Elizabeth B. West, class of 1973

Elizabeth B. West grew up in Hebron, Maine, before moving with her family to Providence, Rhode Island. She graduated from The Wheeler School in 1969 and went on to study English at Brown University. During her time at Brown, West participated in the Film Club and wrote film reviews for the Brown Daily Herald. She graduated from Brown in 1973 and went on to earn a Master’s in Communications from Syracuse University.

West spent nearly three decades working in network news. As a producer and executive at ABC News, she received 21 Emmy Awards and two duPont-Columbia Awards for her work on “Nightline” and “PrimeTimeLive” and the documentary program “Turning Point,” where she served as executive producer from 1994-1998. As Senior Vice President at CBS News from 1998-2005, she oversaw “60 Minutes” and “48 Hours,” and was executive in charge of the CBS documentary 9/11, winner of the Primetime Emmy Award in 2002. In 2009, West joined the Columbia Journalism School faculty from which she retired in 2020.

West was executive producer of the MAKERS documentary and digital project (AOL & PBS, 2012); the feature documentary The Lavender Scare (2017), and the short doc 4%: Film’s Gender Problem (Epix 2016.)  Along with her husband, filmmaker Oren Jacoby, Brown University class of 1977, she is a principal at Storyville Films where she co-produced Constantine’s Sword (First Run Features, 2007.) Most recently, she directed RBG (CNNFilms, Magnolia, Participant) – a theatrical documentary about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg – along with Julie Cohen.

West married her husband in 1992 and they have one daughter, Jane Jacoby, Brown University class of 2017. West served two terms on the Brown Corporation and sat on Board of Directors of The New 42nd Street. She and her husband live in New York.