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Penn Press is the University's non-profit academic publishing company.

Mary Francis will lead the University of Pennsylvania Press starting Sept. 23, the Penn Almanac announced Tuesday.

Penn Press is the University's nonprofit academic publishing company. Founded in 1890, it publishes over 140 journals and books a year on subjects ranging from anthropology to mid-Atlantic history.

For over two decades, Penn Press has been led by Eric Halpern, who took the position in 1995. Francis, who will succeed Halpern on Sept. 23, will be the Press’s 13th director. 

Francis comes to Penn after serving as Editorial Director of University of Michigan Press/Michigan Publishing since 2015, The Penn Press Log reported. Previously, she was Executive Editor and Team Leader for the Humanities at the University of California Press, where she had worked since 1999. Francis also serves on the Association of University Presses’s Board of Directors and chaired their 2019 Annual Meeting Program Committee and the Acquisitions Committee.

“I am confident that Mary will be a spectacular leader, working closely and collaboratively across the Penn community to chart the future of Penn Press,” Provost Wendell Pritchett told The Penn Press Log. 

In her various roles, Francis has promoted open access, or the free availability of academic information. She helped develop Michigan Press’ community-based platform, Fulcrum, which is now used at several presses nationwide. She also served as editorial lead for the Luminos Open Access project at the University of California Press. 

"It is truly an honor to be selected to join the Penn community as Director of Penn's excellent Press,” Francis told The Penn Press Log. “I am excited to come to Philadelphia to work and learn with Press staff to move the Press forward."

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