the prestigious women’s professional associations Charter 100 and Central Phoenix Women.

Ms. Lowery recently served on the advisory board for the Greater Phoenix Jewish News and is affiliated with the Society of Professional Journalists and the Arizona Newspaper Association, which in 2015 presented her with the Order of the Silver Key, an honor for journalists who have been in the profession for 25 years or more, have contributed to the journalism profession both locally and nationally, and have inspired fellow journalists.

In addition, Ms. Lowery is a longtime supporter of Ryan’s House, the YWCA, and the Southwest Autism Resource and Research Center. In 2014, she was a Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce Athena Award finalist. She also was honored as a Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts Arizona Cactus-Pine Council.

Common Sense is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education and independent voice they need to thrive in the 21st century.

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