Clifton Leaf

EIT Global Fellow
Adjunct Professor, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Clifton Leaf was the 19th Editor-in-Chief of FORTUNE, where he directed the editorial content and strategy across all of FORTUNE’s platforms, shepherding this venerable publication through its 90th anniversary and beyond. During his nearly four-and-a-half-year tenure as presiding editor, FORTUNE was honored with more than 70 top journalism prizes, earned high acclaim for its print magazine redesign, substantially expanded its digital offerings and audience, and built formidable newsletter, premium subscription, podcast, and professional networking businesses. FORTUNE’s editorial and conference teams also created a thriving virtual events enterprise during the COVID-19 pandemic that has become a model for the media industry.

Cliff is now an Adjunct Professor of Journalism at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism as well as an EIT Global Fellow at the Ellison Institute of Technology and a member of the Board of Fellows at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Previously, he served as Deputy Editor of FORTUNE for three years, overseeing the print magazine, and before that was a guest editor for the New York Times op-ed page and Sunday Review. Earlier in his magazine career, he was Executive Editor both at the Wall Street Journal’s SmartMoney magazine and at FORTUNE, where he wrote a number of high-profile feature stories that continue to be well cited today.

He is also the author of the critically acclaimed book, The Truth in Small Doses: Why We’re Losing the War on Cancer—and How to Win It, which was named by Newsweek as one of “The Best Books About Cancer,” and which earned Cliff a Lifetime Achievement Award for cancer reporting from the European School of Oncology. A winner of the Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism, the NIHCM’s Health Care Journalism Award, and a two-time finalist for the National Magazine Award, Cliff has received numerous leadership honors for his efforts in the cancer fight, including the Ribbon of Hope from the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship. A keynote speaker at more three dozen scientific conferences around the world, Cliff has presented testimony to the President’s Cancer Panel three times and delivered “Grand Rounds” at the National Cancer Institute. He is the first and only journalist to have received that honor.