Newswise — Timothy Shanahan, professor of urban education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, has been named president of the International Reading Association.

Shanahan, who has already served the association as vice president, president-elect, and member of the board of directors, accepted the appointment at the association's 51st annual convention May 4 in Chicago. He will hold that post for one year.

Shanahan is perhaps best known for his service with the Chicago Public Schools' Chicago Reading Initiative. In that role, he was director of reading for the city's 437,000 children and 26,000 teachers. He is director of the UIC Center for Literacy, a research and service unit within the College of Education, and an important contributor to programs such as Project FLAME, a family literacy program serving Chicago's Latino communities.

A member of the National Reading Panel that advises Congress on reading research, Shanahan is also chairman of the Family Partnership in Reading Project.

Among his other appointments, Shanahan is a member of the White House Assembly on Reading and member of the reading committee for the National Assessment of Educational Progress. He has chaired the National Literacy Panel on Language Minority Children and Youth since 2002.

He is the author of more than 100 books, articles and chapters on reading education and has received the Albert J. Harris Research Award for his work on reading disabilities. A former first grade teacher, Shanahan earned his Ph.D. at the University of Delaware.

The International Reading Association, the world's largest professional organization devoted to literacy education, has more than 90,000 members, 350,000 affiliate members and affiliates in more than 40 nations.

In his inaugural address, Shanahan said, "I will dedicate my efforts as your president to the well-being of each of those teachers and children, and to all literacy teachers and literacy learners everywhere -- particularly those in need."

For more information on literacy efforts at UIC, visit

NOTE: Please refer to the institution as the University of Illinois at Chicago on first reference and UIC on second reference. "University of Illinois" and "U. of I." are often assumed to refer to our sister campus in Urbana-Champaign.