Kelly Lytle Hernández, professor of history, African American studies and urban planning at UCLA, has been elected to the Pulitzer Prize Board, announced today by Columbia University.

“I am honored to join the Pulitzer Prize Board. The Pulitzer Prizes celebrate bold and creative storytelling across numerous formats, from journalism to music, history to poetry,” said Lytle Hernández, Thomas E. Lifka Professor of History and the director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA. “The Pulitzer Prizes also lift critical voices into the public square: voices that inform and inspire us while shedding new light on the world in which we live. I am thankful for this opportunity to work with fellow Board members in celebrating a diverse community of journalists, scholars and artists, and look forward to the work ahead.”

One of the nation’s leading experts on race, immigration and mass incarceration, she is the author of the award-winning books “Migra! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol” and “City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles.” Lytle Hernández is also the director of Million Dollar Hoods, a big data research initiative at the Bunche Center that maps the fiscal and human cost of mass incarceration in Los Angeles. For her historical and contemporary work, Lytle Hernández received the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in 2019.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in ethnic studies at UC San Diego and a doctorate in history from UCLA.

The 19-member Board is composed mainly of leading journalists or news executives from media outlets across the U.S., as well as five academics or persons in the arts. Voting members may serve three terms of three years for a total of nine years. Every April, the Board selects the winners of Pulitzer Prizes in journalism, books, drama and music.

The Pulitzer Prizes, first awarded in 1917, are administered at Columbia University and were established by Joseph Pulitzer, a Hungarian American journalist and newspaper publisher.