Roger Williams University’s director of media and public relations received the Excellence in Public Service Award from Common Cause Rhode Island at a ceremony Thursday at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet.
Prior to taking the role as the University’s director of media and public relations earlier this month, Edward Fitzpatrick had a long career in journalism, including 16 years at The Providence Journal and eight years as its political columnist. Fitzpatrick earned the award for his reporting on the importance of open and transparent government.
The Excellence in Public Service Award is given to “public employees, members of commissions, journalists, community organizations, or individuals, whose integrity, courage or leadership in pursuit of open and accountable government exemplify Common Cause objectives,” according to the nonpartisan government watchdog group.
“One of the best strokes of luck I’ve had in my career at Common Cause is being hired at the same time Ed was made the political columnist for the Journal,” said John Marion, director of Common Cause Rhode Island. “Over his almost eight years in that role showed himself to be a determined champion of topics ranging from ethics reform to judicial selection to public records, and Ed often turned to Common Cause as a voice on those topics.”
In accepting the award, Fitzpatrick underscored the need for journalists and ordinary citizens alike who are dedicated to the effort of holding government accountable.
“It is a great honor to receive the award,” said Fitzpatrick, who was joined at the ceremony by his family. “As a journalist, I often shared common ground with Common Cause. Whether the issue was access to public records or lobbying reform, merit selection for judges or a strong Ethics Commission, the goal was open and accountable government – and ultimately improving my home state. Now, I'm happy to be devoting my energy to Roger Williams University as it strives to make a difference here in Rhode Island, as this private university works for the public good.”Back to Top